Updates from Frederick Smith, former Detroiter living in Los Angeles, and author of Down For Whatever (July2005) and Right Side of the Wrong Bed (December 2007).
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
In Case You're Heading To SF Next Week...
This is Badlands. The club in San Francisco that's at the heart of what often is dismissed or ignored in LGBT life... racism. It exists, duh.
Well, of course it does. If it does in mainstream life, who's to say the LGBT community is any different. Oppressed people are capable of perpetuating oppression on other people. And classism, racism, sexism, and weightism in the LGBT community are just as prevalent as in mainstream life. Might just be ignored by the glittering disco balls and clouded over by drinks disguised as fun.
So many of you will be dancing in the streets next week outside this place if you're hitting San Francisco Pride. Enjoy the events safely.
In the Badlands case, black and Latino men, as well as women, were given difficult times getting in to the club time and time again. They also were never employed, according to investigations into the Badlands matter.
I won't lie. I've been to the bar. Never had a problem getting in. Might have gotten slow service a few times. Danced to lots of pop/Top 40 (i.e. white) music, some of which I enjoy. But also felt like wall paper. Just part of the background of the scene. No biggie. The black bar, Pendulum, is across the street... where I'd be an elaborate piece of art, not just wall paper :-) and where the sense of community among blacks and Latinos is a lot stronger.
Of course this is nothing new.
Blacks, Latinos, and Asians to some extent have always been ignored by their white counterparts in the LGBT scene, unless they're providing comic or sexual relief, or just glossing over their ethnicity to make them blend in with the majority crowds. Not always the case, but just head to your local bar or club and observe. You feel me?
Anyway, a couple writers have written about the Badlands issue: Rod and also Keith. Check out their sites.
Of course the idea of racism and club discrimination isn't limited to just the Badlands case. But it looks like, finally, a city is standing up and taking a stand against businesses that don't treat all potential customers fairly.