You Are What You Wear

I haven’t blogged much lately (understatement, I know), but I was watching the news this evening and one of the reports really hit a nerve that I need to vent about. The Martin/Zimmerman verdict has been monopolizing much of the media discussion. A lot of that discussion has been about Black American males and the treatment they face – racial discrimination. One of the news reports today interviewed a White male in Oakland saying that Black males need to recognize that how they dress defines how they are treated: “a hoodie and ball cap will attract negative attention to them”.

A year ago, my wife and I went to a local Japanese restaurant for dinner. I was dressed in a sweatshirt, ball cap, jeans, and sneakers. My wife was dressed similarly, without the ball cap. We were refused service. I realize this an isolated incident. However, I used to experiment with customer serve and how I dress: collared shirt and nice shoes, I get immediate salesperson attention; ball cap and sweatshirt, I receive immediate attention from security sometimes resulting in being escorted out of malls/stores.

I am NOT agreeing with the White male I spoke about above. I should be able to dress however I want. I am giving examples (a lifetime of examples) that discrimination is alive in this country. At the time of the restaurant incident, I was the chair of a human relations commission.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 19th, 2013 at 6:34 pm and is filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “You Are What You Wear”

  1. Ronni Says:

    I’d never read this entry before. YOU WERE ACTUALLY REFUSED SERVICE? That’s something that’s actually never happened to me. I can’t imagine how I’d feel.

  2. with0ut1nk Says:

    Sorry, I totally missed this comment. I’ve been refused service verbally to my face, refused service by being completely ignored, asked to leave a mall, and routinely followed by security in stores (less now with a baby in tow). For the most part, it doesn’t phase me much or for very long. I know where I’m accepted and appreciated as a customer, and where I don’t want to spend my money. Side note: I have never been poorly treated at a high end store or restaurant.


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