On September 19, 2018, Grindr, the most popular gay men’s dating application, released a video titled Kindr to increase consciousness about sexual racism and make the virtual space a comfortable environment for users. This essay archives users’ comments and conversations that occurred prior to and after the release of Kindr to showcase the specificity of and pervasiveness of anti-Blackness ideology, which goes hand in hand, but is more insidious than racism on Grindr that is not addressed by the video. Drawing from recent theorizations of racism and anti-Blackness ideology and “the psychic life of racism” as theoretical frameworks, we utilize virtual ethnography and thematic analysis to suggest that there is a “psychic life of anti-Blackness” that makes navigating the virtual space a psychically injurious place. Specifically, we document and archive texts from profiles that espoused anti-Black commentary, particularly specific language/discourse, fetishization of Black bodies, and a very violent defensive whiteness that make anti-Blackness prevalent on Grindr. The authors ultimately argue that the “play nice” Kindr campaign was only one step toward consciousness raising, but failed to address anti-Blackness as a perpetual ideology that is firmly entrenched and needs specific uprooting to address the discrimination and ideological violence that uniquely occurs against Black people.
Andrade, Luis M. and Cooper, Deven
"Defending Whiteness: The Psychic Life of Anti-Blackness on Grindr,"
Contemporary Argumentation and Debate: Vol. 38, Article 10.
Available at: https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cad/vol38/iss1/10