Rapper T.I., Debra Antny, Yandy Smith and More were amongs the crowd during a boycott against local outposts of the national steakhouse chain Houston’s.
Tip and his fellow protestors claim the restaurants constantly racially profiles it’s patrons and discriminates against African-American diners. The protests started at the Lenox Road location with chants of ‘Shut ’em down!’ and soon moved to Peachtree Road.
The Lenox Road location closed it’s doors for business during the demonstration and responded with the following statement…
For the record, the statement, which was originally posted to instagram, has since been deleted.
This isn’t the first time Houston’s has been at the center of similar racism allegations, just last week Deb Antney and Momma Dee put the restaurant on blast after they were denied service (click HERE if you missed that).
And in 2015, a local attorney sued Hillstone Restaurant Group, Houston’s parent company, claiming he and other people of color were asked to leave the Peachtree Road location on multiple occasions.
Fellow Atlanta resident Isaac Hayes, III shared his thoughts on how many upscale restaurants around town strategically profile it’s patrons.
Pay Attention: This is restaurant racial profiling 101. First off not all restaurants participate in these practices in #Atlanta. There are hundreds a wonderful restaurants that cater to all races of people and I appreciate you all and enjoy equality in your service. This is for the others. Those that practice discrimination to make other races of people feel comfortable. Sounds ridiculous but it’s true. I also welcome any restaurant personnel to refute this if you wish. Sometimes even blacks are put in the difficult position to discriminate against their own people. Sad but true. Folks gotta make a living. I just wanted you give you more subtle ways you can be targeted and discriminated against without even knowing. #houstonswehaveaproblem was more direct which caused today’s boycott. Cities like Atlanta pose a great challenge to restaurants to cater to all races of people given its majority black population. But against that’s not your problem it’s a racists problem. Remember to #VOTE November 7th! Get involved politically in this city! Atlanta is NOT Georgia.
I spoke with T.I. during the demonstration, and he says that the only way to beat this form of discrimination is to hit them where it hurts… “If they don’t like us, it’s fine. But they WILL respect this bankroll.”