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Man’s racist Tinder date exchange sparks online debate

TINDER DATE DEBATE: When Nicky Sowemimo blocked the woman on Whatsapp after her comments she proceeded to message him on Instagram

ENCOUNTERING RACISM while online dating is not new for people of colour. Black women especially have often complained of being fetishised by non-black men in such settings and documented how they have been mistreated on digital dating platforms because of their race.

One black man’s recent online exchange with a prospective Tinder date has sparked a debate about interracial romance, racism and the perils of dating while black.

Nicky Sowemimo, 32, had arranged to go on a date with a white woman he met on dating app Tinder but just minutes before the date he cancelled on her after she said she did not like going to “black people’s places” by herself. The pair were due to meet at Soho bar Zebrano.

Sowemimo told that his date, who has not been named, was scared of going into the bar alone because she did not want to be outnumbered by the amount of black people.

She said: “Just waiting outside. I don’t like to go to black ppl’s [sic] places myself.

“Like would never go to Rum Kitchen by myself...last time we went to Rum Kitchen I was nearly the only one white person there.

She added: “I mean the only blond one. Few other dark hair ones. I don’t feel comfortable.”

Sowemimo told the woman that it was “a strange thing to say” and that he did not like what she was saying.

“If you’re uncomfortable about black people, why are we meeting?” he asked her.

After the exchange, Sowemimo blocked the woman but she proceeded to message him on Instagram where she called him “very rude”.

“Probably one of the reasons I prefer to stay away from Nigerians. You’re just on a different level,” she wrote.

Sowemimo’s sister Annabel, shared her brother’s exchange with the woman on Twitter.

Annabel said the incident was a “harsh reminder” for black people that just because someone dates you, it doesn’t mean they are not racist.

She encouraged black daters to ask questions early, take them to black spaces in order to save themselves mental trauma.

Many commenters called the white woman racist and were shocked and outraged by her statements.

“He shouldn’t date her. Having racist views and wanting to be sexually intimate with someone of another race is common,” one Twitter user said.

“Another example of fetishising us, but being in black spaces would be ‘too much’,” another commenter wrote.

“Oi she made Rum Kitchen sound like it’s a different country,” another tweeted.

Some commenters came to the woman’s defence, sympathising with her concerns.

“What if this girl has a form of social anxiety that will definitely be heightened by being one of few white people there? I know what it feels like to be anxious around people, how about getting to know her before condemning her? God is watching us all. We always do the most,” one wrote.

Another said: “I don’t think this is racist. She just didn’t wanna feel out of place. I would feel lowkey different if I’m the one different person in a whole community of the same people.”

Others believed Sowemimo should take some of the blame.

He had admitted that she had made numerous “questionable” comments the previous week but he “overlooked them and brushed them off” because it was not enough for him to assume the worst.

“She felt comfortable enough to say that to him because she said other things and he overlooked them. For some black men ‘a bit racist’ is better than any black woman,” one commenter said.

Another wrote: “Your brother was entertaining her after several of those comments. So... who really looks bad?”

“This wouldn’t be a problem if he was dating his own race. [You] don’t wanna have that discussion though,” one commenter said.

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