I'm glad to say I'm not one of those white people who think racism doesn't exist just because I don't endure it. I have parents; I've always been aware of it.
But some of the dates I've had are a cold hard smack in the face to anyone who thinks that if a tree falls in the wood, it doesn't make a sound.
Racist number one: laughing racist
He was half Iranian, half Russian, born and raised in Iran, and from out of nowhere says he doesn't trust black people. I joked that he wouldn't like it round where I live (Peckham (London)) and he agreed no, too many Africans. The mad thing was, he found this hilarious! Calling black people "untrustworthy" was all just japes to him. "lol"
Racist number two: deceptive narcissistic racist
This one didn't go well from the moment I saw him and realised his photo was from the 80s. In his late 40s? My arse. I ended up cornered in a coffee shop listening to him bang on about how great he was and then he said he liked where he lived (Hampstead) because you don't have to be scared of "the blacks". I was shocked and said for starters, don't call black people that. He agreed, apologised, but then soon after used that phrase again, "the blacks". I've never wanted to headbutt a date before. He was an Indian immigrant who voted Brexit (and was very proud of it "of course I voted Brexit"!) because there's too many immigrants. I'm an immigrant too - having terrible trouble with my border.
Racist number three: local racist
From out of nowhere (presumably as it's a question on OK Cupid) he announces "why is it black lives matter? All lives matter." And then...again from nowhere said "Piers Morgan: he's just saying what we're all thinking." No, he's not. He then started banging on about Brexit and how it's good to be taking back control and spouting "facts". I was working at the time for a company that does political analysis, and had a festoon of actual facts ready for him. I had stats. Percentages. Forecasts. Consequences. You'd never fit it on a bus. He looked...blank and disappointed.
Racist number four: Fake views - local racist no. 2
To begin with, I didn't recognise him from his photos. Never a good sign. He was very loud, confident (read arrogant and rambunctious) and dominating the conversation. As in, I was sitting there being talked at, with a look of horror on my face. To be honest, I'm not even sure what he was on about - it was all a bit "us" and "them" and I did think to myself, is he being a racist? Who are the "them" he keeps referring to? What's happening here? Then it came out: "I'm not a racist...my ex is Jamaican." Ah. So he was being racist.
And the monologue continued ... he said something about how police have big guns in the US and I attempted a joke that "it's ok for us, we're white". That's when he brought up "fake news" and how no more black people are killed (which is numerically correct - but doesn't quite ... hang on I don't need to tell you it's more complicated than that. You're smart people!). He was suggesting I got my news from Facebook and had gone down the route that I was a gormless idiot.
He then announced "I'm not telling you what to think". That's when I snapped. "You can't tell me what to think. You are not entitled to tell me what to think." I said I wasn't comfortable with the conversation and he said ok, how about another drink. I said nothing (I actually just wanted to cry) and he offered a lift home. I joked that that's breaking one of the top 5 rules of dating: don't get into strangers' cars. That's when he snapped, got up and made a big scene that he was "walking out on this date", pointing at me for good measure. Knob.
Racist number five: science racist
My best friend is Czech and she told me that it can be a problem there, how people are openly racist. Well I met one of the bad ones. I had just been made redundant from a job where our positions were offshored to the South Africa office. He said the company he worked for had lots of South Africans who preferred to work in the UK because the company has a "one black for one white" equality hiring programme. Oh that's a good idea I said, completely oblivious to being what a massively racist t**t he was.
Then (and you'll notice a pattern here) it came up out of nowhere about how some people just don't try in life. And having difficult life circumstances/poverty is no excuse. He mentioned black people not doing well in UK society despite all they are given. I made some attempt at being the bleeding heart liberal I am and suggested there's a bit more to it that than and he said ... actually, snapped at me:
"So you're telling me the [insert really long name of gene] that Chinese people have that make them better at concentrating and do better in life doesn't exist then, hmmm?" I got "hmmmmd?"
What? You're polarising black and Chinese people against each other, the Chinese being superior because they have a particular gene? Is what I should have said. I don't think I said much really as I'm ill prepared for these situations. I had no science back for him. No counter argument of the genetic merits of black people. Because I'm not a eugenics-toting-racist.
Any pointers on pertinant questions to ask to avoid meeting racists welcome!