Tracey’s Irish Channel Bar Comments “All Lives Matter” As Protesters Gather in New Orleans

Photo by Jason Leiter

Tracey’s Irish Channel Bar once again finds themselves the center of controversy. On May 30, an employee of the bar posted a comment regarding an Irish Channel resident offering Black Lives Matter signs to neighbors and protestors against racism and police violence stating “I thought all lives matter.” The comment was posted using the official Facebook page for the business. The phrase is generally used by those speaking in support of police officers or those seeking to belittle the message presented by Black Lives Protesters – that it is often the lives of Black Americans that are threatened by systemic racism, particularly within the U.S. criminal justice system. Recently, protests have broken out across the country – including here in New Orleans – in response to the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, MN. Over 1,000 protesters gathered in New Orleans to peacefully demonstrate on May 30, with more protests scheduled throughout the next week.

After receiving widespread backlash, Tracey’s posted the following apology to their Facebook page in a now-removed Facebook post:

“I Jeffery Carreras may have expressed an insensitive saying that offended many people yesterday, I am personally responsible for saying this and did not intend to offend anyone’s background. I was trying to express we are all in this together. I also am a member of a mixed race family. I know racism exist (sic). I will never condone that or be a part of it. I embrace all of our differences. To whom I offended I am very sorry … it was not meant to be taken that way.. again I sincerely apologize to the people I did offend.”

In March, Tracey’s was the subject of controversy after the bar defied Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s Stay Home order prohibiting large gatherings of more than 50 people in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bar chose to move ahead with their traditional Saint Patrick’s Day party on March 14. Hundreds of locals and tourists attended the gathering, which was eventually broken up by the New Orleans Police Department. Following that weekend, Mayor Cantrell ordered all bars in the city to close and banned gatherings of more than 10 people.

Jenn Bentley is a freelance journalist based in New Orleans, LA. In 2019, she was awarded the title “Most Fearless” along with Big Easy Magazine in the 2019 Briefcase Awards by The Bayou Brief. You can follow her work here.

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