There's a new Facebook group protesting the alleged new and suspicious-bordering-on-racist policies of M1, a club here in Prague. (Update: Group has been de-listed. Read my interview with M1's Management.)
Both parties in this emerging sorry tale are guilty of bad behavior.
First, the club owner. His club has often been accused in the past of being hostile to Blacks in Prague, specifically Black men. Aggressive bouncers who enforce crowd (read: “color”) control: “Can't let you in—we have enough Blacks guys in here tonight....” Rude bartenders reluctant to serve Blacks because of alleged low tips.
And now: A “BLACK CARD” to weed out Black people? Sigh.
Disclaimer: I have not been to the club in a long, long while, and I have not heard yet from anyone who has this card or who has been turned away for not having it.
Curbing the presence of drug dealers in a club is an understandable—even laudable—objective, but to then make the flimsy leap to ascribe drug dealing to a race of people? You can't be that naïve, stupid or offensive—or maybe all three.
If this nonsense is actually true, how exactly will this system work? Will we, Black people in Prague, have to apply for clearance to attend this man's club? Is there an office or website to fill out an application? What's the vetting system for who gets a card and who doesn't? Do we have to submit copies of our work permits or resumes? Ridiculous.
Will it ever stop? Appropriating elements of Black culture to line pockets and then treating Black people like garbage? (According to my club-hopping friends, the nights the club plays “Black music” or has “Black DJs” are the only nights really worth visiting.)
If this “Black Card” is an exercise in crisis management or an attempt to reinvent the club's image, the owner needs to rethink his approach....
And now, about the drug dealers in question (who are not all Black!)
It pains me to write/acknowledge that a sizable portion is Nigerian. I get pissed off thinking about the bad rap and innuendos that law-abiding, professional, hard-working, inventive Nigerians have to contend with worldwide because of this particular strain of lowlifes. Is there a major world city that these a-holes (and their accompanying prostitute girlfriends) have not yet infiltrated, where they have not sullied our legacy?
Maybe it's time that "Respectable" Nigerians launch a PR campaign.