“You better watch yourself. I’ll kick your a** all the way back to Iraq if I ever see you in public,” the Islamophobe wrote. Level-headed (yet sassy!) Anthony responded, “I’m Lebanese but thank you for proving your continual ignorance.” The insults got worse before Magallanez blocked the other man and ended the embarrassing exchange. “It became clear to me that he only wanted to be hateful, so that’s when I stopped taking him seriously,” Anthony later said, citing his fear for Muslims across the planet. While this horrific example of racism may seem unique, Grindr has long been a place of racial prejudice, as evidenced by numerous Twitter accounts and complaints to the app.
A Bigger Issue
In fact, there is an entire Twitter account dedicated to showing the daily injustices that gay men, especially minorities, encounter on the app: @GrindrRacism.
While looking for partners to hook up or go on a date with, Grindr users are not afraid to make their preferences known to the other gay men in their area. As many activists on Grindr point out, however, racial preference is racial prejudice.
This argument exists within a larger debate about racial preferences on online dating and dating apps: should race ever have a place in our profiles and interests sections? Unfortunately, people do have their racial hangups when it comes to dating and meeting others, and many of them probably don’t even realize that their preferences exist in the realm of racism, complete with real victims.
But this issue isn’t new. In fact, it’s just the virtual, 21st century manifestation of subtle racism that has lasted with even the most progressive people among us over the years. When meeting others in person, we know our own preferences and what we’re generally looking for in a partner. Prejudiced people can easily look for a date without having to explain their thoughts and biases. Now that everything is online, however, many users are less hesitant to state their preferences from the get go.
We all need to start treating each other better, folks. Gay, straight, Muslim, Christian: it doesn’t matter, and it shouldn’t. You’re only ever going to meet individuals or small groups of individuals from any nationality, orientation, identity in general, and they can be in no way representative of their larger whole when you make decisions and judgements about them later on. We’re all victims and we’re all perpetrators, but with a little common sense and decency, we can also all be allies to those in need. SHARE if you agree.