Monday, February 28, 2011

Boston club apologizes and fined for incident

In November I posted about an incident about a club in Boston, Cure Lounge, was hosting a party for Harvard and Yale alums but they closed the club because there was a line of African Americans waiting to get in and someone from the club's management said to have seen "local gang bangers" outside.

On Friday, Cure Lounge "issued a public apology and agreed to pay a $30,000 fine."

The club will also have its employees undergo annual anti-discrimination training as part of a judgment by the Massachusetts Attorney General's office and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Friday. The consent judgment ends lawsuits against the club's owner, Paige Hospitality Inc., alleging the club's actions violated public accommodations and consumer protection laws. Those lawsuits followed claims by the event's organizers, three Harvard graduate students, that the club's management cited concerns about "local gangbangers" and the "wrong crowd" in closing the party.

"Massachusetts businesses cannot refuse to host events because of racial reasons," Coakley said. "In this case, club staff made harmful and ill-conceived conclusions based on the simple fact that most of the guests were black."

The alleged behavior of Cure Lounge staff, Coakley said, is the "essence of racial stereotyping" and a reminder that there is still progress to be made in tackling this issue.

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