While Black people living in America are literally trying to get police to stop using excessive force and taking our lives under the rallying cry “Black Lives Matter,” one Texas bar owner who is feeling discriminated against because of reimposed restrictions due to the uptick in coronavirus cases in state co-opted the slogan to create his own “Bar Lives Matter” concert and protest over the weekend.
“You can’t tell me that my tiny little bar is the problem. He’s the problem,” Tee Allen Parker, who organized the event for Sunday told the Washington Post of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “He’s targeting us, and it’s discrimination.”
As coronavirus cases began to spike in the state, Abbott issued an order mandating a statewide shutdown of all bars.
Now Parker, along with 21 other bar owners in the state, have sued Abbott and the state’s alcohol regulators in order to put an end to the lockdown order, claiming the order hurts the bar owners and their families and employees.
Bar owners have argued that the order unfairly targets them, as other nonessential businesses, such as barbershops and hair salons, are still being allowed to function at full capacity, the lawsuit claimed.
“This one individual is picking and choosing winners and losers,” Jared Woodfill, the attorney who is representing the bar owners, told the Post. “Governor Abbott has chosen to sentence bar owners to bankruptcy.”
Abbott has acknowledged that he probably should have gone slower, particularly when it came to reopening bars in the state.
“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the reopening of bars,” he told KVIA, “now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting.”