The other week the whole nation was horrified to hear the story of a lesbian couple that were taunted, beaten up and robbed by a crew of teenagers on a London bus.
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The teenagers have been arrested, though weirdly not identified to the public so far. However with national focus on the incident during Pride month and the entire country offering their sympathies to the couple, the whole thing seems to have taken a bizarre turn.
Uruguayan Melania and American Chris have been making headlines for their views on UK politics, asked about their opinions on Boris Johnson running for PM (“not fit to lead anything”) and claiming the bigoted attack on them is connected to Brexit. Even though the people who attacked them are teenagers who can’t vote and probably don’t even care about politics.
That’s not to say they are necessarily wrong about Boris Johnson, but many are questioning why the views of these two on a topic completely irrelevant to what they went through matter, when other victims of violence, harassment and knife crime aren’t afforded the same platform.
The weirdest part though comes from a piece Chris wrote for the Guardian following the attack. Here’s what she wrote:
The photo of me and my date went viral – but only as we’re white, feminine and cisgender.
In the United Kingdom, it always has been and still is open season on the bodies of people of colour, indigenous people, transgender people, disabled people, queer people, poor people, women and migrants.
I have evaded much of the violence and oppression imposed on so many others by our capitalist, white supremacist, patriarchal system because of the privileges I enjoy by dint of my race, health, education, and conventional gender presentation. That has nothing to do with the merit of my character.
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.
What do you think, does she have a point? I’m not sure I buy it personally. I think people would be outraged and sympathetic of two women being beaten up by a crew of teenagers no matter what their race, sexuality or background. If the story did blow up disproportionately in the media then maybe it’s because it occurred during Pride month.
She is essentially accusing everyone who showed concern for her well-being and who sympathised with what her and her girlfriend went through of being racists. That’s not cool really, is it?
It just seems like the sort of thing that undermines all the real social justice issues we’re facing in 2019. A lesbian suffers a horrific hate crime and then claims people only feel badly for her because she’s white and cisgender. Would be a shame if this is what the narrative around the incident becomes.
No prizes for guessing what these two think of the straight pride flag, which is already being widely mocked on social media.