Segregated Black Feminist Festival OK On Private Property: Paris Mayor

REUTERS/Charles Platiau

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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After wanting to ban a black feminist festival because it would be “prohibited to white people,” the mayor of Paris has muted her attacks on social media, the National Post reports.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo was all afire on Twitter on Sunday, saying she would look into some way to close the event down. By Monday, she had acquiesced after she found out the white people would only be prohibited on private property.

The Nyansapo Festival is advertised as “an event rooted in black feminism, activism and on a European scale.”

Hidalgo initially tweeted: “I am asking for the festival to be banned. I reserved the right to prosecute the organizers for discrimination.” She based that assessment on reports that “black women’s non-mixed space” would account for 80 percent of the festival.

But total sexual and racial segregation isn’t planned. The festival will generously provide space for “black people of all genders” and there will even be another area allocated for people regardless of race or gender.

But the mayor decided she could live with that because that part of the festival that is being held on pubic property will be mixed while the festival will be segregating folks on private property.

The “festival organized in a public place will be open to all. Non-mixed workshops will be held elsewhere, in a strictly private setting,” Hidalgo announced, who has no authority to cancel private functions.

“This clarification should enable the Nyansapo festival to fulfill its role: helping to strengthen the fight against racism and sexism,” festival organizers exulted.

However, the festival has been subject to a plethora of criticism from all segments of French society. The nationalist National Front Party has called the event “blatantly racist,” while the left-leaning SOS Racisme referred to it as “an abomination.”

The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitic noted: “Rosa Parks would be turning in her grave.” That prompted the festival organizers to respond that they had been the victims of “disinformation and fake news orchestrated by the extremist right” and that it was unfortunate that “some anti-racist associations let themselves be manipulated.”

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