Written by Ivan Edwards |
The Prince of Wales pub in Falmouth has denied racism after a mixed race student and his group of friends were prevented from entering last Saturday night.
Theo Barbey, a first year Photography student at Falmouth, has said that he and his friends tried to go into the Prince of Wales as part of their pub crawl on 6th October. But he claimed that they were told to leave almost immediately, while his friends, who are white, were allowed to enter moments earlier.
Barbey told The Falmouth Anchor: “Josh and Matt walked through the first door on the right hand side, and they obviously had to walk past the bar, and Matt walked into the toilet. The owner says nothing.”
“When I walk in, everyone stops, the band stops, and then everyone just stares at me, and the owner realises I’ve walked in, and he doesn’t even give me a second thought.”
“He just grabs Blaze [Barbey’s friend] by the wrists and then brushes past me and looks at me and says: ‘You can’t come in’.”
”He literally just dashed towards me and started shoving me out.”
“I asked him, ‘please can you tell me why we’re not allowed here, what have we done wrong’. He didn’t give me a reason.”
“I believe it was racially motivated, because of that initial reaction that people got from seeing me. For everyone to stare at me and for that band to stop playing music for one second, that is ridiculous.”
Blaze Williams, who was with Barbey at the time, said: “When Theo and I walked in, every person sat at a table and who was lingering at the bar turned to look at us, which instantly felt really hostile. We sensed something was up straight away.”
However, the landlady of the Prince of Wales argues that allegations of racism are “absolutely ridiculous”.
She said one of the group was “quite confrontational, but another member of the group, the coloured guy, stopped his friend”.
She added: “They tried to get in through the side door which is the bed and breakfast entrance. They said: ‘Where’s the toilets mate?’”
”The other half [of the group] tried to get in through the front door. We’re not a public convenience.”
She continued: “They’ve got my contact details, I’m happy for them to come in and talk to me. I don’t want to get into a slanging match on silly sites [Facebook] that I don’t agree with.”
A member of Cool As ****, the Newquay-based band who were playing at the Prince of Wales that night, confirmed he saw the confrontation, but told us: “I didn’t actually see what happened, it was just outside the door when we were playing.”
He denied that the band stopped playing abruptly when they entered, saying “it was probably just the end of a song”.
Barbey returned to the Prince of Wales the following day but was told that the landlady was not in the pub at that time.
Callie Edwards, FXU President Falmouth, said of the incident: “Racism is not ok. Always email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help start the formal process of reporting a hate crime to the police.”
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