Sunday, November 9, 2008

Marines Declare Barbershop Off-limits

The Beaufort Gazette is reporting that a "military barber shop" in Port Royal is off-limits to area military. In fact Al's Military Barbershop is the only local business that is formally off limits to marines.

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Sailors and Marines have been told not to do business at Al's Military Barbershop 881 Parris Island Gateway in Port Royal after the business was found to have "discriminatory business practices against Marines," said Master Sgt. Mark Oliva, spokesman for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

Oliva wouldn't elaborate on the specifics of the complaint that led the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board, which includes representatives from Parris Island, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Naval Hospital Beaufort to place the barber shop on its list of restricted businesses.

Oliva said the decision was based upon more than economics.

"The place posed, no kidding, a physical threat to Marines," Oliva said.

The Beaufort Gazette filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Parris Island's inspector general on Friday for more information regarding the specific complaints against the business.

Repeated attempts by the Beaufort Gazette staff to contact the shop's owner, Al Marchant, were unsuccessful.

Oliva said Marchant can appeal the board's decision but has yet to do so.

"Unless the owner appeals before the board or the shop comes under new management, Marines and sailors will not be allowed to do business there," he said.

Cedar Posts called Al's at (843) 522-9897 on Saturday and no one answered as well.

The comment section of the Beaufort Gazette gives a little sense of what is going on:

"There are only Green Marines, just with different shades of greeness. Al didn't want any Dark Green Marines getting haircuts at his shop and from what I understand forced a Dark Green Marine out of his shop when he tried to get a haircut. So, if Al wants the military business perhaps he should check his arcaic mindset. Of course I doubt he'll be in business much longer."

Al's be around for years and as you might expect he doesn't cut black men's hair. He doesn't cut women or screaming children either. So it turns out that one marine who just happens to be black, felt it was just not right, after all how hard is it to give a high and tight hair cut?

So per the scuttlebutt this one marine had a little attitude going on and Al was having none of it. Words were said and short of calling the sheriff the scene was pretty ugly.

I just don't know, I really don't know.

I've not been to a barbershop since the early 80's. The girl who has cut my hair since then and the shops she's worked in for the last 30 years has no sign that says no blacks but in 30 years I've never seen a black man or woman in her chair or the chairs of anyone else where she's work.

So the guestion the begs to be answered are these people being raicist or it this just an accepted way of life?

1 comment:

Cedar Posts and Life Floating By said...

I've had to remove a couple of pretty nasty comments. Seems the Al at least as some people see it needs a little anger management work.

Cops have had to make a few visits and that's a little odd. It's a barber shop for goodness sake and not a bar.