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Thread: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

  1. #1
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    http://katc.com/Global/story.asp?S=4028122

    While America remembers Rosa Parks, some in North Lafayette are being reminded of Jim Crow. A whites only barbershop owner says it's not what you think. Or is it?

    Barber Herb Leger says, "I tell them you want a haircut, go across the street. They can give you a professional haircut, but I can't." Most people are shocked when they see whites only on Leger's barber sign. Like Victoria Cenales who stopped by to ask Leger why doesn't he accept black customers.

    Leger told her, "It's not that I don't want black people in the shop. It's just that I'm not qualified to give them professional service." Cenales told him, "People will misunderstand that sign. That was back in the 60s."

    Leger says he's inexperienced and not trained to cut black hair. "Completely different way of cutting hair. It's not the same," he says. The owner of Platinum Kutz, another barbershop across the street, says Leger has never sent customers his way, and customers inside can't believe Leger thinks it's okay to put up a whites only sign. Thirty-year-old Nick Milton says, "I had to think about what year I was in - whether I was in the 60s or the 2000s." "Just plainly state I don't do black haircuts. You don't have to say whites only," Ellis Banks says. Barber Ron Landry tells KATC, "It's a racial sign. It makes a statement. I don't like it."

    Leger is 72-years-old and clearly remembers the animosity and hurt that "whites only" signs spread during the civil rights era. He says he's not racist, just not qualified. Cenales says his sign is "the way society is." "Most people are closed-minded," she says.

    Leger understands the sign could send a mixed message. "In today's life, I can see. People, especially your black people are not very broadminded," he says. Platinum Kuts owner Jason Walker says, "I feel it's ignorance, and it has no place.

    Leger says in a few days he's replacing his temporary sign with a permenant one without whites only. Since he only opened two months ago, he used it to establish the kind of services he offers.
    This is the Cal Ripkin Jr. of typos.

    If you ask me to join your fantasy baseball league and I select Legolas in the first round, don't be angry at me. It's not my fault I've read up on the players and you haven't.

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  3. #2
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    Since the story didn't say that he'd been in a coma for the last four decades, I think the barber hatched this as a way to get word out about his fledgling barber shop, while feigning a curmudgeon routine. I doubt he was counting on international publicity, though.

  4. #3
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    I am not a barber but I'm not buying the don't know how to cut black peoples hair story. Fortunately most don't think that way anymore and generally businesses only care about one color, green.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

  5. #4
    Member CrackerJack's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    Sounds like a racist old coot to me.

  6. #5
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    While there is a difference in the hair of various races most competent barbers can cut it and do a good job. So, reading it that way, the guy is basicly saying he's incompentent.

    The other damning quote, IMO, is: "People, especially your black people are not very broadminded,". They are also not stupid. They can actually read between the lines.

    What was it that Forrest Gump said? Something like 'stupid is as stupid does'? This guy qualifies.

    Rem

  7. #6
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    He should take that sign down and replace it with a "No Blacks Allowed" sign.

    Thatll show 'em...Jk.

    Sounds like a racist to me...I think the shop across the street will probably take the matter into their own hands.

  8. #7
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    Quote Originally Posted by CrackerJack
    Sounds like a racist old coot to me.
    When a 72-year-old Louisianian hangs a "Whites only" sign, it isn't because his cosmetology training is incomplete.
    Makes all the routine posts.

  9. #8
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    How does that story compare to this story:

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...395/1077/rss02

    By Janice Morse
    Enquirer staff writer

    MASON - A tavern's sign, "For Service Speak English," violates Ohio civil rights law, a commission ruled Thursday - as the sign still sat in the window of the Pleasure Inn on U.S. 42.

    The Ohio Civil Rights Commission says that, because of the sign, the Pleasure Inn "engaged in discriminatory practices."

    As a result of the finding, the business could be ordered to remove the sign, to pay for advertisements about nondiscrimination, and its staff could be ordered to undergo diversity training or cultural sensitivity training, said Christia Alou White, commission spokeswoman.

    The business has 10 days to ask the commission to reconsider. Pleasure Inn owner Tom Ullum, 63, of Lebanon, couldn't be reached for comment Thursday and his lawyer, Jay Revelson, declined to comment.

    But the commission, in its letter of determination, said: "Mr. Ullum, who identifies himself as a full-blooded American, believes that he has the right to post in his window whatever he pleases. He insists that he does not discriminate against anyone. However, he does believe that immigrants who live in this country should learn to speak English."

    Housing Opportunities Made Equal, a Mount Auburn-based agency that handles fair-housing issues for eight counties including Warren, filed a complaint with the commission in July after callers complained.

    "I really think it's an affront to Hispanic families in the area, and I'm glad that the commission agreed that it's illegal discrimination," said Elizabeth Brown, HOME's executive director.

    Ohio law says it is unlawful for any proprietor "of a place of public accommodation" to deny the "full enjoyment" of the accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or ancestry.

    In its complaint, HOME asserted that the sign was intended to keep Hispanics from entering the premises, and that the sign "discloses to the public that the Pleasure Inn refuses service to individuals based on national origin," the commission said.

    However, the commission said Ullum responded that "the sign means exactly what it says. ... None of (the tavern's) employees speak any language other than English and, therefore, would be unable to communicate with any patrons who are not versed in the English language."

    Ullum also said the inn neither refuses service nor prohibits anyone from entering the premises based upon sex, color, race or national origin.

    But the commission says: "The English-only rule applied by the Pleasure Inn serves no purpose other than to discriminate against non-English speaking individuals.

    "The enforcement of this rule perpetuates an atmosphere of exclusion and imposes a badge of inferiority upon the non-English speaking community.

    "This type of 'second-class citizenship' treatment is precisely the type of egregious conduct that the Ohio Civil Rights Act is aimed at eliminating."

    G. Michael Payton, the commission's executive director, said, "With its ever-growing numbers and since Sept. 11, 2001, new immigration and language access remains a critical community and political issue."

    He agrees that it is "imperative that all residents learn to speak English in order to participate in the American culture, employment and life."

    But Payton said that goal will require an investment in organizations that serve people who are new immigrants and have limited English skills.
    This is the Cal Ripkin Jr. of typos.

    If you ask me to join your fantasy baseball league and I select Legolas in the first round, don't be angry at me. It's not my fault I've read up on the players and you haven't.

  10. #9
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    The Pleasure Inn should alter THEIR sign by saying:

    "To maximize the quality and comfort here at Pleasure Inn, English is recommended." (basically...speak english)

  11. #10
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    "Whites only" descriminates on the basis of race, which is illegal.

    "For service, speak English" does not descriminate "based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or ancestry," (since anyone can, in fact, learn how to speak it) and is therefore not illegal.

    If the local government wants to claim that the sign needs to come down so that all can enjoy the full experience of the Pleasant Inn, which does not employ anyone who speaks any language other than English, then the local government should offer to place a full-time translator there at its expense.
    Makes all the routine posts.

  12. #11
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    The sign ruling sets up a massive slippery slope -- if it is unlawfully discriminatory to post a sign that discourages people unable to speak english from going to the Inn (thus rising to the level of national origin discrimination), then does that create a duty for employers to have someone capable of speaking languages other than english in order to ensure that those of different national origins can recieve service?

    If I recall correctly from classes, the EEOC has come out against rules which require speaking english only in the workplace, but I don't remember reading anything about policies towards customers.
    Last edited by Caveat Emperor; 10-26-2005 at 03:04 PM.
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  13. #12
    Puffy 3:16 Puffy's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    If they can't speak english how do they know not to enter the tavern?????
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  14. #13
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    CE;

    That is precisely the slippery slope we're looking at.

    I for one, though, do not believe that language and national origin are inseparable. People who are not from here can learn how to speak English. Business owners, by contrast, cannot afford to employ legions of translators. Because, face it, there's another slippery slope involved in hiring just one Spanish-speaking employee. What happens when a few Japanese or Portugese or Armenian folks want to come by and enjoy your little corner bar? You've accomodated the Spanish speakers, after all.
    Makes all the routine posts.

  15. #14
    On the brink wolfboy's Avatar
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    The sign ruling sets up a massive slippery slope -- if it is unlawfully discriminatory to post a sign that discourages people unable to speak english from going to the Inn (thus rising to the level of national origin discrimination), then does that create a duty for employers to have someone capable of speaking languages other than english in order to ensure that those of different national origins can recieve service?

    If I recall correctly from classes, the EEOC has come out against rules which require speaking english only in the workplace, but I don't remember reading anything about policies towards customers.
    Courts have ruled both ways in the English only workplace debate. More recently, that has favored those against such policies. Here's a link that quickly rehashes the arguments from each side: http://library.findlaw.com/2000/Dec/1/132718.html

    It's hard to understand why a business owner would feel the need to post a sign like this. I've seen many transactions happen between those who speak little English and those who are native speakers. It happens every day all around us. Honestly, it doesn't take much effort to understand a person with an accent ask for two beers. Most non native speakers know select words and phrases. Somehow I doubt this bar owner was losing a lot of business because he was spending too much time taking drink orders from native Spanish speakers. Unless this group was really harming business, was the sign really all that necessary?

  16. #15
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    Re: 'Whites Only' Sign Brings Barber Heat

    I don't know about this thread, but "Barber Heat" from the thread title would make a kickass band name.


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