the casual racism in nerd/gaming communities needs to stop

April 24, 2017
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By Asher Primus*, AFROPUNK contributor

As a blerd, I am identities intersect between my blackness and being a nerd. My blackness comes first, even though others may question it with my nerdy interests. Some black people listen to Migos and Future, but I will listen to Korean Pop or video game soundtracks.

When reaching out to other races of nerds there is sometimes a clash where black and nerds do not agree completely. I honestly do not hang with white nerds for a few reasons, for starters I do not want to be the token black guy. As a video gamer, white nerds have been notorious for their racist trolling in video gaming chatrooms as they shout the N-word and other racial slurs.

In personal encounters, white nerds do the same thing to test the waters on what black stereotypes they can get away with in your face.

One day in school at the gaming room, I was talking to a black friend of mine. He offered to sell his PS4 to me for a reasonable price. A white guy overheard the price and sarcastically offered to buy it. Amid of the 3-way conversation, he asked my friend if he was afraid I would steal it because I have dreadlocks. He said it a loud and looked at me with a silly smile. Me and my friend did not like his creepy video so we continued the conversation outside.

The energy that white nerds are running from is the presidency of Donald Trump. White nerds at my school proudly wore their ‘Make America Great Again’ hats. One had the nerve to wear it in Chinese class. My professor was not very vocal about it, even though it drew a lot of attention. She and my classmates played it off as if the goofy hat was not offensive, especially in a foreign language class. The class was mostly white with except of me and another black student (who later had a friendly chat with him on politics), a biracial woman and a shy Asian teenager.

One of my most recent encounters with racist nerds was last week as my former friend’s boyfriend would user her phone to call me N-word. I did not appreciate and warned them to stop. I then went petty on blasting the both of them. I knew about his insecurities and how his girlfriend felt under-appreciated. My former friend is a mixed-girl of white and latinx decent, yet she tries her hardest to be white, even though she looks far from it. Even other racist called her out that she is not white enough and that she looks too black.
I deleted her number and left her identity crisis to the bigots that she aims to impress.

Blerdhood is more important than evert in the age of Trump as our nerdness does not overlap out blackness and it does not intersect with white nerds alike.

*My name is Asher Primus. My hobbies are writing and landscaping. I have a love and appreciation for the simplest things in life. My goal in life is to guide black youths to a better future that appreciates their differences, flaws and uniqueness that they bring to the work.

Banner Photo by Nick Hagen via Polygon