People who piss me off, part 1: white Cambridge feminists and guys who lie about their race on Grindr

New writer ETIENNE LAURENT speaks out

50 Shades of Grey black Cambridge check your privilege cusu women's campaign ethnic minorities Feminism GAY girton Grindr LGBT privilege race white feminism white oppression white privilege

During my first term at Cambridge I gave a lunchtime lecture. It was usually about racialized poverty, white feminism, artistic protest, and movements through music.

I held these lectures because I was one of the only blackies in the vicinity of Cambridge with enough courage to sustain a discussion in front of an overwhelming majority of privileged white and Asian colleagues.

Now that I have had to intermit, I have chosen to continue getting my voice heard here – though you’ll have to wait another day for me to be the black poster man.

If you haven’t the time for a fireside chat with yours truly, pick a finger and keep it movin’. For those left, grab a seat or keep standing—actually keep standing because you could lose a few pounds. Here goes.

Listen up

Black men who put “mixed” as race or ethnicity on their Grindr annoy me.

Back in the United States (land of the free) we have something called the ‘brown paper bag test’. But so many of the so-called ‘mixed race’ guys on Grindr are so dark we’d have to retitle it the ‘charcoal bag test’ in order for their delusion to come close to verity. 50 Shades of Grey?!? Mofo, you are 50 shades of CHARCOAL.

What’s up with the self-hate? Poor little white boy won’t throw you a line? Grow up! Chances are, in this world, if he were to hit you up it would be to inquire about your BBC (and that is not the media outlet acronym folks).

I’m tired of people having to lie about their ethnicity. I’m a lighter skinned black male who could actually ‘pass’ for mixed background. Barack Obama? I’m lighter than him. Tiger Woods? I’m lighter than him. Lenny Kravitz? I’m lighter than him. But I never say that I have a white parent because it’s a deprecation to my reality and my existence.

Take this fun test

Besides, some of us lighter skinned ones would like a chance to prove that we do, indeed, love our darker skinned black brothers. Admittedly, I’m annoyed because I usually hit up these conflicted, beautiful specimens and they tell me that they “aren’t into black.” ‘Honey’, I tell them, ‘you are not going to become white by proximity. You’ll have to take my word for it: that you are the Blackest of the Blacks, so get with it!’

Snap out of this sociological pathology of trying to ‘not be’ black and exist within the fullness of your being. Truthfully, you are saying that you despise your parents and family when you partake in such an antic. And, yes, this all stems from slavery.

While we’re at it, white Feminists in Cambridge annoy me even more

Oh my word, you’re so fucking oppressed coming from upper middle class two parent households with collegiate educations. Do you want to know why many black women aren’t in classrooms complaining? Because they can’t get there in the first place.

White women, since the dawn of time (hell existence), have benefitted from white male world domination. But they present ‘their kind’ as oppressed whilst simultaneously oppressing other groups.

Extremely oppressed women of color, meanwhile, are actually living it: they are holding down multiple menial jobs, dealing with broken and impoverished homes, without husbands, raising children on their own with NO nanny (shock horror). If you had a nanny or housekeeper growing up, you should probably not discuss oppression to the likes of me or others from very marginalised backgrounds of colour. Instead, shut your damn mouth and listen.

Your average Cambridge white feminist’s only experience of real oppression is from shit she’s read online or seen on her gap year in Asia or Africa. The discourse on feminism and gender at Cambridge rarely includes race/ethnicity with any real fullness or sincerity. Gender gender gender…that’s all one hears in these parts.

Sometimes I feel like screaming: learn a bit about intersection.