Minneapolis North Loop bar Clubhouse Jager’s owner, Julius De Roma, donated $500 to David Duke’s Senate campaign in 2016. After the revelation was made public, the fallout was swift with employees distancing themselves from the club and events held there being canceled.
Jager’s employees were informed at an “emergency staff meeting Monday,” August 28 reported WCCO, where the significance of De Roma’s support of known racist and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard was relayed to an emotional group.
“It says racist, it shows white supremacy, it shows hatred. It’s vile and it’s disgusting,” said Drea Kinston to WCCO, who quit her bartending position with Jager after hearing the news of the contribution.
Backlash followed with The Current’s radio DJ, Jake Rudh, cancelling future Transmission nights regularly held Wednesdays at Jager. Rudh Tweeted his choice to relocate the dance-party event saying, “I refuse to stay at a venue where the owner supports the likes of David Duke…Bigotry, hate, violence, and racism has no place at Transmission or anywhere on this planet.”
WCCO reached out to De Roma for a comment at his home. “It’s just basically free speech,” said a shirtless De Roma. “Well, whatever. What do you expect? It’s basically something that is blown up beyond what it should be.”
The story of DeRoma’s contribution was picked up by mainstream media after blogger Lynda Carson exposed him and others by posting financial filing documents during Duke’s unsuccessful Louisiana campaign last year.
A GoFundMe account has since been created by a regular at Clubhouse Jager to help the transition to new employment for staffers.
UPDATE: According to a City Pages report, some staff quit immediately following that initial staff meeting. Those who stayed did so out of the basic need for a job, but on Friday it was apparent that the bar didn’t have the staff numbers needed to operate.
- After Staff walk-out, Club Jager Closes [CP]
- Club Jager Owner On His Donation To David Duke: ‘It’s Just Free Speech’ [WCCO]
- Outcry follows revelation that Club Jager owner donated to David Duke [theCurrent]
- Club Jäger bar owner donated to David Duke's campaign [CP]
- Julius De Roma on David Duke donation: 'It's just free speech... whatever' [CP]