One of the women assaulted and robbed on a London bus for refusing to kiss her female date released an opinion article Friday saying the outrage over her attack should be the norm, regardless of the victim’s race or outward appearance.
Identifying herself only as Chris in her op-ed for The Guardian, the author recounted what a disturbing experience it was to have a bloody photo of her and her date’s faces ― ones that are “white, feminine, draped in pretty hair” ― become clickbait for media outlets and politicians who don’t typically support LGBTQ rights.
For several days, a graphic, triggering photo of our bloody faces satisfied voyeurs and enriched companies whose values counter my own, such as News Corps and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Many of the outlets publishing my face without permission endorse racist, misogynist and xenophobic platforms and politicians. One world leader on her last day in office concluded a long career voting in favour of anti-gay, racist, colonial policies by expressing her condolences to us.
The world leader she refers to is likely British Prime Minister Theresa May, who stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party last week and has come under fire for her handling of LGBTQ issues.
In Chris’s op-ed about the May 30 attack, for which several male teenagers have since been arrested, she recalled how quickly they were able to get police attention ― something she says non-white victims can’t always count on.
The press coverage, and timely law enforcement response, was not coincidental to our complexions. Neither was the disproportionate online reaction over the victimisation of a pretty brunette and blonde. The commodification and exploitation of my face came at the expense of other victims whose constant persecution apparently does not warrant similar moral outrage.
The vast majority of hate crimes documented by the United Kingdom in 2018, for example, were racially motivated. Concern for victims can’t only exist when those victims are conventionally attractive white women, Chris wrote.
Make the extraordinary reaction to our attack the norm. I beg you to amplify and channel this energy to hold accountable the intersecting web of elected politicians, government agencies and corporations who have reinforced a status quo of clearly delineated inequality long before this single attack in 2019. Redirect your money from rainbow capitalism to people-of-colour-led organisations striving for justice.
You can read her full op-ed on The Guardian here.