When I worked in bars, many of them had dress codes that explicitly barred “colors” and other gang-wear from the bars.
This, by the way referred equally as much (sometimes moreso) to motorcycle club colors as to urban “gang” colors.
Here’s the thing; when you work in bars for a while, you realize that trouble comes in all shapes and colors and even genders – but there are some traits across colors, genders and social classes that let you know that trouble might be likely. Drunk guys in Packer jerseys; drunk rednecks in t-shirts and worn-out jeans; drunk guys in Marine greens (yep, I had that once); drunk bikers in their club colors; drunk urban youth in gang colors.
It wasn’t a “race” thing; it was a “trouble” thing.
The local (and to some extent national media) has been all a-swirl over the claim by Michelle Horovitz, leader and likely sole member of “Menu for Equity” or “Forks Against Racism” or some other such “group”, that h Bar Louie’s dress code is “overtly racist”:
A Minneapolis woman says a sign she found outside Bar Louie in Uptown was shocking, and she’s not shy about speaking out on the controversial dress code that has many saying they’ll no longer spend money there.
“It’s the new Jim Crow being enforced in a colorblind way,” Michelle Horovitz told Fox 9 News.
If it’s color-blind, Ms. Horovitz, then how is it “Jim Crow?”
“What is ‘excessively baggy?'” Horovitz asked. “Who’s going to judge that? Are you going to have Grandma B sitting by the door saying, ‘That’s too baggy’?”
Grandma B? That seems a little ageist of Ms. Horovitz, who looks – if I may profile – like an upper-middle-class white humanities graduate who’s trying to score a grant.
Horovitz considers the dress code to be both appalling and racist.
“You might as well say, ‘No black folks allowed,'” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”
She’s not the only one who is disgusted by the dress code either. Sean Tierney told Fox 9 News he believes it’s “totally racial profiling,” and Imani Vincent said the real message is clear.
Mr. Tierney is at least onto something. It’s definitely profiling. Not racial – social.
Bar Louie doesn’t want people coming in dressed like thugs and gang-bangers. Being in uptown Minneapolis (and Minnetonka), I’m gonna take a wild guess that they don’t get a lot of drunk bikers, drunk rednecks or drunk Packers fans; what trouble do you suppose they’ve had?
Let’s be honest; everybody profiles.
Let’s try a thought experiment: let’s take Michelle Horovitz – suburban upper-middle-class humanities or social “science” major (there, I’m profiling again) and check her reactions around, say, a group of drunk white guys with ZZ Top Beards and biker leathers, and blue-collar rednecks in white t-shirts and grubby jeans hanging around the pool tables?
Think she’s going to “discriminate” deep in her heart of hearts? Use her “profile” of drunk bikers and rednecks to guide her actions?
Based on clothing and visual cues?
Think Michelle Horovitz might be a “we-ist”, feeling more comfortable around people like her?
Place your bets.
(But when you’re placing your bets, I’ve got “she’s a publicity hound shooting for a grant from some progressive organization” taken already).