Racial profiling

As sure as an Englishman will always acknowledge a fellow Brit abroad, minority groups do much of the same here in the UK.

As a black person I often acknowledge other black people when I see them in public. Usually a nod of the head followed by us both muttering “alright” quietly and then going our separate ways.

It is not just black phenomenon either, I have seen my Asian friends do the same thing. In fact it is not even strictly a racial thing. If I see other Arsenal fans I will nod and mutter at them too.

It works particularly well when you are in a place where you are less likely to find people of the same background. It worked much better when I lived in Preston compared to where I live now in East London.

Some of my friends think it is strange and perhaps even racist. But it’s just a bit of fun… or so I used to think.

It seems that people are racially profiling me to make me do shit for them.

This phenomenon, which I call getting ‘blacked’ (insert your own racial term where appropriate), occurs when people try to use your colour as a flimsy pretext to get you do something for them.

I am always getting ‘blacked’ by the guy who sells The Nation newspaper, I constantly get ‘blacked’ by a tramp I see on Oxford Street and the 1,000 yard is useless against the charity guys who ‘black’ me almost on a daily basis.

And some people actually fall for it. Some guys hand over money and give up time on the basis of it.

Not me though – I’ve decided to walk with my head down from now on.


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