Racism is banned from school playgrounds, football stadiums, workplaces and TV, and is socially unacceptable in any form in the UK. In the last 30 years our society has made a huge effort in removing race discrimination from our lives and generally racists are considered the the most dispicable amongst us.
However there is one place over the last 7 or 8 years where I have to put up with blatant segregation in my own city. These are the nightclubs which consider themselves to be “exclusive” in the Birmingham area.
There are countless instances where black and asian patrons are turned away from these highly regarded and stylish nightclubs. No doubt someone will tell me that I’m not dressed correctly and to be honest some of my garments are very 2010. But on the few occasions I visit a nightclub, especially in my mid to late 20’s I am wearing designer threads acquired at great cost. Not just designer labels but some things which are brought from London for their style and fit.
Mechu is a beautifully decorated nightspot serving overpriced drinks, and playing some of the best house and dance music in the area. (The ladies look nice too). It can make a refreshing change from the drunken juvenile and sometimes rowdy behaviour on nearby Broad Street. I have been just twice in 2004 and 2006 but have been turned away four times.
On both occasions I have had possibly among the nights out ever, fantastic music , fine drinks, great sights and on those occasions an electric atmosphere. I attended on both occasions with work colleagues and naturally I wanted to share these experiences with my childhood friends. My friends are generally better dressed than myself and are professional young guys with large disposable incomes , in one instance my younger sister accompanied me, a well paid civil servant was told she had the incorrect shoes – despite two other girls inside the club wearing the same. My friends and I are all turned away with lies and insults in the process. My friends tell me to forget about it and move on but ….. I just can’t. There are a few stories I have found on online review sites detailing black and asian revellers being refused entry in bizarre circumstances and no one questions this.
In June this year I went with a mixed race friend Aaron to Spin@Après in Mere Green near Sutton Coldfield one Thursday. Now Aaron is the best dressed guy I know , and he gets a lot of attention from the ladies. We had intended to meet an old colleague here – the first meeting between us in around 4 years. We are confronted with security armed with clipboards and crewcut hairstyles ….
“are you on the guestlist”
“where are you from”
“Streetly ” “Solihull”
“you do know it’s a fashion night tonight, and you are expected to dress a certain way ?”
At this point I ask “what would you suggest ?”
“you know All Saints and stuff”
(we are both clad head to toe in All Saints clothing one of my favourites) – (Aaron has All Saints jeans on) “well I can’t let you in with those shoes”
There was nothing wrong with my dress shoes often warn with suits. At the same time two white males walk in unchallenged sporting scruffy trainers and ripped jeans and the obligatory blonde 15 year old female slinks in. Pure racial profiling at it’s worst and permitted in a democratic country which usually shuns this behaviour. A simliar rejection happened to me last Thursday at this establishment with a weak excuse for refusal of entry and this makes my blood boil.