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Human Rights Group Plans Sit-In at Controversial Cobb Bar

One human rights activist wants to hold a sit-in at Mulligan's Food and Spirits, which has long been known for its controversial and some say "racist" signs.

Gerald Rose, the leader of the human rights group that planned a press conference at a Marietta bar known for its controversial signs, is now planning a sit-in at the bar on Sept. 22 at 3 p.m.

Mulligan's Food & Spirits has been known to have signs with racial slurs referring to Hispanic people and other groups. The former bar owner, Mike Norman, made national headlines when he sold T-shirts depicting then presidential nominee Barack Obama as the monkey Curious George.

Rose wrote in an email to Patch:

"...they have left comments on our New Order facebook fan page saying things about the racist sign and other things..at this point its not about Obama its about disrespecting African-Americans as a whole.."

A man named Justin Roberts responded to a post on the New Order National Human Rights Facebook page about the sit-in:

"Come on down, we'd love to have you! We make everyone feel at home at mulligans... I'll buy your first drink. And if y'all wanna eat, the cook (that's African American),cooks the best hamburgers and fries you've ever had! I'd be happy to buy you a burger too!!"

What do you think about the planned sit-in? Do you plan to participate? Tell us below in the comments.

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Mike - Smyrna September 14, 2012 at 07:36 PM
After the sit-in and we all liquor up – Lets march down to the library and burn a few books. Don't forget that the women must walk behind the men.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino September 14, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Hmmm Vorant...it appears your words could equally apply to the "Right"---the problem with labeling :-). To me the lesson of life is to find the middle way, but first you have to be willing to listen to and learn from everyone and to do that one must not think that he has all the truth and nothing but the truth. That is the definition of extremism and fanaticism. Let's all try to learn from each other rather than staying in one camp or the other. I try to learn from the Tea Party, the Black Panther party and from all in between to see their perspectives. That is, I believe, what can make this country great again because it certainly will never dominated by one race, culture, religion, political idea again with the great blending and unity in diversity which is our strength.
Cobb County Resident September 14, 2012 at 07:39 PM
@Observer You are correct. If the participants of the sit-ins violate the law, they should be arrested. Some people believe deeply enough in what they are doing that they are willing to be arrested. Martin Luther King, Jr. comes to mind.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino September 14, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Observer...by your standard there would never have been a civil rights movement and we would still be stuck with Jim Crow. There is always a place for non-violent, civil disobedience, as demonstrated by Dr. King whose movement never had to fire a shot to bring about great change.
Observer September 14, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Richard, do you ever get tired of wearing that hair shirt? The standard which I advocate is entirely in line with non-violent, civil disobedience. No one is saying that there isn't a right to protest. The issue is that your right to protest doesn't triumph the rights of others. You don't have the right to go onto private property to protest, that is trespassing and is a violation of civil law. Also you don't have the right to impede others as they go about their business either. You also seem to have a problem distinguishing between stereotyping, which is what the Mulligan's sign is doing and racism, which is the belief that members of another race are inferior.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino September 14, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Thank you for correcting me Observer....I quite agree with all that you said (except the reference to "hair shirt" which is misplaced I believe, depending on how you use it). Your technical definition is correct, I believe. However regarding the difference between stereotyping and racism there is a fine line and we must admit, in this society (and really in the entire world), that most of us, including people of color, have been brainwashed to believe that people of color are inferior to others, or conversely, that people of light skin are superior to those of darker skin. In all such ingrained habits the first step to healing is to come out of denial and admit the habit--we have been habitually believing and practicing that myth of superiority/inferiority for eons and it is not going to change overnight with the end of Jim Crow, advent of Civil Rights, or the election of a "Black" President (who is mixed like most of us). Every discussion then must be framed in that light and until America and Americans comes to grip with that it will continue to slide away from its destiny, though the mere fact of genetics will eventually cure it because we will be a racially mixed society ultimately (and eventually admit it). But intelligent beings don't have to wait for that and can begin to progressively heal the divides by honest and kind dialogue, not by epithets from either side. Our Cobb Coalition is trying to facilitate that process here...feel free to join us.
Amy Delacroix September 14, 2012 at 09:59 PM
In the 1950s through the 1970s those who "sat in" were usually arrested. It was never "OK." It was just a tactic for drawing attention to a situation. So, if they just come to "sit in" they should expect to go to jail.
Tim McNally September 14, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Mr. Pellegrino: If you are a student of the 60's civil rights movement you will remember the Freedom rider who stepped off the Freedom bus first in Birmingham. The young, white minister was beaten savagely. . . almost to death. His is not the only case. I and many other white people have earned the right to speak out against the New Racism practiced by left wing minorities who think they, alone, fought against the injustices of the past. My grandmother came to this county from Ireland and saw signs in New York that were anti Irish. When my Great Grandfather took a job in the Idaho mines . . . Irish Catholics were not allowed to live in the city limits of Wallact, Idaho. I hate to sound rude but the Civil Rights laws of 60's were enacted years ago. Black politicians, ministers and religous bigots like Farakanh, Sharpton & Jesse Jackson will never allow our country to heal. . . . In 1865 slaves were freed, 1965 laws were passed to further set blacks "free". After almost another 50 years, of listening to many black leaders continually blame white people for their current plight.. . . I really wonder why I even bothered to pick up a sign and carry it in the Civil rights marches in Chicago & Kansas City !
Oscar G. September 15, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Aaannd there you have it folks! Vorant1 just summed up the very thing I was pointing to earlier. Once we as a community accept the behavior exhibited by the Mulligan's owners, it opens the door for every flavor of hate, rhetoric, bigotry and prejudice people can come up with! Thank you for so brilliantly displaying the utter ignorance of our Cobb County neighbors, Vorant1!
Oscar G. September 15, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Richard has a very valid point Vorant1. Why would you even attempt to dismiss someone's experience? When you OBVIOUSLY haven't had that experience yourself? Until you have been discriminated against for your skin color, your race/creed/gender/sexual orientation/religion..ANYTHING..but most especially those things you have ZERO control over, you haven't a leg to stand on! Why don't you stop attempting to use this forum as a platform to spew your right wing rhetoric and vitriole and stick to the topic..which really isn't about what YOU think of Liberals, Blacks, or Rattle Snakes either. Hate speech is a true enemy of a free society. Doubt me? Go watch old reels of Hitler as he told a struggling Germany that he knew who was to blame for their problems, and how he had a plan to bring them back to their former glory! (Where have I heard THAT recently? Hmmmm...) We know how all THAT, which seemed innocuous enough in the beginning, turned out. Those who forget the world's history are doomed to repeat it! Just don't expect all of us to go down with you.
Miss Philly September 15, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Tim McNally, you are very well spoken. I think you've just summed it all up perfectly. Those people always say they've moved on but seem to rehash the past, over and over. There's a reason they call it the past. Thx for your comment.
Melinda September 15, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Whatever! I've never eaten there but after all this BS I sure do plan on going there for one of those good hamburgers & support their freedom of speech. Based on the sign that is posted in this article I never thought Obama was a fried chicken, collard green kinda guy. I on the other hand am & I am white and these foods have been a staple in my upbringing.
I Am Correct September 15, 2012 at 02:01 AM
The right answer to this situation is "That sign is utterly stupid. I will not patronize that place because I don't want my money going to a bunch of racists." Nothing else. No whining about "freedom of speech." No crying about "why are we so PC?" Also - it's not a "liberal/conservative" thing. It's a "Racists are stupid/I make excuses for racists" thing. Do me a favor: if you're making excuses for this nonsense - knock it off. You're embarrassing the rest of us.
Pam J September 15, 2012 at 08:04 PM
On a side note - Kiri is leaving the "Patch" tomorrow. I hope that all of us insane people didn't push her over the edge! Best wishes, Kiri.
Ali50 September 16, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Observer, You write very well. It is such a rare pleasure to read well-written commentary, especially on controversial issues. And isn't it amazing that some of these commentators believe that "hate speech" is illegal in the US? I find that ignorance of the law frightening. Perhaps they are French and just confused.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino September 16, 2012 at 07:17 AM
Mr McNally, Your past efforts are laudable however not if you think by defending Black Americans in the past you somehow have the right or have earned the vision to know what is better for them than they know for themselves: that is just another manifestation of white arrogance. If you have really listened to and walked with Black Americans then you would know that their struggle against racism did not end in 1965 or with Dr. King's death and therefore unfinished work to dismantle the entire racist system, not just the elimination of Jim Crow, albeit, an important step.. Would you not complain loudly too if you and your family were arrested, charged, sentenced, executed disproportionately just because of the color of your skin--or if you were not hired, or fired, or paid less because of the same. These are life and death matters that you treat so lightly and are very real right here in Cobb and everywhere in this country for people of color. And the reason why they still exist is because of the denial of people like you and others on this blog who turn a blind eye and continually blame the victims and their leaders for complaining and trying to do something about it. Just because you conveniently retired from defending their rights doesn't mean others should. If you would like to rejoin the effort feel free to write me at pilgrim1@mindspring.com--we are doing plenty in Cobb to change these dynamics and are making progress, however slowly.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino September 16, 2012 at 07:23 AM
Miss Philly, read my reply to Mr McNally but to sum it up: the racism of the past is not over and anyone who believes so is white and in denial--right here in Cobb and everywhere people of color are discriminated against by every segment of society--law enforcement, employment, housing, etc etc--and if you don't know that it is because you are white and all you can really say is: Oh, I don't or didn't know that. How can I help change it? Otherwise, there is really nothing you or anyone can say which is not arrogant and prejudicial when it comes to the experience and facts of living black in America. (And if you doubt my assertions I will be happy to provide facts--statistics--provided by law enforcement and other agencies right here in Cobb.)
Stephanie September 17, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Interesting as to how miss Philly refers to others as "those people". But more interesting is to how a lot of people's solution is to just ignore it. Really? When has that ever worked? We can protest crematoriums, landfills, sex toy shops, and even Wal-Mart's being in or built in neighborhoods, but offensive signs should just be ignored? By ignoring a problem you are accepting the behavior. This is America, when have we ever ignored anything anybody else ever did whether it was right or wrong. Personally I think a sit in would bring too much attention to this place that does look like a hole in the wall. I think the best route would be sure they are not in violation of any city codes and to see if the health department can visit them every week.
milo o'toole September 19, 2012 at 09:40 PM
"'d ask you all the imagine that the roles were reversed and it was a man of color who'd been putting up thinly veiled, anti-white rhetoric for the last 20 years." You mean like Reverend Wright?
milo o'toole September 19, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Tim Good points! Bias and prejudice exist everywhere and has since man first walked the earth. There are always muckrakers and pot stirrers who make their way through life by playing advocate for victims who may not exist. Richard, for example, who is an advocate for those who violate our laws. He wants anyone who comes here to be able to pollute the wage scale and put our fellow citizens out of work. He completely fails to see how he is helping to destroy the fabric of the American middle class. In fact, I believe he gets paid for doing it.
milo o'toole September 19, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Richard, as an American, you are allowed to wallow in the belief that you are God's gift to an ailing world. Meantime, the efforts of folks like you have not completely succeeded yet. BTW what do you call a person who favors people of another country over his fellow citizens? Hmmm? Mulligan's has the right to display their signs. I do think I will drop in some evening just to see if their burgers are as good as some claim. I'm still trying to think of what we call someone who defends people from another country over his own people,
Callen September 20, 2012 at 12:59 AM
We will never grow up as a society so long as we refuse to grant others basic human dignity. Little children don't see race; they see individuals. We *teach* them division, fear, prejudice, hatred. Illegal or not, Free Speech or not, signs and speech like what's been put out by Mulligan's encourage people to see others as less than human, of less worth, as a label and a stereotype, not an individual. I see human beings to be judged on their own individual merits, flaws, actions... what do you see? If you can look another person in the eye and judge them, not for themselves, but by stories and labels and what other people did or did not do... how can you look yourself in the eye, in the mirror? My Daddy told me once, "Never do anything that means you can't look yourself in the eye in the mirror of a morning---and if you do such a thing, do your best to make it right, or you'll be ducking mirrors for the rest of your life." I oppose these signs because they belittle and label people, and perpetuate fear, hatred, and scorn. I oppose them because they are *wrong*, and they do a wrong, and they create more wrong in this world.
Genghis Khan September 20, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I've never been to Mulgan's, but I plan to go and support them now! These 'groups" need to be marginalized. Is tht a code word? maybe!
Genghis Khan September 20, 2012 at 05:12 PM
" Cobb County is NOT full of small minded, hate filled, bigots, racists, sexists, homophobes, what have you." In the same way that Atlanta is not full of do-nothing welfare recipients, gang-bangers and drug dealers? If you actually live in Cobb County, you sound unhappy here. Perhaps Fulton or DeKalb would fit your lifestyle better.
Genghis Khan September 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I'm sure that some in the local community don't agree, but I don't see their business suffering from lack of customers. When a small group of activists tries to close down a business supported by a larger group, bad things happen. the Left is such a champion of democracy, and yet they see nothing wrong with tiny minorities trying to close down businesses enjoyed by many. That just isn't healthy.
Genghis Khan September 20, 2012 at 05:42 PM
It's still legal, Doc. You can try to change the law, which will result in hideous consequences, or you can shake your head and ignore it. If you think someone's hurt feelings is more important than the constitution, you have a rocky future ahead.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino September 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Very true Stephanie & Callen. Let's view people as human and treat them as equals Those who put down others, especially a whole group, are denying their own humanity and really just don't like or love themselves--classic bullies. How does one stop a bully---first stop their bullying behaviour (tough love, saying "no") and then forgive and love them by teaching them how to love themselves. Why not promote the good things about yourselves, Mulligans, rather than put down others--or is it that you don't see any good in your own race, restaurant, lives, etc Here is what I advocate as a solution: let's all suggest to Mulligans some good slogans that uplift rather than put down--they can be humorous or whatever. Church signs do it all the time. Or, they can simply promote their special hamburgers. Surely they can find something creative which is positive--if not, let's help them. Here's one: "Bikers Rally to help the homeless veterans--10% of all purchases benefit the veterans." (My father, a life long police officer, always said "you can catch more flies with honey than with sh_t or vinegar.")
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino September 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM
And Milo, "my people" are and will always be "human beings". That's right, I consider humans over Americans, whites, blacks, Italians, Irish, Christian, Muslim,etc. And in that belief I am backed up by not only science (genetics prove we are all one race and at the most 55th cousin of each other) , religion (all equal children of one creator), and the founding documents of this country ("All people are created equal"--note, it doesn't say--"All Americans"). So my role and that of human rights advocacy orgs is to be the "great equalizer"--that is, whenever one individual or group gets the notion that they are somehow superior to another, and acts on that belief to put down another, then it is time to "equalize". Now let's apply that to the undocumented immigrants that you and others here like to put down because you think that you are somehow better than they are by inventing these imaginary harms that they are doing or did.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino September 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Re: undocumented immigrants and you: 1) they broke only a minor, civil law, not even a criminal law to come or stay here (hmmm, do you break any laws?) 2) your ancestors and mine, were either illegal immigrants to this country, or were considered so by the dominant group of WASPS at the time (italians were called wops or "without papers", and many came here illegally,etc); even worse, people of color were considered less than human in my lifetime. (Hmmm, seems like history repeating itself--when will we learn and grow up?) 3) you, I and everyone writing or reading here conspired to invite the current 12million undocumented immigrants here and looked the other way to provide cheap labor in order to maintain our standard of living (yes, every major corporation and many smaller ones, and every government entity did so, and in a capitialist, democratic society, that means every citizen participated in this however directly or indirectly)--and now, that our economy has tanked, not due to their hard and productive labor, but due to our own excesses, we want to blame and scapegoat them and send them back. (Hmmm, seems like history repeating itself after slavery and JimCrow--when will we learn and grow up?) I could go on but remember every time you get the urge to think yourself somehow superior to these immigrants, or to anyone else, these words of the Equalizer and repeat after me: "I am no better or worse than anyone else and by uplifting others I uplift myself".
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino September 21, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Oh, Milo, there is at least one point I agree with you on, that as Americans under the delusion of "American exceptionalism" that are somehow God's gift to and the savior of the world. Been there, tried that, and screwed it up. We have to first get our own backyard in order and the main task at home is not the economy, although that is certainly a part of it, but to learn to value our true exceptionalism as a nation and that is our cultural and racial diversity as the melting pot or salad bowl of the world. This is a model of unity in diversity and is where we do stand out. In order to do this, I have to begin by looking in the mirror, and us whites, who have an inbred sense of false superiority and privilege, have to learn humility and the willingness to learn from and understand those of other cultures who are now a major part of the American mix. That is what this whole Mulligans' exercise is about and the basis of my comments relating to it--if the Blacks are hurt by what Mulligan's is doing that should be enough for all, especially those who are not Black to respect their feelings and perspective, especially in light of black/white relations in the near past here in Cobb, to ask Mulligans to stop doing it and to help them find ways to promote themselves and their "culture" in a positive way. That can really be the only reasonable response from white people, who have no clue what blacks have and are still going through.

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