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A Black Woman Was Wrongly Accused of Presenting a Fake ID to a Bouncer. He Called the Police. Now the Massachusetts Restaurant Is Issuing a Public Apology.

A Massachusetts restaurant issued a public apology after a Black woman shared an experience she described as “blatant racism” in a TikTok video posted on Wednesday.

User @tiktoksbyalexa said she and her friends had gone to the Cardboard Box, a restaurant in the town of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, on the night of Aug. 10 when the incident occurred. Their plans were foiled when one of the woman’s friends was stopped by a security guard who thought her ID was fake. The restaurant hosts late-night events for patrons who are least 21 years old.

A Massachusetts restaurant issued a public apology after a Black woman shared an experience she described as “blatant racism” in a TikTok video posted on Wednesday. (Photos: @tiktoksbyalexa/Instagram,Cardboard Box/Instagram)

“We were greeted by an extremely racist and rude bouncer who thought my friend’s legit ID was a fake ID,” the woman explained. “Instead of just running the ID like a normal person, he calls the cops to run it.”

The woman said that once police arrived an officer told her friend that she’d have to pay a ticket if the ID was fake.

Her friend was not fazed by the officer’s comments and insisted the ID was real, saying “This is my legit ID. Run it.”

The woman explained that the officer ran the ID and realized it was real. When the officer told the bouncer the ID was real but newly issued, the bouncer continued to insist that the ID was fake, the woman said, adding that the white customers in the restaurant were goading as the encounter dragged out. The video of the woman detailing the experience has been viewed more than 140,000 times.

The woman said she received a personal emailed apology from the restaurant and passed it on to her friend, who said she just wanted to move on from the situation. The Cardboard Box later made a public apology on Instagram.

“As many of you likely know, a TikTok video regarding a woman’s experience at The Cardboard Box has gone viral. To sum the video up, a security guard at our establishment believed that a Black woman’s valid ID was fake, and called the police to have them check it. That woman was then treated with disrespect, though she had done absolutely nothing wrong, when our security continued to insist that the ID was fake,” the apology begins.

“To begin, we unequivocally and without reservation apologize to the young women
who were treated poorly at our establishment. A personal apology has been given, but we realize that a public apology is also called for. We also apologize for failing to be sure that all of our staff is educated about what is appropriate, especially in incidents involving Black people, who are so often unjustly targeted both by law enforcement and those seeking to weaponize law enforcement against marginalized people.”

The statement also said that the restaurant is working with the chief of security to work on implicit bias and racial sensitivity training with staff members.

Michael Blake, a Black man who is the owner Offshore Kinetics MV, the security company that provides security for the Cardboard Box, spoke to the Martha’s Vineyard Times about the incident.

“The young man who scrutinized this young lady’s ID I guess identified some anomalies and as per our standard operating procedure he got the assistance of the Oak Bluffs police department,” Blake said. “If the young lady felt like she was profiled, if the speech indicated something that alluded to that we obviously apologize for that. We definitely don’t want anyone to feel that way.”

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