Tag Archives: interracial relationships

Interracial Dating: Black Women Aren’t the Only Foes of Interracial Romance

by Special Correspondent Nadra Kareem

Do black women regard interracial relationships as a personal affront?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen this issue raised. On June 2, it surfaced once more when blogger the Black Snob posted a thought-provoking piece on those who oppose interracial relationships called “Sometimes the White Girl (Or Guy) Isn’t about You (Unconventional Wisdom).”

The post begins with the Snob recalling her days in school when two black girls unsuccessfully try to jump a white classmate who’s dating a black guy. Throughout the piece, the Snob not only questions the rationale the two girls used to justify beating up their white peer but the rationale that black women in general draw upon to oppose interracial relationships. Are black women being fair when they assume that a black guy dating a white chick is a sell-out? And how do the insecurities of black women in Western society factor into their objection of interracial relationships?

She writes, “Some black guys are going to date white girls. Attempting to beat up the white girls will not turn that tide. …You’d be better off learning to love yourself than becoming mired in bitterness and hate over that thing that’s not really about you.”

The Snob’s points are valid. However, after reading her piece and others like it, I find myself wondering why black women are constantly portrayed as if they are only ones who react negatively to interracial relationships. As a black woman who has been involved with a white guy for more than a year, I’ve faced my fair share of hostility from white women, and some Asian ones, who seem resentful of my partnership. None of these women have disapproved of my relationship aloud, but they don’t really have to. Their body language says enough.

Continue reading

Black man/White woman interracial relationships: Breaking down my judgment

By Guest Contributor Ryan, originally published at Cheap Thrills

heidisealOver the past couple months, I’ve been surrounding myself with people who all have something in common: they’re the least judgmental people I’ve ever known. They’re: 1) unconditionally understanding and compassionate of any given situation – no matter how crazy, weird, or counter-culture it may be, and 2) TOTALLY open about their own lives, in all their outrageous and extreme glory.

How refreshing. To escape the “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “bad”, “black” and “white”.

Which brings me to my point.

During a conversation with one such non-shockable friend, the topic of interracial relationships arose. As I began discussing my own perceptions and thoughts on the subject, something became appallingly clear:

I am judgmental.

Here’s the bare-bones, no-holds-barred confession: I am shamefully judgmental of Black man/White woman interracial relationships. When I see such a couple, I immediately jump to the conclusion that the Black man is trying to prove something and the White woman is trying to piss off her family. I lump the couple into a category, with no desire to dig deeper or even accept their union.

So during this conversation, my friend commented, simply: “Why do you care what choices these other people are making?”

The remark struck me. Yes, why DO I care? I’ve thought hard about this. I’m sure when my Black man/White woman aversion took shape, it sprung from jealousy. When I was a little girl, I never knew my true worth (what kid does?). I was so jealous all the time. Of White females, because, in my eyes, they’d always have something special in their pale skin that I could never have, no matter how straight I blow-dried my hair or how blond I dyed it. And of guys (all guys, but mostly Black guys), because they were always the most popular and the funniest… and most of them liked girls who weren’t boyish and gawky and frizzy-haired like me.

As time passed, I (seemingly) got over my childhood jealousies. But also, the “Black man/White woman relationship aversion” became almost second nature. An instinctual eye-roll. And coming from the Black girl who digs White guys… what a perfect storm of cutting irony.

So now I take a step back. I see many of my White girlfriends entering into wonderful, loving relationships with Black men. I see happiness and strength. And when I see a couple that I would generally stereotype cuddling on the subway or holding hands through Downtown Crossing, I really have to check myself. Why spend time passing judgment on things I don’t even try to understand? Why do I continuing to do this, with the roiling emotions of a 3rd-grader?

I’ve got it. The reality is that I’m NOT over my jealousies. And the problem exists in my own head, not the interracial union. Which is a tad upsetting, but also… again, refreshing.

Because I can’t understand all the complexities of others. But I can accept them. And, even better, I can bask in my God-given joy of delving deep and understanding my own complexities.

There’s no place for judgment in self-discovery. So I’m kicking all those judgmental thoughts to the curb.

Relationship or Rorschach Test? Interracial Relationships and Societal Self-Projecting

by Racialicious Special Correspondent Wendi Muse

In a recent discussion about the content of Ciara’s video “Love, Sex, Magic,” in which the songstress collaborated with Justin Timberlake, many readers commented that the video itself served as a classic example of race baiting via sex and sexuality on the small screen. The video demonstrated what some considered a clear example of exotification and sexual exploitation of black women for the fodder of a white male audience. And again, in recent weeks, came the criticism of comments made by Kate, of the TLC show about adventures in parenting Jon and Kate Plus 8, who declared her attraction to, and arguably, fetishization (in the connotative sense) of Asian and Asian-American men.

These accounts garnered considerable attention from tv audiences, gossip column connoisseurs, and critical race theorist alike. Yet despite the aforementioned controversy, few considered the experiences of the interracial couples “on the ground.” In many instances, interracial relationships exist as some conversation piece or pivotal point for people who talk about race, but there is little attention paid to the simple fact that, like any other relationship, interracial relationships deserve the respect and courtesy of same-race relationships, respect in this sense meaning the right to exist sans accusations of racial essentialism and an excessive amount of societal self-projecting solely on the basis of the relationship being interracial.

In simply beginning an interracial relationship in the United States, one often suffers a considerable amount of social pressure, be it from family members, friends, or co-workers. When the presence of an interracial relationship is noted, its very existence at times solicits a barrage of questions in the minds of onlookers, one firing after the other. The questions range from the simple, “how did they meet?” to the complex, “do they really love each other or are they just together because they wish to rebel against social norms?” to the intrusive, “how is the sex?” Some of these questions are customary when considering any relationship, yet with interracial relationships, there seems to be an exceptional increase in curiosity, one that certainly rivals that of intraracial pairings.

And while there are plenty of unuttered questions, there is an equal, if not greater, number of unspoken answers, guesses and assumptions as to the many aspects of the relationship. In relation to interracial couples, the participants are rarely given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their reasons for being together in the first place, at least not in the same way as intraracial couples. For example, if one were to date someone of the same racial background, the issue of essentialism, the idea that one has chosen his or her partner solely on the basis of race and the characteristics one attributes to said race, is rarely considered. Thus we have the double standard. People of the same race could very well be dating each other for calculated reasons, one of them being race, yet this is rarely considered and applied to such couples. Only interracial couples fall victim to such assumptions.

Continue reading

Interracial Marriage Rate Declines Among Asians

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

The Washington Post has an interesting story on recent trends in interracial marriage in America — specifically, a decline in the rate of Hispanics and Asians marrying partners of other races in the past two decades: Immigrants’ Children Look Closer for Love.

Sociologists and demographers are just beginning to study how the children of recent immigrants will date and marry. Conventional wisdom has it that in the open-minded Obama era, they will begin choosing spouses of other ethnicities as the number of interracial marriages rises.

But scholars are coming across a surprising converse trend. According to U.S. Census data, the number of native- and foreign-born people marrying outside their race fell from 27 to 20 percent for Hispanics and 42 to 33 percent for Asians from 1990 to 2000.

Scholars suggest it’s all about the growing number of immigrants. It seems that the large immigrant population fundamentally changes the pool of potential partners for Asians and Hispanics. Thus, the second generation is more likely to marry people of their own ethnicity.

It’s not quite like it was before, when there were only two Asian kids in your school — you and this other boy/girl — and everyone thought you two should go together to the prom. Forced coupling. Now half the school is Asian, so it’s not such a big deal. Something like that.

More musings on interracial relationships

by Guest Contributor Ryan Barrett, originally published at Cheap Thrills

I noticed a funny thing while visiting my family in D.C. for Christmas. Simply put: every female in the house (my mom and aunt, who are African-American, and me and my cousin, who are interracial) was either involved with or married to a White man.

Hmm…

That’s curious.

The truth is, the topic of interracial dating is always bubbling in the back of my mind. I went out on a limb and wrote a post about it some time ago on this blog, which got me into some deep water with a few of my readers (a disagreement that I haven’t fully resolved in my mind).

But just recently, the issue resurfaced during a conversation I had with a fellow blogger (a White male) about how personal Obama’s candidacy was to many Americans. I know, I know… interracial relationships? Obama? The two are linked, sure, but they don’t really go together. Which is what made the conversation so poignant.

My friend asked me whether or not Obama was well liked among the African-American side of my family.

“Of course!” I exclaimed. “My family has always held a fondness for Obama. But what truly won our hearts – well, mostly for my mother and aunt – was his marriage to a dark-skinned African-American woman.”

“Wow, really? Even though they’re both married to White men?” My friend was baffled. “That’s… strange.”

Before that point, I had never thought of it as strange at all. But maybe it is. And after that, a troubling question began creeping into my mind: do some Black women hold an interracial relationship double standard? Continue reading

Being Married to a Black Woman is *Really* Exasperating!

by Guest Contributor SLB, originally posted at PostBourgie

I know it’s a little late to be bringing up Lakeview Terrace. Typically, reviews for feature films appear in publications the week the film opens. But let’s be real here: despite its Week 1 box office triumph, Lakeview Terrace is the kind of film you wait a week or two to see… at a matinee showing. And that’s exactly what I did. Frankly, though, I’m fairly certain I would’ve been better off waiting on the DVD release or the bad BET overdub on basic cable (You know it’s coming… in 2011).

But I’ve digressed.

I can’t imagine what drew audiences to this bizarre race film last weekend. Was it director Neil Labute’s arthouse reputation as a skilled provocateur? Was it the involvement of Will-and-Jada’s profitable Overbrook Productions? Was it Kerry Washington’s alleged “hotness?” Or was it simply that surefire, time-honored Sam Jackson delivery of the classic trailer line, “Ah’m the POE-LEASE! You HAVE to do what I say!”?

Maybe it was a little of everything. For me, morbid curiosity was the driving force. I took stock of the premise: black cop terrorizes the interracial couple who move in next door, simply because he’s anti-miscegenation and protected by the badge, and I decided that there was no way this could be executed well. But I certainly wanted to see folks try.

I’ll give you the short version of events here and please note that from this point on, there will be HEAVY SPOILERS. So if you still intend to support Will, Jada, Sam, Kerry, or Patrick Wilson with your box office dollars, STOP READING NOW. Continue reading

Lakeview Terrace : When the Definition of Racism is Racist

by Special Correspondent Thea Lim

Can you judge a movie by its trailer?

Opening this Friday, this is Lakeview Terrace’s premise according to the LA Times: “Jackson plays a law-and-order racist who doesn’t like the interracial couple next door.”

The racial relationships appear to be secondary to the film’s central, upper case question: What do you do when you can’t call the police??? (Gasp! Can you imagine such a topsy turvy universe? Oh, right.)

But I couldn’t help but chafe at the way the Lakeview Terrace trailer presents racism and interracial relationships. What kind of harassment do interracial couples face today? While a few years ago interracial relationships were met with hostility and violence – and still are – today there’s also the possibility that you’ll get a whole other type of gross response. Like maybe a high five (Way to bag a Asian/Latina/Black chick!) or cooing (Do you think you’ll have little chocolate babies?).

This is the mind-blowing contortion of contemporary racism: racism no longer simply outlaws interracial relationships, it also encourages them.

This is because racism these days often takes an inclusive form. Living in an urban, liberal city, the kind of racism I see most often takes the form of cultural appropriation: going to a restaurant and seeing our cultural foods co-opted into some sort of mayonnaise hybrid; hearing non-Black hipsters calling each other N***** to show how “down” they are; attending a yoga class and seeing statues of sacred deities being used as coat racks; and of course, the exoticisation of women of colour, and the asexualisation (sorry, making up words) of many men of colour. See Esther Ku – or Samurai Girl! – if you want proof.

As a culture we seem to define racism solely as an act that involves burning crosses or violence. Sometimes it seems like mainstream North American culture will only agree it’s racism when physical suffering is involved – and even then it can be a tough sell. But I see that there are two kinds of racism: hostile racism, and benevolent racism. The first kind involves burning crosses, the second kind involves people wanting to befriend you because they think you can teach them kung fu. If we privilege one kind of racism over an other, we are less equipped to spot, call out, name, validate our experience of, and stamp out the other kind.

But the way Lakeview Terrace highlights hostile racism isn’t it’s only problem. At least from the trailer, the movie seems allergic to the idea that benevolent racism exists.

Continue reading

Interracial Dating: “Beyond Race” versus “Anti-Racist Dating”

by Guest Contributor Lisa, originally published at Orange Crushed

When I was in elementary school, maybe second grade, a white classmate asked me the deep, probing question: “When you get married, is it going to be to a white man or a black man?” To someone like me who is biracial, this question is probably up there with “Are you adopted?” and “Can I touch your hair?” But even at 7 years old, I felt that this was silly — how could I possibly know who I was going to marry so far in the future? And why would I care what color he was as long as he had all of the stereotypical Prince Charming qualities that little girls are taught that men should have? And besides, my 7-year-old self pointed out, what if he’s going to be Asian or Native American?

I can thank my parents for instilling in me the idea that people are people, and that it’s cool to date whoever you want. In fact, both of my parents were practicing misceganators before they got married to each other. My white mother and her black boyfriend once got kicked out of a Catholic church in the 1960s. When my parents got married in the 1970s, someone in the supposedly ultra-liberal college town that I grew up in would routinely slash the tires on their cars overnight. They raised me to believe that, despite the crap that they went through, the world was becoming a better place every day and that by the time I was an adult, I there would be nothing to worry about when it came to interracial dating.

Of course, real life didn’t work out that way. No, I never had people damaging my personal property or ostracizing me for my choices. But what I did find was that the interracial dating revolution from my parents’ time, when things were about challenging the status quo and being willing to take shit from everyone around you in the name of love, was highly romanticized compared to the pitfalls and quirks that I encountered when I was old enough to start spending time with boys. Given my status as biracial, pretty much anyone who I chose to date could have earned me the moniker of “interracial dater,” but I think that my skin is dark enough that it was assumed that by dating black guys I was dating with “my own” race. Still, throughout middle school and high school, I “went with” (as we called dating back then!) guys of various backgrounds.

However, if I look at the general pattern, I “liked” or “dated” more black guys in middle school and progressively less of them as I got older. This is a little bit of a digression, but I was always a tomboy, and the last black guy I dated, in my junior year of high school, really put me off by asking me a bunch of seemingly sexist (or at least nit-picky) questions about “what happened to your nails?” because I don’t get them done and “why don’t you try and look more cute” and stuff like that. I think at some point after that, as I made my way through college, I decided that I couldn’t/didn’t want to live up to a lot of the standards that the black men I knew seemed to have for women, because I didn’t care about makeup or getting my hair done and because I was actually a huge nerd who spent her time playing video games and chatting on the Internet (of course now I know that perfectly nerdy brothers exist too, but at the time I was feeling more than a little jaded).

Anyway, back to the main point. Out of the white guys that I dated before I got married, most of them fell into the category of thinking of themselves as “beyond race.” By this I mean that they were the kind of people who would proclaim that they honestly didn’t “see” color when they looked at people, due to some kind of extra special social enlightenment that they had attained and now wanted to brag about. Continue reading