Suppose a White singer demanded that the front row of people who came to see her be all-White; that Black audience members would have to move back. Suppose several of them refused to do so. And suppose the organizers of the event apologized for the racism of the situation.
Now, hold onto your hats, as you read the following excerpts from David Friend’s article in the (Canadian) National Post, about an incident which took place during the Halifax Music Festival:
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.
The Halifax festival says the incident involved a white volunteer photographer and several white audience members who reacted negatively when 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
You following this? A Black singer makes an overtly racist demand – that White audience members, based solely on their skin color, move to the back, one or more White people object, and the event organizers apologize to the singer making the overtly racist demand.
If that’s not real racism, there’s no such thing.
Real racism. It comes in all forms from all sources. No group is immune to it or from it. Certainly not an overt racist like lida pimienta, making overtly racist demands, and being supported in her overtly racist demands by the idiots running this music festival.
I the Halifax Pop Explosion takes a major financial bath, closes, and – unless under other management – never takes place again.
And I hope (don’t expect, but hope) that the ultimate racist idiot, lida pimienta, disappears from the entertainment industry, never to be seen again.
I sure as hell don’t root for White racists to succeed; why would I root for her?