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

Posted on: 9:38 pm, February 7, 2014, by , updated on: 09:40pm, February 7, 2014

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.

68 comments

  • My hat is off to you sir….you built your business, you should have the right to refuse service to anybody.

    • Learnthelaw says:

      Glad to see the scared and frightened bigots are here to comment.

    • YOU FORGOT TO MENTION THAT BLACK AFRICAN SLAVES BUILT AMERICAN…YOU ARE A RACIST IF YOU THINK AND ACT LIKE THIS MAN

      • tsilver says:

        Is this another Woolworth’s sit-in on the arise? Come on – get out of the dark ages … I live in the city where the Woolworth’s sit-in happened. Wonderful man that participated in it just passed away. Let’s just be real, if you are going to segregate who comes in your place – you better make it a Private Eatery with paid compensation to be a Member.

      • henry says:

        they buit what. I think you were thinking DESTROYED AMERICA

    • tsilver says:

      What’s next? A confederate flag hanging outside the establishment? Remember, they lost the war …

      • Sandra says:

        To the owner and Henry. When you have 200 years of free labor from the salaries slaves would have made as workers you have 200 years of income whoever used any of that earned money for building inventing whatever was paid for by black people. So the building of America was done from wages stolen from blacks so we did build America. Also every black man is not on welfare and there are plenty of white farmers on welfare. Lastly old white man you too close to the grave to still be acting ugly seems like you trying to bust hell wide open when you die. Smh at ignorantance.

  • America is a Free Country, at least right now, who knows about the future, but, he has the Right to Serve anybody he chooses & also NOT Serve anybody he chooses & if you don’t like it just don’t patronize his establishment & that’s it…….

    • Sandra says:

      Because if it is public anyone should be able to enter otherwise that is blatant discrimination. When are the ignorant people in this country gonna honor the words of the pledge allegiance of America “One Nation Under God” by dishonoring the mission of the United States makes one a communist. Get it together hatred we have more to gain by accepting one another than hating one another. I bet he thinks he’s a Christian lol being a Christian doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t living as one. Smh at ignorance

  • stfu says:

    Too bad no he doesn’t have that right. He can’t discriminate. So to the two ignorant commentators before me, get your facts straight. Fee really just ruined his own self. He’s stupid. He too will be on welfare soon enough.

  • henry says:

    fox 8 will not let me make a comment about this . the reason is I mentioned Sharpton and Jackson. fox 8 discriminates daily if you say any thing about those two.

  • Dee says:

    Wow ! all imma say ( god will deal with him )

  • Some of your comments are disgusting! I hope he gets fined big time..and I hope everyone boycotts that place! That idiot needs to look in the mirror and take a good look at himself..he is nobody special!

  • countryboy1 says:

    Sad the world will be a better place when old racist like this and most people who comment on this website die!!

  • STFUU2 says:

    he just says what a lot of people feel. get over your PC-self. he can serve who he wants, and his speech is protected by the 1st amendment. go protest in russia and let me know how that works out for ya.

    • Sandra says:

      Silly racists of today don’t even realize that the GOP uses them like a red herring while they keep hatred alive and think the GOP represents them the silly racist is being cheated by the wealthy of this country and discriminated upon also. So keep doing the GOP dirty work but know this your a sucker if you don’t bring home at least 250,000.00 a year. An average whiteman has better luck teaming up with black folks because the wealthy looks down on you to. Man grow up and realize ad in this country together come into the 21st century.

  • TheTruth says:

    I see these idiots saying that this man is wrong…….. I challenge you Idiots to open the front door to your house and invite a crackhead in to sit down for dinner…..oh wait and you “can’t” discriminate against the crackhead

    • TBP says:

      If I knew a crackhead, I’d not only invite him or her to dinner but also I wouldn’t hesitate to allow them to stay in my guest room if needed. Not everyone is scared of everyone else in the world. Not everyone is too concerned about themselves to see that there can be good and value in any type of person out there.

      • Arthur says:

        I agree with you it’s called love thy neighbor, which none of these people seem to know anything about

      • Maritza Rosian says:

        Please shut up you hypocritical fool. Take a walk in the city there are hundreds of crackheads,hungry cold some even young people. I dare you to invite one to your house around your family. You wouldn’t so STAY OUT OF IT! I am Hispanic I work hard and I can care less about what this James guy does in HIS restaurant. Freedom or speech, his right as an American. So let him be.

    • tsilver says:

      Bust discrimination! I am a white female. I bet his place is empty tonight.

    • Sandra says:

      Ok Einstein a person’s home is private. Every black is not a crack head just like every white isn’t a meth head. One really shouldn’t support hatred or try to justify hatred because it only opens the door for evil to enter into your life. SMH at ignorance.

    • lolly says:

      WOW, your comparison is not valid because a crackhead chooses to be a crackhead. People do not choose to be black or handicapped. You should realize that only people who have no intelligence to rely on resort to name calling. It makes you as well as your opinion insignificant. You may want to lay off of that if you’re attempting to get a point across.

  • dennis says:

    May this man?? find his maker in the netherworld. His beliefs are why this world is stuck in the last few centuries. May he R.I.P., the sooner the better.

  • L.F. says:

    What would Jesus do! He needs prayer. One of these patrons could be God in disguise, what a shame that would be to turn him away.

  • nono says:

    Money is money.

  • thomas says:

    Hmmmm, the good ‘ole days when we didn’t have rampant, racially-motivated knockout games (today, the white perps get “hate crimes” charges while the thousands of blacks doing it get away, un-prosecuted), black-on-white genocide (Chris Lane, Delbert Belton, Lawrence Thornton, etc. etc.), divisive Moral Monday’s non-sense, and a “president” and attorney general who are more concerned about “getting back at whitey” than bringing the nation together as one and enforcing EQUAL JUSTICE FOR ALL.

    • The One says:

      I agree

    • Learnthelaw says:

      If Rush Limbaugh told you to shoot yourself in the foot , would you do it?

    • JT says:

      Oh thomas, you pig-ignorant racist fool, move to Florida. There, you can pick fights with black men knowing you will lose and you get to shoot them! You can also shoot them because they don’t respect your whiteness and are playing their music too loud. Look, conservatism dies–it has to. It refuses to move forward. So, progressives who can read/write and make a habit of doing it, bide your time. Soon, the world will be rid of people like thomas and this racist restaurant owner. Time wounds all heels!

  • Nautical Winds says:

    He just wanted to retire.

  • stfu says:

    If he is spewing hate, he isn’t protected under anything.

  • Angie says:

    Stupid old racist. I hope the people of the town boycott the business and shut him down.

  • Tim says:

    Freedom of Speech all the way here! I dont agree how he can be so hateful towards people, but its his business and he can do what he wants. He will lose money on those who will now boycott the place and then suffer the consequences if it comes to that. However, its his place, he pays the bills and he is legally able to do what he wants. As long as he is paying his taxes, nobody can come in and shut him down. I applaud him for being so open, but at the same time I do not agree with how he talks down to individuals he does not like or agree with their lifestyle. He should state he does not agree with their lifestyle and refuse their business and leave it at that.

    • tsilver says:

      So, let’s say – me and a colleague walk into the restaurant. We are both female. We want to have a business lunch or dinner. Because we are two females, does that turn us away? I’m just trying to figure all this out.

  • Joe Stephens says:

    No government should have the right to tell someone what they must like or accept as long as bodily harm is not being inflicted he should be free to operate how ever he wants, it’s his business, noone is forced to go in there that does not want to and that’s their rights as well!!!

  • Nautical Winds says:

    I foresee a great influx of visitors to the town of Enid, Ok. Liken to the gold rush days of California.

    I bet I could name a few of those visitors but will not. I believe F-O-X have those names on a watch list.

  • proud bigot says:

    Need more people to stand up like him! Great job!

  • Tasha says:

    It is not a matter of who is right or wrong and technically he is the business owner and can/will refuse business to people who he considers “Different”. However, it is 2014 and there is all kind of different in the US … we are all equal whether you like it or not.

    All that this shows is that he and his followers are not strong believers in God. That too is there choice to bad they will regret it one day. I bet most of the people making comments are the same ones at Church on Sunday praising him name… becareful what you say and do to others I would hate to see anything happen to you… Karma is a B***H… it happens… I will pray for each of you it sounds like you all need it!!!

  • tsilver says:

    I wonderif our black President came into his eatery, if he would turn him away?

  • Hazel Wilcox says:

    Everyone has the right to freedom of speech,just like u or I have the right to spend money where I choose.

  • curtthered says:

    Yahweh bless you sir. Next time im in your area ill be sure to feed my family at your place of business and buy you a beer. Business owners have a right to refuse service to anyone, for whatever reason they deem fit. dont like it? take communist self somewhere else.

  • Melissa says:

    Yes he has the ” right ” to have his own opinion, refuse service, follow his free will. God also will enforce his power to judge this man’s hate and ignorance.Love thy neighbor as you love yourself.

  • frank sinner says:

    Well, this man seems to know he is within his rights, at least for now!!

  • Wynon Savage says:

    I have served this country with 20 years of military service. I have been around people of all ethnicity. I am native American and black American but overseas I was all American. People like him really need to die off. Because even knowing how he feel, if his grandchildren where in a burning house I would rush in there to save them. But he wouldn’t even want to feed me. WOW. I work ,vote and serve my community. Only idiots like him think freedom is free. I have sevred with people with many back grounds and I have called all of them brothers. Him and people like him is what is so wrong with this country. Crackheads drug dealers and racist people. Hell they shoukd all be shot and lefted in the woods to feed the ants.

  • tsilver says:

    I’m still wondering if our black President came into his eatery, would turn him away? Just askin ….

  • He’s an idiot, but why does anyone care ?!! Don’t like him ? Don’t eat at his place ! I wouldn’t give him the time of day, but all these news stories about him are making him famous. He gets free advertising to bring in customers who think and act like him !

  • I think its going to be so funny when he finally gets sued and his business license revoked. With all the attention, no one will hire him and he’ll be the one on welfare. As for the disabled, I wonder if a war veteran came in decked in all his fine military suit with medals rolling around in a wheel chair if this guy would refuse him.

    • tsilver says:

      Jennifer,
      It’s appalling, isn’t it? I so wish I lived closer to this venue. I would have some real problems with it. If he stands steadfast on this – he will need to make the venue a “Member’s Only” – one that you can sign in at the door and buy a Member’s Only Pass. If you are turned away at the point of registering, it will not be good for this man. I agree with you when you ask, What if? A man in full suit with a disability should shadow his doorway of entry. What would he do? Just as I asked, if our Black President were to show up for a table, I guess he would have to turn him away, too. IMO.

  • killa says:

    Have a nice time serving burgers in Hell

  • Douchebag says:

    Good job old dude!!

  • Sandra says:

    To martitza ones home is private and don’t get up on your high horse because he said you weren’t worthy also. SMH at ignorance. P.S. if this guy had his way he would vote you out of the country so sit down and quit being a brown nosed that doesn’t get you any appreciation from a white racist. SMH

  • T says:

    So, let me get this straight. The disabled guy went to this place often knowing that the owner discriminated against blacks, gays, and women. It was not until he became the victim of said discrimination that he had a problem with it. That’s laughable. You all will learn, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”-Dr. King. If it can happen to someone else and you stand by and watch, don’t be surprised when it happens to you. In about twenty years, most bigots will be dead and the world will be a much better place.

    I find it ironic that the descendents Europeans think this is their country. They came over, stole the land from the Native Americans, killed their men and children, raped their women. If this country belongs to anyone its the Native Americans. Everyone else is foreign.

  • its my business says:

    Is there anyone on this post, including myself, who thinks we are giving this guy too much social media time? I’m just asking …

  • Alana W. says:

    As a Black woman, I will say this: he is perfectly within his right to run his restaurant any way he sees fit. And I am perfectly within mine to avoid it. He can live in hate and ignomy for the rest of his miserable life. It doesn’t affect me one little bit. Besides, I wouldn’t want to eat anywhere that I am clearly not wanted. I can take my NON WELFARE dollars elsewhere, and patronize another establishment that wants my money. People like him deserve no publicity or air time. The best that can happen to him is that he fades into obscurity and anonymity….that he vanishes beneath the waves of polite society with nary a ripple or a second thought.

  • O how I pray not for DEATH but an illness so bad he needs something like a kidney donated and it comes from us BLACKS or Freak as he puts it

  • Yvonne says:

    Ok really! would you want to eat his food anyway? Too many better places to go. God will reward his dark heart – in time!

  • I bet the prostitute that crapped him, his sister who is also his wife and bore his inbreds, and the goat he bangs after “church” on Sunday get served. Praying you a**wipes get another Tornado down there to shut sh*t like you up forever.

  • Kim says:

    I find it interesting that Matt Gard “turned a blind eye” to the exclusionary practices of Gary James until those same practices impacted him. Bit of a hypocritical stance there. I care not for either of these two men; probably less for Gard as he ignored the discrimination all this time. As for James, at least he was openly honest about his feelings. I don’t agree with him, but I do appreciate his honesty.

  • Kiya says:

    Lol. Hilarious that the person is only complaining because he is now apart of the “out” crowd. The owner has a right to choose who he serves it’s his preference. I would rather know I’m not welcome than have my food tampered with or be mistreated. I don’t see anything wrong with what the owner is doing. He isn’t willing to compromise his good christian values to make a buck lol. I respect his right to not like me because my skin is brown. He is not withholding a resource that determines my life or death.

  • The d says:

    Let’s be realistic here, we are entering a age where this is unacceptable. Let me be more clear, if you don’t like gays, blacks,democrats,Chinese , Indian,Korean, Muslims, etc. go home and stay there, perhaps kill yourself no One is going miss you! The world is made of many different races and types, personally I’d like to exacute in person anyone that stands for hate, because in the end the worlds a lot better with out hate!

  • Geoff Dingle says:

    Sounds like I need to take a bus load of my disabled MARINE brothers for lunch at this place. Some of them are in wheelchairs, some have artificial arms and legs, some are black, some are mexicans, hope they serve good old AMERICAN food.

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