An intense and healthy discussion is under way on our Web site about last week’s front-page piece about Tonik Bar & Grill on Roosevelt Road. The bar now draws a largely black crowd, as well as a large presence from the Forest Park police department.
The question raised in our well-reported article is whether, as village officials say, the cops turn out because the crowd is unruly, or, as the bar’s owners and some patrons believe, the cops are heavying up because the crowd’s black.
We don’t know the answer. But the discussion is instructive because it reveals sincere differences in perceptions, differences largely split on racial lines. For a town as statistically integrated as Forest Park, honest talk about race has always been in short supply.
Issues at Tonik could be a basis for a healthy talk about a topic that makes us uncomfortable.