Ever since interracial marriage became legal in the United States, the country has seen a steady increase in interracial dating and interracial marriage. With that came this idea of ”date preference”.
In a society that wants to beantiracist“, it is important that we understand the difference between preference and outright racism.
Things I’ve been hearing a lot lately are “I only date white women, black women are rude.” or “Sorry, I only go for black people.”
Racial preference has become a common discussion in today’s society, so let’s talk about it.
Racial preference is the idea that someone has a penchant for dating one race over another, or the idea that a person has a stronger physical inclination towards one race over another.
All in all, preferences aren’t a bad thing. For example, I prefer dating someone I’ve shared experiences with, I prefer men with facial hair, people with tattoos, and women who aren’t afraid to step out of gender norms.
These are harmless preferences, just like preferring grapes to apples. Just because you prefer grapes doesn’t mean you don’t like apples, and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re going to completely rule out apples.
This idea of preference becomes harmful when you use it as a way to discuss your own implicit racial bias.
Racial preference is the result of your own racial bias presented in a way that the stereotypes and prejudices.
We live in a society that has maintained white supremacy for as long as anyone can remember, and throughout our lives we are taught to look at certain people a certain way.
Often when people say they don’t want to date a certain race, it’s because of the stereotypes they have attached to people of that race.
An example of this is unconsciously stereotyping black women as masculine, aggressive, and unfeminine and as a result people either refuse to date them or just say they prefer to date other races, and don’t even consider them black women as a dating option.
Another example of this may be stereotyping Asian men as non-masculine, gentle, and having a small “sex anatomy.”
These are all clearly harmful and false stereotypes, but because so many people believe them and apply them to their dating preferences, black women and Asian men are often looked down upon in romantic relationships and seen as inferior. Are you starting to see the problem?
Your racial preferences are not just preferences, but underlying racism. Black women are just as feminine as white women, we can be just as sweet and shy. We are each our own individuals.
To say that you are going to completely exclude black women based on the racial prejudice you have towards us is not a preference, it is racist.
And saying you only date white women, and completely excluding other races just to be with a white woman is also not a preference. Ask yourself why you only want to date white women. Any possible answer to this question will be stereotypes, racial discrimination or prejudice.
The same applies to stereotypes about Asian men. Asian men are like all other men. They are individuals, but you see them as representations of the negative stereotypes you unconsciously learned growing up in this society.
But the preferences where you say certain races are bad aren’t the only harmful race preferences.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the white woman who “only dates black people.” But have you ever asked him why? Nine times out of ten they will say how masculine they see black men, how good they are at sports, or how great their “unity” is.
Just because these all sound like good stereotypes doesn’t mean they are. It’s actually called overfetishization. This is a common thing in racial preferences.
When you fetishize a person or a race, you dehumanize the person and/or the race. You see the person as nothing more than their body, or the bodies that members of their race have been stereotyped.
Examples of this are people saying they only date black men because they have a bigger you-know-what, or that they only date black women because you see as having bigger butts or that they only date Asian women because they see them as more submissive.
Now I want you to ask yourself would you go out with another race? Is there a race you prefer to attend? Is there a race you wouldn’t date? Chances are you answered yes to at least one of these questions.
Now ask yourself why. Why don’t you date a certain race? Why do you have a “preference” for one race over another? Whether you realize it or not, your response will be racially driven in one way or another.
So the next time you find yourself continually swiping left BIPOC girl on tinder or seeing only black guy as hookup material, be sure to check your racism. And at the very least, ask yourself why you’re dismissing them as date-worthy.
Jackson can be reached at [email protected]