Mykki Blanco: “I’m being arrested in Portugal for being gay”, playing free show in East River Park
Mykki Blanco at MHOW in 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
I’m leaving Portugal after my performance. Please stop writing hate speech, threatening to hang me, posting pictures of slaves and leaving gay hate messages on my page, I have seen a really disturbing side of this culture tonight
And also gave a statement to Noisey:
I was swindled, by the Portuguese police department for being a gay black tourist that is the only explanation for this situation. I had literally just got off of a plane was in the airport on my way to the art gallery I am currently doing a residency at and I was taken advantage of by the Portuguese police. More than an act of racism and prejudice or even homophobia ( which were all 3 factors) I realized that class matters and that an upwardly mobile black man isn’t something people always want to see.
I was arrested for telling a police officer to “go fuck himself” after I repeatedly and politely asked him where I could purchase a taxi voucher since he worked with the taxi attendant at the airport. the altercation escalated because I waited in a long line like everyone else outside the airport for a taxi and when I was told by the taxi attendant that I could not use my credit card but only cash the taxi attendant and cop refused to help or answer any other questions I had about an alternative in anyway. They were impatient and short with me all the while eagerly helping white tourists who were behind me in line while I waited to be addressed.
A Portuguese woman in the same taxi line with me even leaned over and whispered “I don’t know why they are being so strange with you, there is a place inside to buy taxi vouchers you don’t need cash”. I should have listened to the woman and went inside myself to find the voucher office but there is apart of my personality that really wants to see if people WILL actually be prejudiced, to see if maybe my PC west coast optimism about the world is being challenged by blatant discrimination and I was right. I asked the police officer where the voucher office was and I was told to “go away” like I was nuance as if I had not waited in the same line as all the other white tourists and when I asked why he could not help but could gladly help the other tourists I was yelled at and told to “go away bicha” which is a gay slur, even though I had waited in the same line as everyone else.
The world aint a fair place, and the idea of a young successful black guy doesn’t always fly everywhere but I was insulted, and discriminated against so I said “Fuck you” and walked away…well he followed me inside, used his radio to call other police causing a scene in the airport and told me “You are under arrest” I said “excuse me, I have not committed a crime, I asked you for help and you refused to help me” he said “You have insulted a police officer and that is a crime in Portugal, you can’t talk to me that way” and he arrested me.
The Noisey article also mentions he was ordered to pay a 600 euro fine.
Mykki Blanco plays a big and free hometown Summerstage show in NYC’s East River Park on August 7.