The Fairness Campaign is calling for a full boycott of Woody’s Tavern in response to another alleged racial incident involving the bar’s owner that took place last month. The LGBT rights organization is demanding that David Norton, who also owns Magnolia Bar & Grill in Old Louisville, sell Woody’s — a popular gay bar near U of L’s campus — and if he will not that its doors close.
According to sources, four African-American patrons were playing pool at Woody’s on Sept. 21. After they had problems with the table and lifted it to dislodge the balls, Norton allegedly confronted them, yelling and chasing them out of the bar before saying, “Look at their skin color; you know what’s on the tip of my tongue.”
LEO Weekly called Woody’s today for comment but got no answer.
This incident comes on the heels of another high-profile case involving Norton and a group of mostly black LGBT students and faculty from U of L. In April 2008, Professor Kaila Story said she and some students were involved in a heated exchange with Norton that resulted in Norton showering them with racist epithets and slurs.
When LEO Weekly inquired about the incident last year, Norton denied the whole thing and said he wasn’t even at Woody’s that night. A day after the altercation, however, a bartender said Norton was indeed at the tavern when the incident occurred.
Almost a year later Fairness revisited the incident and pressured Norton to make a public apology to the group. “What came out of my mouth was pure filth,” he said at the press conference.
Check back with Fat Lip for more updates.
UPDATE: Seven other social justice organizations including the University of Louisville Office of LGBT Services have joined Fairness’ boycott of Woody’s, which will be formally announced tomorrow afternoon near the bar at 4 p.m. The organization plans to regularly flyer potential bar patrons and the surrounding community to alert them about the boycott and encourage their participation.
“Mr. Norton has now proven that not only was his public apology of a month ago empty, but that he refuses to change,” Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman said in a press release. “We, at the Fairness Campaign, believe a stand must be made against this series of injustices, which will undoubtedly persist if Mr. Norton continues to operate his business.”
The Magnolia Bar and Grille, which is currently owned by Norton, will not be included in the boycott, Hartman says, because Fairness leaders have received report of its ownership changing this month;however, it will be included if ownership has not changed hands by the end of October.