The Sociology Club will be continuing the “Diversity NOT Dress Code” petition campaign next week in the Student Union. This campaign is addressing discriminatory dress code signs displayed in three Remerton bars. Many of the items listed on the signs are clothing articles typically associated with black male stereotypes. The Sociology Club observed several nights of activity in each bar over the summer, and members documented, and photographed many patrons in violation of the dress code. These patrons were white, while black males were being turned away at the door for wearing the same articles of clothing. The Sociology Club, as well as more than 200 VSU students, started a petition asking the bar owners to remove the signs. The campaign will wrap up next week after the club spends Monday and Thursday in the Student Union offering other students the opportunity to sign the petition and let their voices be heard, as well. Remerton exists because of VSU’s students… all of them! Members of the Sociology Club contributed to this letter with these final thoughts.
“It’s only been two years since Trayvon Martin was murdered because of the clothes he chose to wear. My clothing does not determine the type of person I am, and it should not prevent me from having fun with my friends.”
“Being an African American, I find that some of the clothing being described in the rules are more likely to be worn by people of my race. It does affect how I feel about the bars. It’s almost as though some of the bars are indirectly trying to reduce the amount of African Americans who enter them. It’s very irritating to see this.”
“The standard of assimilation lingers over my head, breathes down my neck and is constantly reinforced in the culture, from a local to national level, that I experience around me EVERYDAY! There is a figurative noose that tightens each day with the goal of tensile strength to maintain cooperation and obedience… I am to be trained to display the perfect behavior of a loyal slave even today, in 2014. I am expected from the way I talk down to the clothes that I wear to be something that keeps me from exploring who I really am, robbing me of life.”
“These may be simple bars in a small city, but the dress codes these places support directly reflect the stereotypical and discriminatory beliefs held by society concerning minorities. And to leave this situation alone, to simply allow these establishments to continue their practices, is to be a helping hand in the perpetuation of racial prejudices and stereotypes.”
“In our society today we must look past racial discrimination. I am not what I wear!”