The fact that the white boy's clothing was similar to that of her own son angered Marcia Grant, because she could see they were being treated differently for the color of their skin.
A heartbreaking video posted by a mother shows how a Maryland restaurant refused to let her 9-year-old Black son dine in due to dress code violations meanwhile catering to a similarly dressed white boy. Marcia Grant's son Dallas was wearing a t-shirt, athletic shorts, and shoes when the duo was about to enter Ouzo Bay in Baltimore, Maryland, over the weekend. But they were denied service when the manager arrived and explained that Dallas' outfit was against house rules. At some point during the argument, Grant noticed a white boy finishing up his mean with his family at the restaurant. The fact that his clothing was similar to that of her own son angered Grant, because she could see they were being treated differently for the color of their skin.
Ouzo Bay would not let Dallas eat at there restaurant sighting that athletic wear was not allowed! I pointed out to them that there was a white child that also had on athletic wear just getting up from dinning there, they still would not let my son eat there! I have faced racism time and time again, but it’s hard AF, when you have to see your child (9yo) upset because he knows he’s being treated different that a white child!!!#Share #Baltimore, she wrote on a Facebook post with several pictures and videos.
When Grant confronted the manager about the double standards, he was unable to provide her any explanation for it. "I just want to understand why it’s different for my son," said the mother to which the manager said, "I understand how you feel." But Grant didn't need the man's sympathy at that moment. All she wanted was justice. "I don’t want you to sympathize with me, I just want you to tell me why it’s different for my son," she asked again keeping her calm. The manager said they allowed tennis shoes but not athletic shorts and t-shirts. When Grant pointed out that the white boy was wearing a t-shirt similar to her son, he immediately said they had a problem with Dallas' shorts. Unfortunately, she got nothing apart from a mere shrug from the manager who failed to provide them a proper explanation.
Following this, the manager did not allow the duo to stay on the property any longer. Before leaving, Grant took a photo of the house rules that Ouzo Bay expects its customers to follow. It included "no activewear, no gym clothing, no sweat pants, no baseball hats," among others. Although many eateries have similar rules, it's common for them to not enforce the dress code on young kids, especially when they are coming in to have lunch or eat during the day time. The manager's decision would have been acceptable if he didn't also allow the other child wearing sportswear to dine in.
But the fact that he only refused Dallas service and continued to be unmoved despite Grant confronting him about his double standards by pointing at the white boy can only mean one thing. He was being racist by holding Black people to different standards than the kind the white ones were subjected to. When the news about this incident went viral, people slammed the restaurant for being so insensitive about the issue. This criticism prompted the Baltimore restaurant to issue an apology that was released on Monday.
Today, we learned of an incredibly disturbing incident that occurred at one of our restaurants in Baltimore, Ouzo Bay. We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son & everyone impacted by this painful incident. This situation does not represent who or what Atlas stands for. pic.twitter.com/jsofGRLVw1— Atlas Restaurant Group (@AtlasBaltimore) June 23, 2020
The owner of Ouzo, Atlas Restaurant Group, said that it was disturbed after witnessing the manager's behavior and that he had been put on "indefinite leave," reports KMOV4. "This should never have happened, the manager seen in the video has been placed on indefinite leave. We are sickened by this incident. We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son, and everyone impacted by this painful incident," acknowledged the company, according to The Hill. Atlas also revealed the changes it had made to its dress code. Now, children aged 12 and below won't be subjected to the dress code, explained the company adding that their dress code wasn't "intended to be discriminatory."