Four Years Ago I Was Accused of Racism
Pre-pandemic, I used to attend a lot of events using the website, Meetup. This is a website where you can look for different groups based on your interests and location. At the time, I was in dire need of some new connections. I’d been to a fair few meetings and often left feeling like I had very little in common with the people I met, even if we shared a common interest in the group.
One of my bugbears of being a minority is that it can be hard to find like-minded people and the struggles of being black and Muslim brings this to a whole other level. I’m essentially a minority within another minority. I’ve written about how this translates in the realm of dating and relationships, but unsurprisingly it spills into other areas too.
I had the bright idea to make a group on Meetup which you could do for the price of £14. I coughed up the cash and created a group on a whim, hoping that I could find more people I had things in common with. Lacking in originality and creativity, I titled the group Black Muslim Queens.
One thing about me is that I won’t let my inability to come up with a great title stop me from pushing forward. My ethos is: just start, you can change it later, which consequently I’ve rarely ever done.
In this case, it wouldn’t matter anyway because my group was already heading for an untimely demise.
No sooner had I made the group and organized the first meetup than I received this message.
“Sounds racist to me!”
This was Tracey. To protect Tracey’s identity, I have removed her picture and details. But I have included screenshots for viewing pleasure.
Meetup has a direct messaging (DM) feature that allows people to send messages to other people.
I didn’t know Tracey, I’d never met Tracey, I don’t think Tracey and I are even in the same groups but Tracey had entered my inbox.
To this day, I marvel at Tracey’s speed. Believe me, when I tell you that I’d literally just about created the group, I still have no idea how she found it so efficiently and was able to message me so quickly.