Monday, September 18, 2006

Discrimination in society.

There is this bar/ lounge here in Santo Domingo where the movers and shakers of society go hang out. Like many bars around the world, they have an admission policy and as such they reserve the right to let in whoever they want. This is a small society, so it's easy to tell who is who and is what someone's associations and individual net worth is.

This past weekend some people were turned away from the door for whatever reason and those who were rejected didn't handle it well and decided to start throwing rocks and bottles at the establishment. In the scuffle, a girl-one of those turned away-was accidentally shot and killed by one of the security guards.

A girl died. It was very unfortunate. And immediately began the conspiracy theories. Immediately their admission policies began being questioned by the general public and public opinion (based exclusively on the non goers) stressed the fact that they are racist and elitist.

I've thought about this long and hard and even spoke to my friends about it. Yes, we have all gone and not one of us has ever been turned away from the place so we know who is inside and what goes on there. Frankly, it is an atomosphere for a certain type of person to feel at ease surrounded by people they know and trust. Almost like a private club. Personally, I don't like the place at all.

Those who don't belong are not welcome. Everywhere in the world clubs reserve the right to let in whoever they choose, I dont' see why this place should have to be any different. If a business wants a certain clientele, they have to strive to keep them comfortable so you do what you have to do. Hey, it's not personal.

I am not deffending elitism or seggregation but I think that everyone has their place in society. I don't expect to be allowed into the Harvard Club for example! And I have gone to certain places here and I have been discriminated against (though not flat out rejected) because I carry myself differently. There are these alternative bars where those who consider themselves "too cool for humanity" hang out and in those places people like me are considered oddities and they treat us as such.

Why would a martinidrinker go to a place where they only sell beer and viceversa?

People discriminate against each other both ways. It's not just places, it's PEOPLE! For example, I have a very good friend here who reads this post (I LOVE YOU STILL don't be offended!) who knows that I like to go eat at these 2 specific high profile places. I don't go there because they are those places especifically but because they accomodate to my dietary needs, but that's beside the point. Anyway, this friend went to a place I would NEVER go to (mostly because I don't eat out on the street, but also because as a chick I understand that those places are unsafe) and had an unfortunate experience of a violent nature there. When I gave her my 2 cents, she said "well Ana, not everyone is like you and can eat at Pranzo and Marocha". I was concerned about her safety and she came at me with a classist remark.

I have another friend who has social gatherings where she invites only people she feels will help her create the ambience she is looking for. Sometimes she excludes some of her close friends. You can't get mad at her because she is exercising her right to invite to whoever she chooses, just like you can't mad at a private establishment for exercising its right to turn away someone if they don't feel that this person would blend in properly.

A girl died and it's very unfortunate. It shouldn't have come to that. But by the same token an establishment is obligated to look out for the physical and mental well being of the people already in there and if they got rejected, they should have sucked it up and dealt with it like normal people. Now a girl is dead and people are pointing fingers and placing blame. Let's think of how many more people would be dead if there was an open door policy. Let's think of how even though as people we are the same, the societies that we ourselves have built make us different.

For one second we should just think.


Grant said...

How did the guard "accidentally" shoot her? Was he cleaning his gun at the time it went off?

Gabbie said...

Grant, what the info shows is that after her friends were denied entrance (she was let inside, but not her friends), one of the guys with them started to throw rocks and stuff at the establishment, even braking one of the glasses at the entrance. So the guard fired 4 shots, one of them hitting the girl.

I couldn't post anything in Bracuta's blog, but that's one of the things I've always said about Praia... I'm not rich, and I'm def. not in the crowd, yet I've never been rebotada, and I've enjoyed very much my time there, especially not having to deal with guys coming up at me with rude "piropos"... And same as bracuta, I have many friends who are not at all "white boys" that go there every weekend and have never been refused entrance.

NRDA... that says it all!

Libélula said...

I love you too, baby!!! Jajajjajajajaajjajaajaja

Dominican-Canadian said...

It was interesting reading your blog as well. I was trying to post this comment @ barracuta's but was unable to do so. I hope she gets to read this too.

I was wondering how different the dynamic of this dscussion would be if people were being rejected from going into the club for being overweight as it so frequently happens here in Canada. I weigh just a little under 100 punds (98 to be excat) and have seen many people being "rebotados" from the "Praias" and "Lofts" of Toronto (Ultra Lounge, This is London, Brant House to name a few) based solely on their weight whether they wear Ferragamo, Hugo Boss or Prada, so I guess it's a different standard of "filtering" here.
Being fortunate enough to see all sides of the coin I would just like to know how people would react in the Dominican if instead of how much money there is in your pocket, or your skin colour, you were judged by what how much you weigh like they do here in Canada... I guess that arroz habichuela y carne con grasita would be a thing of the past... The point that I'm trying to make is that we as human beings have a right to associate with whoever we want (specially in a PRIVATE setting) as long as human dignity is respected, I do not have a problem with that, but when a life is lost we should seriuosly reconsider our social values. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

i have been reading your blogs, and you are a gifted writer but you come across as really stuck up, especially after reading this one. i work as a server in a restaurant and i think that if you were my customer you would be mean and role your eyes at me a lot and tip 10%. your a good writer at least.

annush said...

well, it's unfortunate that you should think that...I am actually buddies with most of the servers of of all the places I go. This wasn't always the case though, I'll give you that. I was a terrible customer. But I've grown out of it.
As for the tipping thing, service has to be pretty horrible for me to only leave 10%...but it's happened that i was so impressed by the service somewhere that i've left 50%.
Don't judge read what I write but that doesn't mean you are getting the whole picture ;)

Anonymous said...

Sorry Annush,
I have to agree with the person that wrote you sound conceded.

Love the writing though.

Bracuta said...

"Conceeded"? Did you "conceed" anything?
Hmmmm... might they be saying you sound "conceited"?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the correction.
She sounds egoistic, bigheaded,vainglorious,vain.

But, hey to each is own.

Ils ont de de tout dans ce monde
Il m'enchante ton blog aussi

annush said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
annush said...

damn straight ils ont de tout dans ce monde!

but if you are still reading, you can't think i'm all that horrible ;)