Following this morning's coverage of the latest accusations against Uptown bar Kung Fu Saloon for its alleged racially discriminatory door practices, #NoKungFuDallas is now trending on Twitter. The hashtag blew up after social media manager DeAndré Upshaw, who says he was turned away from the bar for wearing hightop Converse shoes even though his white friends wearing similar shoes got in just fine, first took his complaints to the nearly 14,000 people following him on Twitter.
Got turned away from @KungFuSaloon for "wearing high tops" when 3 people I was meeting inside were wearing them. The difference? I'm black— DeAndre Upshaw (@deandresays) May 19, 2014
After thousands of shares, likes and tweets circulated this morning, major news outlets are starting to take note. Upshaw says he's currently speaking with NBC DFW and Houston's Fox 26 about his unpleasant evening, and with his Twitter followers blowing up the feeds of pretty much every major media personality in the Metroplex, more coverage is sure to follow.
To make matters worse for the Uptown bar, Upshaw has also posted a video to YouTube that allegedly shows a group of black men being denied entry on St. Patrick's Day earlier this year — this time, for not wearing socks. The video goes on to show multiple white patrons who are also not wearing socks being allowed inside the bar moments after the black group was turned away.
A few minutes after Upshaw posted the video, the PR representative for Kung Fu Saloon responded to Eater's inquiry with this statement:
Management of Kung Fu Saloon is currently investigating a claim that an employee of the company made an inappropriate comment to a customer trying to gain entrance to the bar wearing unacceptable attire. Management will determine whether the comment was racially motivated and if so, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Kung Fu Saloon is home to one of the most diverse crowds in the Dallas bar scene – a reputation that we value and cultivate. It is not the policy of Kung Fu Saloon to deny any customer entry based on race or ethnicity. Our aim, as always, is to continue to provide a fun, safe and welcoming atmosphere to anyone, in keeping with Kung Fu Saloon policies.
It's a nice sentiment, except that it's the exact same one the bar put out after a similar incident last year in Austin. Not a single word has been changed, which raises the question of whether the Kung Fu Saloon team has been online at all today. Copy-pasting the same canned-sounding statement seems especially odd considering that Upshaw's experience didn't appear to involve any "inappropriate comments."