Globe and mail dating racism
As a result, black gay men are simultaneously feared, ignored, and desired.However, the chief problem surrounding the discussion about racial dating bias is that it gets reduced to "personal preference." Many of the white men on these apps will often try to excuse their racism by stating "it’s just a preference." But what Michael Johnson’s conviction shows us is that racially biased dating preferences are buttressed by a system of institutional racism that begets more tangible harm.What frightens me most about this case is that Johnson’s accuser was able to use the prison system to effectively retaliate, despite having sex with Johnson again, even after believing he had contracted HIV from Johnson.His accuser took advantage of a system that disproportionately criminalizes and convicts HIV-positive people of color.My experience isn’t unique but rather part of a larger trend.
It appears that Johnson’s accuser made the swift cognitive switch between two prominent stereotypes of black men in this country — from hypersexual aggressor to deviant criminal.
But this is the same accuser who, upon finding out that he might have contracted HIV, quickly turned to the (racist) criminal justice system to assuage his resentment toward Johnson.
In essence, what many white men attempt to easily dismiss as a "preference" quickly became a vehicle for the criminalization and incarceration of another black man.
As Steven Thrasher uncovers in his Buzz Feed investigation, Johnson was accused by a white partner who reportedly wanted to have sex with him because he was "well-endowed," "huge," and "only his third black guy." Tiger Mandingo’s screen name itself alludes to a historically inaccurate notion of strong black slaves who were sent to fight each other for their masters, which has since become a colloquialism about the hypersexual black man.
The words of Johnson's accuser indicate that the man desired him largely because of the accuser's investment in the myths about black men.
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A recent study by the organization Pro Publica looked at more than 500 records of people convicted on HIV-related charges.