Calls to boycott two Maryland restaurants over alleged racist incidents

There are growing calls to boycott two Maryland restaurants over alleged racist incidents that took place over the last couple of weeks.

The most recent incident happened over the weekend in Prince George's County where a man was initially refused service because of a t-shirt he was wearing.

The other incident involved a 9-year old boy and his mother in cell phone video footage that has since gone viral. The caught on camera moment is of mom, Marcia Grant, and her son, Dallas, being refused service at an upscale Baltimore restaurant over a dress code policy.

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In the video, you can see that a white child wearing similar “athletic” clothes was served, but 9-year0old Dallas was asked to leave. For Marcia Grant, the anger, frustration, and fear are still fresh.

“It just scares me, cause I feel like if this is what he’s dealing with at 9, what is he gonna be dealing with at 40 years old,” said Grant. 

Ozuo Bay Restaurant, part of Atlas Restaurant Group, has since apologized, let go of staff, and revised their dress code policy for children 12 and under, but for Grant, the incident she says was never about the dress code.

“I just feel like whatever the policy is, institute it across the board for everyone, don’t bend the rules for a white child, but not a Black child,” said Grant. 

She says that it’s been a tough conversation to have with her son -- a kid who loves to golf and play baseball, and who tells FOX 5 he’s a history buff.

“It’s difficult for him to learn that people will treat him different just because he’s Black when he’s always thought everyone’s the same,” said Grant.

“It made me feel kind of sad and mad,” said Dallas. “If you’re being racist, it will hurt people, it will hurt their feelings,” he said. 

Meanwhile, another Maryland restaurant, The Fish Market in Prince George’s County, is facing its third straight day of protests after a customer was initially refused service for wearing a t-shirt that said: “I can’t breathe,” a reference to the death of George Floyd.

The owner's wife apologized on his behalf and said her husband suffers from a mental health issues and alcoholism. She said he didn’t understand the significance of what the shirt said. 

“All that my father and civil rights leaders have fought for is all for not, if this is where we are in 2020,” said Maryland state Senator Jill P. Carter. 

Senator Carter is calling for a boycott of Atlas Restaurant Group. It’s a call to action that Dallas’s mother stands firmly behind.

“If we don’t stop supporting them, they will continue the practices, and nothing will change,” said Grant. 

On Thursday, the Atlas Restaurant Group released a statement through their attorney on the incident with Grant. Read it in full below: