Yes Sean Sweeney, You Are a Racist

Via the Village Voice

Lola restaurant has been scrutinized by the SoHo Alliance in their attempts to obtain a liquor license, as well as to legally have live bands perform at the restaurant. Sean Sweeney, executive director of the SoHo Alliance, has been very vocal in his opposition to Lola’s attempts to get these documents.

Towards the end of the article, he claims not to be a racist.

However, when people say and do things like:
1. “I don’t think you need a martini to go with chitlins and collard greens. What wine goes with jambalaya? I can’t think of one,” when it’s quite obvious that they have not looked at the menu, because jambalaya and chitlins are not on the menu (collard greens is offered as a side). Even if they were included, Sweeney is obviously dismissive of Southern/Soul and Louisianan Creole cuisines.

2. Even though Sweeney claims that he nor the SoHo Alliance had nothing to do with this, fliers have been placed around the neighborhood that claim that “Lola’s r&b music would bring “unruly crowds” and “more crime” to the neighborhood.” Umm, I wonder what “unruly crowds” these fliers are referring to?

3. Say that one is not a racist because “[Gayle Patrick-Odeen] is from Barbados. She’s a British subject; she’s not African-American. She didn’t suffer Jim Crow, Reconstruction, lynching. . . . For her to exploit the true sufferings of African-Americans is disgraceful,” which suggests that:
a. Racism, in his book, can only affect African-Americans, so I guess everyone else is fair game;
b. However, by his description, the majority of African-Americans cannot experience racism now, because the Jim Crow and Reconstruction Eras occurred decades ago (insertion 5/10: although many of the practices, behavior and acts reminiscent of those eras, both at the institutional and social level, are still present today; just needed to make a note of this);
c. Therefore, racism is dead and one cannot be a racist anymore, so everyone is fair game; hooray for colorblindness!

Well guess what Sean, this combination of factors and the other actions mentioned in the article is racist behavior.

Lola can expect my patronage soon!

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~ by Luci-Kali on May 9, 2008.

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