Illustration for article titled Strip Club Sued For Discriminating Against African-American Employees

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against a Houston topless bar for allegedly forcing African-American waitresses and dancers to not work when the club was visited by a certain racist company executive. A manager says he's shocked by the suit because the club markets itself as multi-racial — meaning it's switched to a latin theme.

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The EEOC alleges that beginning in September 2007, the managers of Michael's International Club started pulling African-American women from scheduled shifts. They were told they couldn't work because Bert Stair, the company's vice president and secretary, doesn't like black waitresses and dancers. From the press release:

The EEOC claims that Stair directly called at least one of the black waitresses a "n——r," and told her "We don't need any more n——rs in this club, we have enough." The lawsuit further asserts that in mid-November 2007, African-American females working at the club insisted on speaking with Stair to discuss their complaints of race discrimination. The meeting, however, failed to change the working conditions, which had become intolerable for African-American females who were repeatedly prevented from working their scheduled shifts because of their race, and the EEOC contends that the women were forced to quit because of the racism.

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Michael's hasn't issued a response, but a manager pointed out to a KHOU that the club is "multi-racial." Local ads note that the club features "Chicas Locas," and according to the Star-Telegram it's MySpace page says the club:

"recently changed its theme to Latin due to popular demand. In doing so we now play the best in reggaeton, latin pop, latin rock, salsa, merengue, bachata and cumbia. But of course we still play all the best in 80's music every third girl. We have the sexiest dancers in all of Houston waiting to entertain your needs."

Someone needs to explain to the management that capitalizing off one culture (and the '80s) doesn't mean Michael's isn't capable of racial discrimination.

Michael's International Sued By EEOC For Race Discrimination [EEOC]
EEOC Sues Houston Strip Club Over A [KHOU]
Sexy Black Dancers Not Good Enough For Texas Club Manager, Feds Say In Discrimination Suit [Star-Telegram]

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DISCUSSION

The company's vice president should be fired - not just because he's racist - but because he's clearly incompetent.

Shit, the number of dudes - particularly in states with a history of racism - who have an interracial fetish is astounding.

Any strip club exec who tries to cut down on the number of black women (or Asian women) in a strip club does not understand the business he is in.

It's not about what makes his particular dick hard - it's about what brings customers in and generates repeat business.

Cutting down on African-American women in a strip club is, quite simply, bad for business. A good strip club has an equal mix of Caucasian women, African American women, Asian women and Latin women - because there are men who want to see each of those types of women naked.

And, if one particularly woman on stage isn't your thing - dudes know they just have to wait roughly nine minutes for the next girl to come on stage - and with an equal mix you'll get to see what you want roughly every 30 to 40 minutes (i.e. the time it takes to drink your two beer minimum.)

Damn, I write a lot of copy for escort services (which are in many ways like strip clubs, but for dudes who don't want to get ripped off/who are not voyeurs) and any escort agency owner will tell you that the top four types of women dudes ask for are real blondes, African American women, Asian women and red heads who also have red pubes.

Without them on offer you don't have any reason to be in business.

To sum up - trying to not have African American women in a strip club is like trying to open a burger joint and refusing to sell french fries.