Mykki Blanco Speaks on Arrest in Portugal
Mykki Blanco, the gender-bending, costume-shifting, LGBT-friendly rapper who has been soaking up fame and accolades in the rap community for a couple of years, was arrested yesterday at the Lisbon airport while heading to his gallery show residency in Portugal. The news was first released in the Portugese media as well as on Mykki’s Facebook page. “I'M being arrested in Portugal for being gay” he first wrote on his Facebook page. Next to an image of a stern-looking officer on the phone in the detention center, Blanco writes, "I bet he was cute when he was younger." His other statement isn't so optimistic: "Chilling in the Portuguese Police Station #FUCKPIGS GLOBALLY! haha."
The arrest stems from an altercation between Mykki and his photographer and a local police officer at the airport taxi stand. Apparently, Mykki was being dicked around by the taxi stand employees unfairly, and asked a nearby officer for help in getting a voucher for a taxi. The cop was unhelpful and reportedly responded with a homophobic slur. Mykki then told the cop to “Go fuck himself” and his photographer told the cop to “fuck off.” Blanco was then taken to jail.
Noisey was able to reach Mykki for comment. Read his statement below:
“...The altercation escalated because I waited in a long line outside the airport for a taxi and when I was told I could not use my credit card but only cash (which also is not true I later found), the taxi attendant and cop refused to help in any way. They were impatient and short with me all the while eagerly helping white tourists. A Portuguese woman in line with me even leaned over and whispered, ‘I don't know why they are being so strange with you, there is a place inside to buy taxi vouchers you don't need cash’. I should have listened to the woman and went inside to find the voucher office but there is a part of my personality that really wants to see if people WILL actually be prejudiced, to see if maybe my PC west coast optimism about the world is being challenged by blatant discrimination and I was right. I asked the police officer where the voucher office was and I was told to "go away" like I was a nuisance and when I asked why he could not help but the other white tourists I was yelled at and told to "go away bicha" which is a gay slur [according to Urban Dictionary: it is an offensive slur meant to challenge a man on his sexuality], even though I had waited in the same line as everyone else.”
Mykki wrote on his Facebook page that the officer arrested him for insulting a police officer, which is a crime in Portugal. He was ordered to pay a six hundred euro fine.
“More than racism or even homophobia (which was also a factor) I realized that class matters and that an upwardly mobile black man isn't something people always want to see,” Blanco continued.
Noisey has also reached out to the Portugese Public Security for comment, though they are notoriously secretive. We will update the story accordingly.
Blanco will be performing a show in Lisbon on May 21.