Mykki Blanco Arrested in Lisbon: “I was insulted and discriminated against”


A couple days ago, rapper Mykki Blanco was arrested in Portugal, Noisey reports. Allegedly, the arrest happened after a verbal altercation with a police officer at the Lisbon airport. According to Blanco, the officer ignored her request for help and called her a homophobic slur; she said “fuck you” and wound up being taken to the police station. She was forced to pay a 600 Euro fine, Noisey reports. At first, she initially simply posted “I’m being arrested in Portugal for being gay,” to Facebook, but followed it up with a lengthy explanation in the comments section, which you can read below. “More than an act of racism and prejudice or even homophobia ( which were all 3 factors) I realized that class matters and that an upwardly mobile black man isn’t something people always want to see,” she wrote. Blanco went to Portugal to perform at a gallery residency and was scheduled to play a show tonight. According to her Facebook, she’s continued to receive angry and threatening messages, presumably for speaking out about the incident. Read her full post below.

I was swindled, by the Portuguese police department for being a gay black tourist that is the only explanation for this situation. 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 realized that class matters and that an upwardly mobile black man isn’t something people always want to see. 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. A Portuguese woman in the same taxi 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 myself to find the voucher office but there is apart 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 nuance as if I had not waited in the same line as all the other white tourists and when I asked why he could not help but could gladly help the other tourists I was yelled at and told to “go away bicha” which is a gay slur, even though I had waited in the same line as everyone else. The world aint a fair place, and the idea of a young successful black guy doesn’t always fly everywhere but I was insulted, and discriminated against so I said “Fuck you” and walked away…well he followed me inside, used his radio to call other police causing a scene in the airport and told me “You are under arrest” I said “excuse me, I have not committed a crime, I asked you for help and you refused to help me” he said “You have insulted a police officer and that is a crime in Portugal, you can’t talk to me that way” and he arrested me.

POSTED May 21, 2014 6:08PM IN MUSIC NEWS Comments (4) TAGS: ,




  1. ThisAM says:

    It’s a shame that she was treated that way. However, I think sometimes it might be wise to be prepared for discrimination as the world has not quite parted with it yet. Not that Mykki did anything wrong, but let it be understood that your identity, whatever it is!, will interpreted by others and weighed upon subjectively – naturally.

  2. kardi says:

    it’s HIM not HER !

  3. pronouns says:

    +1 kardi. Michael Quattlebaum is a man / identifies as a man. Mykki Blanco is a feminine character/persona worn by Michael in performance. Cross-dressing does not mean that the person in question identifies as transgender!

  4. Kid says:

    I would have lost all respect for the cop but I wouldn’t have waited around for more disrespect. The woman who told him about the taxi vouchers could have told him where they were yet he dismissed her to subject himself to more disrespect. That’s silly and I hope he learned a bit of maturity from this situation. Even when dealing with authority figures you still have to learn to be the bigger person.