A social experiment run by a chef charged whites 30 dollars for a meal while charging people of color 12 dollars. Many people cancelled their orders, but 80% of white customers were willing to pay the higher price. Another experiment in the University of Texas, Austin saw conservative students hosting an Affirmative Action Bake Sale, where based on race, minorities paid next to nothing, and whites and Asians paid more. Soon, the bake sale was swarmed by protesters who believed the demonstration to be racist. The Afrofuture Fest organizers defended their decision on their EventBrite page by clarifying that they were aiming for equity rather than equality.
On the other side, there are those who oppose this price discrimination that is solely based on race. One of the Detroit musicians slated to perform at the festival has dropped out after hearing about the festival charging white attendees extra. The artist, Jillian Graham, feels like the pricing is almost spiteful, and is fundamentally non-progressive. Eventbrite threatened to pull down the event listing, since it required attendees to pay a different price based on “protected attributes such as race and ethnicity,” going against its terms of service. The organizers have since declined to comment.
To me personally, I feel like this discrimination in price is muddy and inherently flawed. What are mixed race people considered as? What about races that are neither black nor white? The gaps in the pricing are just minor issues, however. The price discrimination policy presented is not constructive nor progressive: it instead facilitates a further divide between the whites and blacks of Detroit, who already share a strained history. If the goal of the organizers was to create an atmosphere where everyone could be treated fairly, this policy was the antithesis of that. There are so many ways to draw awareness to injustices but using aggression or discrimination for this purpose begets only strife and spite. It cannot create the harmonious, just society that we all wish for.