Music legend Morris Pleasure slapped in 'deeply upsetting' racist attack in Aberystwyth

Mo Pleasure is a former member of the band Earth, Wind and Fire. Credit: Media Wales

An international musician who performed with popular band Earth, Wind and Fire was targeted in a "deeply upsetting" racist attack in the Welsh seaside town of Aberystwyth.

Morris 'Mo' Pleasure was slapped to the head and subjected to racial slurs as he entered a nightclub.

The American multi-instrumentalist - who is also Bette Midler's musical director and a keyboardist in Michael Jackson's final touring band - has lived in Aberystwyth for 18 months with his wife Kedma Macias, who is from the town.

Mo said the people of Aberystwyth have been "so welcoming" and last weekend's attack is the only time he has received abuse in the area.

Morris 'Mo' Pleasure is also Bette Midler's musical director and a keyboardist in Michael Jackson's final touring band. Credit: Media Wales

The 59-year-old was out on Saturday night with Kedma's two sisters when they entered the Pier Pressure club on Royal Pier at around 2am.

Kedma said: "They were having a great night. My sisters went in first and as Mo was following them in, he was slapped on the back of the head."

She said the strike came from a man queueing for the venue, who went on to aim "every racist slur under the sun" at Mo. The "great" bouncers were "on Mo's side", ordering the attacker to leave, she added.

Kedma said: "Mo arrived home very upset. He said, 'I'm just used to this.' And that made me feel so sad. What he went through was absolutely disgusting. As a Black man from America, he's been through this sort of thing his whole life."

The couple, whose daughter is just under a year old, thanked the community for their support.

Mo said: "Aberystwyth is a magical place that has become home for my family over the last year and a half. The people of Aber have been so welcoming to me and the support I’ve had since this incident happened has been overwhelming.

"My wife and I have a little girl so we feel we have a responsibility to call out racism when we see and hear it, with the hope that our daughter doesn’t have to come across this type of abuse in her life.

"It was a deeply upsetting experience and I hope the police are able to identify who did this to me and prevent this person from attacking anyone else."

The 59-year-old musician entered the Pier Pressure club on Royal Pier at around 2am on Saturday night. Credit: Media Wales

Kedma added: "No one is a bigger supporter of Aberystwyth than me. Racism is everywhere.

"It happens all the time, even in little things that people don't realise. It's about education and people having a deeper understanding that, even in our beautiful town, racism can and does happen. As a community we want to stamp that out and call it out."

She said police have been "great" in offering emotional support to Mo and classing the attack as a hate crime. Police have told the couple they will carry out CCTV enquiries.

A Pier Pressure spokesperson said: “Pier Pressure has provided CCTV to Dyfed-Powys Police for the purpose of identification and values Mo’s praise for the professionalism of its security personnel.

"We utterly condemn such behaviour and any person who perpetrates a criminal act of this kind is subject to an indefinite exclusion."

A police spokesperson said: "Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating an alleged racially aggravated assault that occurred at approximately 2m on Sunday, April 3, outside Pier Pressure, Aberystwyth. A man is alleged to have slapped a 59-year-old man before directing racist language towards him.

"Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online here, by emailing, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908."