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Posted by / 09-Apr-2020 06:28

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On gay dating apps like Grindr and Scruff, some men post blunt and often offensive disclaimers on their profiles such as “no oldies,” “no fems,” and “no fatties.” Among the most ubiquitous are racial disclaimers like “no blacks” and “no Asians,” which are most frequently posted by white men but, as Edwards’s case proves, not always.

Sometimes, men even use foods as metaphors for entire ethnic groups: “No rice” to deter Asian men, “no spice” to keep the Latinos away, and “no curry” to tell Indians they don’t have a shot. ” Others have argued that it is impossible to separate the language of so-called sexual racism from racism in other spheres of life.

“Please don’t think this is racist but…”That was the disclaimer that an Asian man sent to Rokashi Edwards, 25, a black programmer living in Toronto, before telling him that he would never consider having sex with a black man.

Shocked, Edwards tried to push back on the man’s claim that he wasn’t being racist but he ran up against the same obstacle that many gay men of color face in the world of online dating.“It’s just a preference,” he was told. If you’re a gay man, phrases like “no blacks” and “no Asians” aren’t just words that you’d find on old signs in a civil rights museum, they are an unavoidable and current feature of your online dating experience.

These men also completed a region-specific version of the Quick Discrimination Index (QDI), a standard survey instrument that measures attitudes on race and diversity.

After putting these two data sets together, the trend was clear: “Sexual racism…

Men who had experienced racial exclusion in the past were, predictably, more likely to report being bothered by it than men who hadn’t but, still, a staggering 70 percent disagreed with the argument that sexual racism is “a form of racism.” A majority of them perceived racial exclusion as “a problem” but were reluctant to attribute it to racism.“While society is generally pretty comfortable condemning racism, there has been a surprising reluctance among people—gay or otherwise—to challenge racialized sex and dating practices,” Callander told The Daily Beast.

Eric’s experience with online dating highlights another troubling possibility raised by the study’s authors, namely, that gay dating services may actually be encouraging men to sort potential partners by race—at least, more brazenly than they would in person. ”For Steve, 28, a white gay man living in Philadelphia, one solution is understanding that the word “racist” applies to more than just, as he put it, the activities of the Ku Klux Klan.“The road to hell is paved with good intentions and ‘I’m not trying to be racist’ does not mean ‘I am not racist,’” Steve told The Daily Beast.

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Those who deploy these disclaimers defend themselves from accusations of “racism” by claiming that they merely have “preferences” for certain races over others. There is a reason, they insist, that men of color are most often pushed to the sexual wayside. Debates around “sexual racism,” as researchers have labeled it, are particularly heated within the gay community, although it is certainly a source of controversy in heterosexual circles as well.

Wrote one gay blogger, “Don’t tell me I can’t have a preference! It is also an argument that could soon be settled by emerging sociological research.

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Like the sexual racism survey, the QDI asks respondents to agree, disagree, or remain neutral in response to certain statements.