Bar criticized for dress code
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 01:05
With its free bus rides, cheap drinks and effervescent atmosphere The Frat House-Hattiesburg has become one of Hattiesburg’s most popular bars.
The Frat House is favorable to many, but not all appreciate its dress code. Its most talked about stipulations are no dreadlocks or hair braids. Hmmm. Who exactly are they trying to keep out?
“Mostly black people have dreads and braids. I mean, I’ve seen white people with them, but I’ve seen way more black people, so I assume that’s who they don’t want there,” senior business and accounting major Dominek Morgan said.
This observation isn’t a rare one. I myself was surprised when I heard of the dress code at The Frat House. I refused to believe that The Frat House would seriously not allow someone in his or her establishment based solely on that person’s hairstyle. The last time I checked, neither John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer nor Ted Bundy had braids or dreadlocks. However, they all would get into The Frat House based on dress code.
Sophomore criminal justice major Courtney Jones was also outraged when she heard about The Frat House’s dress code. She has been growing her dreads for 13 years.
“I feel left out. Like I don’t belong there,” Jones said.
According to data taken by State University, 27.7 percent of students at USM are black, so why leave some of us out depending on our hairstyle? Are dreads not neat enough? Are braids an indication of a criminal? Do braids and dreads suggest trouble?
I attempted to get answers to some of these questions by The Frat House but was rudely turned away.
I felt the way I’m sure some dress code violators probably feel - embarrassed. I wondered why people who fit The Frat House’s dress code would want to patron the bar.
“If I saw that I wouldn’t support them. I’d be upset. I’m trying to patronize them and give them money and they’re turning me away,” Jones said.
I hope someone at The Frat House reads this article and truly rethinks their dress code. Turning people away for sagging pants and long shirts is understandable, because that is indeed a part of one’s dress. Dreads and braids, however, are cultural hairstyles that originated in Africa. Although they are popular right now, many people wear them for spiritual and artistic reasons.
“I was in the second grade when my mom asked me if I wanted dreads. I could’ve cut them when I was older, but I like them. I’m different, it shows a natural side of me.”
I am not asking for a boycott of The Frat House. I’m asking for people to speak out. Stop just whispering about the bias at the Frat House. They need us; they need USM. We can change this.