Sleep With One Eye Open: Entertainment Safety
by Nadra Enzi
Ever been to a "hole in the wall" nightclub? How about attending an event in a 'Hood so rough you needed the Fruit of Islam and the Guardian Angels for backup?
Black entertainment, like everybody else, faces what I term, the TM Challenge. "TM" means "Thug Management."
Early in my career, my second security job was a TM assignment. I manned the door at a very popular inner city night club. Wednesday night was Lip Sync Night and it easily brought in nearly a thousand people through its doors. The crowd was quite ghetto in appearance and behavior. Everybody from dope boys to hoochie mammas filled it. Speaking of dope boys, I was amazed by the number of young brothers who presented local jail ID cards when asked for identification. Jokingly, I'd tell them, "Welcome back" and perform a quick weapons search.
Thug Management(TM) is a real issue in 21st Century Black entertainment. The following suggestions are three things to consider when going out:
1.IS THERE A DRESS CODE? This isn't trying to be bougie, it's a valid yardstick to test the environment you're entering. Popular wisdom says banning casual anbd athletic clothing keeps troublemakers away. Generally, this is true but I do remember putting a full nelson on a brother during a night inside a club where we were all well dressed, but not necessariy well behaved.
2.IS THERE A COVER CHARGE? Usually, if an establishment or event charges enough for admission, thugs and thuggettes will go elsewhere. But, many criminals have the money to go anywhere they want, so keep a eye out no matter where you are having a good time.
3.IS THERE ADEQUATE SECURITY? Examine the type of people employed to protect you, the customer. As my first security contractor, "SW-R", once observed about the staff of a raggedy local strip club, you can't trust "Thug Security"(TS).
Thug Security(TS) are guards who cause more trouble than they prevent. Ever watch the Patrick Swayze movie, "RoadHouse"? It was a Night Club Security 101 story about a cooler(Master Bouncer)who specialized in tamimg wild places. His first order of business was to fire all the TSs and replace them with professional acting bouncers.
Rude and/or simply unprofessional guards may indicate a lack of concern on the part of management. RULE NUMBER ONE OF EVENT SECURITY IS: If a customer is not breaking the law or house rules, do not bother him. if you communicate with him, it should be courteously. When this doesn't happen, complain to management or take your money elsewhere!
On the flipside of this problem is "Security In Name Only" (SINO). These so-called guards are too busy drinking on the job, drifting around the scene and generally NOT SECURING the establishment or event. SINOs will not stop fights and simply stand around doing nothing.
Again, if Security is too incompetent or indifferent to provide customer service, then complain to management or take your money elsewhere. In the case of both Thug Security and Security In Name Only, telling local law enforcement, politicans and the media helps improve our entertainment safety.
One bad news broadcast or investigation by the police is what some venues need to either take care of business or be put out of business. Black entertainment safety begins with customers who demand it!