Let justice be done! Back in November, we told you about what went down during the most recent Harvard-Yale Game. A Boston Club, Cure Lounge, shut down a Game-related gathering, essentially because the black Harvard and Yale students were attracting too many other black people.
At the time, I was appalled, but not particularly hopeful that anything would happen to the owners of the Cure Lounge.
But I guess I underestimated Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Sure, she ran one of the worst senatorial campaigns since Brutus went up against Mark Antony. But she was all over this issue….
The Boston Globe has the details:
A Boston nightclub has agreed to pay a fine, issue a public apology and have its staff attend anti-discrimination training for closing the club when a significant number of black attendees showed up, under an agreement reached with Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
The agreement was based on a complaint made by a group of black Harvard University graduates who had organized an event at Cure Lounge as an after-party to the Harvard and Yale football game last November.
The fine is $30,000. That’s a nice gesture, but I can’t imagine the owners of Cure Lounge are going to feel that $30K in any significant way.
The gratifying thing here — for the black people at the event, and really for black people living all across the sometimes racially-backwards Boston area — is the apology Coakley coaxed out of Cure:
“The owners, managers and employees of Cure Lounge wish to extend our deepest apologies to all of those affected, both directly and indirectly, by the unfortunate events that occurred on the evening of November 20, 2010.”
“Cure Lounge further apologizes for the statements made on its behalf by its public relations group in the days following the event. Those statements were uninformed and in no way reflect the values or beliefs of the owners, managers, and employees of Cure Lounge.”
“Cure Lounge does not tolerate racism. Cure Lounge will abide with all of the conditions requested by the attorney general and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Cure Lounge will do everything in its power to ensure that the events of November 20 will not be repeated.”
The Globe also reports that Paige Hospitality, the entity that runs Cure Lounge, will have to post that apology on its website.
I wasn’t there, so it’s not really for me to say, but based on the information available I’m pretty satisfied by this outcome. The people at the Cure Lounge ruined an event and made their guests feel uncomfortable simply because of the racial make-up of the crowd. Now they have to pay a fine, and they’re being made to feel uncomfortable with this forced apology and public flogging from the state of Massachusetts. Seems to me like the punishment, such as it is, fits the crime, to the extent that there was one.
It’s great the people stood up and took notice when a bunch of black Harvard and Yale kids were discriminated against. But I wonder if the same thing would have happened if a bunch of black kids from UMass and Suffolk were put in the same situation. Or (gasp) if this had happened to a crowd of black people who were not clearly affiliated with any institution of higher learning.
But that’s a battle for another day. For today, good job, Massachusetts. Cure Lounge, we’ll count this as our 40 acres, but we’ll be coming back for the mule.