the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

When Interracial Dating Goes Wrong
February 16, 2010, 11:11 am
Filed under: race, Relationships, Think About It | Tags: , , , ,

mixed couple

While browsing YouTube the other day, I noticed an interesting ad, placed below a video entitled, “Single black women find the search for love is especially difficult.” The ad pictured a Black woman with a shirtless White man next to the text, “AfroRomance — Where love is more than skin deep.”

I didn’t want to assume that it’s placement was intentional, so I refreshed the page at least half a dozen times, even closing the browser, opening it back up, and going to the page again, and each and every time I saw the exact same ad. I even went so far as to have four other people check the page, but we independently saw the same thing. No matter how we tried, there was no escaping AfroRomance.

It seemed that YouTube, with it’s consistent ad placement was saying: “Hey Black women, you know your pickings are slim with all the black men being either unemployed or incarcerated. Not to worry, come try out this interracial dating site and find you a nice White man!” (Ok, perhaps that wasn’t the intent, but that’s certainly how I took it.)

The ad suggests that you “join thousands of members looking for their interracial partner!” I understand that people sometimes have proclivities to be attracted to certain types of people, and that’s fine. It’s likely no secret that I am attracted to Black women. I’m also, however, attracted to Latino women, Indian women, White women, and Asian women.

The fact is, we all have preferred body type, skin, hair and eye color, and such, but the idea of someone dating exclusively outside their race is disturbing. To not be attracted to a person of the same race seems to be a form of self hate, does it not?

The concept of an exclusively interracial dating site would lead me to believe that the people there are looking at skin color first and foremost. After all, isn’t the reason they’re there is to meet someone with a certain pigment?

I find that attraction based solely on complexion, especially when using lines like, “where love is more than skin deep,” to promote your service, actually shows that the love you may find there would, in fact, be only skin deep — at least initially.

This is dangerous because it gives place to those who fantasize and even have fetishes about people of a different race. Fetishes tend to debase and disrespect their subjects because they are viewed simply as a source of pleasure or fantasy, rather than as a valued and complex member of society. This is something that Whites in America have been doing since the first Africans have placed their coerced feet onto the continent.

Systemic racism and personal prejudice toward Black people have found a comfortable home here in American society for centuries. And while one would think interracial relationships would tear down these walls and barriers between the races, it seems that when built on the wrong premise, and with the wrong intent, these relationships can actually serve to perpetuate the degradation of Blacks in America.

Hear me clearly — there is absolutely nothing wrong with dating someone of another race. What is wrong is when you date someone of another race with impure motives.

Are you dating them because you’ve “always wanted to know what it felt like”? Or is it because you genuinely see qualities in them that you’re attracted to regardless of their skin color? Is the love really more than skin deep? Or is it only skin deep?

I wouldn’t dare judge anyone in a relationship and answer that question for them. Instead it’s something that needs to be seriously considered by both parties.

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6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I definitely agree with your post. It would be strange to *only* be looking for someone of another race. However, I acknowledge that there are many that live in homogeneous communities where they don’t have the opportunity to meet people of other races and might use sites like these to broaden their dating pool. If it were “in addition to” (as opposed to “instead of”), I could understand that. People should be with whomever they want; but as you said, it should be for the right reasons.

Comment by Chela

I agree with your post as well.

For some reason I clicked the youtube link(wish I hadn’t) and once again saw a news reporter do another story about black women and the unmarried factor. Why does the media “seem” to be so concerned with black women and why some of us aren’t married. Since the movie “Something New” was released the media(tv and magazines) have be redundant with the same statistics, I heard it the first time but now it’s starting to get on my nerves. Sorry for the rant. 🙂

Comment by Muziq6

Couldn’t have said it better myself Stu! I think it’s great to be open to love with whomever you happen to find it, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Native, WHATEVER, but to cut yourself off of your own race and never give it a try, i can’t understand that.

Comment by Ms. Nikks

Hi Stu,
We must acknowledge that many date for stereotypical reasons. It is wrong, but true.
Asian women, for example, are seen as more docile, more understanding, less dominant and more willing to accept a man’s flaws. So, (some) men look for that quality that they want and find it in Asian women.
Then, they are actually dating the stereotype and not the person.
You can tell how people react when you tell them that you are in an interracial relationship.
When people realized that I have four mixed race children, they would invariably ask certain questions and try to talk that black slang (my children are both Black “AA:” And white) and do other things that were quite stereotypical. These sites are just capitalizing on a stereotype,
And, whether each one of us fits the stereotype and how much is our individual experience: based on our personal, culture and thought processes about these experiences.
Since my previous husband was black, does that mean that I like rap music, eat soul food, know how to french braid my daughter’s hair and know all of the words to Martin Luther’s speech, “I have a dream.”
I might. But, I might not.
There are a thousand and one theories why people date someone out of their culture. Some might touch home with you and some may not. But, until we dispan those labels, those assumptions, those stereotypes and start seeing each human as an individual with (certainly some cultural similarities), but a unique set of characteristics, we won’t get any further in this struggle.

Comment by jamily5

I don’t have a problem with sites that promote themselves as inter-racial dating sites for the simple fact that a lot of times you can’t tell who isn’t open to dating someone outside their race on a “regular” dating site. I think just the fact that you know people on the site are open to dating different types of people makes approaching them less stressful. Not to mention, it’s one thing to be open to dating everyone, and being open to dating everyone except the people of your own ethnicity. -I didn’t get that the latter is what the site was promoting.-

Are there people who fetishize? I’m sure there are. Are they the majority? I don’t know, but I’m hoping not (as someone who likes good looking men in all flavors).

Comment by MoreAndAgain

thats a highly insightful post…however, i fear that (like most information aimed at enlightening the unenlightened) it will go unnoticed by those who REALLY NEED to understand your meaning. Bottom line, misintention in ANYTHING degrades the action, but people (in the most general of senses AND individually) fall short of recognizing even their OWN intentions. which is why you see the ad for that site…it wouldnt have never been thought to exist if there were no market for it. Unfortunately capitalism has infiltrated every form of humanity. Every sacred thing to being human from love and child birth, to breathing and self dialogue has become an industry. With pornography being one of the largest industries and racism being a HIGH American taboo issue, it is no surprise that interracialism (i just made that up) is gaining a foothold in odd places of business.

you cannot reap unity from the seed of separation…shit just dont work like that

Comment by Michelangelo

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