Random Racism in Reno

Who and What is a Racist?  An individual who has made a generalization  or assumption based on race.   I do not believe anyone is totally exempt from this from time to time.

Reno Nevada is one of my favorite getaways, I love the drive through the Sierra’s, I particularly like the drive in the winter, every thing is white.  Once you have reached the summit everything quickly changes. By the time you reach the Nevada border, much of the trees have disappeared giving way to rock and  brush , with little warning you have gone from forest to desert.  .

Reno,  like Vegas is a place where adults can turn into children. the town is open all night for what ever.   Reno doesn’t have the glitz or the entertainment on the scale of Vegas, but fun can be found.    Unlike Vegas, Reno has quiet places at its core, I enjoy sitting listening to the waters of the Truckee River.

The City has fallen on hard times, much like Las Vegas and the rest of the state.  The economy and  Indian gaming has taken its toll on Nevada.  Fewer people are making the drive over the mountains from Los Angeles to Vegas or from San Francisco or Sacramento into Reno.     Most of the casinos are dark on Virginia Street , gone is the Fitzgerald next the to famous Reno Arch, gone is the Sundowner with its saucy waitresses, the Comstock with its $5.99 one pound Steaks.

But there is something about Reno, the Indian Casinos cant recreate Reno or Vegas, once you step out of the Indian Casino your enter a different kind of desert, a bleak asphalt parking lot filled with cars, once outside, there  are few smiles.   Missing is the crazy, the mischief, the revelers on the street drinking booze in oversized glasses, screaming, laughing folks letting their hair down.

Thunder Valley Casino outside of Sacramento is impressive , but I can’t imagine getting a room there or staying over night  at any of the areas Casinos.

Reno has quite a few nite clubs in the area.   On this night, my family is in town for a wedding.   A nap was needed after the huge buffet at the Grand Sierra.    The Grand Sierra (formally the Reno Hilton and MGM) is the largest resort in town, it has a lake, movie theaters, several restaurants, a huge bowling alley and more, whats missing is a proper top 40’s- hip hop club.    So it was off to Aura at the Silver Legacy, after a few hours of dancing, it was time for the old man to crawl back to the hotel.

As I am driving home, my nephews called wanting to go out… It’s after 3 am   I agreed to meet them downtown,  Aura was closed for the evening and a staff member suggesting a few clubs, that were still opened.   We head out on 4th Street, one club is closing  and I knew of  one other about a block away.      Its seven of us, my nephews with their girlfriends and my niece and her boyfriend.

As as soon as we arrived  the bouncer (I’m assuming he is the bouncer or security) informs us of a $20 cover charge  ten dollars to enter and ten dollar drink minimum.  I ask how long will they be opened?  He tells us for another hour.    I had a real sense of what was happenng-It was all too familiar.  I looked at the group and could since no one was interested in shelling out $140.00 for an hour of dancing.

The group ranged in age from 25 to 35, so I waited until we were at Virginia, to explain  what happened.   The man at the door did not want a group of blacks in his club.     It wasn’t my first visit, I’ve been there on a Saturday night with friends and the cover was five dollars with no minimum.   Most clubs drop or reduce cover charges in the last hour, at least that has been my experience.

I have experienced   the premium cover charge before.   I waited to tell them because I wasn’t  sure how they would react.  I remember going to a club in San Mateo in my twenties.   My friends  entered in before me, I paid a ten dollar cover charge (that was a  lot of money in the 80’s) and discovered none of my friends paid a cover charge.   I asked why did I pay a  cover and was told something that didn’t make sense.   I wasn’t loud ,but I wasn’t going away.  Before I knew it ,the police were called, and I was forced into the rear seat of  the San Mateo Police car,  my friends-coworkers  rushed to my defense.  Someone from the club tossed a ten dollar bill at me  and I was told by the policeman  I could never return to the club.  That incident permanently scarred the relationship I had with my friends, all supported me but perhaps a little fearful.   Its possible that they thought I was trouble.

Through the years, i have experienced forms of racism in some of  the disco(did I say that?) nightclubs.    Some Dj’s would change the music from what ever that was popular at the time to non-dance able  music. until we left.   If I was the “black man” in the group all was fine in the world, but if two or more blacks and mexicans were in the same group, the tone changed.   Owners unleashed attack waitresses that circled our table,  who would clear the table once we got up to dance.

So I waited……

I refuse to take a brush and paint the town, the community or even the business racist.  This was the action of one man, who based on one or several incidents with black people or simply decided that we weren’t welcome.   What I find interesting with all racist is the absence of logic.  ( How many times have you heard someone say, I will NEVER return or interact with those people based on the actions of  one. or two people? )It is very possible  he has had negative run in’s with blacks and other people of color.   Removing all of those people of color now  means that of the incidents are with people who look like him.

Reno is a great and fun town, filled with great people, I will return to this club on 4th street, I remember having a good time there. What happened Saturday was a simple random act of racism.


Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

One thought on “Random Racism in Reno

  1. it wasn’t a random act and frankly i’m tired of giving the excuse to ignorance it’s hate pure unadulterated hate racists in my opinion of reno in which I live no all to well they hate black people and truly hate everyone they have screamed this and screamed this and I believe them its just hate and at that point there is no need for logic it is natural for a person to deny this it seems how can a person you know have cried be filled with so much hate but it is reality of the white race and how i can understand these acts are not random they are organized


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: