Lido Pimienta is a Colombian-Canadian singer/performer who recently told all white people, in her audience of a show in Nova Scotia (part of Halifax Pop Explosion), to move to the back of the room and all brown people, or people of color, to move to the front near the stage she was performing on. There was one person in the audience, specifically a volunteer photographer covering the event, who did not want to move to the back of the room with the rest of the white people. Telling her white fans in the audience to get to the back of the
bus room is something Pimienta has done before, but it doesn't seem like she wasn't met with opposition before. This time was different. Someone refused to move to the back of the room and now here we are talking about how racist it is to segregate the audience of a show by color.
When the white people who refused to move to the back of the room put up a resistance, it was them who was likely called racist, even though the singer was the one segregating her own audience by color. When Pimienta was finally met by the resistance, then she stood her ground on stage and kept telling the white woman in the audience to get to the back, but the volunteer photographer refused. The white woman was eventually kicked out of the show. Halifax Pop Explosion issued an apology for the incident. There are claims that the woman who was kicked out resorted to some sort of racism, which is funny because it's like she's fighting racism from the singer with more racism from herself.
Here's what Pimienta told Billboard about the incident. Her words are in BOLD. Mine are below the bold words.
My being on stage in an otherwise mainly white folk artist bill, in Nova Scotia, a province famous for the segregation and mistreatment of African Nova Scotians, was not meant to be an act of HATE AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE. It was meant, as it has always been to me, [as] an act of love for the children of these African Nova Scotians, the children of Somalian refugees who ended up somehow in Halifax, and for the children of the many immigrant and migrant folks who, just like my mother, one day arrived in Canada with a specific narrative but the same story of "hoping for a better future." But still for us, the children of these immigrants, it is still quite strange, the act of enjoying ourselves uninterrupted by a white person who feels threatened by our presence.
It may not have been her intention to make it seem hateful, but if a singer tells people of one color or another to get to the back and the other get to the front, then it should be met with opposition on account of it being completely pointless. The performer should allow her audience to organize themselves. Why would someone go to her show, get there early to get a good spot in an standing audience, and then be told to get to the back? If that was me, then I wouldn't even go to the show. It's whomever gets there first, gets the spots up front. There's no other fair way to do it if the audience is a standing room area. Does she know that people of all colors can interrupt a show?
From the audience’s point of view, [men] for the most part will not think twice before they put themselves right in front of you. I am a short woman, so I always have to show up very early to be able to enjoy the music, to see the acts... From the stage point of view, I noticed how most men who plant themselves at the front, they tend to overpower ME. Their presence usually at my own show is a threatening one and I have had men grab me, grab my hands, grab my waist, scream "TE AMO MAMACITA." My show is all about high energy and high feminine power, so I can see for some men, my energy reads "sexual" and they feel like my show is FOR THEM, when in fact, my show if anything, is for WOMXN.
First of all, it's spelled WOMEN. WomXn is used by feminists who want to take the "men" part out of the word. It's absolutely ridiculous, much like the rest of their man-hating movement, but that's not the point here.
Can women really act sexual on a stage and expect men not to get excited? We are all sexual creatures by nature, so if a woman acts sexual on stage and men are excited by it, then that's a compliment. Although, you have to question any man who goes to her show. What exactly is there to like about her performance? Oh, that's right - apparently she has a very sexual act if we use the information she provided to Billboard.
Can we stop the man hating by acting like every man puts themselves in front of every girl at a concert? That's actually not true in my experience. I've seen most guys put the shorter girl in front of them so the girl can see. Maybe Pimienta is such a snot that guys aren't nice to her because she's leaking entitlement and feminism and most regular guys don't care about feminists one way or another, especially because feminists always seem to hate on typical guys.
When I started asking womxn to the front, I noticed how white women were usually at the front and brown girls would be behind the white girls, a bit more shy, a bit more restrained. Even at HPX, I had to call out a few black girls who were "too shocked" and felt I was "putting them on the spot" by saying, "Girl come to the front! This is for you!" As an immigrant, as an Afro-Indigenous person, as an intersectional feminist, as a mother and all of the other signifiers that qualify me as "other," I understand what it is like to not see yourself in the media, to not see yourself in institutions and to not see yourself represented or reflected at a music show, because the "artist of colour" (and I put that in quotation marks because even that term is extremely problematic), we don’t get to see each other at that level.
She means WOMEN and here's a clue - people don't always like being put on the spot and bossed around at an concert they paid to be at. When you "call out a few black girls" then you better be wearing a bullet proof vest because black girls do not play around. They are the one person on this planet that you do not mess with. They will beat up everyone at a concert if you try and act like a jerk to them. Calling them out is disrespectful and the people who pay money to see a show do not deserve to be forced into segregation and then "called out" when they're shocked that they're being told to move somewhere because they're black or white. That's irresponsible segregationist behavior and I'm shocked that more people haven't denied it on account of how disrespectful it is to people attending the show.
Watching Marilyn Manson throw pig blood on a crowd is "artsy" and shocking. (I wish he still did that) Segregating the audience at a concert by the color of their skin is borderline racist and certainly makes people think they're being treated poorly and it's not something people should do to their fans who pay money to see their show.
If we want to get rid of racism, then we need to stop doing racist things. Moving one color person to the front or back of a concert is not a way to get rid of racism.
Is promoting segregation the right way to fight racism?