For many years, we’ve seen and heard of a number of incidences where black people are ill-treated, manhandled and arrested by the police for reasons that are not plausible. Unfortunately in some cases, the police ab_se their power so much that they end up killing black people in acts of racism and racial discrimination.
This is why movements such as Black Lives Matter were birthed, to raise awareness and fight the racial injustices that black people continue to face, even at the hands of law enforcement who is supposed to protect them.
Sadly, even with such movements and organizations, black people are still discriminated against for the colour of their skin. Pretty Yende, a South African opera singer, has opened up about an incident that took place while she was at the airport in Paris, France. You’ll remember Pretty Yende as the opera singer who brought Wendy Williams to tears on ger show last year.
The musician started off by expressing her gratitude for having made it out alive after facing “ill-treatment and outrageous racial discrimination and psychological torture and very offensive racial comments” from police officers at the airport.
She went on to explain that all her belongs were taken away, including her phone and she was told that she would be taken to a prison hotel in the meantime.
According to the 36-year-old singer, she was stripped and searched like a criminal offender and locked up.
“It was cold in there, there was no light at the beginning, cold and grey and they left me there alone with the landline phone and a piece of paper they gave me to write down phone numbers of those I could call, most of them refused to address me in English, there were more than 10 police officers I could hear talking and laughingdown the hallway,” she explained.
In light of the soprano singer’s post, several publications have come out to report on the reasons she was treated in that manner. A French police source has claimed that the singer had arrived from Milan on a South African passport without a visa. The source also claimed that the singer was not asked to remove her clothes.
However, in a recent post, Yende has rubbished these reports. Posting a picture of her documents on Instagram, she addressed the reports by saying: “In the view of many press reports which shared a statement from the police that I, and I quote, ”did not have any documents but my South African passport and needed a visa to enter France”, I’d like to clarify that I DID have all the necessary documents that permit me to move freely and work since 2009.”
She went on to explain that she has an unlimited Italian residency permit which is being renewed and temporary residence which she presented to the police at the border control.
“I did NOT need a visa to enter or work in any of the European countries, including France,” she added.
Yende also addressed allegations she was not stripped of her belongings: “Additionally, it is stated the police officers did not take all of my belongings including my phone. Well, they did take all of my personal belongings and my phone. There is proof, as well.”