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Progress Bar


Pride Month is just around the corner and already the realities of racism for queer people of color are setting in.

According to Block Club Chicago, a gay Chi-Town nightclub called Progress Bar is getting some major backlash for a leaked email saying they won’t play rap music. As a matter of fact, the email straight up bars DJs from playing the genre at all.

“This is not a suggestion!! If you play RAP you will not be asked back,” the bar wrote in the email, which was leaked on Wednesday and posted to social media. The bar instead suggested DJs spin music close to “DJ AM for 2019 — a super open format POP/DANCE focused atmosphere.”

As soon as the leaked email was posted, many people slammed the new policy, considering rap music almost always attracts a Black and people of color crowd.

“This is fu**ing racist as fu**,” one @nguyenhbi wrote on Twitter. “Progress is frequent by POCs and banning rap is basically saying fu** you to these patrons. What the fu**?!?!”


Another @4theloveofricki wrote, “Progress Bar was where I went to with my first girlfriend when I came out. I come home to celebrate Pride every year since moving and turn up at Progress Bar. Now y’all wanna act racist like queer POCs ain’t the reason y’all have business!? GTFO!”


Amid the backlash, Progress posted a statement on their Facebook page defending their moves without an apology:

“Progress ownership wants to make it VERY clear that EVERYONE IS WELCOME HERE!!!” read the statement. “We are not the 1st bar to look into changing their sound, and we will not be the last. We are looking to try something new. We don’t know if it will work or not, but we want the opportunity to progress!”

People obviously still couldn’t deal with the BS, so finally Progress released an actual Facebook apology on Thursday writing:

“The email issued yesterday did not reflect the values of Progress Bar. The content was unwelcoming and hurtful, and in retrospect, it should have never been written or sent.”

They continued:

“We sincerely apologize to everyone in the LGBTQ+ community and across Chicago for the hurt this message caused. Tonight, we will be closed so we can begin working to heal the pain. When we reopen, we will do so with a renewed commitment to create a space whose patronage, atmosphere, and — yes — music reflects the diversity of our community.”


It’s sad that they needed social media outrage to get the message….and a rising number of one-star Yelp reviews, according to Block Boys Chicago. 


Major L for the week Progress Bar.

Gay Bar Bans Rap Music & A Teen Genius Makes History: This Week’s Winners & Losers  was originally published on globalgrind.com

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