Tuesday, June 18, 2024

A “white” artist, a victim of discrimination

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Tony Vaughn
Tony Vaughn
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Because she’s “white,” percussionist Melissa Laverne was recently hired to be a spokeswoman for 36e An edition of the Festival Nuits d’Afrique, had to withdraw, especially under the pressure of a small radical community constellation that considered that the role it was supposed to play, for the duration of the festival, could only be played by “black”. Or ‘black’…

Whatever one might say to justify this pathetic sectarian stance, Melissa Laverne was purely and simply a victim of discrimination. What these people regularly (and rightly) denounce in relation to them…

Furthermore, Melissa Laverne is not a hoax. She has an Africa tattoo in her heart. She is inspired by her subtle detail and embodied in her art probably better than the 99.9% of people who opposed the idea of ​​her being the spokesperson for this festival.

This is not a precedent

This aberration is reminiscent of the ones that surrounded the cancellation of the SLĀV show in 2018, during the 39e Montreal International Jazz Festival. A dangerous precedent certainly set the stage for what’s happening today with Melissa Laverne and 36e An edition of the Nuits d’Afrique Festival.

For those who have forgotten, remember that SLĀV was a show inspired by different chapters in the history of black slavery in America. Presentation by two “Whites”, Robert Lepage and Betty Bonifaci.

But, for some extreme individuals on the left, SLĀV was out of the question to be directed by Robert LePage, “white”. There was also no doubt that the main role of this play would be interpreted by Petit Boniface, “White”.

SLĀV case found echo in file pages The New York Times , American billboard and guardian. Consequently, the Montreal International Jazz Festival SLĀV withdrew from its program…

By holding others hostage to the color of their skin, the followers of sectarianism once again demonstrated their discriminatory potential.

We are in Quebec

We chose to live together in Quebec. Multiculturalism. Don’t live separate. Cultural pluralism, a participatory incubator, a watershed point for discrimination, racism and sectarian deviations.

In Quebec, we are a corps in bringing together talents and energies in order to reduce racism and discrimination. We are more inclined to recognize the universality of each individual rather than holding them hostage to the color of their skin.

Therefore, in the face of those who make melanin a primary selection criterion for the promotion of African music in particular through the media in Quebec, we must say no.

Unless he escaped me, I did not hear “whites” in Quebec complain when “blacks” were invited to play leadership roles, especially on the occasion of National Day, or even within the framework of the highest academic or political office.

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