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APARTHEID AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE BGCLive.com has announced that it will allow its users to block members based on their race. The site, primarily used by African-American men, has introduced "Smart Blocking", a feature that will allow paying members to block other users from viewing their profile based on age, sexual position, gender, and race. BGCLive says it is "the largest gay/bi/trans social network where members communicate with Black and Latino Brothas/Sistas. BGC welcomes all members of the LGB&T community, including the Black Brothas/Sistas, Our Latino Brothas/Sistas, Our White Cousins and Our Far East Coast Cousins from China and India, we are all One Big Family. Anyone who thinks otherwise does not belong here." Despite the site itself claiming to be open to all races, some users are unhappy about the presence on the site of those who aren't black - and specifically, the presence of Caucasians. The mantra "it's called black gay chat for a reason" is beloved of those who see BGCLive as a space exclusively for the black gay community. Current threads in the BGC forum include:

Dating Black Men Doesn't Mean You Understand Them...... How do/would you turn down Older White Men looking for sex? DO NIGGAS LIKE TO GET FISTED OR IS IT ONLY WHITE FOLKS ??

The motive in allowing users to block people based upon their race is suspect, to say the least. Within the European Union, such a move would be frowned upon, since EU rules ban discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic origin. I wonder how such a move would be interpreted were it available on social networking sites frequented primarily by white gay men... ka-os|theory contacted BGCLive.com regarding the new policy. BGCLive.com have so far declined to comment.

17 comments:

JCal456 said...

I hate this
Black people like to pull the race card and talk about discrimination we get thrown at us on a daily basis, and then we go and allow some shit like this.
If a primarily white site were to do this they would be seen as undeniably racist.
BGC is just a very very messy site. I won't deny having an account there, but I really only use it because the gay people in my area frequent there more than myspace. I've met a few good friends on there, but for the most part BGC is VERY messy. From the admins to the members...just messy.

Garçon Stupide said...

"BGC is VERY messy." lol... uh huh, JCal456, ain't that the truth...

There's a hardcore, vocal, group of people who are out to cause division. I'd say that most guys on BGC don't give a damn about race, and even if they're only interested in black-on-black lovin', they're not interested in racial haterade. Check out most any good-looking white guy's BGC friend's list and you'll find plenty of black guys on the list.

However, there are the gremlins in the machine, and sadly, BGC admin seem to be advocating this with this lunatic racial blocking tool...

Noble said...

wow thats insanity...they might as well change the name to Black Gay Cunt like ive always known it to be

J. Clarence said...

I don't understand the blocking aspect to this at all; however, I can see where some might have an issue/concern with BGC becoming too much of a "big tent" and loosing and/or dimishing an important aspect to it.

I don't use the site, so I'm unfamilar with the blocking feature and how extensive it is or will be, but on the surface alone it seems like a bad idea. I don't suppose that people are forced to interact so if you do not want to interact with the various people of different backgrounds you are not forced to, so the blocking feature seems obsolete.

Also, Ka-os, I get the point of what you are trying to say, but do you not think "apartheid" is too strong a word out of context in title?

Garçon Stupide said...

J. Clarence - you say that you can "see where some might have an issue/concern with BGC becoming too much of a "big tent" and loosing and/or dimishing an important aspect to it."

It's that sort of mentality that's the root cause of the problem. Outright racism is one thing, but tolerating it is just as bad.

What's wrong with it becoming a big tent, as you put it? Are you advocating separtism and division? It seems so.

Secondly, that only works if all, or even the majority, of the black guys on BGC want to to remain exclusive to "black gay community". Clearly that isn't the case.

Thirdly, the site itself advertises itself as welcome and open to everyone. It's set its stall out as a "big tent".

Lastly, as you know, Apartheid means separateness in Afrikaans. It refers to racial segregation. There are those in the black gay community (the Jasmyne Cannicks and James Earl Hardys of this world) who would be more than happy for us all to be segregated.

Therefore, where we're talking about racial discrimination and attempts to enforce segregation, the word is entirely appropriate. I'd imagine that black gay separtists are uncomfortable being called on it.

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

When we're talking racial segregation or separatism, I don't think "apartheid" is too strong a word. It does grab ones attention.

BGC's blocking mechanism leaves a bad taste, and I didn't know until now that it allowed race-based blocking. I only encountered it once while clicking on a profile and assumed it was age-based. I was very annoyed (The little fcuker doesn't know what he missed).

When we tolerate BS like this, even when it doesn't discriminate or isolate or single us out personally, then we have no leg to stand on when one DOES hit us in the gut.

The Black Gay community has too long tolerated overt racism in its ranks, surely in response to the same from many other sources, yet it is still just as wrong-headed and dangerous.

The policy is wrong. BGC should be taken to task for it. Period.

thegayte-keeper said...

THAT'S JUST PLAIN OLE STUPID!!!TO THINK I MET NOEL ON THAT SITE...I HELD THEM IN SUCH A GOOD PLACE IN MY MIND...THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING FOR ME NOW!!!

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

I sent this note to admin:

I've heard the most disturbing thing. Is it true that BGC offers blocking based on RACE??!!

I know this must be a mistake. I know the Black Gay community -- which has been the brunt of so much race and sexual discrimination from every direction -- wouldn't in turn become the oppressor.

If this IS true, then I'm disgusted and ashamed. I'll wait for a response, but in the meantime this Black Gay man will be raising awareness of this breach of society's already sketchy racial etiquette. ~~

Taylor Siluwé - Features Editor, Out IN Jersey magazine; author of DANCING WITH THE DEVIL ~ Taylor@SGLcafe.com

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

@ gayte-keeper,

I agree. I met my models on that site. I actually liked the site when I realized you could use it for more than a hot nut on a cool summer night. ;-)

But alas, I'll re-evaluate if they don't change that policy.

Zefrog said...

www.sexualracismsux.com

Vincent said...

That is truly disturbing to read the BGClive is supporting further segregation in a minority group. Gay men need to stick together regardless of race and by allowing such shit to happen in the community it continues the divide..(sigh) I just don't get racism in the gay community.

Mark said...

You are really something else...Ive been viewing this blog ever since I found out you posted my BGC pic on here (from my profile without my knowledge )..and discovered you are very biased. I can point out the contradictions in your logic, but Im not going to waste my time. Make up your mind. Is it wrong to discriminate based on race or does it just matter who is doing it?

Garçon Stupide said...

Mark - your BGC picture was used in an article comprised of comments left on a public forum. The key word here is public. I simply reposted information that was already in the public domain. If you are unhappy having your image or thoughts quoted, it's perhaps unwise to put them in the public domain in the first place.

To answer your question, yes, it is wrong to discriminate based on race. That's the point: being black doesn't give you free rein to discriminate against people you don't like.

Lastly, OF COURSE I'm biased. This is MY blog, MY opinions. If you don't like it, I'm sure Jasmyne Cannick will welcome you with open arms.

Justin B. Smith's News and Views said...

I can't believe this I don't think it's right at all

Eduardo Guize said...

Well, I find this really sad but not surprising at all. In this website or any gay website, people are free to block whoever they want, one by one, following their own judgment, just as nobody can force you to talk to guys of a different race at a gay bar if you don't feel like it. So yes, a guy can block ONE BY ONE all the users of a different race or deny their friend requests, etc., and obviously that's a lot of exhausting clicking. This tool just makes it easier...

But then, the smart profile search that allows you to look only for profiles of a certain race, age, etc. has been there for years and nobody has complained.

I don't mean that I don't find it shocking, but less shocking than if it's the website that blocks directly people of a certain race, that would be actually a legal issue.

I obviously consider it very very sad though, as building walls or letting people build walls inside the gay community based on race is simply stupid.

Trojan Gayle said...

The idea of a social networking site that allows blocking of a persons race is disappointing and misguided.

People who use these sites probably operate on some level a blocking systems depending on personal preference. Age, race, weight, look, role etc. Does it make a racist if I'm not interesting in you because you are white or you because i am black? People preselect all a range of levels all the time.

BGC shouldn't have allowed themselves to be caught in such a situation and should such a system as it goes against best practice amongst networking sites.

I imagine that BGC main aims is to have a site that focuses on the needs of black gay men as other gay networking sites seem to cater for white men only. No one seems to complain that Gaydar and Dlist aimed towards white men who are mainly interested in other white men. BGC is trying to cater for black gay men, which on the whole gets ignored by the white gay community.

People could argue that the "white" gay networking sites exclude people of colour by the way it seems to cater for one group more (white people) and ignore other groups. I don't hear white folks complaining how these sites ignore our needs.

Lastly i think BCG is a good thing for the black community as it focus on our needs. It may not be perfect and not for everyone, but its ours!

Garçon Stupide said...

Trojan - I'd like to address your points one by one.

Firstly, you say, "Does it make a racist if I'm not interesting in you because you are white or you because i am black?"

No - of course it doesn't make you racist. I'm not talking about personal preference. As I've said on this blog time and again, there is nothing wrong with being into one race or another. What's wrong is then using your personal preference as a platform for spreading racial hatred.

You say, "other gay networking sites seem to cater for white men only". Do they? How, exactly? There's plenty of non-white men on Gaydar. It's simply a statistical fact that there are more white gay men than black. I'd argue that a lot of black gay men choose to segregate themselves and ghettoise themselves on sites like BGCLive.com. Gaydar, not a site I've ever used much, isn't a white site, it's a gay site. Rather than white men excluding others, I'd argue that a lot of black gay men are simply anti-white.

You mention DList: "aimed towards white men who are mainly interested in other white men"

Really?! I use DList a lot to promote my blog, and as such have a big friends list on there. At present, I have 2365 friends on DList, almost ALL of whom are black, Latino or Asian (and variations there of). DList is an example of a social networking site that is genuinely diverse, where gay men of all backgrounds have come together in the face of these tired old racial boundaries.

"I don't hear white folks complaining how these sites ignore our needs." This is one "white folk" who consistently talks about the issue of race in the gay community. But I advocate inclusion and diversity, not running off to BGC to hide and bitch about white people.

"BCG is a good thing for the black community as it focus on our needs." Sites like BGC also have the side effect of essentially saying black is good and white is bad. Is that healthy? Why do we insist on splintering and dividing, instead of coming together?

The message you seem to be sending is that the mainstream gay community excludes non-whites. On that we agree. But you, like many others, seem to think the solution is to exacerbate that division by creating gay ghettos based on race.

 
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