'Black or White, Relax and Have a Beer': Friends Combat Racism With Happy Hour

Two friends in upstate New York are working to combat racism and advocate for “human equality” one beer at a time.

Local media reported that Benjamin Smith and Marcus Ellis “wanted to do something small but powerful” after the police-involved death of George Floyd.

The duo set up signs that read “Black or white” and “Relax and have a beer!” in front of a house in Pittsford and invited community members to join them. This video, filmed by Smith on June 2, shows the welcoming setup.

Smith and Ellis’s open hospitality also caught the attention of country music star Brad Paisley, who met the duo via Zoom and shipped them “hundreds of dollars’ worth” of beer.

“We just wanted to make sure they had enough beer to keep the conversation going,” Paisley said on Facebook.

Local media reported that the pair will now host a weekly happy hour from 5 pm to 9 pm every Thursday. Credit: Benjamin Smith/Marcus Ellis via Storyful