Night Life Dress Code – Shannon in Kansas City

One of my new year resolutions was to practice and improve my Latin dance skills.  There is a dance club in a casino in my area that has a Latin themed night every few weeks.  I decided to go last night.  I was in a festive mood because the Kansas City Chiefs won their first round playoff game.

When I got dressed for the club I decided to show my Kansas City Chiefs spirit and wear my Chiefs jersey, skinny black pants and high heeled black leather boots.  It was feminine, cute and appropriate for that day in history.  You’ll just have to take my word for it there are no pictures.

I showed up to the dance club and the bouncer said that they don’t allow sports jerseys.  I turned and walked away without saying anything even though I was very offended and upset by this.  I have been to this club before.  It is not a high fashion crowd nor is Latin Night at the Voo Doo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino a black tie affair.

I later called the VooDoo Lounge and spoke with a supervisor about their policy.  I asked what they assumed about me because I was wearing a sports jersey.  He said he didn’t assume anything and that many people were turned away that night for wearing sports jerseys.  He apologized and I believe he was sincere.  I’m sure he’s not the person that makes these rules.  But that did not make me feel any better about what happened.

I am African American, youngish (people think I’m a lot younger than what I am.) and I had on a sports jersey.  I felt as if I had been profiled as a gang banger or some type of criminal.  I’ve managed to live a pretty straight laced and somewhat accomplished life so far so this was pretty insulting to me.

I don’t exactly have a problem with night clubs having dress codes.  I wouldn’t mind if they required men to wear suits and ties and women wear dresses or dress slacks and blouses.  The problem that I have with night club dress codes is that they tend to be racist.

Night club dress codes tend to read as follows:

  • No jerseys
  • No plain white tees
  • No scarves or bandanas
  • No gym shoes

I even read about a dance club once having a policy that read:

  • No dreadlocks

All of these things are what some call urban culture and urban is synonymous with Black.  They are pretty much saying that Blacks should stay away unless you conform to the mainstream norm.  In their mind they are saying Blacks can come in as long as you act more White.

I have never heard of a night club with a policy that reads:

  • No tattoos
  • No body piercings
  • No unnaturally colored hair
  • No Doc Martins
  • No motorcycle related wear

I’ve never heard of a policy such as that and I couldn’t even imagine one like it being made or enforced.  No business establishment wants to insult potential White patrons like that.  The same establishments don’t extend the same respect to it’s potential Black clientele.  Night club dress codes are just an indirect way to discriminate against Blacks.

 

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