Don Merckle is a musician based in Columbia, South Carolina, and apparently has the kind of face that makes racists want to divulge their prejudice.
Merckle says he was in a bar in his hometown called Main Street Public House talking to one of the owners, Jimmy Latulipe, when Latulipe decided to toss out some casual racism in a conversation about Merckle playing some music at the bar.
According to Merckle…
“Jimmy let me know that I shouldn’t worry about playing there because he is going to keep the ‘nigs’ out of his place.”
“I was dumbstruck and thought I must have misheard him. I incredulously asked him to repeat himself. I believe my exact words were ‘What the F- did you just say??’ And [bandmate] Brian, sure of what he heard, immediately told him that was NOT ok. Jimmy, sensing his error, immediately tried to back pedal. He apologized then added ‘…but you know what I mean’.”
Merckle wrestled with whether or not to take the information public. After a few weeks he decided to do it.
His full Facebook post can be seen below…
Merckle told The Root…
“I think more white people should talk about it, should expose. .. those in the community who are actively being racist in their practice. [Latulipe] made it clear to me … his business practice was to keep certain black people out of his establishment.”
He went on…
“It was as if he was trying to make me feel better about that, and he was completely wrong.”
Main Street Public House announced they had “parted ways” with part-owner Latulipe because of his statements to Merckle.
People appreciated what Merckle did…
— Richard Zitrin (@RZitrin) June 29, 2018
More to follow. There's a reason why the U.S. is called the UNITED STATES. This is going to take a consorted effort. Listening to people protestesting nationwide I am reassured the majority are able to distinguish, the majorities heart's are not hardened by racism's psychosis.
— MinDAllMinE (@MinDAllMinE) June 30, 2018
This dude just became one of my favorite people. https://t.co/dyjBp9fv8O
— A.J. Ali (@aj_ali) June 30, 2018
Others wondered where things could go from here…
Looking for Civil whites
This one demands his people be Civil .
lets see how they respond to him.
— BlacPowered (@AtumX_) June 30, 2018
I was pleased to see this blow up in the owner’s face on a very quick and dramatic manner. There has to be a moral version of “see something, say something” for us to do better and that can be a perilous thing in the age of Trump.
— They Call Me “Goose” (@Guthumba) June 30, 2018
As some thought this was a good path forward…
— PhoenixRising ~ Lisa (@VadeevaDeeva) June 29, 2018
Don Merckle is a man of conscience. We need more principled white advocates like him to speak out.
See something, say something.https://t.co/J3vVgHPh6G
— The Bizza (@thebizza) June 29, 2018
And this is what it's going to take to reduce (because face it, we will never eliminate) racism. White people standing up to white people. https://t.co/TcHyd8ldk8
— Portia McGonagal (@PortiaMcGonagal) June 30, 2018
However this person made a salient point about the public’s willingness to listen and immediately believe a White man’s story of racism, but completely discount the videos, statistics and first-hand stories of racism from people of color…
Why is it when a white person publicly exposes the covert racism of another white person we can feel we’re in the presence of a talking horse or a dancing bear? https://t.co/tMT0Q7W3A6
— Barnor Hesse (@barnor_hesse) June 30, 2018
Allyship sometimes requires speaking up and sometimes it requires looking in the mirror.