Sunday, March 6th at 2pm in Oakland, California, QUARREL performed a non-violent direct action to address a perpetrator of racial and emotional abuse who had fled from his accountability process in Portland, Oregon.
Jess Bayle, a class privileged white genderqueer who had claimed he was a person of color to infiltrate queer people of color safe spaces for years, relocated to the Bay Area. Clearly oblivious to the fact that his reputation preceded him, Bayle responded to several personal ads by women of color under the guise that he was an anti-racist white person who "works on his shit." QUARREL was summoned by one of these women and a date was set up.
QUARREL and supporters surrounded Jess Bayle at Mamabuzz Café to confront him and present him with a list of community demands generated in past accountability process that he has thus far ignored including the request that he disclose his history when forming new relationships.
In the days preceding the set up some people expressed concerns about the action and its impact on Bayle's emotional wellbeing. While QUARREL took these concerns into account and adjusted our approach, we are clear that the concern should be the damaging effects of racial cooptation that has been affecting our community for hundreds of years.
The cooptation of a bi racial indigenous identity is active colonization. When white people claim to be part native, it erases mestizo identity as a distinct group. Bayle exploited the mixed race experience, invisibilized it, then used it as a catalyst to advance whiteness. Because of this type of behavior, mixed race people are many times not considered legitimate members of POC community instead of what they (we) are: evidence of the sexual imperialism, war, gentrification, etc. that brought them (us) into existence.
We demand that Bayle's community take responsibility so that his actions do not fall through the cracks; his white community must step up. We demand that white communities everywhere step up their addressing racism internally so that this does not happen again; the legacy of white people in brown face has gone on long enough and we unilaterally oppose its continuation to hinder our attempts to make our spaces safe from white supremacy.
Queers United Against Racism, Rape, & Evil Losers