The following post was written by Chicago-based writer Terrence Chappell. Chappell has been featured in The Huffington Post, CS Magazine, The Men’s Book Mag. and on ChicagoPride.com. Go to chicago.gopride.com for more information.
By: Terrence F. Chappell
When I clicked on the Thought Catalog’s January 17 article titled “I’m Not Racist, I’m Just Not Attracted to Black Men” by an anonymous author, probably similar to other fellow black gay men, my initial thoughts were “Ah s*** here we go again…” I’m not quite sure when the declarative, “I’m not racist,” fill-in insulting, tired argument became the ultimate, uniformed, vernacular defense of the weary to prove that they’re not racist. However, simply put, it’s terrible. It never ever disproves that someone is actually not a racist. And in most cases, perpetuates stupidity. So, to title an article about race and sexuality as, “I’m Not Racist, I’m Just Not Attracted to Black Men” is off putting, and I still haven’t even made it past the title.
Mr. Anonymous introduces himself to readers with his Grindr profile admitting that, “I’m one of those Grindr profiles you click that says “white for white only.” He seems to be confused as to why he received numerous messages from members saying that his personal preference is racist and that he’s misguided. I’m not saying the author is a racist, but his very direct and descriptive Grindr profile of “white for white only” does share a similar sentiment of a historical racist piece of legislation – Jim Crow Laws. Only instead of slapping “whites only” on water fountains and schools, it’s being slapped on Grindr profiles. Although I don’t think people should turn to Grindr to lead the masses in being P.C., it’s probably not the best practice to share the same wordplay and engagement as the Jim Crow Laws, just saying.
Too add insult to injury, the author goes on to say he’s not racist because he has a lot of gay black friends. If I had a nickel for every time I heard this argument, I’d buy Mr. Anonymous a clue and even throw in some common sense for good measure. And I thought the days of black people being commodities were over. As if that wasn’t enough, when one of his “gay, black friends”, who is only into white guys as well, opens up to him about being hurt and feeling undesirable when he sees “whites only” in a member’s Grindr profile, the author advises him that he should put “only into white guys” in his profile. Wow. I’ve heard better advice from the depressed. Not only is this horrific advice at best, but it promotes his friend’s self-hatred. Even worst, his friend already tried it. Thus proving, there needs to be a resurgence of the Black is Beautiful campaign, but that’s a different story; back to the author.