This is a difficult one to write up because I would need to accurately quote friends and colleagues but I'll just summarise that we were having a discussion about the first time we were in a situation that racialised another person. In other words, our first encounter with someone that we were told was Black or Coloured.

N said that in Scandinavia, when Ghanaian (I think) migrants first came, they all wanted to be black like them - "or at least mixed race". I understood she said this to show how open-minded and liberal they are in Scandinavia. She seemed to say it with pride. But that kind of 'negrophilia' is just the flip-side of 'negrophobia', or to put it less politely, racism.

I am very tempted to write an answer to her here (I've already erased loads), to rant about racism and steroetypes and what it feels like when it happens to me... But I didn't say anything at the time. I have only just got over my own irrational hostility about her, based on her blonde hair and Scandinavian background. It seemed like the wrong time to go into ideas of exoticism and racism when I had been reacting to her up until a couple of weeks before based on the grounds of a stereotype.

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