HAMMOND- There is strong reaction spreading on social media to a downtown Hammond bar and what was caught on camera there last week.
The reactions, ranging from disappointment to disgust, are to the playing of a David Allan Coe song called, "Damn I Wish I Was A N*****."
It was a slow night, with only a handful of people inside of the Brown Door Bar when Nathan Monroe, a former employee, says he was so stunned to witness two employees playing and singing the song with disturbing racial content. He recorded the incident on his phone.
In the video, one employee in a green "Brown Door Bar" shirt can be seen mouthing, in an animated fashion, the lyrics, "I'd change things if I could. If I was only a n*****, I could afford to live in a white neighborhood."
"It was more disappointment in the fact that it's been a long time since this was even acceptable and they acted, they definitely made it look like it was acceptable that day," said Monroe.
The next day, Monroe shared the video on social media. It's since spread like wildfire.
"I wanted to show people that before you come back here, this is how people think," said Monroe.
"Somebody singing a song like that in 2017, you'd think that we moved forward, but obviously things are still, people still feel this way.
The video resonated with fellow Southeastern Louisiana University students Bryce Carpenter and Dwayne Woodard Jr., who say they have held several well-attended, financially successful post-football game parties at the business this year, with no issues. That changed after the October 7th party. While the men said the gathering did contain a few scuffles, the vibe and overall outcome was a good one. However, at the end of the night, the students say the owner told them they were no longer welcome there.
So while future parties were already being planned elsewhere, the men want it clear they don't support the behavior seen in the video.
"I never wanted to put a bad name on anybody else, or malign any business, or anything like that," said Woodard. "But I'm kind of glad that it's brought awareness to the situation. But I still wish the best for them."
The owner of the business published a statement on Twitter in response to Monroe's posting saying, "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The appropriate action has been taken and this person no longer has any affiliation with the Brown Door. We are reviewing policy to assure this does not happen in the future. We value diversity and all patrons."
In a statement to Eyewitness News Tuesday, the owner added that more than half of her staff are African-American.
One employee seen in the video, who did not want to provide his name, claims Monroe encouraged the song to be played and had been making his own disturbing racial remarks that night. Those claims Monroe disputes.
But both workers express their sincere apologies for the incident.
Many are hoping something good can now come out of it.
"That's why things like this should happen, so people can see it, so people can decide to be different, decide to unite and be one," said Monroe.
"I would just like to see progress," said Woodard. "Us accepting others as people, as people that make good decisions and not by race or color or things like that."
One of the workers says he and his family have received death threats over the video, but Hammond Police say they do not have a formal complaint or report on record.
Monroe is discouraging any violence, or threat of violence, against anyone or the business involved.