- Frances Acquaah
The #DOILOOKDSTRKT saga literally went from zero to 100 Frances explains why the problem is bigger than one club
For those of you that missed it, last weekend, a group of young women headed for a night out at the DSTRKT LONDON club in the West End. A promoter from the club had approached one of the girls, Lin Mei, 29, on Instagram. He had obviously scouted her as eye candy, one of the preferred methods used by promoters to encourage men with deep pockets to attend and spend money at their clubs.
He must have been disappointed when the ladies arrived, because they were turned away despite previously confirming that he would be putting them on the guest list. The club was willing to let two of the ladies in but said two of the women were ‘too dark’ and ‘overweight.’ It wasn’t long before young people were sharing stories online, about being in similar situations. The general feeling coming from young black people, was that this humiliation was nothing new.
Here’s a tip, when you are getting dragged via social media do not ignore it. It will only make matters worse, especially if you are up against Black Twitter.
Until this morning, DSTRKT LONDON were yet to offer any comment on the allegations made against them. In my opinion, it may have been better if they did like Meek Mill and stayed silent. Their ‘official’ statement was nothing short of a joke, featuring a screen grab of one of the ladies in question, in their club and a Facebook status (with little to no context) where she speaks about being #teamlighty.
Firstly, not once in this matter has Mei stated that DSTRKT would not let her into club on the day in question. She has also never denied that she has been in DSTRKT. The claim was that they were willing to let two of the women in, but refused point blank to let the others join, because they were ‘too dark’ and ‘overweight.’
Desperation can make people do some crazy things. It is clear how unprofessional this whole organisation is, by the fact that they would use such personal assets in their defence.
Don’t be distracted from the situation at hand.
If you go on Shoobs, you’ll find an array of events that cater to those (like myself) that prefer a night out listening to ‘black music’ – for lack of a better word. When I say ‘black music,’ I am referring to genres such as Afrobeats, Bashment and Hip Hop. Unfortunately for me these events are few and far between.
When a club does decide to be more inclusive of the music that I enjoy listening to on a regular basis, I am likely to want to visit it. I see said club as catering to me, which is not my fault.
“For too long, young ethnic minorities have brushed their racist encounters under the carpet, avoiding the situation and shifting the problem elsewhere.”
“Just don’t go to that club.”
Quite frankly, the amount of commentary co-signing this as the way to resolve the issue is very alarming. This is a very simple idea with no long term effect because next weekend, it will be another black person sitting in an Uber home with dreams of the turn up that could’ve been.
For too long, young ethnic minorities have brushed their racist encounters under the carpet, avoiding the situation and shifting the problem elsewhere. The fact of the matter is DSTRKT is not the only racist club, they are just the club that got caught, and it’s a shame for them, that they are being used as the example of what is a much bigger issue.
If we all sat and made a list of the number of clubs that we had been turned away from, we would have nowhere to go. It’s not about wanting to go to these places, believe me, I would rather spend my hard earned cash elsewhere. However, I would like the same luxury as everyone else, to walk into any club I want, without feeling anxious as I get ready, wondering if they are going to let me in or not.
I can only think of one venue, (Lotus in Clapham Common) which plays ‘black music’ and allows young black people in, in their masses. They can hardly accommodate every minority in London, every weekend, can they?
Never underestimate the power of protesting. You never know what the outcome could be because this issue is once again in the limelight.
#DOILOOKDSTRKT isn’t solely about the girls that were turned away from the club last weekend. It’s definitely not about what they may have posted on their social media in the past. It is a case of institutionalised racism that dates back decades and young people standing up and saying, enough is enough.