First Dates diner sparks outrage by saying she has ‘born in the wrong race syndrome’

‘Does she know how problematic that statement is?’

Sabrina Barr
Friday 25 May 2018 14:00 BST
White woman says she believes she has ‘born in the wrong race’ syndrome

A woman who took part in Channel 4’s First Dates has sparked backlash by saying that she believes she was born into the wrong race.

Ruth, a 27-year-old accountant and Notting Hill Carnival dancer, stated that she identifies more with black culture, despite being white.

“I relate more to black culture than I do to my own culture,” she said on the programme on Thursday night.

“I think I’ve got ‘born in the wrong race syndrome’ where I am white but I feel more black inside probably.”

While waiting for her date Michael at the bar, Ruth had told bartender Merlin Griffiths that she loves twerking, even demonstrating for restaurant maître d' Fred Sirieix.

She also confessed that she’s “normally into black guys”, although in her opinion “there’s a bit of a lack in Scotland.”

Many First Dates viewers expressed their disbelief on Twitter in regard to Ruth’s contentious declaration about her race.

“#FirstDates she just said that she was born into the wrong race and that’s she’s more of a black girl,” one person wrote.

“Does she know how problematic that statement is?”

Other Twitter users compared her to the controversial Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP leader who was famously “outed” by her parents for being white after saying that she identifies as black.

Radio presenter Clara Amfo also conveyed her opposition to Ruth’s sentiments and her inclusion on the show.

“What in the Dolezal??” she wrote. “I love this show but some of the things that get through the edit sometimes blow my mind… #firstdates.”

A white woman from New Zealand was recently accused of cultural appropriation for having a “moko”, traditional Maori facial tattoo.

“I do think there’s a level of cultural appropriation and I do think there’s a level of white privilege that’s being displayed here and I think we need to be really cautious about that,” Dr Mera Lee-Penehira explained when discussing the issue.

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