Weather Updates

Rush Street club fires bartender over racist Facebook rant


Proof Nightclub

storyidforme: 28425205
tmspicid: 10280744
fileheaderid: 4735730

Updated: May 6, 2012 8:19AM

A bartender at a Gold Coast nightclub has been fired for posting a rant on her Facebook page that went viral in which she used the N-word and the words “ignorant” and “animals” to describe African-American customers.

The bartender worked at Proof Nightclub, 1045 N. Rush St.

“She was fired 20 minutes after I saw the post,” Zoe Gainey, the club’s marketing and events manager, said Wednesday. Gainey would not identify the woman, whose full name wasn’t on the Facebook posts, which have been taken down.

Club owner Mike Bloem said: “Proof would like to confirm its belief in equality, fairness and tolerance to all our friends and partners. Sadly, on occasion, we are all exposed to ignorance and racism.”

Within minutes of being posted, the online comments were linked to by, a Chicago blog covering the city’s restaurant and nightlife scene.

They show the bartender began her Facebook posts this way: “Wow so insane how one race of people can be so f - - - - - - incompetent and disgusting.”

Apparently encouraged by others who clicked “like” on her Facebook posting, she went on, writing at one point: “send them all somewhere i don’t care where. they make everything dirty ignorant . . . f - - - - - - n - - - - - -.”

The postings have become fodder for publications including the New York Daily News, London’s Daily Mail and the Huffington Post and also have been discussed by conservative commentator Glenn Beck.

In another incident involving comments posted on Facebook about race, the president of an Oak Lawn youth baseball club was suspended and then resigned last month after the mother of a former player aired his comments calling Whitney Houston “this dumb stupid N - - - - -.”

The Rush Street nightclub that fired the bartender was within its rights in firing her over a post on Facebook, according to Lori Andrews, a professor at Chicago’s IIT-Kent College of Law who wrote a book on social networks,

I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did.

“People can be fired for their social network posts,” Andrews said. “The First Amendment only gives you rights against the government, not private employers.”

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.