Racism In Binghamton-Dillingers Celtic Pub August 25th, 2013





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Published on Oct 9, 2013

To all of the Binghamton community,

The Confronting Racism Coordinating Committee (CRCC), the Women's Student Union (WSU), Black Student Union BBC, other concerned groups on campus and the community, as well as the Lovett-Pitts family, are outraged. On August 25, 2013 Kyle Lovett-Pitts, an African American BCC student, was denied entry, assaulted, and called a nigger by both the bouncer and the owner of Dillingers Celtic Pub after attempting to get in with a group of friends. The owner of Dillingers yelled at Kyle while being arrested by the police: "You fucking niggers bring you guns back cause I'll be ready for you".

This sort of incident is not new here in Binghamton, or in the United States. Dillingers has a dress code sign outside the bar that states "No urban wear". In addition, there are various signs within Dillingers that state, "We do not speak 'Yo' or 'Bro' here" and this is a "Classy establishment so people need to keep their New York City attitudes out of here". On the 2nd floor ,"We do not play rap, hip hop or RnB here". The actions of the bouncer/owner are a reflection of the overall racist practices cultivated at Dillingers.

Responding to this incident is imperative but for it to have substantive meaning the Binghamton community needs to stand together to confront this racist incident. We ask that the owner support and urge all charges against Kyle be dropped. Further, that the signs we have identified be removed as they infringe on and disrespect many people's cultural identities and means of self-expression while, also, making people feel uncomfortable and unwanted. Our concern is not our access to this establishment but addressing the racist atmosphere it supports and others like it. Lastly, being neutral in this matter means that one has already chosen a side, continuing to hang out at Dillengers means supporting their conduct.

A formal complaint was filled by Kyle with the Binghamton Human Rights Commission. The BHRC has condemned the racial slurs said to Kyle documented in a video recorded at the time of the assault. They are currently conducting an investigation into the August 25th incident. The HRC, CRCC, WSA, BSU and the Lovett-Pitts family, the Binghamton community, want these concerns addressed and to prevent this incident from happening to anyone else in the future. We asked for a meeting with the bar owner and were refused.

We are planning to have demonstration on State Street with our allies in the community on November 1st, 2013 and a boycott of Dillingers until this is resolved. These actions will serve as an act of solidarity with Kyle Pitts and his family and to show Dillingers, and any organization, that we will not be silent in the face of racism.


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