skin colour or fashion?

April 24th, 2013

So what to make of this? I see posts like this on Weibo reporting that a bar in Hamilton charged ethnic Chinese a NZ$10 cover charge, while charging white patrons only $5, with a link to Sky Kiwi’s full article here. A little poking around, and here’s the original Stuff article in English. The bar owner says that cover charges vary according to, among other things, state of dress – shabbily dressed punters are charged more, apparently. But, from the Stuff article:

The group of New Zealand-born Chinese are shown on Facebook that night wearing button-up collared shirts. But at the door, they were charged $10 to enter Bar101 while their white friend was charged $5.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure if it was [racial discrimination], but it feels like it,” Kingsley Sam said.

And he doesn’t look like a slob in the photo, either. Of course, the bar owner protests that it couldn’t possibly be racism:

“There’s certainly no desire to keep out one particular race. I mean, to be fair, if you did that in Hamilton with such a diverse culture as we have, you’d go out of business because we’ve got such a mixed-race society now.”

Well, I’d really like to believe that’s true…. But what he’s reported as saying about his bar’s policy seems so confusing, I really have to wonder how it is enforced, or could be fairly enforced, especially in light of the comments on denying undesirables entry and cover charges from a business rival.

I dunno, it might be a total non-story, but it doesn’t look good. Perhaps considering our Prime Minister has just toured China trying to drum up business and came back talking up the numbers of Chinese tourists NZ-bound, NZ business owners might do well to remember that whatever goes on in NZ is reported in China – sometimes, given how active the likes of Sky Kiwi are on Weibo, even quicker than it’s reported in NZ.

…and there’s an infant formula story bubbling away that I really need time to look into… hopefully I can get these exams marked and out of the way this afternoon…


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