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Easy Lounge Owner Calls - Took Care Of Situation - Thanks From OaklandFocus

Last week, I had the pleasure of talking to the owner of Easy Lounge on Lakeshore and where I had the very unpleasant encounter which I openly attributed to racism.

Without going into detail about the conversation, I can happily report that the matter was taken care of. But there's one thing I have to adress, as the owner asked me "Why did you assume racism?"

My answer was long and heartfelt. I explained that first his employee's treatment of me was exclusive to me -- not anyone else -- and I'd just arrived. Second, we'd never met before. Third, it was dismissive. Fourth, racism is a form of rejection and given that I had no other personal reference point with him, and a lot of experience with racist episodes that were similar in profile, I felt justified in my conclusion.

He understood.

I think Kolin, who owns Easy, is a good person who's trying to have an estatablishment that's a positive part of the Lake Merritt and Oakland experience. Also, it turns out that his bar staff is more diverse than I knew, since I'm not a regular. There's a female bartender that works Monday night.

As for racism, and to those who make complain of me or anyone else pointing it out, I think it's best to really do some "ugly" research on what racism is in modern 21st Century America. It's not always overt and in one's face. More often it's not.

Carmen Van Kerckhove is one who understands this, and has built a business around it. And, no, she's not Black, as you can see; she's Asian. Her New York-based company is based around a website called Newdemographic.com

If some of you out there think I'm terrible for adressing and pointing out problems in Oakland that seem to be race-based, you'll think Carmen's the devil. But she's not. See this video about Carmen's commentary on race and society:



In this video, Carmen talks about how to see racism in popular culture today:



Here, Carmen talks about racism and Interracial dating, and notes that racism is all around us and so much so that we can't see it. This video must be seen:



Also, Carmen has a terrific blog called "Racialicious" and is excellent at pointing out bias problems in our society, like the recent Arby's commericial that was blasted by Irish groups.

I could go on and on, but visit Carmen's site and look around. But one idea she expresses is one that should be agreed upon by all:

"We go beyond the concerns of the specific community to which we belong and recognize that when one group is discriminated against, it is an affront to us all. "
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