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Black Member Of Catholic Group Upset At Hostile Treatment

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Members of a Catholic fraternal organization on the Southwest Side have been accused of racist behavior toward a fellow member, who is black.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports Cornelius Anyere and a friend went to the Mt. Greenwood neighborhood chapter of the Knights of Columbus on Sept. 23, to watch “Sunday Night Football.”

Anyere has been a member there since 2003, but claimed when he and his friend – who is also black – walked into the Knights of Columbus hall on the 3400 block of West 111th Street, he was greeted with stony silence by some, and talk of “your type is not welcome” by one other member.

When Anyere tried to shake hands with fellow members at the bar, some refused and one man allegedly told him “This is my bar, you need to get out, your type is not welcome,” the Southtown Star reports. The man also allegedly chest-bumped Anyere after the bartender defended his right to be at the bar.

Police were called and believed Anyere was trespassing. Although they later confirmed he was a member, Anyere claimed the officers told him the people inside the bar didn’t want him there.

Anyere, 39, said he and his friend left the hall, rather than try to force the issue.

Representatives of the local Knights of Columbus chapter weren’t commenting on the allegations, but the national organization has promised an investigation, and significant disciplinary action if the allegations are substantiated.

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