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Jennifer Chong Schneider
Writer & Professor

Swipe White

Illustration by Wenting Li

Jennifer Chong Schneider | Longreads | December 2018 | 15 minutes (3,673 words)

Last summer, my friend and fellow English professor, Danielle, was punched in the face by a white man. When she called the police on him, she was arrested for fighting. She sent me this information in an email, and later I saw pictures of her bloody nose, split lip, fractured teeth. She is a black woman, and I can think of no other reason for her arrest.

After this episode of violence, before she left the country for good, fed up with America and its racist antics, Danielle gathered her friends to say goodbye. We were at a bar and there was only one white woman at the table, a salacious marketing peon who regaled us with sex stories in the style of a late 1990’s HBO show. She told us about her current sexual conquest, a Puerto Rican man who is muscular and masculine. Then she looked at Danielle and said she also loves to have sex with black men, adding that all black men have huge dicks, Puerto Ricans are next in line, and Asians have the smallest dicks, because she slept with an Asian person once. She insisted white men were the only group with any diversity. “White men are unpredictable,” she said, “there’s no rhyme or reason.”

I stood up, put my hands on the edge of the table and considered flipping it over, but decided to just leave. Danielle followed me out and asked if I was upset. I told her I was leaving to go have sex with an Asian man with a huge dick, and the anger rose inside of me for a reason I couldn’t articulate at the moment.

In the morning, Danielle forwarded me a pages-long email from the white woman, prefacing it by saying she and another black professor at the table spent hours berating the white woman until she cried; but she cried not about her sexual racism, but because she liked me and now I’ll never be her friend. I read Danielle’s message and deleted the other.
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