Hey, remember Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina? No? Well, in case you need a refresher, he’s the super antigay dude who was formally reprimanded by the House of Representatives after yelling “You lie!” and President Obama during the 2009 State of the Union Address.
Bigotry must run in the office.
Rashad Humphries, a 27-year-old Marine from Washington, D.C., received a message from profile named “TGIF” earlier this month with the words “sup n*gga” along with two photos of a youthful white male.
At first, he ignored the message. Until TGIF followed that up with another one that said: “F*ck me n*gga.” To which Humphries finally replied:
Bro you think using n*gga in any context would make a black person want to f*ck you? Get the f*ck outta here with that racist sh*t.
This prompted TGIF to become enraged and respond: “N*gger.”
Grindr indicated that TGIF was less than 500 feet away. So Humphries and his boyfriend, Joel Garcia, along with their friend, Matt Curtis decided to do some sleuthing.
Who was this racist guy in such close proximity to them? And what could be done about it?
According to the Washington Blade:
Both Garcia and Curtis took it upon themselves to uncover the identity of “TGIF.” Under the false pretense of arranging sexual encounters, Garcia, who’s Latino, and Curtis, who’s white, both exchanged messages with “TGIF” on the same day. The two obtained different photos than Humphries and had exchanges that were markedly dissimilar from their friend’s.
Curtis continued chatting with TGIF and eventually persuaded him to send his phone number and a Facebook friend request. When the guys looked him up, they discovered the young man was a Republican, a Trump supporter, and, oh yeah, a former campaign intern for Rep. Joe Wilson who worked for an entire year on his 2016 reelection campaign.
When they finally confronted TGIF, he panicked and immediately apologized. He called Curtis ten times in a row, then began texting and messages him.
“Look man, I truly apologize,” he wrote. “I truly apologize. I’m just now coming to terms with who I am.”
In another message he wrote “I’m fucking crying.” And in another, he said, “Tell him I’m sorry. Tell him to take the post down. I’m conservative. I grew up in a conservative environment.”
Humphries tells the Washington Blade that online racism from the gay community is nothing new. Since he left the Marine Corps, he claims to have “encountered more moments of racism than I ever did in the military.”
“It’s usually the idea that, ‘I don’t talk to black guys’,” Humphries explains. “People who don’t talk to black guys because they’re scared or they just don’t hang out with black people…even within the gay community in which we shouldn’t have that issue since we’re already marginalized as it is.”
Humphries adds that he “wrestled” with going public about the incident because TGIF “is young, and young people made bad decisions,” but nonetheless thought it was important to make a point.
“You’re actively going around calling — not just me, but other black gay men — through social media and fake profiles a n*gger,” he says. “So I think the reason why I wanted to go through with this is based on there has to be some consequences for people’s actions regardless of what sphere it’s in.”
TGIF appears to have vanished from Grindr and deleted his Facebook page. Here’s hoping he’s having a long, hard think about what he did, and that he doesn’t repeat the actions again in the future.