Nyx Parade embroiled in racial controversy 

By Briana Griffith

This year, the Nyx parade has the smallest number of members due to the controversy in 2020 with the founder Julie Lea, who posted “All Lives Matter” onto her Facebook page after George Floyd’s death. 

Many members of the racially diverse all-female krewes were outraged and blasted Lea for being insensitive. Lea tried to apologize but still refused to embrace the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” This caused the once largest parade with the largest group of members to quickly become the smallest with only an astounding two hundred riders and 14 floats.

“Listen, I’m from Texas and to be honest I don’t know anything about the controversies with all the parades and everything. I’m just here to have a hell of a good time, catch some beads and drink a few beers, then go home next week,” said Jim Rader, a tourist from Dallas, Texas. 

Although this controversy put Julia Lea and her parade in a deep hole, they still managed to show up for Mardi Gras 2022, and people out celebrating that parade had a few things to say themselves about the parade.

“I don’t know much about the controversy going on with this parade. I read up on it, and I think what the runner of this parade did was absolutely ridiculous,” said Anna Marie, a Baton Rouge native. “We all just want to grab a drink and cheer. Especially after being locked up in our houses from Covid for God knows how long,” Marie added.

In 2020 Covid-19 case outbreaks in New Orleans were skyrocketing, which ultimately caused Mardi Gras 2020 to be canceled. Many New Orleans citizens expressed how they were just excited to return to normal and go back to traditions. 

However, while Marie and Rader seem to just be at the Nyx parade to kick off Mardi Gras and have fun, others do not feel the same way. 

“There’s a bunch of parades and I feel like if you were a true ally for black lives you wouldn’t attend this parade,” said Sandra Hampton, a New Orleans native. “Julia Lea won’t even acknowledge black lives so why does she deserve our support for her parade,” Hampton said. 

 Members of the Nyx declined to give a statement following the Lea controversy. 

After the 2011 Mardi Gras season, Lea had the idea to start her own all-female Mardi Gras Krewe. On Mar. 30, 2011, the Mystic Krewe of Nyx was incorporated with the State of Louisiana. The Nyx’s first pageant, “NOLA Reality Reigns,” was featured on the St. Charles Avenue Parade Route on Feb. 15, 2012. The Mystic Krewe of Nyx is named after the Greek goddess of the night.

“I think it’s crazy to see all these people out here celebrating this racist parade,” said Maleeka Harrison, a critic of the Nyx parade. “Just because the hashtags aren’t trending anymore doesn’t mean we just forget about it all and continue to support racists who have shown us their true colors,” Harrison added.

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