Do Black People Have A Dining Issue?
The answer is yes, but it’s bigger than twerking at brunch
Black Twitter has been beside itself all week. Chet Hanks went full Jafaican on Clubhouse, and then Obama (un)surprisingly denounced “defund the police.” But the uproar started when video footage of a Dallas restaurateur berating customers about twerking in his establishment went public.
Kevin Kelley, owner of TRUE Kitchen and Kocktails, says he asked three separate tables — occupied by female diners — more than once to cease dancing. Kelley added that patrons were also standing atop restaurant furniture and pressing their hands onto his window glass. (I’d assume those hands were not spotless.) Despite the owner’s pleas, the performances continued until the straw snapped the camel’s spine. Kelley went off, addressing the entire restaurant, in an indignant manner, letting it be known that TRUE Kitchen and Kocktails did not condone “twerking and shit.” His reasoning was that 75% of his customers are female and he didn’t feel he could ask men to carry themselves in a respectable fashion if the women were behaving licentiously. Then he lowered the stock of his message by directing those who couldn’t behave accordingly to “get the fuck out.”
Four million views later, the video is certified viral. Emotions exploded on Black Twitter in great volume and variety — by some who were present for the chastisement, but primarily those only privy to the video. The opine pendulum swung from accusations that the owner’s rant was a misogynistic indictment on women’s sexuality and bodies to standing in agreement with Kelley that — as Chris Rock once joked — niggas are always ruining it for Blacks.
To some degree, I agree with both viewpoints. Hear me out.
Although Mr. Kelley’s approach was unnecessarily absent of professional decorum and hypocritical of someone sensitive to optics, his point was solid gold. Prior to any qualification for Kelley, let me go on record by stating that the wrong committed by TRUE’s owner and customers stem from a deeper-rooted problems with African-Americans in the fine dining space. It’s something that struck me later in adulthood in both personal and professional settings. Little is more painful than watching grown men try to settle a dinner bill by…