Unreported Bias in Hoboken
Bias exists in Hoboken, even without a police report
When a crime is labeled as a “Bias Incident” (like that Vietnamese man who was assaulted downtown recently) – it tends to draw much outrage from the community, and rightfully so.
However, what about the incidents that don’t get reported to the police? Or those that are afraid, or don’t want to bother complicating their lives with police reports and so on?
Well, one Hoboken411 reader ran into a problem with his sexual orientation – as he claimed that him and his boyfriend were recently harassed at Liberty Bar on 14th Street uptown, and the situation could have turned ugly. He felt that what transpired was inexcusable, and shouldn’t be tolerated at any business in Hoboken. Read on to hear his story…
Verbal harassment at Liberty Bar
“Last Thursday, my boyfriend and I decided to cap off the night (around 11:15-11:30) with a drink at Liberty Bar. As we approached the bar, three men (probably in their mid to late 30s) yelled at us “F*ggots” and some other fun anti-gay slurs. We weren’t even holding hands or anything PDA-ish.
Anyways, I figured it was a bunch of drunken idiots and was going to leave it at that. As we drank, the same guys sat at bar across from us. Still making some of the stupid comments. Then, they began to throw paper, straws and coasters at my boyfriend. We alerted the bartender who asked them to stop. However, he said he couldn’t stop serving them or ask them to leave because, “They are friends with the owner.” This was slightly annoying to me because I am a frequent patron to Liberty, on average going there at least once a week and more frequently during football season. I frequently bring friends. I always tip well and have never made a scene. I was angry these guys weren’t being asked to leave, but I figured they would at least stop bothering us.
A few minutes later, my boyfriend went to the bathroom. He was followed in by the guys, who kicked open the bathroom stall while verbally harassing him. Not sure what they were going to do because thank goodness the bartender and manager went in after them (before I could get there) and pulled them out of the bathroom. It was pretty freaking scary because it was all so irrational.
At this point, I figured they would be kicked out of the bar. Nope. Same reason as before. And the bartender continued to serve them. Finally, we just left.
Overall, this was a pretty mind-blowingly stupid and annoying experience. I have never felt uncomfortable as a gay man in Hoboken (and I’ve lived here for 4 years) until last night. I’m fairly confident that we could have defended ourselves in a fight, but I don’t think I should need to worry about having to fight homophobic idiots when I go out for a drink. The fact that a bartender and manager would not remove patrons who so clearly verbally and physically harassed other patrons because those patrons were “friends” with the owner is shocking, upsetting and offensive.
I figured this might be something your readers might want to know about when choosing a bar in uptown Hoboken. I, for one, generally really like Liberty, the atmosphere, the staff and the food, but unless and until I get an apology from the owner, I will not go back.
Have you ever witnessed anyone suffer from a “bias” attack such as this in Hoboken? How would you have handled the situation?