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Yes, it can happen here

Monday, Nov 4, 2019

* Saturday report in the Naperville Sun

A group of children and adults celebrating a birthday at a Naperville restaurant last weekend were asked to move to different tables because of the color of their skin, two men who were part of the group said.

Justin Vahl and Marcus Riley said they visited the Buffalo Wild Wings on 75th Street east of Route 59 to celebrate a child’s birthday about 8:30 p.m. Oct. 26.

As employees set up the tables to seat the group, a host asked Vahl about his ethnicity, and later a manager asked the group to move to another location because a nearby customer didn’t want to sit near black people, the men said.

A manager at the restaurant Friday directed any questions to Buffalo Wild Wings’ corporate communications team.

* AP

Justin Vahl says he was at a Naperville restaurant Oct. 26 with children and adults when a host asked him about his ethnicity. Later, a manager asked the group to move because a regular customer didn’t want to sit near black people.

Vahl, of nearby Montgomery, says he’s multiracial. His wife, Mary, first shared the story on social media. After several managers tried to move the group, they left for another restaurant.

* React from a Republican Naperville House member…


* Daily Herald

On Sunday, Buffalo Wild Wings issued a statement saying it fired the employees.

“We take this incident very seriously and after conducting a thorough, internal investigation have terminated the employees involved,” it said. “Buffalo Wild Wings values an inclusive environment and has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.” White said he had been told the same about the managers on duty Oct. 26.

Another manager at the Naperville location on Sunday also said the customers who didn’t want to sit near the multiracial group no longer are welcome there.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

48 Comments »
  1. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    Disgusting. The fact that the host asked the question shows that the employees and management knew these regular customers had these beliefs, yet they accommodated them until now. They are the ones that should have been asked to leave the first time they even suggested such a thing. Go eat at home with your miserable selves.


  2. - Steve - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    It appears some businesses haven’t trained their employees about the 1964 Civil Rights Act.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    I was confused.

    I didn’t see any type of reaction from Ms. Strava-Murray.

    Naperville apparently is a friendly place to the right kind of people.

    Now, two instances of folks feeling embolden to be so overtly racist, no pause or hiding, just open aired racism.

    I’m not indicting Naperville, but the title of the post says it all too… Yes, it can happen here.

    It might be time for leaders in the town to be more vocal and angered. Just because the incident (incidents) are over, doesn’t mean the issue(s) is resolved.

    If you support Trump, you support the overt racism and selection of “who is an American” and who can do what, where.

    You can’t parse the Trumpism and remove the racism element.

    Enabling the overt racism makes these folks feel safe.

    My hope is more than tweets and statements come from Naperville, a pushback where that warm feeling felt welcome in two instances. Let’s hope there isn’t a third


  4. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    Unbelievable that some people say racism no longer exists in this country, and that those who complain about it or bring it up are just trying to divide people (see last president). Some or many actually believe that white people are the second class citizens. This is the second recent incident in Naperville, the first happened earlier this year in a gas station and was recorded via video.


  5. - JS Mill - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    I just cannot wrap my head around a business trying to move people because someone didn’t want to sit by people of color.

    How that would receive even a nanosecond of consideration is so baffling as to hurt my brain.

    What the heck is wrong with people?


  6. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    It’s sad people don’t want to be near others based on skin color. It’s also hard to believe that the offended party’s request was taken seriously. Sounds like the restaurant handled things properly after the fact and I hope people don’t judge the franchise harshly based on the actions of a few ignorant employees. I’ve not heard similar complaints about BWW so hopefully it’s not a systemic issue.


  7. - Jocko - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    I don’t know what’s worse, a BWW ‘regular’ voicing such a request or the (former) employees honoring it.
    Meanwhile, residents work themselves into a lather over the ’scourge’ of cannabis.


  8. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    Racism combined with stupidity. Only good news is that people were fired.


  9. - R A T - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    = I don’t know what’s worse, a BWW ‘regular’ voicing such a request or the (former) employees honoring it. =

    Employees honoring it. I can deal with a random racist. But the employee and manager agreeing to the racist means that it is a real problem in this town.


  10. - Henry Francis - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    == Racism combined with stupidity==

    Can you have the former without the latter?


  11. - Gen Patton - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    ==Completely unacceptable. BWW should have thrown the “offended” right out the door. This is just so wrong.==

    A very good and succinct response. Kowtowing to racism just begets more racist behavior.


  12. - Steve - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    OW

    Exactly what does this incident have to do with Donald Trump? Especially , since the Trump operation does hire a lot of brown people at its’ properties.


  13. - Wensicia - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    I’m curious, are there any people of color working at this restaurant? I doubt it.


  14. - City Guy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    Wensicia, in the article Vahl described the host as a young black man. Which makes the story even odder for me.


  15. - Glen Lake - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    And the good citizens of Naperville were so worked up about how the sale of pot would “damage” the image of their community. Time for them to stand up for how racism is damaging their image.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    - Steve -

    I’ll let what President George HW Bush stated about supporting David Duke;

    === The President (GHWB) said, “I have got to be careful, because I don’t want to tell the voters of Louisiana how to cast their ballot.”

    Yet he said: “When someone has a long record, an ugly record of racism and of bigotry, that record simply cannot be erased by the glib rhetoric of a political campaign. So I believe David Duke is an insincere charlatan. I believe he’s attempting to hoodwink the voters of Louisiana, I believe he should be rejected for what he is and what he stands for.”===

    The rhetoric and history of Trump, and folks feeling comfortable because that rhetorical racism exists in this White House, there has been an enabling and “cover” for the overt, and the “i agree with this, but don’t agree with the racism” guiltless answer for those supporting Trump.

    That’s what has happened these three years, from this BW3, back to Charlottesville, you support this President, you can’t parse these things. President GHWB understood this.


  17. - Steve - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    OW

    I still don’t get what this has to do with Trump, George Bush, or David Duke ? I guess some people are upset with the low African-American unemployment level? Trump has many Jewish grand kids? Trump Justice Department suggests that Harvard is discriminating against individuals based on race? It’s so confusing.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    === I still don’t get what this has to do with Trump, George Bush, or David Duke ?===

    When you have small dorm room thinking, that happens.

    === I guess some people are upset with the low African-American unemployment level? Trump has many Jewish grand kids? Trump Justice Department suggests that Harvard is discriminating against individuals based on race? It’s so confusing.===

    Whew.

    “African-Americans are working, so if Trump disparages them, it’s fine”

    “Some of my best friends are.., so I can say this…”

    “Well, if you look at this, they are misunderstood”

    You’ve covered all the excuses. Well done?


  19. - Soccermom - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    BWW has had problems before

    https://www.theroot.com/lawsuit-alleges-buffalo-wild-wings-managers-gave-the-gr-1834943942


  20. - JoanP - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:21 am:

    And then there’s this: https://www.chicagotribune.com/midwest/ct-nw-milwaukee-acid-attack-hate-crime-20191104-5z3hd2ayyffz7hpohl3thksmtu-story.html


  21. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    It was probably economic anxiety…….sure.


  22. - Steve - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    OW

    Dorm room thinking. You are losing it. Try not to stop traffic or whatever you approve of.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    === Try not to stop traffic or whatever you approve of.===

    Freedom of Assembly


  24. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    - Steve -

    I’m done. Thanks.


  25. - Steve - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    OW

    You’d never make it a lawyer. Stopping traffic isn’t legal, anymore than not paying property taxes because you don’t want to support government schools.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:40 am:

    This is about the overt racism people feel embolden to display in the times we live.

    It’s not an accident. They feel embolden because of leadership being so inclined, and people using that acceptance as license to do exactly what happened at that BW3


  27. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 11:59 am:

    I wonder how that “regular customer” ate his chicken wings with his Klan hood on?


  28. - @misterjayem - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    “You’d never make it a lawyer.”

    Your ad hominem attacks might land better if they were proofread.

    – MrJM


  29. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    This is 2019, nearing 2020, not 1819 or 1920. Character is the only judgement we should hold about our fellow human. Whomever the “offended” customer was is plain ignorant and that persons character needs a blanket party.


  30. - Occasional Quipper - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    ==This is about the overt racism people feel embolden to display in the times we live.

    It’s not an accident. They feel embolden because of leadership being so inclined, and people using that acceptance as license to do exactly what happened at that BW3==

    No, this is a about a few bad employees and one bad customer. The employees were fired and the customer is no longer welcome there. Yet you insist on tying everything back to the President.

    Do you have any statistics that show these types of incidents have increased starting around January of 2016? How about some facts?


  31. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    === Do you have any statistics that show these types of incidents have increased starting around January of 2016? How about some facts?===

    New York Times…

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/13/us/hate-crimes-fbi-2017.html

    “Hate Crimes Increase for the Third Consecutive Year, F.B.I. Reports“ - November 13, 2018

    Anything else?


  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    === Yet you insist on tying everything back to the President.===

    The overt racism of Trumpism, “America First”, his own history in New York, and his rhetoric has inflamed the racism, Trump’s “both sides” phony acceptance of racism as accepted practices.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    The Guardian, citing the FBI…

    === The FBI says hate crimes reports were up about 17% in 2017, marking a rise for the third year in a row, even though violent crime in America fell slightly overall. Crimes of antisemitism led the spike.

    An annual report from the US federal government released on Tuesday shows there were more than 7,100 reported hate crimes last year. There were increases in attacks motivated by racial bias, religious bias and because of a victim’s sexual orientation.

    The report shows there was a nearly 23% increase in religion-based hate crimes. There was a 37% spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes.===

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/13/fbi-data-hate-crimes-rise-us-report


  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    === The employees were fired and the customer is no longer welcome there.===

    “Nothing to see here, move along”

    That’s the other issue.

    So Naperville leaders are going to be “saddened” and such, but no clear speaking out, bipartisan…


  35. - Occasional Quipper - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2019/apr/03/hate-crimes-are-increasingly-reported-us/

    Here’s an excerpt:

    Data from the newest BJS hate crimes statistics briefing — different from the FBI data — shows that there’s a significant decrease of hate crimes overall from 2014 to 2017, plunging 25% in 2015, and staying almost flat under 20,000 from 2015 to 2017 (the annual total is calculated with a three-year-average for each year and rounded to the nearest hundreds).


  36. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    From your cite…

    === Hate crimes go unreported for many reasons: Many victims couldn’t cite tangible evidence of hate to be used by the police; some Latinos were afraid of deportations if they report; LGBTQ people sometimes don’t report because of distrust in the police, a News21 investigation found.

    This set of survey data has the limitation that it does not include crimes against organizations and relies on sampling.===

    Add this too. You forgot this;

    === Finally, there is also some truth to Klobuchar’s statement about the adverse effects of negative rhetoric. After studying the pattern and seasonality in the FBI data, the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism found that “hate crimes have increased in every presidential election year since national FBI recordkeeping began in the early 1990s.” In 2016, the spike also corresponded with the election month of November.

    Levin said that hate crimes fluctuate more than usual around “catalytic, emotionally-charged events, terrorist attacks, and conflictual elections.”

    “We’ve seen that hate crimes have increased not only around all elections, but Brexit as well in the UK. That’s a lesson for all of us to maybe tone down the rhetoric,” Levin said.===

    Rhetoric…


  37. - Flat Bed Ford - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:22 pm:

    =So Naperville leaders are going to be “saddened” and such, but no clear speaking out, bipartisan…=

    OW, I know you strongly dislike Wehrli but he is pretty clear (and correct) with his tweet.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    - Flat Bed Ford -

    Use the Google.

    See who used “Saddened”

    Get back to us.


  39. - Jocko - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:29 pm:

    Apparently “Naperville listed among 10 best U.S. cities for families in new national ranking (4/17/19)” needs to specify WHICH families their talking about.


  40. - Occasional Quipper - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:43 pm:

    == Rhetoric…==

    The excerpts you posted don’t detract from the numbers. Reported plus unreported hate crimes were flat from 2015 to 2017.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    === This set of survey data has the limitation that it does not include crimes against organizations and relies on sampling.===

    You forgot that, and you’re relying on the premise that unreported are still going to be lower. So is the interpretation.

    You think the racist rhetoric Trump uses is lowering hate crimes?

    When Charlottesville happened, the Trumpkins used “both sides” to embrace the racist rhetoric and the racist using it… “because others”…

    Supporting Trump is supporting his racist words. Sorry. Folks don’t like that, but President GHWB reminds us, like with David Duke, supporting those with racist rhetoric or a racist past isn’t forgotten by only focusing on the political things you think you “like”


  42. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 2:52 pm:

    Let’s move along, please. This is about what happened at the BWW in Naperville.


  43. - What's in a name? - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    Wasn’t the host who asked the folks to move described as a “young Black Man?” What?


  44. - NorthsideNoMore - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    Never been a fan of BWW one more reason not to go. “Say it ain’t so…” in magical land of Naperville ? There will great gnashing of teeth and feigned outrage by the suburban soccer set.


  45. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 4:38 pm:

    A lot of Naperville jealousy out there, it would seem. BWW in Naperville is not Naperville. Get a grip


  46. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 4:43 pm:

    === BWW in Naperville is not Naperville.===

    The gas station incident too, that’s not Naperville.

    If it happened in Oswego, and we’re finding out about it now… it does speak to these towns that folks, both working there and patrons feel empowered to even think it’s fine to do these things.

    The reason you loudly denounce these things is to tamp down “nothing to see, it’s fixed, move along”

    Keep it quiet. “Get a grip”

    Yep.


  47. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 4:47 pm:

    1 sided story; i sincerely doubt someone would tell a black host that they want the black family moved only because they are black.


  48. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 4, 19 @ 4:50 pm:

    === i sincerely doubt===

    … and yet, BW3 went out of their way to say they investigated, and fired the employees, with the statement that they “won’t tolerate”

    I’ll expect these employees to sue to get their jobs back?


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