I’ll start: I’m a queer Latina boi from the Bronx in a relationship with a queer femme white girl from the Midwest. At 32, I’ve finally learned how to call yt (white) girls out on microaggressions and racist behavior.
For me, calling someone out isn’t about gleefully shaming someone’s prejudiced behavior anymore.
He was a youthful black man who had moved to Ireland from Nigeria when he was nine. From the moment their union was forged, the young lovers’ came under a hydraulic press of neighbourhood gossip, disapproving friends and constant sideways glances.
“If looks could kill,” Otukoya says, “I’d probably be dead at this stage.” Not everyone uncomfortable with a romance between a black man and white woman was as tactile.
“We came out, a car drove up, called her a ‘n***er lover’ and drove away. She was obviously deeply upset because she couldn’t be seen as someone who was in a genuine relationship.” Richard Bashir Otukoya: “There was no, ‘Oh look at this guy, he’s got a job, he’s doing his Ph D.’ There was none of that.
It was just, ‘No, you’re black.’ That’s it.” Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times As someone who has suffered “subtle racism and explicit racism” all his life, the incident did not unnerve Otukoya (“That’s fine because then you know their intentions”).
Richard Bashir Otukoya has some bad relationship stories. They ripple with a hurt most of us don’t experience.
His voice quivers and cracks as he describes a doomed romance with a woman in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
He asks: 'Excuse me, are ya'll together, like in an intimate relationship?“Mother Concerned About Interracial Dating” : My 15 year old daughter wants to date a boy who is very nice and one she has known for several years, but he is Black (she is Caucasian).I didn’t mind when they were 10-12, but dating in high school feels wrong to me in this situation.Hello, shining stars of the galaxy, I hope you’re all feeling cared for today. We love with the weight of our skin colors between us and our different physical abilities.The protests and rallies in Baltimore, Philadelphia and across the country – due currently to the murders of Freddie Gray and London Chanel but the list of names is long and never-ending – have many of us feeling pushed to our emotional and cognitive limits. We love amidst peaceful demonstrations and wars with bodies that have been and seem to always be abused and marginalized.I’m more concerned with taking immediate care of myself and deciding if I’ll continue to engage with that person.