Though we’ve written about racism in gay bars in the past, we’ve normally focused on more subtle forms like exclusionary dress codes or “race nights.” However, in this instance, it turns out the Atlanta gay bar racist practices come directly from the owner. He has frequently gone on racist tirades on Facebook, including calling President Obama the n-word.
Palmer Marsh, the owner of Burkhart’s Pub, has made a number of racist Facebook posts unearthed by Wussy. Aside from the slur against Obama, Marsh also said “if the South had won [the Civil War], we would be a hell of a lot better off.”
Burkhart’s is also home to the Armorettes, Atlanta’s oldest drag troupe. However, Amber Divine has left the group over Marsh’s comments. Divine wrote “Burkhart’s is a racist bar. It condones racism and uses the n-word predominantly from staff and management.”
General manager responds to the Atlanta gay bar racist posts by the owner
According to Burkhart’s general manager, Don Hunnewell, though Marsh and his wife Mary do own the bar, they have very little to do with the operation. However, Hunnewell has also stated his intention to leave over the controversy, writing:
Burkhart’s staff, entertainers, cleaning and maintenance crews have served Burkhart’s with dedication and hard work for many years and these 50 plus souls often live tip jar to tip jar. Yesterday, it took everything I had to soldier on and not terminate my employment agreement.
As general manager, my first obligation is to maintain and care for the hard-working staff who have dedicated many years to serving a huge loyal customer base that have become very close to the staff from years of pouring not just drinks, but pouring from theirs hearts.
The awesome staff I have the privilege to lead each day deserve so much better. It’s because of this dedicated staff that I too must soldier on today.
I have an immediate obligation to those dedicated souls and once their lives are stabilized I will seek new opportunities. In the meantime, I will maintain the daily operations and will happily deliver any and all purchase offers. Palmer and Mary Marsh have been retired since I arrived as GM and have had no active participation in the operations. I am honored to have such a high level of complete trust, but this is not what I signed up for.
This Saturday, the activist group ATL Activate is hosting a forum to discuss what the LGBTQ community should do about the Burkhart’s situation. The meeting will be held at the nearby Illuminarium at 11:00 a.m.
Featured image via Palmer Marsh’s Facebook