Interracial Dating: The Interracial Hate Stare

by Latoya Peterson

A few years ago, I lived in an apartment with my then-boyfriend and his best friend. Oftentimes, my now-ex worked nights, so a lot of the more domestic chores fell to me and the roommate to complete.

Me and Roomie eventually fell into the habit of walking to the grocery store every so often, to pick up supplies and get some exercise. This idea started out fine. But over time, Roomie and I noticed a strange happening every time we got close to the store. Apparently, the sight of a tall white man with reddish hair laughing and talking with a tallish black girl was enough to render some people speechless.

Then, the staring started.

First, it was just one older black man on a park bench watching us walk by intently.

The next time, it was a group of black men sitting outside the Caribou Coffee.

Another time, the grocery store staff fell completely silent as we approached. Six black men silently voiced their disapproval. Six sets of eyes followed Roomie into the grocery store with me. I saw Roomie tense up until we were out of their sight.

After that trip, Roomie quietly informed me that he didn’t want to walk to the grocery store anymore.

I’ve thought of this scenario often over the years, because it tends to underscore the assumptions and ideas surrounding interracial dating. A lot of the more visible or outward reactions are based strongly in the assumptions we make about the participants in IR Relationships.

So, let’s begin our conversation here – what are some of the most common assumptions about interracial relationships?

No need to challenge these assumptions just yet – let’s just get the major assumptions out there.

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