When Profiling Isn't Harmful

But People Still Take Issue with It

For over 15 years I worked the doors in Melbourne, I have encountered enough things to last a life time of articles and stories, but today I want to speak about how profiling can save someone from harm.

Consider this, you are a bouncer at a club that varies the clientele nightly, in a weekend you may have a gay night, a "Race" night, you may have a 28 and older night etc. These nights are niches in which specific communities can gather together and have fun and act like tools in the comfort of whatever they are. Sometimes it is a great idea, others... not so great.

"Race" nights normally are not called this, its more a term we use in the industry and to be honest we know it will be a night of issues. Generally you hear "African Night" or "Croatian Night" etc. Here comes where profiling saves you from harm. 

I will explain from a personal story. In my early days of drunk babysitting, I was asked to assist in an African night, and I loved it, the vibe was great, girls gorgeous, dudes good fun. The night went on with a few squabbles and drunks going about their rants, till I made a mistake, let two whites dudes inside—not considering any harm, they were well dressed, well mannered and just starting their night type of drunk. 

It was not ten minutes in I hear the call to a huge fight, I run in, meeting my brothers in arms to a scene of several people beating the living hell out of these two white guys. We pulled them out, they refused medical attention and we ended up shutting the night down early due to that incident killing the vibe.

Now some may hear this story and say, "Those Africans obviously racist." and that could be a case for possible individual feelings but not the reality. See the white guys went in and were greeted well, even offered drinks which they accept. While at the bar, the two white guys said and I am quoting the bartender here, "Even here we are superior," which obviously more than one person took offense too. 

From that day I decided I would be a professional bigot on the doors. This was not the only case of this sort of thing happening and generally comes from inexperience. I didn't consider race or religion or culture when I dealt with people, I only assumed their attitude, intoxication level, and or dress. Now that has changed.

I got called a bigot often, and I took it happily cause I knew that whoever I refused based on profiling would not likely be waking up in hospital or worse the next day. I refused gay guys and Middle Eastern guys into redneck bars, I refused Greek guys into Turkish nights etc. It sounds wrong, and it is and hated doing it, but it kept people safer. 

Does this mean I always did this? No, you have to consider other factors. Now if someone who "isn't of the crowd" comes up with those who are, good chance that person will be safe.

I was probably most selective at LGBT events than anything. I was not about to allow a group of straight guys go into a gay night or even Hen's nights. Trust me on this it can cause issues, damn the things I've seen. Now again, this is not some golden rule, I did on occasion let straight guys into gay nights, why? Some guys literally would go to those nights for safety reasons, or some would be discovering their own sexuality and I cannot be the guy to deny them that. In the end it is case by case but profiling can literally save your life if done for the right reasons—agree or not; I sleep well at night knowing I helped others avoid very dangerous situations.

Shamus Roan
Shamus Roan

I am a non-partisan observer of the world, from politics, culture, religion and any nuance that ties our human narrative. 15 years I was a security contractor, now in hotel management and working on my first fictional novel.

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When Profiling Isn't Harmful