The detailed dress code at some Remerton bars might make you think you’re attending a five-course dinner with President Obama rather than just enjoying a casual drink with friends.
While some of the requirements are understandable (no revealing clothing or weapons), others verge on ridiculous and laughable (no slippers, tank tops, or jean shorts).
The other demands on these lists – which include no plain T-shirts, no grills, no chains, no baggy clothes, and no do rags or bandanas – are disturbing because of the type of person they target: the black male stereotype.
While the wardrobe of many African-Americans would not violate these dress codes, others would not be allowed in simply because of their personal style preferences or cultural roots.
The people who created these dress codes believe that if you wear chains or baggy clothes, you are most likely a thug, a dangerous individual who should not be allowed to fraternize freely with strangers. This belief is destructive because it perpetuates a negative and uninformed stereotype toward black males.
Members of the VSU Sociology Club, who first brought this issue to light, spent several months in the bars, observing how the dress code was enforced. They said white people in violation of the code were allowed inside, while black males were turned away for the same violations.
Such behavior by the bars is outrageous and unacceptable. Even if the dress codes existed to prevent gang violence at these establishments, why do the requirements only apply to blacks and not whites?
The Spectator stands with the Sociology Club in their efforts to further justice in our community. The bars should remove their discriminatory signs, or at the very least begin enforcing their dress codes for all visitors.
In a country where “all men are created equal” in the eyes of the law, having rules that target and are only forced upon a certain group – in this case, black males – doesn’t seem very equal.