US rapper was held in Lisbon earlier this week after swearing at a police officer
Mykki Blanco has suggested his arrest in Portugal earlier this week was down to the the fact that he is gay.
The US rapper was in Europe for an appearance at a gallery show residency and began posting updates on Facebook from the police station after he was taken in on May 19.
Blanco’s first comment read: “I’m being arrested in Portugal for being gay.” This was then followed by a number of pictures taken from inside his cell. Noisey reports that he was later freed and given a €600 fine. A statement given to the website by Blanco offers his side of the story.
“I was swindled by the Portuguese police department for being a gay black tourist that is the only explanation for this situation,” he writes. “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 realised that class matters and that an upwardly mobile black man isn’t something people always want to see.”
Blanco then reveals that he was actually arrested for insulting a police officer. “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.”
Blanco followed up the statement by returning to Facebook, confirming that he was planning to leave Portugal as soon as possible. “I’m leaving Portugal after my performance,” he wrote. “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.”
Blanco was scheduled to perform at Galeria Ze des Bois in Lisbon last night (May 21).