“I’m Not Racist, I Just Don’t Like Rice And Curry!” Actually, You Are.

Writer, poet & critic Lia Incognita

Writer, poet & critic Lia Incognita

How often do you see online profiles that say “No Rice / No Curry”, and then when you challenge the writer, they say they’re not racist?

This week we had some feisty discussions about this on the Rainbow Report, and it seems that, if you say things like that, you are.

It all started last year when Jesse Matheson published an opinion piece titled “I Am A Sexual Racist”  (click through for the full article). He immediately adds

“The title says it all really, although I am not racist.”

(btw the headline of this Post isn’t a quote from him). He went on to say, among other things:

“Sexual preference of any way, shape or form, is something quite personal. Creating this very negative idea of sexual racism, I believe, infringes on our ability to choose who we sleep with without having to feel bad about it. Ironically enough, it’s the people asking the government to ‘get out of our bedrooms’ who are also trying to dictate who we should let in.”

He says

” I don’t believe having a racial preference when it comes to sex is racist but that exhibiting in an offensive and horrible manner is: that is the point I made in the article.”

Lia Incognita, a Shanghainese/Melbournian bisexual woman, writer, critic, poet and broadcaster, thought that was a shallow viewpoint, and Joy’s own Hikaru Freeman, black and American, disagreed with it too.

White men bring all kinds of assumptions to their interaction with Asian women, labelling them as passive, exotic and so forth.

Hikaru Freeman says sexual racism causes immense harm to young black gay men, leading to a catastrophically high rate of suicide and self harm. And tells of his own experience of coming out in a predominantly white suburb.

He told us how, in the early days of the internet, he would be welcomed in chat rooms and conversation, but they would fall silent when he revealed he was black.

The discussion grew heated at times, and passions ran high, with many listeners joining in, as you can hear.


About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)