Dear HILO Martini Lounge,
Two days ago a couple of my friends took me out to dinner for my birthday, after dinner we weren't quite ready to go home. On my suggestion, we decided to go to HILO and get a few more drinks. We waited at the bar for at least ten minutes and though the bartender stood right in front of us, not once did he meet our eyes, and not once did we get the impression he had any intention of taking our drink order. I don't know for a fact that this is the reason that the three of us weren't served, but it certainly seemed that the only reason we weren't was that we were the wrong color.
I just wanted you to know that I am a nice person, so are both of the friends I was with. From now on whenever I think of having a martini, I will think of HILO and how I felt there - I know this, because I haven't been able to push the incident from my mind. I've just turned 23 and I've never been treated like this before. Maybe I was naive to think that we could get past racism, but when I heard Barack Obama saying "Yes we can" I believed him. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe we can't.
Two nights ago you didn't just refuse to serve a young white woman, you changed a world view. I hope that this letter can change yours.