AfroFuture Fest

Detroit got itself on the map, all right. AfroFuture Fest is going to happen in Detroit, and has garnered reviews of it’s ticket policy in newspapers, even in Britain. The Detroit Free Press had the most thorough exposition: “A Detroit music festival is changing its ticket pricing system after organizers say they were harassed by white supremacists and racist comments. When AfroFuture Fest, an August Afrocentric music and art festival, opened ticket sales, organizers were charging ‘early bird’ people of color $10 and ‘non-POC’ $20, with other tickets as high as $40 on Eventbrite.

“Last weekend, after the event was widely publicized and debated across social media, the national attention prompted organizers to change the pricing to $20 for all attendees. Organizers originally posted the event with an explanation: ‘The prices were based on the idea of equitable access to festivals, which are often cost-prohibitive and do not benefit the black communities that host them. Events often designed for marginalized Black and Brown communities can be easily co-opted by those with cultural, monetary, and class privileges,’ organizer Numi Ori wrote on Facebook. ‘Our goal is to ensure that the youth of our communities can participate in the building of a just society; one that promotes EQUITY over EQUALITY.[sic]’

“While organizers said they intended to make the festival more accessible, the doubled price for white festival goers sparked pushback from performers as well. Tiny Jag, a Detroit-based rapper who is biracial, was slated to perform at the festival, but pulled out of the lineup in a Twitter announcement, writing the pricing system ‘does not reflect the views of myself or the Tiny Jag team’.”

Elsewhere she wrote, “I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial. I have family members that would have, under those circumstances, been subjected to something that I would not ever want them to be in … especially not because of anything that I have going on….It’s non-progressive and it’s not solution-focused in my eyes….It seems almost like it has spite, and unfortunately with spite comes hate, and that’s just not obviously going to be a good direction for us to go if we’re looking for positive change.” I heartily applaud her, and her family members should be charged only $15, the “half and half” rate.

The truth about updated ticket prices: The event’s hosting site, Eventbrite, threatened to take the festival’s page down if organizers did not change the pricing, which an Eventbrite spokesperson said violated company terms. “We also let them know that if they did not comply, we would remove the event completely from our site,” the spokesperson said in a statement. In a Monday post, which smacks of Jussie Smollettism, Ori wrote that she and fellow organizer Franchesca Lamarre were changing the pricing system because of racist harassment. “There is no other reason why. This was for the sake of safety,” she wrote.  “For the safety of our community, family, elders who received threats from white supremacists,& youth who were subjected to seeing racist comments on our IG pg, Afrofuture Fest has changed our ticketing model to $20 General Admission & suggested donation for nonPOC on @eventbrite.”

Once again EventBrite fired back with the truth: “While the creator removed the discriminatory pricing for admission, we were made aware they added an optional donation ticket type that was still based on a protected characteristic,” Eventbrite’s statement reads. “Given this also violated our Terms, we removed that specific ticket type and communicated to the creator that they can include a donation option so long as it’s inclusive of all attendees.”

Not one to fail to get the last word in, Ori wrote in a July 5 Facebook post: “I don’t feel not one ounce of sadness or regret about Franchesca Lamarre and I’s choice for creating this ticket structure,….. Don’t comment on here about what we could have done differently with the structure. We did what we did and equity matters.” Their Twitter page got no visible threats but hundreds of tweets decrying their racist ticket policy.

On their website, the organizers of this music festival explained why they were charging white people twice as much: “Why do we have POC (people of color) and Non-POC (white people) tickets? I’m glad you asked! Equality means treating everyone the same. Equity is insuring (sic) everyone has what they need to be successful. Our ticket structure was built to insure [sic] that the most marginalized communities (people of color) are provided with an equitable chance at enjoying events in their own community (black Detroit). If they were truly concerned with the Detroit black community being successful, the festival would have featured speakers like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, Candace Owens and Condolezza Rice, instead of rappers.

Their definition of equity is hypocritical also. If equity is “insuring” (it should read ensuring, but that’s just me) that “everyone has what they need to be successful”, but “are provided with” what they need-passive wording-rather than actively earning what they need, who “insures”, who “provides”? That definition is really implying that the recipients are unable to find success via their own efforts. I call that a residual slave mentality.

Okay, there’s multiculturalism, but I say a white person desiring to go to AfroFuture Fest is white virtue signaling. Any white people should be charged $1,000 minimum if they are really serious about their virtue.

Author: iamcurmudgeon

When I began this blog, I was a 70 year old man, with a young mind and a body trying to recover from a stroke, and my purpose for this whole blog thing is to provoke thinking, to ridicule reflex reaction, and provide a legacy to my children.

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