Thursday, November 02, 2017

Racism: Canadian Singer Invites “Brown Girls” to the Front, Tells Whites to Move Back

From the CBC:
The Halifax festival says the incident involved a white volunteer photographer and several white audience members who reacted negatively when [Lido] Pimienta invited “brown girls to the front” during her Oct. 19 show.

The outspoken singer, who took home the Polaris Prize for her album La Papessa last month, frequently asks her audience to welcome people of colour to the front of the stage. In turn, she requests that white people move back.

While Dudka doesn’t offer much detail in his post, festival spokesman Trevor Murphy confirmed Allie O’Manique’s account of what transpired.

O’Manique says the problems started when the volunteer female photographer refused to step away from her spot near the front. It led to a clash with nearby audience members who became angered over her insistence on remaining near the stage to take photos, says O’Manique, who performs as dream-pop act Trails and shares management with Pimienta.

“She just kept saying, ‘Move to the back,’” says O’Manique.

“Finally after saying it about 10 times — and the woman refused to move — (Pimienta) said, ‘You’re cutting into my set time and you’re disrespecting these women, and I don’t have time for this.’”

Event organizers say the volunteer was removed from the show and ultimately chose to sever ties with the festival.
A clear example of racism, right?

Except the organizers of the event accused the woman who refused to move back of racism, and apologized profusely to “people of color.”
The Halifax Pop Explosion music festival is apologizing for the actions of a volunteer who interrupted a performance by Polaris Prize-winning singer Lido Pimienta with “overt racism.”

A statement on behalf of the festival’s board of directors addresses the singer directly and promises to make changes to improve “anti-oppression and anti-racism training” over the next year.

“We are sorry that one of our volunteers interrupted your art, your show, and your audience by being aggressive and racist,” reads a Facebook post signed by vice-chairman Georgie Dudka.
And further . . .
In closing their statement, Halifax Pop Explosion organizers specifically addressed people of colour.

“We are going to try our best as a festival to create ways to make our spaces safer and more accessible for you. We hope we can rebuild some trust and that you will come back to our shows.”
So resistance to politically correct racism becomes “overt racism.”

White people in the U.S. signed on to the Civil Rights movement in the belief all races should be treated equally. They never signed on to being demeaned, derided and discriminated against. And in the 2016 Presidential election, the fought back against that by voting for a flawed candidate who nonetheless sent that message.

Do people in Canada have a similar choice?

[Postscript]

Not surprisingly, Pimienta has anti-Semitic views.

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