Assuming a Black person is going to sell you drugs is racist – why is it still happening?

Being approached by a stranger and asked for weed or pills is something many Black people have experienced – and it doesn’t feel good.

Obviously, the likelihood of this happening depends on the setting – it happens more often to young people, and in places where drugs are used more frequently, like festivals, bars and clubs.

But, regardless of the context, being mistaken for a dealer is something that is disproportionately experienced by Black people. There is also a gender dynamic at play, with Black men more likely to be perceived in this way – with their physical features making them more likely to be seen as ‘threatening’ and ‘criminal’.

Elliot* – who has asked us to keep his identity private – is Black and works as a club promoter and DJ in Manchester.

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