W. Kamau Bell, a self-described socio-political comedian and the star of FX’s “Totally Biased W. Kamau Bell,” was recently so struck by the way he was unfairly treated at a Berkley, California cafe that he wrote an eye-opening blog about the disheartening experience.
After purchasing “The Case For Loving: The Fight For Interracial Marriage” at a bookstore, Bell says he walked to Elmwood Cafe where his wife, Dr. Melissa Hudson Bell (who happens to be White), and several of her new (also White) friends were having lunch. He walked over to their table, was introduced to the group and one of the friends asked about the book Bell was holding.
“I show her the book,” he explains in the blog.
Seconds later there is a loud series of knocks on the window of the Elmwood Cafe. They are coming from the inside of the restaurant. I look up and see one of your employees staring daggers at me. The employee then jerks her head to her left aggressively and I see her mouth say something to the effect of…’SCRAM!’
The employee came out, realized that no one was bothered by Bell’s presence and said, “Oh, we thought you were selling something.” This was also troubling to hear.
His blog post continues:
“What the hell was that supposed to mean? You thought I was selling something so you thought you’d tell me to ‘GIT!’ without first walking outside to find exactly what was going on? And is ‘selling something’ enough for you to bark at me through a plate glass window? And is the equivalent of ‘Oops!’ enough to get you off the hook? The answer to the last two questions is, ‘No.’
After being confronted about the racist act, an employee told the couple that he or she didn’t “think it was a race thing.”
“My wife told your employee in no uncertain terms that we ABSOLUTELY knew it WAS a race thing, because we live with this shit everyday,” Bell adds in the piece.
Following Bell’s blog post, Elmwood Cafe’s manager Michael Pearce agreed to have a public conversation about this matter soon. “Me & my wife are not calling for anyone to be fired, not asking for a boycott,” Bell added in an update. “We are going to have a public conversation. #SoYouCanComeToo.”
Bell’s full blog can be found here.
Article and First Picture Courtesy of The Urban Daily
Second Picture and Tweet Courtesy of Twitter and The Urban Daily
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