Students, residents protest alleged racist Milledgeville bar

On Saturday night, a group of Georgia College students and Milledgeville residents protested in front of a bar on South Wayne Street downtown.

They started a Facebook group called "Boycott Capital," which had nearly 150 members as of Saturday night, recounting stories of alleged discrimination at the bar.

There's a list of people who say Capital City bar racially discriminates against black people.

Georgia College junior Destiny Parker says a few weeks ago, she was one of them.

"Me and my friend walked up to the bouncer to get in and we were not let in. He asked us if we paid, so immediately I was very confused as to why we were being asked this question," Parker said.

Parker says right before she got to the bouncer, two of her other friends who were white got through without paying a dime.

Frustrated, she says she had one question to ask the bouncer.

"'Is it because I'm black?' And he sat there and he laughed and I was livid," she said.

Parker says it scarred her knowing this discrimination happened less than a block from her college campus.

"It hurts, it definitely hurts because I know after that experience, and after people knowing more about it, it made me feel unwelcome," Parker said.

Parker isn't alone.

Holly Heath, a lifelong Milledgeville resident, says 20 years ago, her friends faced the same discrimination.

"I've gone in and gotten people and pulled them back outside and said, 'This shirt's no different than that shirt. The only thing that's different is the color of the arms and the face that's coming out of that shirt,'" Heath told 13WMAZ's Paula Rotondo.

But decades later, Heath realizes nothing has changed.

She says one of her daughters, who is biracial, was not allowed into Capital City.

"The kids in this community, regardless of the color of their skin, should be allowed to come into this establishment if they so choose," Heath said.

That's why Heath's second daughter, Jasmine, says she's protesting the bar.

"It really hurt me to the point that I wouldn't want anyone to be brought here that was my friend. No one should even have to go through that," she said.

The list doesn't stop with Jasmine's sister.

Keri Pompey, a member of the Facebook group, says the bar makes it harder for black people to get in.

He says bouncers told him he wasn't following dress code.

"To deny me this outfit and everybody else had that same outfit on, but you deny me because I'm the only black male in there," Pompey said.

Another protester, Weatherly Knighton, who is white, says bouncers will selectively require Georgia College IDs.

She says while she wasn't asked for a student ID, her black friend was stopped for one and wasn't allowed into the bar.

"Just like, 'What's going on, why isn't he being let in?' They're like, 'Well he doesn't have his Georgia College ID.' And I said, 'Well I didn't have mine either.' What makes it so upsetting is he knew before I knew, because even before he got there the second time he said, 'They're not going to let me in.'"

Something Heath says is wrong.

"If you're going to have a dress code, have a dress code. If you're going to only be a Georgia College and State University establishment, make it that, but you shouldn't have picks and chooses," Heath said.

It's the change Heath and other protesters are fighting for.

13WMAZ's Paula Rotondo tried to speak to the bar's owners in person and left several messages. Her calls were not returned.

Follow 13WMAZ's Paula Rotondo on Twitter @paula_rotondo.


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