Why Don't We Hear About Interracial Dating Much in GQ or Vogue, and Other Non-African-American Media?
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The following piece first appeared in Madame Noire.
Why are black folks so infatuated with interracial dating? It sounds like a blanket statement. Of course, all black folks aren’t obsessed with interracial dating. However, it seems like almost daily I come across a news post, and columns in magazines and blogs dedicated to black folks, speaking about the glory of dating outside of the black community. They ask stupid questions like Are Black Women Better off with White Men? and write guidebooks about snagging a white man (including the helpful tip of how to order wine the “white” way). And if they are not expounding on your personal choice on whom you date, than they are highlighting all the wonderful interracial couples in Hollywood. There are swirling sites run by black men and women and even a forthcoming coming film, which hopes to appeal to the “Rainbeau” dater in all of us.
So yeah, excuse me if I generalize by saying that nobody talks more about interracial dating than black folks. I mean, you just don’t see the topic broached in mainstream magazines like GQ or Vogue. You don’t see white therapists or white relationship experts or other white folks with alphabets behind their names and a platform, spouting the virtues of dating black men and women. Let’s face it: when it comes to reporting about “Jungle Fever,” this virus is only at epidemic proportions in the African American press.
But while the topic has no doubt been beaten to death by the black media there are still no shortages of articles directed towards interracial relationships. So obviously these stories are very popular, which is why these publications continue to put them out. After all, stories mean page clicks, and page clicks equates to dollars. And if there are folks willing to read it, than you can place the blame solely on black media for continuing to cater to their audience.
Which leads me to ask: If the color of the person we choose to date doesn’t matter, why do we talk about it so much?
Here is the standard disclaimer: I don’t have a problem with two folks of different races – or same gender for that matter – hooking up. Some people really do date outside of their race out of love and not some underlying motive. Okay, now that that’s out of the way; it’s the other would-be Rainbeau daters, who bother the hell out of me. These folks are the ones that go around touting anything but black as proof positive of equality, social advancement and worse, the magic solution to cure all problems within the black community. Unemployment rate is high? Get a white girl. Violence plaguing the community? You know what could solve that? Dating a white man. Can’t find your car keys? Girl, get yourself a white boy. They never lose their keys!
Let’s face it, no matter how far we think we have come in this society, as a race, too many of us are still looking, waiting and idolizing the white savior.
Yet science says that some of the same problems we find within the community can also be found interracially: In fact, the rate of divorce and domestic violence is much higher within interracial relationships and the incidence of spousal homicide is 7.7 higher in interracial relationships than in monoracial relationships. So much for thinking that the milk is less spoiled on the other side.
Truth is, championing dating interracially to empower the black community, particularly black women, is no more logical or rational than the colorblind racists, who believe that breeding ourselves into one in-between race will fix the world (yeah, like that worked for the Chinese and the Japanese). How we empower our people is by teaching self-love and by erasing those mental chains that tell us that “we” are inherently bad. We heal the world by recognizing cultural differences, and yes skin tone, and by ensuring that our differences do not lead to inequality. That is how we live interracially.