CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The popular Campustown bar KAMS just re-opened in it’s new location, but now they might be losing customers.
Some U of I students say several bar workers said racist comments in a private employee group message earlier this month.
They say an ex-KAMS employee was who still part of the group chat after she stopped working there leaked screenshots on social media. It blew up and received a lot of backlash.
One message from an employee in the chat called Hispanic customers “rowdy.” Another said they were cheap, broke, and could not afford a beer at the bar.
“To say we’re all cheap and broke…to say that we all are x or y…that’s ridiculous. That’s degrading, and it’s demeaning, and it hurts my own feelings,” says U of I senior Gabriella Vazquez. “It just seems to me that there’s no sense of respect for our people.”
Vazquez created a boycott KAMS Facebook event set for Thursday night because she says it’s important to show “resilience.” They will be uniting at Brothers Bar & Grill in Champaign. Hundreds of students responded online, saying they plan to attend.
A separate Facebook event says students plan to protest outside KAMS.
We reached out to KAMS for a comment. They responded with the following statement:
As the statement says, an employee who participated in the “racist remarks” has since been fired, but Vazquez says there were several others who sent other discriminatory messages in the chat.