AfroFuture Fest, a festival being hosted in the Detroit area by Afrofuture Youth, came to the attention of the world over the weekend with news that tickets for the event were available at two prices: $10 for POC (people of color) and $20 for NON-POC (not people of color).
Why the organizers of the event thought that non-people of color have more disposable income based on the color of their skin is anyone’s guess, but none the less it happened.
When that news hit the airwaves, a backlash ensued. One act dropped out of the festival in protest. The ticketing vehicle, Eventbrite put the producers on notice that they were in violation of their user agreement as ticket pricing based on ethnicity is not allowed. The group was given the time to correct the violation or it would have been done for them.
Afrofuture itself is a group that seeks to “uplift” youth of color in cities where the people consider themselves “marginalized.” Their statements present the differences in pricing as being a donation rather than a set fee as if this is supposed to be a fundraiser for a non-profit rather than a full-fledged concert venue.
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 pic.twitter.com/6wQXEjRKtt
— Afrofuture Youth (@AFYDet) July 7, 2019
It is no secret that the community represented by this group considers itself victims of institutional racism, but taking such action is, in and of itself, overtly racist. There are many people not of color who do want to see the people of the cities of color pull themselves up out of the mire and succeed, but actions like the one taken here do not endear the effort to those who are willing to help.
Racism, no matter what the race card players have to say, is a two-way street. What barriers that do remain in race relations in the United States do need to be dismantled, but not this is not the way to do it.