Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Racist Bowling and Other Nonsense

There's an article in the Wash Post today about Lucky Strike Lanes near the MCI Center. Its draw is apparently its poshness and upscale atmosphere for those who like a higher-end bowling experience, if you can believe such a thing exists.

To that end, LS Lanes has a dress code at the door: "No excessively baggy clothing. No Sweats or Athletic Wear. No Skull Caps of Any Kind. No Clothing With Offensive Writing. No Exposed Intimate Apparel. No Sports Jerseys. No Excessively Long Sweaters or Jackets. No Chains..."

Of course, the Washington Post is now asking, "Do the 13 banned categories on LS's list add up to one conclusion: blacks not welcome?"


They wrote this story because one woman and her 12 friends couldn't get in, which has convinced her that "no colored people" are allowed. The article does sneak in the fact that, "in fact, plenty of black customers go to LS and seem to have a great time. The crowd is racially mixed and the atmosphere is jovial."

So why the race discussion at all? Why even write the damn article? If you are a journo who gets a call about a racist bowling alley, you go there and see a racially mixed crowd DRESSED APPROPRIATELY according the the establishment's request, what do you do next? A) Call the woman back and say, "sweetie, next time don't wear sweat pants" or B) Write an article about potential racism at the very bowling alley you just attended and saw was not racist? Never mind that you concluded there was no racism; you write the article anyway.

All the guy could come up with was that the dress code is poorly worded to sound exclusionary. I would say that a better angle would have been to explore why, even in 2006, it is not considered self-hatred to assume that if a business is keeping out inappropriate dressers, that they must be talking about African-Americans. I know plenty of white frat boys who walk around in sweats, plenty of girlie-girl hoochies who walk around with exposed intimate apparel, plenty of Eminem wanna-bes who wear excessively oversized clothing. I also know plenty of African-Americans who do not own a single item of clothing on the banned list, or who would not consider wearing them on a Friday night out like many other people of many other races and ethnicities. Why make this about race? If I showed up at the door in sweats and got in, well then they'd have a story. But they don't. Maybe they have a story about classism, I don't know. But mostly I think it's a classic case of "No shirt, no shoes, no service." Seems pretty straightforward to me.

1 comment:

RedSoxNationBaby said...

People are morons. Anything to avoid personal responsibility