It is a blow to Hong Kong's self-image as a cosmopolitan city to learn that racial discrimination is not only widely practised in nightclubs, but defended by the staff. In the discriminatory treatment handed out to the South China Morning Post's three reporters, it was not so much the colour of their skin as presumptions about their behaviour after two or three glasses of alcohol that caused the difference. The white races are perceived to drink more and react less to the often vastly overpriced beer than their Chinese or Indian counterparts, who are alleged to become belligerent under the influence of drink. But it is against the Indian community that racial discrimination is most apparent. The assumption that every dark skinned client is a potential troublemaker or a gang member, to be charged an exorbitant fee for admittance is outrageous. Clients should be judged on their behaviour after admission, and only individuals with a history as a persistent troublemaker should be barred. All clients, regardless of race or custom, have a right to the same service at the same rate. Apart from the unpleasant racial connotation, there is a commercial side to this. There would be a public outcry if any other business imposed different prices on its goods according to the ethnic origin of the customer. Why should the entertainment industry get away with it? It is a reflection on the Government's lack of commitment to racial equality laws that such practices can go on. It indicates the racial discrimination which lurks beneath the surface in other aspects of life. Minority groups often complain of discrimination in employment opportunities. That is a more serious matter. This is a blot on Hong Kong's harmonious record which must be removed. Well-intentioned codes of practice will not stop this kind of thing. Only the law can ensure equality for all.