In another example of the disconnect between the old, white Southern establishment who are adverse to embracing black culture and the new multicultural generation where rap music, its controversial content and its artists cross all ethnic and racial lines, two baristas at a Duke University campus coffee shop had their contracts terminated on Monday after university officials demanded the coffee chain fire them.
According to North Carolina’s Indy Week, Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Moneta entered coffee shop Joe Van Gogh on Friday for a beverage and was offended by the rap music playing over the cafe’s speakers–“Get Paid” by Young Dolph.
Young Dolph’s “King of Memphis” dropping Feb. 19th. Pre-order here on iTunes: https://goo.gl/Tbqctb Directed by Gabriel Hart aka Video God. Paper Route Empire.
The song includes the n-word throughout, which led to Moneta “verbally harassing” employee Britni Brown, according to the other barista on duty Kevin Simmons.
On Monday morning, Brown and Simmons were axed. Human resources explained that Duke administrative officials requested the shop fire the employees working that day.
In an email statement to the Duke Chronicle, Moreta said he “was shocked to hear lyrics that he found quite inappropriate for a working environment that serves children among others. I expressed my objections to the staff with whom Ive always had a cordial relationship. I insisted on paying for my purchase and left the store. I then contacted the director of Duke Dining to express my concerns and that was the end of my involvement.
Memo to Moreta: Hip-Hop is the most popular genre of music in the world and unless you plan on existing in a bubble, you cant avoid the culture. Getting the workers fired is a bit extreme, but I do agree that there should be a standard and level of awareness and appropriateness in line with the ages of the people who patronize the establishment. Songs flooded with N-word and curses are NOT suitable listening for children and many people just dont want to hear that stuff when they are eating. Unless they were previously warned by management about playing particular artists or songs with curses the baristas should get a pass.
They also cant be held culpable if Duke University doesnt have rules or guidelines on what is appropriate to play in Joe Van Gogh. Rap music with no derogatory words or descriptions is hard to find these days. This looks like an issue that will lead to a bigger issue and some written guidelines about what kind of music the establishment will allow employees to play. Hopefully, the fired baristas will do like Young Dolph’s hit and…