by Guest Contributor Nadra Kareem
“I hope he dates a white girl.”
A few years ago a visitor to actor John Cho’s page on the Internet Movie Database left this comment. The commenter, presumably an Asian male, explained that he made the statement because it would serve Asian women right if a desirable Asian male ended up with a white woman, since Asian women so often end up with white men.
At the time, I didn’t make much of the comment. I thought it was the lone view of a person who felt that the women of his race had betrayed him. But more recently, I’ve seen a slew of comments like this one pop up online. Visit Halle Berry’s IMDB page or any site that mentions the baby girl she had with white Canadian model Gabriel Aubry, and you’ll find a series of remarks, left presumably by black women, that not only applaud Berry’s decision to partner with a white man but also express resentment against black men for not committing to black women. Black men are afraid of marriage, dating white women, in jail, “on the down low” or dead, the commenters argue, and, if they wait around for black men to get their act together, they just might end up childless and alone.
Now, I realize that these comments stereotype Asian women and black men, but they beg the question: Do Asian men and black women find themselves in interracial relationships for different reasons than their female and male counterparts, respectively, do? When Asian men and black women date whites, or any other group, is it a way to give the middle finger to those they feel have rejected them or, at the very least, avoid ending up alone?
Before I go on, I want to stress that I know that there are plenty of Asian women available for Asian men to date and plenty of black men available for black women to date (though black women reportedly have the lowest marriage rate of any other group of women), but the perception is that they are being left behind, and perception influences action.
So, if you’re an Asian male or a black female involved in an interracial relationship, do you feel that you’ve in any way been influenced by these perceptions? Also, I would really find it interesting to hear from Asian men involved with black women or vice versa. I’m not proposing this as a solution to everyone’s dating woes, but, as I read the kinds of comments I described above, I couldn’t help but to wonder about this possibility.
Lastly, I’m wondering if Asian men and black women feel that they garner more surprise when they date interracially than their female and male counterparts do? In other words, are people more startled by the sight of an Asian man and a white woman together than they are by the sight of an Asian woman and a white man? The same goes for black women with white men, compared to black men and white women.
(Photo Credit: Akira’s Hip-Hop Shop)