Local Bar in the Middle of Controversy Over Racist Viral Photo
A local social media photo has caused outrage and even death threats online.
The photo is allegedly of two local women taken at a bar that many thought was located in Harwood.
“They said they were bartenders and they listed Harwood Grill and Saloon as the bar they worked at. That is absolutely untrue. We had no bartenders dressed as so last night,” said bartender Pamela Leath who works at the local hotspot.
The women in the photo are wearing anti-Dakota Access Pipeline t-shirts, but they are holding signs that seem to mock the protesters.
“It’s really frustrating because we are a local bar and support our bar community and to have something like this happen, we don’t understand and we’ll eventually find out what it’s all about,” said Pamela.
Those who have been offended by the women’s costumes are leaving comments on the bar’s social media page such as, “I don’t get it, I hope this isn’t a joke” and also saying that it’s “racist, hurtful, offensive and disgraceful.”
One pipeline protester even wrote, “Is she insinuating that the amazing people standing in solidarity don’t have jobs, or native people in general don’t work? I have a job and in my spare time I work on passing new legislation in North Dakota.”
“We’ve had calls from all over the United States from Colorado to California, several from central North Dakota, the Bismarck area and we’ve responded in the same way,” said Pamela.
She also says that you can clearly see in the picture that there’s no ‘welcome to Harwood Grill and Saloon’ sign showing that it was at this bar.
“It’s very clear that it wasn’t taken inside of here. Anywhere in our bar we have a banner that says ‘welcome to the Harwood Grill and Saloon and it would be in any photographs,” said Pamela.
Harwood Grill and Saloon posted a statement on its Facebook page reassuring the community that this photo was not taken at their bar.
The Facebook post featuring the picture had thousands of comments within hours.
The page was removed around 6 o’clock.
The two women have also deleted all of their social media accounts.
One man even wrote on Facebook that if he found them he would end their lives.
“I’d like to thank the people that have supported us and know that we would never, ever allow something like that in our bar,” Pamela explained.
It is still unknown which bar the picture was taken at.
We were unable to reach the women in the picture for a comment.