August 16, 2009 - WHAS-11
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David Norton, Owner of Woody’s Tavern, says, “I had a realization that this was all my fault from the beginning. I own this place. These people are my guests, it was all my fault from the beginning and I sincerely apologize to each one of them who are here.”
It’s the apology Kaila Story and a group of students have been waiting to hear for over a year. For some, the moment was overwhelming, shedding tears as evidence of the pain that was caused.
David Norton says, “What came out of my mouth was pure filth.”
In April 2008, the group was at Woody’s Tavern. Professor Kaila Story leaned up on a pool table because she was afraid of the unleashed dogs that were in the bar. Story and the students there all say the bar owner, David Norton, told them his didn’t like big girls leaning on his pool tables, which led to a heated exchange that resulted in Norton allegedly yelling racist slurs and sexist language at the group.
Kaila Story, a U of L Professor says, “When it happened that day I said I will not let this rest, I will not, because this is an injustice and I’m not having it.”
For nearly a year and half, Norton refused to apologize for his actions, but today that all changed. And while Kaila Story says his public apology is a step in the right direction, she says, this a problem that extends beyond Woody’s Tavern, into the University of Louisville along with the greater Louisville community.
Kaila Story says,: “There are efforts, but there are still racist things that happen at the University because the Universities are a reflection of the rest of society.”
Chris Hartman, Fairness Campaign Director, says, “This incident really brought my awareness of the problem here within our own LGBTQ community in Louisville and the very immediate need to begin having this conversation and to begin working on how we can dismantle racism.”
The fairness campaign says they will start having those conversations soon. They will be held on the first Wednesday of every month now at 6 pm at the fairness campaign office. You can find more information about their meetings here: www.fairness.org