Social Night Injustices

like cattle

Here comes another well-deserved weekend. A time when the majority of us can find rest and relaxation in our lives. It may also be a time to go in, rage, go ham, turn up etc. This is when people of all races take to the streets in search of inebriation and cathartic music,  though social outting preferences vary from person to person. Some people like to dress up, some like to dress down. Some are looking for beer pong, some are looking for a place to chill. Some are looking for hookah, some are looking for twerk. A number of variables must be assessed in order to properly execute “a night out”. My friends like to try out new things and love it when a party environment happens naturally (organic ham, if you will). So when I have no plans and my friends hit me up asking about the move for the night, I often take to the streets of the internet. I go on Twitter and search terms like “poppin tonight”, “free before”, “road block” and “parking”. I go onto Yelp and Foursquare to determine the drink prices, parking situation, music selection and cover charge of any venue we plan on visiting for the first time.

Pictured: Me on a Friday night @ 7pm

My strategy has worked out well for me thus far. I can go into establishments properly prepared for any situation. The great thing about Yelp in particular is the fact that I can read extensive reviews of venues and filter them according to my needs (the future is now bro). One night, I was reading the reviews about a club a friend of mine invited me to. I ordered the comments by date and noticed that the racial composition of the reviews appeared to gradually change as I scrolled down. This comment from an Asian girl pretty much sums up this club’s progression.

Apparently Fridays used to be “Asian Night” at Reign, but now, the niggas done took over. Sorry to infringed on her “Asian paradise”, but clubs don’t stay blackless for long in Atlanta. She’s going to have to get used to it.

As I continued to read the reviews from 2011, I noticed that people were mentioning “no cover” and that they didn’t have to wait long to get inside. One guy said that he arrived at 1:30 in the morning and still got in for free (where they do that at?). Then I scrolled up to the recent reviews, where Friday nights were “Hip-Hop Night”. And everybody knows, hip-hop is just another word for Black. Now that Friday was Black night, the reviews painted quite a different picture. People said that the line was long as hell, parking was $20, the cover was $20 all night, and that the Friday night crowd was a homogenous collection of active melanocytes. Just look at this recent comment:

Why must we be charged exorbitant prices and treated like incoming detainees whenever a club “caters” to our crowd? Does Hennesy cost that much more than Jagermeister? Are Rick Ross’ singles more expensive than Flo Rida’s? I don’t think so. But for some reason, wherever you go, the Black folk get charged the most and have to go through the most bullshit to have a good time. Even the bar I talked about a several posts ago started charging more (from $3 to $7) when their patrons darkened. And they still refused to play rap!

The clubs charge us more because they know that we spend. One of the first things my high school Marketing teacher told me was that Black people spend the most (she was unorthodox).  According the research and consulting group, Nielsen, African-Americans’ buying power will reach $1.1 trillion by 2015.  We take 165.7 shopping trips per year and the national average is 153. However, they also found that Black people spent about $5 dollars less on each trip. I think that last finding may be due to the fact that some of us are trying to save for the damn club. I refuse to get used to my ingroup being charged more for entry and subjected to unfair rules in the club, including “no white t’s and no fitted caps”.

“So I’m good bro?”

In The State of the African American Consumer Report, Nielsing also found that the number of Black households earning $75,000 or higher grew by 64 percent between 2000 and 2009 and the percentage of African-Americans attending college or earning a degree increased to 44 percent for men and 53 percent for women. These increases in income and educational attainment may have you inclined to ball out at the club but remember, we have been presented with significant evidence suggesting that separate is still not equal when you’re out on the town.

This nonsense has got to stop. Just because an establishment is frequented by African Americans, does not mean that the cover charge has to be jacked up, or that the bouncers has to become douchebags, or that the line has to be held until it rivals those of Six Flags’. We’re stressed out as it is, we deserve the ability to party with ease like everybody else.

Be aware of these social night injustices. Realize that you have a choice. It may take a little bit of research, but I your oasis is out there somewhere. But, until you find it, make sure you get to the line by 10:30.

“I don’t know about those shoes homey”



4 Responses to “Social Night Injustices”
  1. Sam says:

    Hmmm… I’m not saying you’re wrong but just that you may not have considered all the factors here. I know a lot of people who go out and don’t spend a penny at the bar. If hip-hop night attracts more of these kind of people then the revenue for the club has to be made up for some where, and that’s why their is a cover (consider the fact that ALL 18 and up joints have a cover). Also if these people aren’t coming to buy drinks they’re probably coming for large crowds of single people. It might help give the impression that there are large crowds inside if you hold the line outside. Just saying, it might have disparate impact but the practices are probably economically rather than racially driven.

    • O.K. Kai says:

      I definitely understand the economic benefits of charging people more and holding the line for a club. If your conclusion is based on the assumption that these crowds are less inclined to spend money at the bar, I would have to disagree. I don’t know if you’ve listened to the lyrics of rap and RnB music that’s played in the club, but a substantial portion of it is comprised of alcohol references. It’s hard to talk dance and sing to lyrics about poppin bottles and buying the bar w/o a drink in your hand. The fact of the matter is that you’d be hard-pressed to find a club that caters the Black people that won’t do the things mentioned in the above post.

      • cross1581 says:

        I think if your point is to compare the average black person to what we hear and see in rap video’s you may be mistaken on the larger scale. I also think that if a couple people send a lot of money (buying bottles and such), but the majority pregame at home, buy one drink and then go dance, revenue is probably still lower than the Irish Pub where no one drops 500 for a table but everyone buy 5+ normal beverages because the only thing to do is drink. The difference to me seems to be drinking vs. dancing, are their clubs that cater to black people where dancing isn’t the main attraction? If there are, I bet they don’t hold the lines or charge a cover..We can agree to disagree but i assume club owners are first and foremost profit maximizers, but don’t deny the possibility that they could perhaps be subtly prejudicial, that’s just not what I would guess is driving their behavior. One last point to sort of prove that, you say “you’d be hard-pressed to find a club that caters the Black people that won’t do the things mentioned in the above post.” Is it your contention that all, or I guess most, club owners are racist?

      • O.K. Kai says:

        I have no idea if most club owners are racist. This social observation does not provide the data needed to support that claim. This is also certainly not a comparison between clubs and bars. Like I said in the post, even the bar that used to be heavily White and is STILL a bar is now charging twice as much for drinks. The post refers specifically to establishments that drastically changed their model to some old bullshit against mounting evidence that the “assumptions” you’ve listed hold less merit that previously imagined. As the closing statement says, “You have options”. It’s difficult to find an establishment that expects a substantial volume of Black patrons that will also not hold the line or frisk my balls or require dumb ass dress codes or inflate drink prices. Like I said, “It may take a little bit of research, but I your oasis is out there somewhere”.

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