Letter to the editor:
So, a cursory glance would suggest that this has been touched on in CP before, but I thought given the events in South Carolina last week this is worth re-visiting.
I fancy myself something of a dive-bar enthusiast, and the Gopher Bar was just about the last feather to place in my Twin Cities cap. Having spent the entire drive down talking to my friend about how troubled I was with the church shooting and resulting racial insensitivity, it seemed almost surreal to walk into Gopher Bar and see the Stars n' Bars flying proudly. Upon asking the bartender about it, he replied with an (almost self-aware?) "Man, that doesn't mean anything." All I could squeak out was, "I beg to differ on behalf of nine families in Charleston" and walked out.
The next morning I called and spoke with a woman, simply informing her that she had alienated a customer, to which she replied: "Actually, if you're offended at that then you're the racist, and for every one of you that leaves we have ten that come in because of that flag."
My natural, earnest follow-up question was "Is this a Klan bar?"
That response was met with an expletive and a phone-slam. I realize what a self-righteous, white-privileged Social Justice Warrior I'm coming off as, and I suppose I tacitly must support this establishment's right to display hate paraphernalia if they so choose. I just think (especially with the increased foot traffic from CHS Field) potential patrons should be forewarned and take their business to the plethora of less abrasive, ignorant, and bigoted establishments in the area.
P.S. Amongst all the right-wing paraphernalia was a Canadian flag sticker inexplicably right next to the Racist Flag o' Treason, which I cannot imagine any self-respecting Canuck would appreciate. Here's hoping a hockey fan unknowingly wanders into this ass-backwards dive after a game at the X and lets them know exactly what he thinks of that.
241 E. Seventh St., St Paul