Costa Blanca parade accused of racism

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Rafa Rufina Valor

ALCOY’S Three Kings’ Parade has been accused of racism.

Online magazine Afrofeminas criticised the ‘blacked-up’ pages who have been delivering presents to the city’s children on the night of January 5 since the parade was first held in 1885.

The pages are offensive because they “stereotype, ridicule, exclude and falsify our image,” the article claimed.

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Blacking-up, a theatrical tradition, has been banned in the US since 1960 when it was declared racist.

The authors of the article Un BlackFace masivo en Alcoy questioned city hall’s hopes of obtaining Intangible World Heritage status for the parade.

They are writing to Unesco via international bodies requesting that the Parade is not granted Heritage status while it features BlackFace, the writers said: “If the pages aren’t blacked-up, nobody will be offended.”

Rita Bosaho, MP for Compromis-Podemos who represents Alicante in the national parliament, backs the Afrofeminas writers. “Discrimination and institutional racism should not be confused with cultural acts. Take notice Alcoy city hall, this is racism,” Bosaho warned.

Alcoy reacted quickly and an online petition defending the cavalcade and its pages received 9,000 signatures in its first day. The organisers now hope to collect at least 10,000 and will send the petition to Unesco, requesting Intangible World Heritage status for the Kings and their pages.

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