Dorchester bar to pay $80,000 fine for refusing to let minorities in

The owner of Peggy O'Neil's, 1310 Dorchester Ave., agreed to pay the fine to settle a lawsuit charging it with refusing entrance to blacks, Hispanics and Cape Verdeans, the state Attorney General's office announced today.

The Attorney General's office had filed a civil-rights lawsuit against the bar and owner Caron O'Neil in 2011.

According to the complaint, and other pleadings in the case, Peggy O'Neil's allegedly refused to admit African-American, Hispanic, and Cape Verdean patrons on multiple occasions. Each time, Caron O'Neil or her staff allegedly told these individuals that they could not enter the bar because they did not "know the owner" and that the bar did not want any "trouble" or "problems," while at the same time admitting white patrons.

In the suit, the state charged O'Neil herself had barred two black and Cape Verdean men from entering one night in December, 2010.

Officials say the money will go to compensate victims and pay for the state's legal costs. O'Neil faces another $20,000 if found to not be complying with the agreement to end the suit, which also includes mandatory civil-rights training for her workers.

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why would she do this? did

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why would she do this? did they seem shady to her or is she just flat racist?

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RIDICULOUS!!!!!!

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I must comment on this! I cannot believe the AG bought this BS. I've been to this bar on many occasions. The one thing that stays true EVERYTIME, they don't want trouble. That goes for every race there is!!! There have been so many times when I've seen fall over, drunken white boys turned away & I've been let in right behind them. I don't care if they were wearing sport jackets, if you're gonna cause trouble, if you're already messy drunk, if you're fighting in line waiting to get in...that's it!! You're not getting in. All this owner did was protect herself & her patrons. As a matter of fact, I remember one night, the black bouncer working there told a drunk white girl that she could NEVER come back! And he said it very nicely. And once again, I was let in after her! Yes, I am black.

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Im sure they let minorities

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Im sure they let minorities in Now! This lawsuit is about their behavior back in the early 2000s up to I believe 2010. I remember being turned away, and I've lived in dorchester my whole life. And yes I am black.

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The lawsuit was pending for

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The lawsuit was pending for years moron. Of course they let black people in now. They even hired a black bouncer! LMAO!!! They don't want to get sued again...pathetic.

This seems like it was

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a frivolous suit otherwise the they'd be paying far more than $80,000. Their insurance company or lawyer probably advised them to settle.

Not to mention i went there more than few times while at UMass and remember seeing kids from school who were minorities.

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Hardly a "frivolous" suit.

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Hardly a "frivolous" suit. This was common practice at Peggy O's. If you were a young minority your chances of getting in were cut in half. I know two of the guys who were involved in this suit. They showed up to Peggy O's in sports coats and shoes and were denied entrance. When the bouncers allowed a few white people to enter he told the 2 guys that it was because he "knew the people". My friends asked if he knew the people then why did he have to check their ideas. His answer? "They had familiar faces"

So while they didn't discriminate against all black people...they definitely did against at least 2. And that's enough.

Let me guess...you're white? I'm guessing that's why you don't get it.

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While I don't condone the actions

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of Peggy O's in this case, I personally fail to see how the "victims" of this discrimination were so harmed by Peggy O's actions that are entitled to receive personal cash settlements for "damages". Because of bad policies and management, they had to go to another bar. That was the only consequences of Peggy O's actions, An inconvenience to these people perhaps, but hardly loss of a necessary service or a necessary opportunity like being granted a job.

But once again, instead of the government stepping in and taking appropriate sanctions - like suspending Peggy O's right to operate a business for - say - six months or so, they allow a needless lawsuit to go forward. And they compound that error by falling back to the lazy solution with the tired old "if you pay us enough cash, we'll make this go away" tactic instead of letting the issues being aired in a courtroom and decided by a jury.

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Yeah, "only" that...

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Roadman, how many bars get to turn you away before you "only" have to go to the one that lets you in?

We don't let purveyors of public accomodations (restaurants, hotels, etc.) discriminate because if they are open to the public, then they are open to all of the public. Nobody deserves to be treated as a second class citizen at a public accomodation and there's a component of emotional distress in being told to go away because of your race/religion/whatever. There's also worthy punitive damages in order to make an example of those places that think they can ignore these anti-discrimination laws so others don't get the same idea for any reason.

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Serious question.....

I remember as a younger adult waiting in line (or even just going up to the door with no line) at various "clubs" in NYC. The bouncer out front would basically say there are too many guys inside to let any more groups of guys in the club.

I can understand why the club wants an equal percentage of male/female, but does this still go on and is it legal?

You've got it wrong

Don't put the word "victims" in scare quotes: the bar violated the law and the victims were publicly humiliated and denied service. They were entitled to a cash payment because, instead of just shrugging it off, they went to the considerable trouble and aggravation of filing the suit, which took time and energy they could have spent earning a living, or with their families, or drinking beer with their friends.

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$80,000 fine? Seriously?

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The fine seems utterly outrageous for the actions alleged. I stopped into Peggy O's about six months ago for the first time in years and found the staff very friendly and the crowd both pleasant and diverse. A couple of black female postal workers were sitting beside me and having a great time. $80,000 can be absorbed by a corporate chain but for a mom and pop operation on Dot Ave it's probably the kiss of death. Sad. Another business potentially driven to the ground by this state, for nonsense.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the people turned away very close to closing time? I would guess almost every bar in the country plays favorites with admissions, especially towards closing. I just saw it after game seven of the Bruins at the bars around the Garden, 50-75 people in line and friends of the owner are allowed to cut right to the front. May I sue?

We've all heard of terrible injustices towards blacks in accommodations but this doesn't appear to be one of them. How much would the fine have been if Peggy O's posted "colored entrance" circa the Democratic south of the 60's? How much did Tom English's Pub pay for hanging the toy monkeys during black history month some years back? How much does OSHA fine a company when a worker actually dies on an unsafe job, $5000? How much was Elizabeth Warren fined for taking seats away from Native Americans who may have been more than her "1/32nd" Indian? $80,000 is totally disproportionate here and very selective enforcement.

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Next thing you know

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They'll start holding cops accountable for racist beat-downs on citizenry. Isn't anything sacred????

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Taking seats away from indians

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Okay.

What other stupid parrot tricks do you do?

Shouldn't you be in Washington telling the governement to get out of your government pension?

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anon 10:56 pm, is blonde and blue Elizabeth Warren an Indian?

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I would argue that what Elizabeth Warren did is far more offensive to racial minorities than Peggy O's little bar on Dot Ave. Warren is now a US Senator and no longer a joke. Even Warren's own sycophants at the Globe admit that they could only verify 1/32nd "Native American" blood yet Warren checked the box as "Native American" for years, advancing all along the way with her new, non-white racial status. 1/32nd? Will Marsha Coakley issue an $80,000 fine for that? Fair is fair.

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Please bring me up to date

I'll admit not having followed this story for the past while, but last time I checked, her hiring committee and her tenure committee at Harvard both said, unequivocally, that they had no idea she was anything other than whitebread, and did not consider her for any special minority status. Is there evidence that she did, in fact, apply for special minority privilege, or identify herself as native american on any job application or similar official document?

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There's a good reason this Fauxcahontas story is still going

strong. The people looked at the evidence, concluded that Elizabeth Warren had used her minority status to get preferential treatment at Harvard (despite Harvard saying "That's a complete crock of shit" over and over), and elected Scott Brown U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, where he proudly serves to this day.

Thank goodness that we all recognized those accusations as totally truthful and not the pitiful attempts of a sorry faker to desperately hang on to office. Had those turned out to be an obvious pack of absurd lies that only the dumbest of dumbasses could have swallowed, poor Scott Brown probably would have had to flee the state in humiliation.

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not isolated

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This woman got off light in my opinion. This is not an isolated incident. I am 100% certain that my little sister was discriminated against by this women. She called me to vent her frustration as it was happening and I told her to call the police and file charges. I don't think my sister did, however, making waves is not her style. She was meeting co-workers at this establishment to celebrate a birthday at 5:00 in the afternoon on a weekday. She came straight from work, and gave three co-workers a ride ( all four were African American). My sister is a social worker and supervisor at the Home For Little Wanderers, incidentally. Although the person who's birthday was being celebrated had been to this place before, she had never met the owner, nor was she acquainted with any of the staff. If you are white and have an ID, then the owner "knows" you at this establishment. White co-workers were let in with no problem both before and after my sister arrived and was denied. None of those people had ever been to Peggy O's before. Several of them were my sister's subordinates (not that that ultimately matters, but it created a humiliating situation for her). Long story short(er), my sister was denied, largely so the owner could save face after the "I only let in people I know" ruse fell apart. At the time my sister frequented the purple shamrock, and ended up going there with her fellow black co-workers.
PS I must say that I find the armchair/parlor game of "lets argue why something racist isn't actually racist" to be a most tiresome phenomena. People who spend there time playing that game should do a little digging on the subject of racial discrimination (about an hour and a half on google should do) or look themselves in the mirror.

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Soooooooooo...

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So, there was a punishable/actionable offense of discrimination? But, by your "standards", P O's should have been shut down for six months or the case should have gone to a jury? Sounds to me like the low-dollar settlement, which you mischaracterize as a "lazy solution...tired... tactic" of extortion, isn't what's really bothering you. You might be trying a bit too hard to hide what's really got you all pissed off. So much so that it's blatantly obvious!

To tell a bar owner, who has

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To tell a bar owner, who has successfully and safely operated a bar for 30 plus years in one of the toughest neighborhood in Massachusetts, that she is now somehow racist because of how she secures the bar is a giant crock of sh*t. I have seen minorities in that bar before...and there has never been issues. If you come to the door looking drunk or otherwise ready to start trouble...you will not get in....it should be the same everywhere. There's money in civil rights cases...the lawyers know that...which is one of the many reasons why they have set up offices all over places like Dorchester. The lawsuit is complete BS...

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Keep digging

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You'll get to China ... and be terrified of all the non-white people there!

Keep it up and maybe someone will confiscate your Louise Day Hicks panty picture centerfolds, too!

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Bullcrap

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Why would anybody "wearing sport coats and shoes" go to a crappy working-class Irish bar frequented by belligerent, often racist patrons? There's dbar, Blarney Stone, Harp & Bard - all within a few blocks, yet for some reason they insisted on going to Peggy O's. The bouncer might have turned them away because the bar was full of white drunken idiots and he thought those two guys would have gotten roughed up - ever thought of it that way? They went there so they could sue - simple as that. Race baiting at its worst.

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And what the heck does an

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And what the heck does an insurance company have to do with a discrimination lawsuit? It's not like someone tripped and fell on the premises. The staff systematically discriminates among their clientele. Insurance companies don't protect against stupidity.

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What do you think an insurance company has to do with it?

Try really hard and see if you can think what the bar's insurance company might have to do with the bar's decision to settle or fight the lawsuit. Really. It's not that much of a stretch.

Hint: Insurance companies protect against whatever risk you agree to pay for and the insurance company agrees to cover.

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Fine Payment Fundraiser

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It makes ya sick fachrissakes. Who's runnin the time to pay off the fine? We can have it at the Adelphia.

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Haha

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Hardly a frivolous suit moron! A lawyer advises you to settle when they know you have no chance in hell of winning and it will cost you a lot more when you lose in court. Give me a break with your ignorance.Just because you went there and a few minorities were in the building that night does not mean they decided for whatever reason to act differently towards minorities.

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Don't want any "trouble" or

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Don't want any "trouble" or "problems"... Poor word choice. At other bars, I would hear the bouncers tell individuals they found to be shady; we don't allow do-rags, timberland boots, baseballs hats, etc.
When you have the owner at the front door every night and she is talking to people like this, you don't have much of a case.

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Support

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Iif I lived in the area I wouldn't want to support a business like this. I am sure there are other bars that will gladly take "anyone's" money and not discriminate. Sendy them to civil rights training is pointless, the $20,000 could go to neighborhood summer programs for kids.

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nonsense

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A bar has the right to refuse anyone at anytime.The fact that some people were of other ethnicity doesnt mean sh*t.The race card is getting real old.Go to any busy bar and the bouncers will turn you down for whatever reason they see fit,too drunk,clothing,too many people,too close to closing time etc.The fact the she has to pay that is ridiculous.

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Says the white male

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Says the white male who has never had to put up with this shit.

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Except maybe back a while

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Except maybe back a while when Immigration was pulling white guys out of joints looking for Irish past their expiration dates......

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Please

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I'm white and went to BPS and had to deal with black kids trying to fuck with me because of the color of my skin. Racism goes both ways buddy.

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I'm a white male....grew up

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I'm a white male....grew up in Dot. Been called every racist name in the book by black folks solely for the color of my skin. You think Black folks aren't racist? BS!

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Ya,

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They have a right to refuse anyone at anytime, but NOT for ANY reason! You've missed the point... duh!

Sweet justice

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I was discriminated against at this bar years ago. I am a minority and as i came out of the bathroom one night a bouncer grabbed me and threw me out saying "you spit in someone's face." This was a complete falacy. The cops ended up coming because i peaceably protested in front of the bar, refusing to leave the sidewalk out front. They pun and took me to jail. I sat in jail all night and was arraigned on criminal charges for disturbing the peace and resisting arrest the next day. This was all a result of Peggy O'Neil's discrimanating and making up a story about me spitting in someone's face because, for whatever reason, they wanted me out of their bar. I am so happy to see this settlement. It should be far more money. And i am sure a lot more people will be commenting here with discriminatory stories of their own... by the way I'm not looking for money. Just the whole being treated like a second class citizen, thrown out of a place based on a lie, brought in on criminal charges and having to pay good money out of my own pocket for the color of my skin just never sat well with me. Reading this makes me feel a little bit better...but the whole episode still bothers me to this day.

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Or it could have been that

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Or it could have been that you look like a person who spit in someone's face. Some minorities need to stop with the BS race card every time they don't like the outcome of a situation. Racism is also two way street which never gets discussed but should be. Peggy Os employs minorities and has done so for years...a fact that has been conveniently left out of the conversation here. Among them the main bouncer running the door...."Tony" is black....and he does not mind telling whites and blacks to screw if he thinks they will cause problems. Caron has every right to protect her investment and her bar....no matter who shows up at the front door. The lawsuit is a bunch of minorities fleecing the system using one of the most important pieces of law in this country's history....

It's a smack in the face to those who died for civil rights.

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Stfu? Hey truth GFY. The

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Stfu? Hey truth GFY. The lawsuit is bullsh*t - Caron protected her bar and her patrons. The "victims" were looking for a payday. For every one minority who claims the bars policy is racist...there's 3 more who would disagree because they frequent the place. You see...people don't want it to become another Upstairs Downstairs....which is what happens when you let every dbag in Dorchester just waltz in to the place. If black folks don't like it....here's a box of tissues.

Stop the whining.

why is it

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that there is always a group of people who don't have to suffer from racial discrimination, commenting on how this is hardly a case of racial discrimination? or that the lawsuit was unnecessary? good for you, you don't have to deal with being treated as a second class citizen because of your race but don't act like it doesn't happen to people of color on a regular basis.

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Ever hear of the concept of

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Ever hear of the concept of Reverse Discrimination ? Why are there categories for ethnicity on applications and such, shouldn't matter, either you are qualified or you are not. All we need is Veteran's Preference.

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Well Bob , I am glad you can

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Well Bob , I am glad you can dig it, except don't understand the Veteran 's part. But in keeping theme with this , and your post on Liz Warren above, what on God's green earth qualifies her,
( Last fall, Warren taught only one class at Harvard Law, yet she enjoys an annual salary of $350,000 — this is in addition to nearly $200,000 in royalties and consulting fees she earned while taking a leave from her academic job to help found president Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.)

This does not seem like a slice of white bread , but I digress. Think, the flag at Iwo Jima , and the Normandy Beaches , and how today our culture might be a tad different , except for those sacrifices. Go right ahead to the front of the line, lads ,and you don't need to fill out any applications !

How about reason rather than emotion?

I'm all for compensating veterans a lot better than we do. Increase military retirement pay. Improve the quality of VA care. Spend more on job training and job-finding assistance. As a taxpayer I'm more than happy to pay for all of those. But I'm not in favor of bending the hiring rules for civil service jobs -- I think that ought to be very simple: best qualified applicant. period.

And what qualifies Liz Warren to be a senator is that she ran for office and was duly elected.

Our treatment of veterans is shameful...

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They are dragged through the mud and then left to languish. I appreciate your sentiments. There are not enough people like you in this country. Anyone who thinks that the way our verts are treating is ok needs to leave. Plain and simple.

Bob , I was talking about the

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Bob , I was talking about the $350 G to teach one course. Sounds a little outrageous, doesn't it ? Kind of inflates the price of higher education. Carry on.

Do you know much about universities?

This " she got paid X and only taught one course" stuff is getting tiresome.

You are aware, aren't you, that plenty of university faculty teach no courses at all?

You are aware, aren't you, that the primary business of Harvard; the activity that brings in the bulk of its revenue, is not teaching courses?

Yes and no.

So your against affirmative action too?

Yes and no.

I'm strongly against this:

Not enough minorities in our incoming class. Let's lower the admissions bar.

I'm strongly in favor of this:

Not enough brown faces in our incoming class. Let's get the recruiters out there and encourage more minority applicants to give us a look; let's survey the minority applicants whom we accepted but who turned us down, and find out what me might be doing differently to increase our yield, and let's do it.

There is no such thing...

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Discrimination is discrimination. Now, there is still the question of whether or not someone can be forced to let anyone and everyone into their private establishment.

You can't be forced,

The state can't force you to serve anyone. The state can, however, make it a condition of granting you a license to operate a place of public accommodation that it actually be a place of public accommodation: that you do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, etc.

"Reverse Discrimination"

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is a term often used as a last refuge for bigots who don't understand the difference between personal insult and structural racism.

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Wait in line????

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You all lost me at the "waiting in line" part. There isn't anything in a bar that I need or want bad enough to wait in line for.

Public accommodations....

... are an in-between category (under long-established law). A genuinely private club might still be able to legally discriminate (but might face public criticism), but while public accommodations can make certain rules as to customers, they are required to not engage in discriminatory behavior (even though they are private businesses). So -- dress codes are okay as long as uniformly enforced -- but not religious, sexual, racial, ethnic, etc. discrimination.

http://scholarship.law.umt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2223&context=mlr

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Dress codes can be racist too

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Think of all the local places that allow very casual stereotypically white garb, but have a dress code that says no durags, no rasta hats, no work boots, no baggy pants, no large chains, etc.

Flat out wrong

The dress code restrictions you are talking about are in no way racist if they are applied equally to white and black patrons.

Try it some night in a

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Try it some night in a strange part of town, let me know how it works out. The golden rule is never go into a strange joint unless you know someone that drinks there.

What a sad world you must inhabit

The golden rule is never go into a strange joint unless you know someone that drinks there.

What a sad world you must inhabit, in which you're, say, out of town on business, or you've just gone to a movie, or been shopping, and you fear stopping into the bar that's across the street from where you're standing because you don't know someone who drinks there.

To all the Boston racist white trash below

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I know you will never understand racism because you live in a bubble. I could care less if you ever do understand it. However let me educate you here on how this works, so you can stop defending your local septic tank bar Peggy O'nly-whites. You see the Attorney General goes after big fish only 70% of the time and the other 30% they go after scum bags. The big fish for the money and the scum bags like Peggy O'only-whites because it is the right thing to do and of course more importantly it is a great way to make them look good. They don't take frivolous cases because well dam it they just don't like to lose. So use that little brain of yours and put it together. If you still can't I copy and pasted this from the Boston Herald

I was part of the case by the way. All I have to say is she got what she deserved!

“That’s a decent-sized settlement for a civil rights case. There were no broken bones, and no one was hurt,” said Valeriano Diviacchi, an attorney who has taken the city on in several civil rights cases over the years. “If the AG gets involved, there must have been pretty strong evidence because they don’t take weak cases. If they win, it’s good politics. If they lose, it makes them look bad.

Well well well

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So it's perfectly OK for this samir shabazz wannabe to spew his hate, but anyone who calls him out gets censored. Way to go adam!

Thank you, it means a lot coming from you

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Look, if you're anonymous and your "contribution" consists of complaining about saggy pants or luxurious public housing apartments, no, I'm not going to post those. I'm sure the Herald has written about this case and I'm sure you'd be more comfortable there.