Thursday, November 23, 2006

Race Riot in Milwaukee Restaurant

From Agrestic:

It’s the sort of thing that colors one’s perceptions of urban problems. A racially tinged incident left the blogger and his companions fearing for their lives, and happy to get out of Jalisco’s on North Avenue.
We had just finished our meal having left the bars about fifteen minutes before closing time and were waiting for the waitress to come take the money.

A group that we watched walk in not two minutes earlier was noisily leaving yelling about racism and discrimination for not being served promptly enough.

Yelling quickly lead to an all out brawl – chairs flying, grown men throwing punches (and connecting) on women and people WALKING INTO THE RESTAURANT immediately joining the fight. Somehow a patron yelling to a waitress “you need to see a gynecologist, look at that glitter shit on your face” (I don’t get it either) from the group claiming racism triggered it all. Never mind that the establishment was (and is) primarily frequented by minorities and is minority owned.

We quickly grabbed our belongings – cell phones, cigarettes, coats and credit cards and left as soon as the path to the door was cleared. In the car – driving away — one friend asks “don’t you feel bad about not paying.” I said no – I’m just glad we didn’t get shot. Another friend agrees. North Ave. isn’t exactly a dangerous neighborhood – I’ve drunkenly stumbled down it at 3 or 4 in the morning many times without a care in the world — but with all the random, senseless, shootings in Milwaukee I really couldn’t care less if a restaurant was stiffed for $20.
The consequences of this sort of thing are, of course, unfair to a lot of people living in minority neighborhoods and to a lot of minority business owners. (Although Jalisco is actually on the trendy East Side, but only a few blocks from the North Side.)

But how would we expect people to react when they begin to fear for their lives?


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