A woman claims that she wasn’t allowed to dance at the St. Louis African Arts Festival because she is white. Event organizers say they asked the woman to sit down and stop dancing because she was interrupting the show.
Susan Stone claims that she has proof in the form of a secretly recorded video that shows that an African-American event staffer racially discriminated against her as she celebrated the event on Sunday.
“He takes me and tells me, ‘You can’t be doing this here. This is an African-American event. You can’t be at this event. You’re not black,'” Stone told news station KMOV. “It’s supposed to be about sharing African culture with everybody. How can you do that if you run somebody out?”
Stone is a well-known fixture on the St. Louis dance scene, often showing up at events dressed in a tutu, the news station reports.
In the recording an alleged organizer, who is black, can be heard making disparaging remarks about Stone’s clothing while another man asks her to sit down.
“This character does not go along with what this festival represents,” the alleged organizer says. “This is the African Arts Festival, this is not the Ballerina Arts Festival. This is not the European Arts Festival. This is not the Caucasian Arts Festival.”
An angry Stone told the news station that she has never been discriminated against for being white.
“It kind of shocked me because I’ve been discriminated against for many things—gender and all kinds of things—but never my color,” the dancer told the news station. “I feel angry because they’re missing out on the beauty of everything. We’re all supposed to get along together; that’s what God says.”
One organizer told KMOV that the man’s response to Stone’s dancing was unacceptable “because we want everyone to showcase their talents and their abilities.”