The Airing of Grievances
Thursday, January 06, 2005
The More Things Change ...
The NAACP is calling for a federal investigation into the death of a black college student, Lavon Jones, following a scuffle with four white bouncers outside of a Bourbon Street nightclub on New Year's Eve. Apparently, things jumped off when Mr. Jones and his friends were denied entrance to the club because they allegedly did not meet the dress code requirements. And, unsurprisingly, folks are calling bullshit on the dress code business. From a defense attorney, Buddy Lemann, not affiliated with the case:
"Someone not admitted because of a dress code violation -- that, in my mind, is very, very suspicious, because what is the dress code in the French Quarter?" Lemann said. "I mean, there is no dress code."
As I said, unsurprising. I've personally experienced the heightened dress code for blacks routine many more times than I care to remember. That's troubling enough in of itself. However, the most disturbing thing here is that the very likely racist enforcement of a bullshit "policy" contributed to the death of a 25 year-old man. While there are apparently some questions concerning the precise cause of death, and the actions (or lack thereof) of police officers who were on the scene (but, for me, a simple viewing of the disturbing video pretty much puts those to rest), it's crystal clear that an entirely unacceptable amount of this bullshit happens to black males. Fucked. Up.

(Thanks, Mr. Kaplan)
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