(National Sentinel) Racism: Colombian-Canadian singer Lido Pimienta asked white members of her audience recently to move to the back of the concert hall, while allowing people of color to come to the front during her Halifax Pop Explosion gig at the Marquee Ballroom in Nova Scotia’s capital last month, Billboard reported.

The request isn’t new for her shows — which makes some critics wonder why whites bother to go to them at all — but this time the request was met with some resistance.

One white female volunteer who was there to photograph the show, along with a number of other white audience members, reacted to her request to get “brown girls to the front” with what concert officials claimed was “aggressive” and “overt racism.”

The magazine added there were no details regarding the alleged racism at the Oct. 19 show.

  • Allie O’Manique, who shares management with Pimienta, said the female photographer refused to move from her spot near the front of the stage, the National Post reported.
  • Nearby crowd members got angry at the photographer for refusing to move, O’Manique added.
  • O’Manique recalled Pimienta “just kept saying, ‘Move to the back,’” the paper said.

As is usually the case, managers of the venue took the singer’s side and blasted the white volunteer for her refusal to move — accusing her of the same thing the singer was doing, essentially.

“We will not accept this behavior and neither should you,” a portion of the statement reads. “Be responsible for your friends — talk to them and support them as they move towards unpacking their racism. People of Color deserve safe spaces and it is your responsibility to help. It is also ours.”

For her part, Pimienta justified her request by claiming that it wasn’t racist, all while implying that white people are constantly being racist to people of color outside of her venue.

“I never asked white folks to leave my show, I would never do that,” Pimienta noted in an email Q&A with Billboard. “I never ask men to leave my show, I ask them to share the space in a more significant manner as an act of love and solidarity with people who, outside of the music show bubble, have to constantly justify their existence to the world.”

Pimienta added to the magazine that she wants “the white woman heckler at my show to apologize now.”

Critics say that it appears more like whites have to justify their existence to the world these days than people of color, who continually get away with treating white people in a manner they would never themselves put up with.

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