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Black women in line

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Sadly, as a Black woman you don’t have to look outside your community for the disrespect so many of us encounter on a daily basis. Our own people doll it out in heaps, particularly Black men. That’s what a group of Black women in Cincinnati encountered when they were trying to patron a local Black owned restaurant called Copa.

Instead of being welcomed and treated like guests, the four women were insulted based on their appearance by the owner.

One of the women, who goes by @KennedyMayes1 on Tik Tok shared their story on social media.

Kennedy: What’s it called?

Girl 2: Copa in Cincinnati, Ohio

Kennedy: The brunch place that’s like a bar.

Girl 2: Owned by J Rod.

Kennedy: Black owned business and they did not let us in because

Girl 2: Of discrimination. Of how he wants people to look. Not how we, as women, Black, beautiful women want to look. As he wants us to frickin look.

Kennedy: The thing was, he said our cousin’s lace was visible and he did not want us to come in. Look how good this girl looks. And our other cousin, her wig cap was showing because the wind was blowing. Look how good she looks. Y’all it’s her birthday and we came from out of town. That’s crazy.

@kennedymayes1Blow this up copa/ treehouse in Cincinnati Ohio. Ridiculous

♬ original sound – kennedy mayes

Later, at the request of her followers, Kennedy expounded on the story.

“We made reservations at this restaurant a month ago. It’s a cute brunch/bar place. If you live in Cincinnati or if you’re familiar with Cincinnati, you know they get a lot of business or whatever. We knew that they had a strict dress code because they want you to look nice. Understandable. We made sure that we complied with all of their dress codes so we thought that we were good. So as we’re walking up to security for them to check IDs and stuff, the owner was standing outside and he pulled us aside like, ‘Guys, huddle up, huddle up. I gotta say something.’ And he was like, ‘I’m not trying to be nasty or rude but when you were walking over here, I could see your cap under your hair.’ That’s because the wind was blowing.

@kennedymayes1Reply to @louisianabratt

♬ original sound – kennedy mayes

“Then he looked at my other cousin–and mind you, she doesn’t have lace [in the front], he was talking about her part. So then he [said to her], ‘And you, I can see your criss crosses. He said I can see your criss crosses.’ Talking about her lace. And she kind of like giggled like, ‘Are you serious?’ And he said, ‘I’m dead serious. You know how the girls on the internet be like, ‘What lace?’ That lace.’

He was trying to be funny. That’s the thing about it. He was trying to be real funny, real rude. Distasteful, nasty, eww. Ugly energy. She didn’t even say anything crazy to him. But then basically he said, ‘I’m not going to be able to let you all in. Don’t go in. That’s disrespectful.’ I don’t know how that’s disrespectful.

We were just telling him how we felt disrespected and stuff and he was like, ‘I’m sorry.’ And we just left. We went to a Mexican restaurant and a lounge and she had a good birthday so that’s all that matters.”

After Kennedy shared her story, scads of people swarmed Copa’s Google review page, giving him one-star reviews. Some commented on the disrespect he showed Kennedy and her friends while others made up fantastical stories of mistreatment at the space.

Interestingly enough, before the fake reviews started pouring in, there was one from months prior to this incident that recounted some of this same dismissive and disrespectful energy from the owner to other Black women.

You know how the story goes, when Black women share their stories, there are always people—mostly men—questioning and doubting the validity of Kennedy’s story.

But it wasn’t long before the owner himself came forward to foolishly validate the story Kennedy had already shared.

On Facebook, Jay Rodg wrote (in all caps):

“Wanna send [a] shoutout to my city for making #BrunchOnTheLow/ #BrunchClub at Copa the #1 destination for tristate each and every Sunday. Shoutout to all the out of towners who pull up…Side note, as of April 1st #FreshCode will be strictly enforced. We understand this won’t make everybody happy but Copa ain’t for everybody.”

It was obviously a dig at the women who has exposed his establishment online.

And in the comment section, people inquired about his treatment of the four young women.

Jay Rodg didn’t even attempt to lie or save the reputation of his establishment. Instead, he confirmed that he had indeed been talking about the women and their appearance.

In response to someone asking if the incident did indeed happen, Jay Rodg said, “She said her wig cap was hanging out. I was the one who told her. She was cool with it her friend wasn’t…[Black man shrug emoji.]

Another user asked, “So she was turned away because her wig cap was showing?”

Jay Rodg said, “She never was in line, when I saw her walk past me it was hanging out, I told her she was gonna go to the car & fix it but her friends was salty.”

Another one of the women in the group who interacted with Jay Rodg personally, asserted that he knew they had every intention of coming into the restaurant and the way he approached them was inappropriate.

“It’s very much true. We even tried to go in and he stated it was disrespectful for us to step into his facility.

We had a reservation. The picture is below. He can try to lie but now what he did was unprofessional and a complaint has definitely been filed.”

I’m sure it will affect business in one way or another. But even in the Facebook post itself, women have still be inquiring about the dress code, trying to make sure that they’re still eligible to get in, regardless of the disrespect other Black women experienced.

One woman tried to prove that she was different from the women trying to get in, saying that she dressed appropriately for a 37-year-old married woman and not like these half-naked girls.

Another said she had a reservation for next week and wanted to make sure she was granted entry.

You can read the Facebook exchange in screenshots captured by The Neighborhood Talk.

It’s a pick me situation.

It’s sad, really.

The fact that this man thought he was funny and financially sound to disrespect what would have been paying customers because of the state of their hair is foolish and incredibly cruel. As much as we love brunch, there’s no doubt in my mind that Black women are the primary patrons of his restaurant and this is how he’s chosen to treat them.

Those who believe Black women should be respected will do best to avoid his establishment entirely. It’s not worth it. Because if he did it to one group of women, he’ll do it to another. None of us are exempt.

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