Racism As The Last Resort

Two years ago Sorry4TheBlog hosted a pool party at The Last Resort in Smithfield, Rhode Island. The event was wildly successful, our guests had a great time, and the owner and staff seemed happy with the turnout. This year we were adamant about doing it again. Potentially having something even greater, and more profitable for The Last Resort and us. We reached out to Dave, the owner of The Last Resort, several times with little effort on his part to return our calls. I personally called so often the bartender began to notice. After weeks of no response, he finally scheduled a meeting with us at 10:00 pm on a Saturday. During the meeting, we told him exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to keep things “business as usual,” but have one of our DJs provide music and charge party comers at the door.  We were willing to be flexible with dates because of how popular the place is during this season. He talked for a while, mentioning that many dates had already been filled, that we would probably have to stick with his DJ, and even commented on how he has a very “diverse” group of regulars, but there seemed to be something he wasn’t expressing. There was something he wanted to say, but he was avoiding. Eventually, he said, “I just don’t want three hundred black people here, you know?” To which I responded, “Yeah, two hundred isn’t that bad.” I said it without even thinking. Afterwards, he said he would probably be able to work something out and get us a date. I left him my card. I haven’t heard from him since.

I don’t think I have to express how racist his comment was, but I will. The problem is, white people have created this reality for themselves where they only have to deal with black people on their terms. They have crafted a world where they never have to see, talk, or deal with us unless they want to. If we ever “invade” their space, or do something outside of what they’re comfortable with, it’s a problem. The people of Smithfield don’t have to be bothered with black people unless they come to Providence. I don’t know who is the racist, him or his customers, but someone there is uncomfortable with the idea of a bunch of black people in the same vicinity. Probably because we’d look like a gang, or rioters, or Nat Turner’s Rebellion, either way, it’s bad for business.

Here we have the quintessential example of racism. This is where most people get racism wrong. His comment wouldn’t be problematic if he didn’t own a business that’s open to the general public, in theory. What makes this racist is his power in the situation. His ignorance, stereotyping all black people as violent and uncontrollable, is sad, laughable, unsurprising, and racist as fuck.  Keeping us from renting his facility based on his preconceived notions of black people is racism through and through.  He could have told us no a month ago and things would have been fine, but instead he chose to keep us uninformed. Not only is he racist, he is one of the most unprofessional business owners I’ve ever met.

Now he has allowed some non-white people to use his space this summer, but that must be because they attract a less violent crowd than we would. Obviously. I’m not calling for a boycott of their place, but I just want to share my experience and indignation. Fuck Dave. Fuck The Last Resort.