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Dear Black People: This is a No Twerking Zone

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

The Black community pulls itself into another pointless argument regarding respectability politics and how we shall conduct ourselves in the public domain. The controversy revolves around a black-owned restaurant owner in Dallas who went father-mode on a few patrons for acting as if they have no home training.



TRUE Kitchen + Kocktails owner yelling at customers, FR24 News 2020


A viral video shows Kevin Kelley, owner of TRUE Kitchen + Kocktails, yelling at customers for disturbing the environment by twerking and standing on furniture. Within seconds, it escalated to him losing his religion and scolding everyone within hearing distance that they can leave too if they couldn’t abide by the rules. TRUE Kitchen later wrote a statement on their social media platforms on what occurred. Video footage also surfaced of Kelley going to one table and calmly explaining to grown adults why they can’t throw that thang in a circle. Another video shows the same people he told to cease getting on the chair and twerking.


A discussion went ablaze on Black Twitter on whether the owner was right or wrong on his approach to handling the problem. On the one hand, some feel that the women were entirely in the wrong for their behavior. While agreeing with his stance, others think that he went overboard and acted unprofessionally with the customers. A few tweets even go as far as stating to boycott his restaurant as they feel that his words came off as misogynistic. However, there is one clear answer: They were both in the wrong!


The owner has every right to dictate what goes on in his/her business. He gave them multiple chances to act like they had some common sense; however, they continue to ignore him. Anyone in that situation would feel disrespected and frustrated, especially if it was happening at their home. There is almost a guarantee that they would pull this at a white-owned restaurant such as Ruth Chris, Mastros, Ocean Prime, or even the Cheesecake Factory. As the old saying goes, “there is a time and place for everything.”


Simultaneously, when you work or own anything that involves customer service, there is a way to handle rude customers without looking like the bad guy. For Kelley, while in the right for his anger, must remember to stay professional at all times. Also, yelling at customers who had nothing to do with the incident is bad for himself and his business. Customers have the right to spend their money where they feel accepted. Stating that you don’t need their money is a clear-cut way of losing future revenue. In the next few weeks, he might want to consider changing a few aspects of his business, from the music playlist to his restaurant’s ambiance.


Whichever side you are on, one thing we can all agree on is that respect has to be mutual between one another. When you walk into someone’s personal space, think about how you want people to treat your home or commercial property. Better yet, before you decide to jump up and dance on a table, think about what your mother would say while grabbing the closet thing to her hand to throw at you.



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