Posts Tagged ‘racism’

You boys lost?

Sooooo. For all you post-racial America cheerleaders, more bad news. Your team appears to be losing. Badly. Like Redskins getting pounded by Mike Vick badly. So apparently, after the annual Harvard-Yale game, ground zero for the elite (black, white, Asian, and other) of this country and the world, a group of black students and alums from Harvard threw a little afterparty at a new club called Cure in Boston. Now, I attended one of these Harvard Yale afterparties in ’08 when I was in grad school (At neither one of these prestigious institutions, mind you) and it was a fine time. Great crowd, lots of fun, and they were pouring Patron doubles for $12. Probably the best time I’d had a club setting in Boston. Here’s the article from Jezebel

A party for black Harvard and Yale alums at a Boston club this weekend was shut down just after 11pm. Why? The club owner was concerned that a long line of black people outside would make the club look bad.

A group of recent graduates had sold tickets in advance for a party at a new Boston club, Cure, to follow Saturday’s Harvard-Yale game. By 10:30pm, though, club management freaked out and claimed it had seen “local gang bangers” around, despite the strict guest-list policy implemented by organizers. At first they demanded that guests show student ID — not exactly practical given the fact that it was a party aimed at alums — and then eventually shut down the entire club.

“We were perceived as a threat because of our skin color,” wrote one organizer, Michael Beal, in the email below. “I am further dismayed that after having spent the last few hours with the club owner, I do not believe him to be a racist; which only adds to my consternation around what this event says about race relations in our country.”

It echoed a firestorm three years ago, on the other side of the Charles River. In May 2007, called by other students, Harvard University Police asked students at a gathering of black Harvard student organizations on a campus green to show ID. That sparked an independent review and a police restructuring.

OK. Fair enough. Not too different from the story last year of the Chicago club that wouldn’t let the one black fella in because his “jeans were too baggy” and in an epic experiment in double standards, switched pants with a white student, who was let right on in. You and I have been out on the town before. We know this happens all the time.
But it’s not a news story when this happens usually. What makes this particular incident newsworthy is the addition of the phrase “Harvad and Yale” students. If this was “group of UMCP black students” or “group of employed working class black folk” denied entry, no one would bat an eyelid. The reason this story has legs is not just because of the Ivy League slant, but to some degree what it says about elitism, race relations, and class structures in America and Black America.
Here’s why. The Ivy halo is what makes this outrageous because it implies that these were “good” blacks denied admission because of their race. Having Harvard or Yale next to your name is supposed to suggest that you’re unassailable, a different kind of black person from the hoi polloi starting fights, cursing loudly, and assailing white women. Let’s be honest, People are mad because it takes away the justification of racism.
But if they weren’t the “black elite”, in a lot of people’s minds, the justification would be there. Take out the Harvard and Yale and just describe them as a group of black clubgoers and the mental image shifts from Carlton Banks
To something more along the lines of these gentlemen:

I'm on the guestlist. T-Killa plus four

Now, let’s be honest. Do you really want “these gentlemen” at your club? The liberal in you will probably come up with some justification that these fellas are no ore prone to violence, antisocial behavior, or street harassment than any other race of men. But the conservative in you sees these guys in the line, and you decide to turn in early tonight.
Now in truth, the only connecting thread between the above pictures is race. That’s about it. These people have probably almost nothing else in common. But this is where it gets difficult. White people tend to have a very clear level of social stratification. I rarely see townies from South Boston (a violent breed of goon if ever one existed) kicking it on Newbury and mixing with the Harvard crowd. It’s just not done. With us, there’s a bit more social mixing between the classes. I thought this was an extremely interesting comment from the Jezebel article to give the situation a bit more context, agree or disagree:
Reading this article, I can understand why people are so upset and are labeling the club management as racist. However, I think that some background information is essential here.  

In its previous incarnation, Cure Lounge was known as ‘Aria’. Aria was a hugely popular venue for black crowds, among them black gang members. There was frequent gang-related violence in the club, and ultimately a gang-related shooting forced the closure of Aria.

Not all black people are violent gang members, just as not all Muslims are suicide bombers and not all Jews are money hungry. Unfortunately we live in a world where there are always a few bad eggs, and the bad eggs can spoil things for a group as a whole.

In this case, the club owners have had a very bad experience with a small group of people who belong to a particular minority, and that bad experience led to the closure of the club and a loss of revenue for several years. I don’t think that shutting down this event was the right thing to do, but I can understand why they would be so cautious about wanting to convey the right image with the re-opening of their club.

Having lived in Boston for a number of years and attended the clubs these people own, I can attest to the fact that the owners are NOT racist. In fact, it’s the exact opposite: the owners and the staff at these clubs are made up primarily of minorities – there are Jews and Muslims on their staff; people from Israel, people from the Middle East, and yes: black people. Even Michael admits in his letter that he does not believe the owners are racist.

I think the real issue here is one that has always existed and is incredibly difficult to deal with: there is no good way to discern whether an individual is a security threat or not. There was a legitimate fear (based in experience) that black gang members may have seen a large number of black people outside the club as an invitation to return there themselves; and as tight as Michael’s guest list may have been, people do find ways to crash parties.

As Michael mentioned in his letter, better communication with club management would likely have prevented this issue; however the club will also have to think carefully about how they deal with security in the future, and how they prevent gang members from getting in to their establishment without being perceived as racist. It’s a complex problem and I would hate to be in their shoes, but I do not believe for a moment that this was racially motivated.

If anybody has any constructive criticism or suggestions as to how to keep gang members from entering clubs, please post them – I’m not sure how I would go about solving a problem like that.

Read more:

I wrote a piece a while back about Class warfare. Two pieces actually. Our Kind of people vs. You all
The first is probably more germane to the topic of hand as I explained why uppity blacks hate it when non-uppity blacks crash their wine and cheese parties. Kind of like the email that the Harvard Yale promoter sent out:

Dear friends,

On behalf of Brandon, Kwame, myself and Triumph as an organization I want to profusely apologize for the ordeal you were put through tonight with the club shutting the party down at 11:15PM. Please know that we are working with event-brite to refund every person who purchased a ticket for tonight’s event as soon as possible. Asides from an apology I believe it is important to be completely transparent about what occurred tonight and what we are doing about it. I apologize for the verbose nature of the email, and hope that you will take the time to read it in its entirety.

What Happened?

At approximately 10:30PM club management called the owner to say that they saw individuals on line whom they recognized as “local gang bangers” (their words not mine). In response to this, the club owner directed the bouncers to only let individuals with a Harvard or Yale ID in to the club. At this point Kwame and I argued that no alumnus would have his or her expired college ID with them and reiterated that the reason we did the party on a pre-sold basis with strict admittance based solely on the guest list was to guarantee that the only attendees were Harvard and Yale alumni, grad students and their close friends and to ensure that no “bad seeds” could contaminate our party. However, given that this was the club’s opening weekend, the owner was particularly sensitive to anything going wrong.

At approximately 10:45, after we won the argument concerning the amazing quality of our crowd and the strictness of our guest list, management began letting people in but then became worried that as our crowd waited in line it could attract the attention of “local gang bangers” passing by who would try to gain entrance to our party. Furthermore, they feared that if these individuals were turned away for not being on the guest list they could hypothetically cause problems with the bouncers outside of the club and draw negative attention to the establishment. Despite the fact that our Friday night party went off without a hitch and had no problems when we turned people away from the door for not being on our list, management decided to shut the party down as to avoid the hypothetical chance of attracting the “wrong crowd” (again their words not mine). In spite of our attempts to reason with them, we were left in a position where despite agreeing with our logic, the decision had been made and we were left powerless

Please be assured that we are working with event-brite to refund every person who purchased a ticket for tonight’s event as soon as possible. To those who gained entrance and wasted their money on cabs and drinks at the bar I am extremely sorry. As anyone who knows us understands, the only reason we created Triumph was to foster an environment where educated individuals (black and non-black) can congregate knowing that they are amongst like-minded persons. As a Harvard Business School student I am annoyed by the financial loss we will record as a result of the club’s rash decision. As a Harvard college alum I am angry that my college roommate flew in from Los Angeles and my teammate from San Francisco and were denied the opportunity to reconnect with old friends on our homecoming weekend. However, as a black man, these emotions are trumped by an arduous feeling of sadness that regardless of our crowd representing the pinnacle of academic achievement as Harvard and Yale College alumni, Law, Medical, Business and PhD students, we were perceived as a threat because of our skin color. I am further dismayed that after having spent the last few hours with the club owner, I do not believe him to be a racist; which only adds to my consternation around what this event says about race relations in our country.

Kwame and I thought that we had taken every precaution to ensure that this night would go on without incident but have learned a valuable lesson from this. We usually go through painstaking detail to be explicit and transparent about our crowd as to have no surprises the day of the event. We did not do that in this case as we thought Harvard and Yale alumni and Graduate students spoke for its self. We also did not negotiate directly with the owner but rather used a booking agent to secure this beautiful club before it opened to the public. These are lessons learned and we will never make these mistakes again if we ever do another event.

Over the next days and weeks we will work with the club’s management and Harvard student groups to ensure that this does not happen to others in the future. Again, I am sorry for and embarrassed by what happened tonight. We will keep you posted as things progress and appreciate the support you have shown us over the last five years of Triumph. We have sent this email to all those who purchased tickets via event-brite but realize we are missing many email addresses of those affected by tonight. If you know of others who should receive this email please forward it to them. If there is anything I can do to help in the future please feel free to reach out to me or Kwame directly.


Michael Beal (Harvard ’06, HBS ’12), Kwame Owusu-Kesse (Harvard ’06, HBS ’12, HKS ’12) and Brandon Terry (Harvard ’05, Oxford ’07, Yale PhD ’12)

Now, I ain’t no big city lawyer, but there seems to be a great deal of subtext in this email that because the party consisted of Harvard and Yale alums, there was an understanding that the crowd would be suitable enough for white people to forgive their blackness. The phrase “contaminate our party”  I think speaks volumes to the idea that the promoters thought of themselves as “the good blacks” and everyone else as “those other n****s.” And the good blacks, their status being evident through their educational credentials, should not have to suffer the stereotypes or racism those other n****s have to deal with. Because they’ve earned their way out of it. While non-ivy blacks should be viewed skeptically and watched and monitored, a certain class of elite blacks shouldn’t.

Am I wrong here, or was that in fact the tone of the email. Discuss.

May or may not be Dr. Jones

This Letter to the Editor, written by Doctor Jones about health care in America, is from the August 29th edition of Jackson, Mississippi’s newspaper, the Clarion Ledger.

(Caveat: There’s some discussion as to whether the Doctor pictured is in fact the same doctor that wrote the op ed)

Dear Sirs:

During my last night’s shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with a shiny new gold tooth, multiple elaborate tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B; tune for a ring tone.

Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid.

She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer. And our President expects me to pay for this woman’s health care?

Our nation’s health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture – a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.

A culture that thinks I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me.

As you might expect, this letter has gone viral and become something of a lightning rod for the opinions of people on both sides of the political (and frankly, racial) spectrum.

Now, one of the first assumptions everyone makes of course, is that this patient is black and that there’s a racial undertone to this whole thing. I mean, come on, expensive tennis shoes, multiple tats, R&B ringtone, gold teeth. All you’d need would be multiple strangely named children along to complete the Grand Slam of Stereotypes.

Do I think there’s a racial undertone to this? Yes. I know it’s unpopular in this country to point out things that MAY represent racial stereotyping, discrimination, etc. Effectively, you have to show up burning a cross with a T-Shirt that says “I hate Darkies” before someone will try and form an alternate explanation about how “it’s not about race, it’s about (insert big government, personal responsibility, socialism, values,etc…). In my PERSONAL OPINION, as I don’t know this guy and haven’t learned to read minds yet like more advanced Jedi, I believe the choice of descriptors was made in order to ensure that the reader developed a mental image of the person as black.

We’re supposed to think of them:


Not them:

Not ghetto

What strikes me as most interesting about the discussion is the diverse opinions of Black People themselves. Because in truth, this is a conversation, we often have among ourselves. If this was a Black doctor, this would be a different conversation. Many more of us would nod our heads, and say, yup, we gotta do better. Others would argue that this hypothetical black doctor was “airing our dirty laundry” and furthering negative stereotypes.

But because he’s white, the natural tendency is to circle the wagons. And truthfully, there’s a lot wrong with this op-ed. To suggest that health care costs in America are out of control simply because someone buys expensive tennis shoes isn’t something I think most reputable Doctors or health care professionals would ascribe to. The smoking, certainly you have a point there. But this really wasn’t about that.

What it was about was a veiled attack at a “culture.” The doctor never mentioned what the woman’s ailment was, or if it had anything to do with her smoking. We don’t know if she was in there for asthma or emphysema or because she had had skinned her knee.

What we know is that the doctor took issue with her having material things, which judging bu her lack of health insurance, suggested that she couldn’t really afford them and that her priorities were out of order. That she was irresponsible, and because of that irresponsibility, partly to blame for many of the other ills in this country.

And I frequently take issue with this. I see people buying bottles in clubs who can’t afford to live by themselves. People who are in hock to their ears in credit card and student loan debt but have Gucci purses the size of a tent. And let’s face it, they kind of look like me. It’s very easy to attack this kind of blanket materialism, but as one commenter said, people spend money on things that they feel will get them results.

She live wit her muh-va

None of us individually create a a mainstream culture. We live in it, and we choose the depths to which we’ll participate, opt out, or find another cultural group to deal with. And we live in a culture that often has some fairly perverse incentives for behavior which may or not be functional.

A selection of comments I read on Facebook:

JB: I agree…the racist language/viewpoint is much more than undertones in this letter! I do get frustrated when people spend endlessly on luxuries without greater insight into how that affects the entire community….but that spans more than mere “gold teeth” and “R & B” ringtones! There are plenty of other financial irresponsible folks out there—hello, housing/banking crisis!

CB: I agree that his letter is racist, but I have to kind of agree with him on some points. I used to work at Chicago’s section 8 office and I saw this every day. It does eat away at your spirit. Add the fact that I often see a young mother pu…rchase Cheetos for HER CHILD with an EBT card when I’m at Walgreen’s or similar and you’re pouring gas all over the fire. Do I mind that my tax dollars are going towards helping the less fortunate get food? No. Am I embittered about paying for this (almost always) teenage single mom pass on bad dietary habits to her child? Hell yes. I feel that the EBT cards should be coded so that you can’t use them to buy junk.

A better, less elitist letter would examine the reasons we need to reinstate health classes in American schools so that kids learn the value of good nutrition and exercise so that they don’t repeat their parents’ mistakes and stay out of that MD’s emergency room.

DH: I know, his post makes us doctors look bad! Being able to afford a gold tooth and some fashion accessories does not mean that that person can afford a monthly health insurance payment. Our society does not allow people to easily cross the line from total poverty (welfare/medicaid) to a self-sufficient life-style. All of a sudden all benefits are gone and payments make it impossible to meet all the needs.

TW: I can’t front, I kinda agree with dude. I see countless kids in my classroom decked out to the nines, but who are receiving all types of aid. #noshade but umm….really?

What’s your take? Reckless racism, or a timely commentary on a pressing issue?

You don’t have to listen to these people to know they’re worthless – all you have to do is look at them.


You cannot tell anything about a person from his skin color, despite what your mother may have told you.

before we all castrate these fellas, remember the initial outcry against the Duke Lacrosse team…best to hear the full story first.

What part of that story wasn’t full enough for you?

you’d think in the 21st century lynch mobs would cease to exist. quite unfortunate so many people are easily swayed by sensationalism and emotions rather than hard evidence.

“best to hear the full story first”

“What part of that story wasn’t full enough for you?”

The part where it didn’t happen

We’re not talking about a stripper with a tenuous grasp on reality. I doubt an 18 year old invited 5 guys over to a dorm bathroom and brought her own rope.
im telling you guys, it happens.
i know plenty of 18 yr olds who have the motto “the more, the merrier.”

no remorse in their eyes, none at all.
all Rapists all look like that. and, that sicko kidnapper of that 11 year old girl, too.
though one does look like the hispanic Jon Cryer.

They should be punished to the fullest extent and pay for the rest of their lives for what they did!

They should be made an example of so that no one else can get any ideas and think that they can get away with something like this!!!

To all people who think they can get away with doing something like this, think again…
You will lose everything and the law will punish you for the rest of your life.

Second of all, be warned : racist comment ahead “anyone notice that all these men are black?” coincidence? I think not!
It is just a fact: Different hormonal levels in certain populations and different sick mentalities about sex in the black culture: disrespectful, treated like an animal act with no love or compassion, knocking up woman left and right and letting the government pay for it..

No one will accept this “race card” anymore
You will be held accountable for your actions and
you must change this horrible sex culture
Show respect to one another, first and foremost!!!
When you knock someone up you must stay with the mother and provide for your child and not run off like a sick crazed lunatic!!

This rape, I believe is a direct extension of the sick black sex culture that exists today
This has GOT TO CHANGE guys..
people have been saying this about you guys for YEARS and you know its true
SO OWN UP TO IT and your people will be all the better for it
and society wont suffer anymore from this “jungle-lie sex ” behavior
Cant digest the words Ive used , TOUGH!
The truth is hard to handle!!!

I notice some racial overtones in your comment. How can that be? LMAO

“Brothers need to pull their pants up.” OBAMA

Nice try jackhole but none of these men are black. I know 3 of them. I went to highschool with them. They are ALL hispanics.


09/16/2009 12:07 PM

How does anyone question why racism exists, when crimes like this happen almost everyday ?

Mr. Reality

09/16/2009 12:04 PM

Somehow, someway a white man MUST get blamed for this. It is not enough to give these animals free education. It is not enough to feed them, clothe them and to pay for their bills. It is not enough that while they have children and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. The white man pays for every offspring that they make. The white man caused them to destroy their neighborhoods, make them inhabitable and causes all the crime. When will it finally be enough????? Wake up America.


  • 09/15/2009 10:55 AMHmm… look at the names of the suspects are any of these criminals white? You can take the animal out of the jungle but you can never take the jungle out of the animal. Where’s the DEATH PENALTY?

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09/15/2009 9:55 AM

I know that this is going to sound racist, but judging by the last names…….mmmmmm…..I don’t think it was consensual………guilty!

Hope all this was worth it, miss. I’m sure you’re real proud of yourself right now.