Now, more than ever the lack of diversity, discrimination and race are at the forefront of conversations taking part all over the UK & further. With the visibility of discrimination escalating at the height of social media, we’re on the brink of change or at least are taking the right steps to bring equality to a longstanding issue of diversity in the UK.
Just one of the longstanding and deeply rooted issues within the lack of diversity across a multitude of businesses, industries and even including door policy at nightclubs, is often that culture is treated as a separate entity from it’s people. Often white men in positions of power, think that it is okay to pick parts of the culture out that suit them and appropriate them in order to enable them to benefit both financially and from a marketing perspective. Too often the parts that suit them are everything but the people, essentially ‘pimping’ out cultural aspects in order to market their own businesses.
Appropriation of culture is never more evident than in the case of DSTRKT, a Mayfair Club in London’s West End, racist and sexist door policy. If you’ve ever been out to nightclubs in the West end of London, you are probably not oblivious to the term ‘We’ve reached our ethnic quota’ or the refusal of entry for no evident reason other than your skin colour. The irony is, that when these nightclubs exclude black and dark skin people, they are saying no to the very people who’s cultural aspects such as the music are being played all night inside, just without the people.
These clubs then go on the defensive and tired out cover up of inviting black celebrities, such as Karrueche (who’s presence was not appreciated by Racist Club Protestors ) or Lewis Hamilton and playing the biggest black Hip Hop artists across the globe. Too often these ‘Culture Vultures’ will choose one ‘spokesman/woman’ for black people and use the token ‘see we do like black people’ by making an example out of one.
Reactions on Twitter to DSTRKT’s policy ranged from outrage to pure apathy from what is now culturally known as ‘black twitter’. Black twitter can be strong, we’ve seen the likes of #BlackLivesMatter spawn from the outrage and premature death of unarmed teenager Mike Brown, shot by a police officer in Missouri last year, to conversations becoming more open about race with programmes such as Reggie Yate’s ‘Race Riots USA’. However one thing sadly seen is the amount of ethnic minority people who put incidents like DSTRKT’s door policy down to living in the ‘real world’ and people having to ‘deal with it’. People have put up with this for so long, to them, this is the way it is. However there is a large majority, including public figures who are willing to take a stand against the status quo and use their voices to speak out against these outdated policies.
We are far past the days of ‘No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish’ so to not speak out against the pimping of black culture and the exclusion of black people in 2015 would be futile. As I said before “No issue is too small to stand up against, especially if it enforces inequality”.
As people have often found out, not all publicity is good publicity and nobody shouts louder than a woman scorned. It’s outrageous that in 2015 women and more often than not, darker skinned women are subject to being at the ‘bottom of the chain’ and are subject to a screening before any entering anywhere. Being told that you’re “too dark” or “too fat” or to “wear less” is not only insulting but a stark and bare faced reality of what women are dealing with in this day and age, STILL.
Social media right now is our loudest and strongest voice, continuing these conversations and speaking out against these types of organisations brings awareness but also forces people of all backgrounds to face the reality of issues of the lack of diversity that people face every day. By speaking out, we can create change.