Who is Keisha Young? Black woman, 22, dragged from DC bar Nellie's causes uproar
'I didn’t do anything wrong, and that’s all I remember. First walking up the steps and then getting dragged right back down the steps,' said the woman
WASHINGTON, DC: Nellie’s Sports Bar in Washington DC is facing protests and a boycott after a video went viral showing a Black woman being dragged down a set of stairs by the bar’s security. The footage went viral on social media on Sunday, June 13, with hundreds of thousands of views on Instagram and Twitter.
The woman in the horrifying video has been identified as Keisha Young, 22. She told WUSA reporter John Henry, “There was an altercation in there and they were trying to get some other people out, because somebody else brought a bottle in there. Somehow I got mixed up in the altercation because I looked like somebody else. And I got hit and dragged down the steps. I didn’t do anything wrong, and that’s all I remember. First walking up the steps and then getting dragged right back down the steps.” Nellie’s Sports Bar which is located at 900 U Street NW, said it is investigating the incident.
Last year, we reported about a racist restaurant in Baltimore that had a signboard that prohibited items like "excessively baggy clothing, athletic attire, jerseys, brimless headgear and backwards or sideways hats" in the restaurant. "Dress CODED sign at the new Choptank restaurant in Fells," the photo's caption read, implying that the code had an ulterior motive. In another news report, we reported that a Maryland restaurant was called out for not letting a black boy eat for wearing shorts while the other white kid enjoyed a hearty lunch. In another bizarre incident, a drunk American tourist, Daniel Franckowiak, launched a racist tirade at female restaurant owner in Thailand, where bragged about raping children.
The bar posted a statement on Facebook saying, “We were incredibly upset and disturbed to see the unfortunate event that took place at Nellie’s last night. We are undergoing a full investigation of the situation. At Nellie’s we foster an inclusive and safe environment, so events like this are completely unacceptable to us.” The video was posted online by Young's mother, Tammy Young, who tagged the bar and said, "I DO NOT PLAY WHEN IT COMES TO MY DAUGHTER YO!! YOU SEE HOW YOUR SECURITY GUARDS DRAGGING MY DAUGHTER DOWN THE F*CKEN STEPS AND YES MY NIECE AND NEPHEWS JUMPED IN TO SAVE HER YOU WILL BE HEARING FROM MY LAWYER FRFR I WILL BE UP THERE TODAY HAVE MY DAUGHTER GLASSES AND IPHONE 10 SHARE THIS VIDEO FAM AND TAG THEM IN LET THIS SHIIT GO VIRAL PLEASE WE NEED JUSTICE"
In the video, Young can be seen being dragged by security down the stairs at Nellie’s Sports Bar. The security guards are holding her arms, legs and hair as they haul her backward down stairs toward the bar’s exit. Young told WUSA when asked about watching the video of the incident, “It’s a little bit much.” When asked what she wants to happen next, she said, “I want them gone.” According to a news report by WUSA, Nellie’s is popular with the LGBTQ+ community in DC and many of the patrons there on Saturday, June 12, had been celebrating earlier in the day during the Pride parade in the city.
On Sunday, June 13 night, protesters gathered outside Nellie’s Sports Bar and also marched to the home of the bar’s owner, Doug Schantz, to call his attention both to what happened to Young and the allegations that the bar has a history of unfair treatment toward the Black community by the sports bar. Schantz opened Nellie’s in 2005, according to his LinkedIn profile. Schantz, who is white, wrote on LinkedIn, “Consistently rated a top DC hot spot, Nellie’s Sports Bar is an integral part of the Washington, DC restaurant scene and the U Street/Cardozo/ Shaw community. We pride ourselves on our inclusive, welcoming atmosphere, our delicious food, our great staff and our fantastically diverse clientele.”
Sharing a video of the protests, one person said, "There are more cops here protecting the home of Nellies owner than there were at the actual SHOOTING earlier tonight up the street. COPS DO NOT KEEP US SAFE! COPS PROTECT PROPERTY AND THE RULING CLASS!"
There are more cops here protecting the home of Nellies owner than there were at the actual SHOOTING earlier tonight up the street. COPS DO NOT KEEP US SAFE! COPS PROTECT PROPERTY AND THE RULING CLASS! pic.twitter.com/VNBzuBpPIB— Your Work Is Not Done (@nknapper) June 14, 2021
Activist Nee Nee Taylor told journalist Chuck Modi at the protest, “Nellie’s security felt that it was OK to escort one of their Black woman patrons out of the club by dragging her by her hair and throwing her out of the club. …Today I went in Nellie’s to retrieve Keisha’s property. I asked Doug to come down here and talk to Keisha, because Keisha just got out of the hospital. … The owner of Nellie’s don’t care enough about Black people to come and make sure his Black patron, Keisha, was safe and OK. So we asking people to protest and boycott Nellie’s. Because the owner, who is a white man, don’t care about Black women. If he cared, he would come out here and be concerned about what security done to a Black woman in his club.”
“We are asking ppl to protest and boycott Nellie’s Sports Bar because the owner doesn’t care about Black ppl”— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) June 14, 2021
The fuller back story of what happened via @ItsNeeTay #JusticeforKeisha #DCProtests pic.twitter.com/rM7VtLBjKW
Writer Shamira Ibrahim tweeted, “Nellie’s has long had a problem with catering to the Black queer community on U St, it was an issue when I lived there a decade ago. This is so awful and I hope that woman has a strong network around her.” Preston Mitchum, the director of policy at URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, tweeted, “It isn’t lost on me that today many Black & brown queer, trans, & enby people were protesting Nellies’ Sports Bar bc of it’s anti-Black racism and for security dragging a Black woman down the steps. During Pride, a movement started largely by Black and brown trans women. This is an age-old tale. There’s a reason I wrote a letter against Nellies in 2017/2018 and actively tried to work on creating safe spaces and equity. It didn’t matter. #boycottnellies #NoPride4Nellies.”
Nellie's has long had a problem with catering to the Black queer community on U St, it was an issue when I lived there a decade ago. This is so awful and I hope that woman has a strong network around her. https://t.co/srhaWBICtU— Comorienne 🇰🇲 (@_ShamGod) June 14, 2021
It isn’t lost on me that today many Black & brown queer, trans, & enby people were protesting Nellies’ Sports Bar bc of it’s anti-Black racism and for security dragging a Black woman down the steps. During Pride, a movement started largely by Black and brown trans women.— Preston Mitchum, he/him (@PrestonMitchum) June 14, 2021
A GoFundMe page had been set up to help Young, who suffered several bruises and her body is in tremendous pain. She said on the GoFundMe, “I am raising money for legal fees, medical bills & mental therapy. I am aching all over my body, I can’t walk straight because my hip is in pain. I’ve been struggling to sleep this whole situation got me anxious. Im feeling a little humiliated to have went viral being assaulted by a black man who should be protecting me. I am a college student i attend Morgan state University and am graduating next year and I’m just happy that it didn’t escalate too far and that I’m still here in my pain and grief still able to tell my story and get justice.” The page has raised $10,027 of the $75,000 goal when this article was published.