Three Cape Town based organisations have slammed the recent alleged racial incident at The Bronx nightclub in the city’s gay village.
Triangle Project, the Commission for Gender Equality and Good Hope Metropolitan Community Churches have issued a statement expressing “dismay and outrage at yet another alleged racial incident.”
Triangle Project’s community engagement and empowerment manager, Marlow Valentine said that Aridi Amipi, the Belgian tourist allegedly turned away from the establishment because he is black, is one of the very few people to actually step forward over racist door policies at venues.
“Discrimination and prejudice is an evil that needs to be uprooted. Gay and lesbian people support these establishments with our presence and money; if these businesses are perpetuating destructive cycles of marginalisation based on race and culture, then in essence we [the LGBTI community] are supporting this by not speaking out… and proactively addressing these issues.”
Keegan Lakay, legal officer at the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), said that the commission has taken on Amipi’s case after referral from Triangle Project.
“Mr Amipi’s application has been forwarded to the Equality Court for submission. After the application has been lodged with the magistrate, the respondent will have seven working days to respond and submit papers after which a date will be set for the case to be heard. Mr Amipi will be returning to Cape Town as this issue is far too important to ignore,” said Lakay.
Amipi was a member of the Good Hope Metropolitan Community Church before returning to Belgium. “It’s not only despicable that this still happens, it would be appalling to allow this type of victimisation to continue,” said the Church’s Sharon Cox.
“We respect the fact that people have choices to socialise where they are comfortable and the fact that businesses have ‘right of admission’ policies; but when these policies are used to keep certain people out based on their race, then we need to advocate an end to this blatant form of discrimination.”
Valentine added that, “We will be doing the LGBTI community a disservice if issues of prejudice and discrimination are left unaddressed within the LGBTI community itself.”
The organisations have called on LGBTI persons of colour who have experienced victimisation at social spaces like The Bronx to forward their complaints in writing to Triangle Project at firstname.lastname@example.org. These will be collated and forwarded to the Commission for Gender Equality for submission to the Equality Court.
All correspondence will be treated in the strictest of confidence and anonymity will be ensured if requested, said Triangle.