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Oklahoma restaurant owner says he won’t serve gay or black customers

Gary James, owner of Gary's Chicaros. (Photo credit: KFOR via CNN)

Gary James, owner of Gary’s Chicaros. (Photo credit: KFOR via CNN)

ENID, Okla. (KFOR) — A restaurant in Enid is getting heat after one of its patrons posted a pretty strong message on social media about discrimination.

The restaurant and bar has been open for more than four decades and carries quite the reputation.

Warning: this story does feature some graphic language.

Gary James, owner of Gary’s Chicaros, said, “I’ve been in business 44 years, I think I can spot a freak or a f*ggot.”

He added, “I don’t deal with these people walking down the street with no jobs on welfare.”

James said, “If I reached over there and slapped the s*** out of you, you should be offended. But to call someone a ‘chink’ or someone call me a bigot, that doesn’t bother me.”

Now, a wave of comments on Facebook claim James refuses to serve African-Americans, Hispanics and people with disabilities, like Matt Gard.

Gard said, “He doesn’t like certain people of race, color, ethnicity.”

Gard was a regular at Gary’s Chicaros restaurant for years.
He said he turned a blind eye to the owner’s choice of customers, until recently.

Gard said, “Now, he tried to find a weak excuse not to let me in with my wheelchair or the weak excuse of having loud people with me.”

After getting turned away for a steak dinner, Gard said it’s about his disability.

James claimed that’s just not the case.

James said “He created an issue. You only have one time here. You create an issue, you’re out forever.”

Gard and at least 140 others posted on a Facebook page that said James’ attitude has crossed the line to discrimination.

Even the business’ T-shirt is viewed as offensive.

The shirt features derogatory slogans against homosexuals, it has the N-word on the front and threatens violence against Muslims, minorities and democrats.

James said he is proud to wear that shirt.

He said, “I really don’t want gays around. Any man that would compromise his own body would compromise anything.”

Gard said, “The people who still go back and patronize his business are condoning his behavior in how he treats others.”

James said, “Well if you work, you own a business, pay your taxes, you’re more than welcome here. If you’re on welfare, stay at home and spend my money, there.”

Strong words in a small town where no one has challenged his business practices.

The Office of Civil Rights Enforcement is a division of the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office which investigates cases of discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability and age.
If you feel that you are the victim of civil rights discrimination, you are asked to contact the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office.

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