Swing And A Miss: Kung Fu Saloon Can't Kick Racist Accusations at Texas Bars

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The Kung Fu Saloon just can't kick the accusations of racism that have plagued all three of their bars. Patrons or would-be patrons, have consistently complained that the dress code is selectively enforced against minorities.

Now an ex-event planner says she was trained to screen calls and deny customers who sounded “too ghetto” or “too Asian.” The term “ghetto” she said, was code word for African American and added, “I never saw a white person turned away.”

When she did not she heard comments like, “Why is it so dark in here? Why is it so Asian in here? Did you not screen these phone calls?”

The claims have led to negative press, a visit and investigation by City Council and even worse Yelp reviews.

See Kung Fu's response below the jump…The latest uproar against Kung Fu Saloon comes after DeAndre Upshaw was not allowed in because his shoes violated the dress while his white friends with the same shoes, high top Chuck Taylors, were allowed to enter. He then posted a YouTube video of bouncers letting in white patrons with no socks on after several other black patrons were told that was the reason they were being kept out.

A report by the Dallas Morning News blog says that the City Manager has promised to aggressively pursue the issue and would involve the City Attorney's office and the Police Department. He went as far as to say, “If needed, legal action will be taken to see about correcting the situation,”

During the Council meeting addressing the issue Councilman Adam Medrano said his black and hispanic friends have expressed the same concerns about the establishment.

For it's part Kung Fu Saloon says it does not discriminate but has responded to complaints with unreturned phone calls and blocking access to its facebook page. After receiving a visit from Dallas City officials they released the following statement:

…it is not the policy of Kung Fu Saloon to deny any customer entry based upon race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or any other status. Management has determined that the dress code has caused misunderstanding, and therefore may be found below. We encourage you to join us to see for yourself how diverse our crowd is, and thank you for your patronage.

The dress code is now posted on their website, but the issue remains. Many individuals say the claims of discrimination comes from the fact that they could see individuals with the same dress code violations sitting on the patio or inside the bar — but those individuals were white.

Report: Ex-employee, “I was told to discriminate”:

Yelp reviews for Kung Fu Saloon.

More media coverage and videos on Kung Fu Saloon at DeAndre Upshaw's Youtube Channel.

You can follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.


About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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