January 29, 2013

"Cowboys and Indians" in Toronto bar

Toronto bar apologizes after letting “Cowboys and Indians” in establishment

By Kenneth JacksonA bar in Toronto has responded to a social media storm created after patrons of the establishment were seen wearing “Cowboys and Indians” costumes Saturday leaving the impression the bar was having a racist themed party.

The Rhino Restaurant and Bar posted a statement on their website Tuesday saying it wasn’t a themed party, rather a group of people celebrating birthdays.

“We want to correct the impression that the Rhino hosted the event, or in any way endorsed or condoned it, which is not accurate,” they said. “We don’t know why the group chose to dress in these costumes. To the best of our information, at no time were any derogatory remarks made about aboriginal people.”

The bar let the group in believing they were on a pub crawl and would be on their way soon to another watering hole.
Comment:  Unfortunately, the costumes themselves are derogatory, since they paint Indians as warlike savages. Derogatory remarks would be worse, but the costumes are enough to trigger objections.

We can't blame the bar too much if the patrons simply wandered in during a pub crawl. But the bar could've policed the situation better.

Memo to businesses: If people in racist costumes enter your establishment, confront them immediately. Tell them they'll have to remove the costumes or leave.

For more on the subject, see Tasteless Thanksgiving Party Promotions and McFadden's "Drink Like A Indian" Party.

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