Over the weekend, Atlanta residents came together to picket local restaurant Houston’s after workers there were accused of discriminating against its African-American customers.
Atlanta rapper T.I. showed up at the boycott outside the restaurant, chanting along with protestors, “Whose city? Our city!”
“We have closed Houston’s down for the moment, indefinitely,” T.I said in a video. “When they figure out how to treat us, they can open back up.” He captioned the video with the hashtag’s “#BoycottHoustons,” “HoustonsWeHaveAProblem,” and “USorElse” referencing his 2016 politically-charged EP of the same name.
“This is the kind of activity that we will not accept in our community, as a culture, and with us having buying power in this city,” he told a local news station.
Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike backed longtime activist Jay Morrison and T.I’s Houston’s protest and urged Atlanta residents to join in on the demonstration and support black-owned businesses.
“Houston’s is a restaurant that is supported by the black dollar in Atlanta and supported by the entertainment dollar especially,” Mike said in a video posted to his Instagram. “I just call on entertainers and other members of Atlanta who are for justice and right — black or white — and black Atlanta in particular. Not only boycott Houston’s but find a black restaurant to support or one that treats your community well.”
Following the protests and social media uproar, Houston’s released a statement responding to the claims.
“We have employed a diverse, hard-working staff serving Atlanta’s similarly diverse clientele for many years,” the restaurant wrote in a statement. “Charges of discrimination are not only unfounded but are an intentional manipulation using social media. Our policies and guidelines apply equally to everyone.”
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(Photo by Omar Vega/Invision/AP, File)