A Black law student said she was shocked after receiving a series of racist messages from a man she matched with on the dating app Tinder.
Nnenna Asubo, a sophomore at University College London, posted screenshots of the text thread between her and Kings College London engineering student Declan Haim, declaring the messages were “further proof that racism is alive and well in 2018.”
Hiam opened the conversation with a distasteful joke in reference to the Batman theme song before asking Asubo if she was dressed as “King Kong, Harambe or Donkey Kong.”
further proof that racism is alive and well in 2018 pic.twitter.com/NYg36SKsk1
— Nnenna (@nnenna_asubo) March 22, 2018
“Excuse me?,” Asubo replied, confused and offended by the question. The U.K. law student tried to laugh it off as a bold statement, to which Hiam confessed his remarks were part of a dare with friends.
“Pls don’t lynch me,” he pleaded.
Speaking to The Tab, Hiam, 21, explained he sent the messages as part of a game with his friends in which they flirted with the matches who liked them but would otherwise not give the time of day. The goal? To get someone to unmatch you as quickly as possible.
“The intent wasn’t racially driven,” he told the news site. “I felt horrible sending every one of those messages. I explained immediately after that it was a dare. And I apologized [for] them directly.”
Asubo didn’t find the messages funny in the least bit and made that crystal clear.
“…I was in shock to begin with simply because after all the other incidents happening at other unis [universities], I couldn’t believe that he would be stupid enough to use racial slurs that could potentially land him in trouble,” she told The Tab. “After the ‘King Kong’ comment, which he followed with ‘Harambe’ and ‘Donkey Kong,’ it was just really apparent that the didn’t find anything wrong with what he was saying.”
After the incident, Asubo found Hiam’s social media pages and posted the damning screenshots for all his friends to see. Hiam has since made his accounts private, according to the news site.
“Honestly, there is no reply I can give to you that is gonna change anyone’s opinion on me after reading this article,” the aspiring engineer said of his actions, saying people will likely think he’s “some horrible pro-right extremist.” ” … They couldn’t be the furthest from the truth. They don’t know me. I am not a racist.”
A spokesman for Kings College London said officials have been made aware of the incident and are investigating the matter.