Race Card: Is Refusing to Date Across Ethnic Lines Racist?

Nadra Kareem Nittle
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Last year a Latina friend of mine who's unhappily single outlined what she's looking for in a mate. She wants a man who's college-educated, socially conscious, speaks Spanish and is Latino. "It's not that I'm against interracial dating or anything," she explained self-consciously. You see, I'm in an interracial relationship, and she didn't want to offend me.

I wasn't at all offended. I completely get her stance on interracial dating. My friend would describe herself as a proud Latina (I'm withholding her specific ethnicity to protect her privacy). She's built a career on doing work to benefit the Latino community and wants someone who shares that mission. She's also quite family-oriented and wants children who speak Spanish and practice the same customs she did growing up.

Given this, it makes perfect sense to me that she'd want to date a Latino. But reading a piece featured on Jezebel.com called "Dating Latinos Doesn't Make Me Racist" made me realize that some people would object to my friend's dating preference. Readers responded to that piece by telling the writer, who has much in common with my friend, that she's limiting herself. Some also pointed out that a white person with similar dating preferences would be considered racist.

Would my friend's dating pool expand if she chose not to solely date Latinos? Probably. Is she racist for dating solely Latinos? No. And before I say more, I want to point out that I know Latinos can be of any race. The friend in question is mestiza, however, and she typically dates others who share her combination of Native American and Spanish heritage. So, why isn't she wrong for making this move? Because wanting to pass on one's cultural heritage to children isn't racist, nor is wanting a mate who understands what it's like to experience the same kind of oppression you have.

It's common knowledge that in this society, people of color have the burden of educating others about their culture. They have this burden at school and at work, so some want a reprieve from this in their intimate relationships. They don't want to spend family functions explaining customs to a mate or translating from one language to another. They also don't want to have to explain why it's important for children to partake in certain cultural practices.

Another Latino friend of mine, a guy, pointed out how it's imperative for educated Latinos to pair up with one another because there are social and economic repercussions if highly educated Latino professionals outmarry. What ultimately happens is that the resources these Latinos can provide never make it into the Latino community.

So, what are your thoughts? Is refusing to date interracially ever justified?

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73 Comments Have Been Posted

"a white person with similar

"a white person with similar dating preferences would be considered racist."

Yes, a white person who would only date other white people would probably be considered racist, but I don't think a strongly ethnic Polish American would be considered "racist" for only wanting to date other similarly ethnic Poles, for example. Limiting oneself to a certain population has lots of drawbacks, but it's not intrinsically bigoted.

I'm sure there are people out there who only date others of a certain height, weight, or hair color. That doesn't make them a racist. Though it's *possible* that's why they have made that choice, it's not necessarily the reason.

Racist has to do with race so

Racist has to do with race so not dating them due to their RACE is racist. It's not that hard.
Why are some people open to dating someone of any race? Now analyze people who only date someone of a certain race and excludes others. See the difference. Race is the difference.
You may be upset because you got called out.


Racism/Racist DOESN'T have to simply do with race, it has to do with the belief that one race is superior to another then using that belief to systematically oppress or stifle the progression of that race (I suggest you look up the word racist). I am absolutely fine with people who choose to date ONLY inside/outside their race, OR someone who dates many races of people because it's a PREFERENCE. Are there people out there who date/don't date a specific group of people for RACIST REASONS? (i.e. feeling that that race is inferior) Yes. Does the color or ethnicity of a person make them more/less of a quality human being? No. But if a person of ANY race chooses to date within their own community, be it for reasons of attraction, familiarity and shared culture, or economics that's their decision and their preference. If being racist simply has to do with race, then I guess Latinos, African Americans, Asians having their own television stations, magazines, and universities are racist as well?!?!

Racism is complex

Often times, words have multiple meanings and 'racist' is one of those words. From Merriam Webster's dictionary, it means "racial prejudice or discrimination" (Link triggered spam filter). It's more than a PREFERENCE for the subject of the article, it's a requirement. Therefore, they are prejudiced against other races. About the television stations, magazines, and universities, these were a product of their white counterparts not giving people of color an outlet. That led to people of color creating a place where they were welcomed.

It's often extremely difficult to explain racism to white people due to it being a complex issue, and them rarely if ever having to deal with it. It's like trying to talk about an invisible friend that exists. There will never be hard proof so it becomes that much more difficult to educate people about it.

Wow you are brilliant! So by

Wow you are brilliant! So by your logic, if a White woman only dates White men, she is racist? But I bet you would say it was ok if Black woman only dated Black men, right? Double standard. You must have been educated by a cultural Marxist.

Many people are simply NOT attracted to other races and for good reason. It's biological. There are differences in the races and these differences have been a part of humanity for thousands of years. Race, culture and heritage has evolved over thousands of years, intertwined in our DNA, racial memory and archetypal mythology. It is wise for people to make families with their own race in order to preserve diversity and to preserve roots.

What does a black man from Africa have in common with a White Swedish woman? Nothing. It's about common ancestral bonds that we unconsciously pick up on. If you have children and mix that away, White or Black is gone forever and becomes something else. It becomes a mongrel with no authentic roots in any direction. Eventually if everyone mixed, then all we would have is one brown race. No diversity. One culture. No differences. One bland race.

first of all i don't think

first of all i don't think that your friend is racist at all. as a latin america i know all the "white-washing" you gotta go through growing up. you are always pushed to like the guy with the lighter skin and the blue eyes, the guy that looks the less "latino" possible. i'm pretty sure your friend wants to be paired with someone that understands and is willing to resist the status quo along with her. personally, I feel comfortable being in relationships/partnerships with other conscious people of color and will consider having a family with another person of color regardless if he/she is latina/o or not. i will not, however, feel comfortable being with a white person just because i do not think they will ever be able to understand what is it to be a "person of color"/citizen of a "developing contry" etc. Also I would like to point out that I don't think is a good move to compare your friend's dating preferences with a white person's dating preferences. Your friend wants a latino as a partner because she is conscious of brown people's position in the USA and their struggle it seems to me that is a way to resist all the brain washing that brown people have been enduring for the last 600 years. however a white privilege person saying that he/she would only date another white person is a complete different story, why is the reason a white person would prefer to pair up with another white person?? i'm pretty sure the reason is not resistance...

you make a valid point about

you make a valid point about how US media portrays white as desirable and even the people of color who are "sex symbols" tend to lean towards the lighter-skinned white-like features.

I am white and in an

I am white and in an interracial relationship right now. My last relationship ended two years ago and that was also an interracial relationship. The difficulties I faced in that relationship with resistance and racism from my ex-partner's family means I can totally understand why I could have chosen only to date other white people following that experience. I didn't, and there is a lot more support for my current relationship, but if there wasn't I don't know if I could do it for the rest of my life. Even though I can be considered privileged due to my race in wider society (and I have really felt this to be true in comparison with my ex-partner), at a family level there is plenty of resistance to be found.

Culture is fluid and dynamic

Can she not pass her heritage on to her children if they are half German or Italian? What if they are half black? It's a good thing her Native American or Spanish ancestors didn't share her ideals or she would not have the mestiza heritage that she rightfully treasures so much.
I'm not saying she's wrong or even racist, people should date whomever they choose. Ultimately though, I think people who make this claim are trying to alleviate some racial guilt, when what they really mean is, "I'm only attracted to my own race." And, hey, that's ok - you feel what you feel - it's just sad that as a culture, because of our history, we cannot be more honest with each other and with ourselves.

And further more...

I don't think that empathy is exclusive to "minorities" or "people of color." All ethnicities, regardless of how much melanin is in their skin, are subject to "white-washing" when they come to this country. Just like every American, I am the product of immigrants. I know when people look at me, they see a white person. But if you ask me, I will tell you that I am Irish and Italian and German and French. I will tell you that I go out of my way to read literature from those countries, that I studied French in college and want to learn German and Italian and Gaelic, that I save my pennies to visit my homelands, and keep a grainy black & white photo of my poor, immigrant great-great-great French grandmother whose name I don't even know. I will tell you about my Italian and Irish relatives who came to America and made lives for themselves, who lived in New York City during the depression. I will tell you how it was once illegal to be Catholic in Ireland and how religious intolerance and poverty forced my ancestors to flee from their home across an ocean. I will tell you that I am so "white-washed" that I am jealous of my friends who still speak their native languages and hold their heritage close to them.

Realistically, I hear what you're saying. But I resent being lumped in with a homogeneous group of "white people" who are assumed to be, if not outright intolerant, then at least oblivious and uncaring. I was once angrily told by a black friend of mine back in high school that I didn't know what it was like to be a slave. Well, neither did she - and I told her so. I KNOW racism exists and that in our world having light skin gives you enormous advantages. My point is that this kind of thinking, that ANY minority would be more empathetic, have more in common with you than a "white" person isn't valid. It's unfair and, well, kind of racist. White people come in all religions and ethnicities, just like everyone else on the planet. The truth is, there is only one race that matters - the human race.

It's not JUST passing on the

It's not JUST passing on the culture to her children that she's talking about. You picked one part of a whole bunch of reasons. She wants someone who will understand her (to way over-simplify it.) Read ana.bel's comment for a better explanation.

That's not what I'm saying at all.

I get the reasoning. We all want someone who can identify with us, understand us. And for all my vaunted talk, when I imagine my future, the faceless person standing next to me is white. And probably Irish/Italian and Catholic - and I'm not even religious! It's human nature to want what we know. That's completely human and totally understandable. My point is that we should all see that in ourselves, recognize it for what it is, and maybe rise above it - if we so choose.

My second point was already in reply to Ana.bel's comment with which I took particular issue. Look, I'm intelligent. I'm realistic. I know that white looking people have a huge advantage in this world and particularly in this country. And I will not for one second pretend to understand what racial oppression feels like. Also, I'm sure that some people see my insistence that I am French and Italian and Irish and German as splitting hairs - but hey, lumping all European-descended people into "white" is just as bad as lumping all the peoples of Africa together or saying that all Latin cultures are exactly the same. ("Cuban, Mexican - what's the difference?" Huge!) My point is that when "minorities" or "people of color" talk about preserving their heritage they mainly mean, in my opinion, is not dating white people. People say things like "reverse racism" but there's no such thing. Racism is discrimination or judgment based on race - nothing there about direction. I object to and resent the idea that a white person choosing to date only white people is making a choice based on evil discrimination but minorities get a free pass because they are resisting something. If I choose an Italian or a German man, do I not get the same consideration as someone from Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic?

Is it a lot easier for me to say that only the human race matters because I happen to be melanin-challenged? Yeah, it probably is. I probably sound like a yuppy, middle class, white liberal - which is exactly what I am. No, I do not know what it is like to be Latin or black or even an Irish-Catholic in the 1700s for that matter. But I still get to offer up my opinion, which is this:

Frame it or defend it however you want, consciously choosing to date within your own race for ANY reason is, by definition, racist. You are making a judgment based on race. It's not hateful or evil. Most people do it. Maybe you have "good" reason. We all treasure our cultures and want to share/preserve them. But, as another commenter said, if you are in the position of defending your actions in a column or blog or just by saying something to your friend, like, "I'm not against inter-racial dating!" then you have already strayed into the gray area.

I support what you say, becca

I support what you say, becca - racial preference in dating does not reflect inherent discrimination in other areas of life.

My explanation:

"Racism requires that one see some other race as generally inferior"; however, this is not the case with racial preferences for dating (irregardless of the preference).

BUT - does dating preference imply a general perceived inferiority or superiority? If we examine a closely related discrimination (sexism), we can observe that there is no relation between perceived inferiority/superiority and dating preference:

"Sexism requires that one see some gender as generally inferior."

Many sexist people, who generally think their own gender is superior, are also heterosexual. The paradox is that they choose people of the opposite gender to mate with. This means that their dating preference does not reflect their opinion of superiority or inferiority. Likewise a person who is not sexist may be either gay (prefer the same gender) or heterosexual. For completeness, someone sexist may also be gay.

As you can see from the above example, there is no relationship between sexual preference and sexism. This is because we do not all choose mates based on who we think is generally inferior or superior. Thus, it is not a far leap to suggest that there is no correlation between racial preference for dating and racism (someone could prefer dating one race over another regardless of whether they see that race as superior, inferior, or equal).

P.S. to elaborate this theorem should apply to:

whites who prefer to date whites
whites who prefer to date blacks
whites who prefer to date latinos
blacks who prefer to date whites
blacks who prefer to date blacks
tennis players who prefer to play other tennis players (who says that race and gender are the only dating preferences which may "discriminate"?)
tall people who prefer to date tall people
tall people who prefer short people
young people who prefer older people (why not bring up the age discrimination question in, too)
and just about any other arbitrary dating preference combination you can think of (there is someone for everyone and no combination is more favourable than any other).

It is also highly favourable for dating preferences to exist. They ensure a well mixed gene pool (with extremes - homozygotes - and middle-ground - heterozygotes).

If people were built without any dating preference then 79 year old men would be just as good mates for 18 year old men as would 18 year old women. (I hope you can see my point)

P.S. I personally prefer interracial dating.

Racism definition

Words often have multiple definitions. From Merriam Webster, racism is also "racial prejudice or discrimination".

Each to His/Her Own . . .

I think your friend is perfectly justified because she knows what she wants. When I began to picture and dream about my future mate I had an idea of what I wanted too, but how you voice that desire defines whether it is racist, or not. If your friend has the dream of being married to another Latino, she will tend to date them because THAT is her prefference. Nothing wrong with that . . . However, when you voice "I only date ____ guys" then it starts to sound like an actual distaste for other races rather than a desire to make an ideal come true. It is all in the approach because that reveals where your heart and intentions are.

Depending on Intentions

Wanting to date within your race is perfectly normal and not racist, however, there are some thin lines that can be crossed. Outright refusal to date or marry interracially or allow your family to date or marry interracially solely on the basis of race (i.e., keeping the family line "pure" in one race) is racist. It is an action or outcome which is motivated by race. Preferring a partner who is racially or ethnically similar to you because you share the same values, heritage, ideologies, beliefs, etc., is not racist because it is not the "race" that you are seeking, but the culture.

Fuzzy logic and genocide

This is the sort of fuzzy logic that I hate. Why is heritage, value, religion etc ok reasons but not race? Race is an integral part of my identity and I will not date interracially because one day I want white children. It is not racist to want to date within your own race for racial reasons. Denying people that rate is borderline genocide, go read up on what defines genocide and you will see that policies/pressure to eliminate a group falls within the description. Telling people they are not allowed to consider race will in the long run end in genocide of the smaller group.

Fuzzy Logic?

You hate fuzzy logic, but make the jump from interracial dating to genocide?

Refusing to Pander to Prejudice

The moment you need to write an essay explain one’s actions as “non-racist” you are in a definite gray area. Furthermore, the person whose actions are being questioned is NOT the one who gets to decide whether s/he is acting in a prejudiced manner. Those being discriminated against get to decide.

While your friend is not acting blatantly ‘racist’ she is a bigot. Refusing to mix heritage, culture or race is bigotry. There are words for people of European descent that refuse to mix “heritage” and “culture” and keep their children from being tainted by other cultures. Suggesting it could be different for another people for ANY reason is merely creating an excuse for the prejudice. (Also, suggesting white people have it easy, or fail to understand struggle, just because they are white is completely ignorant.)

Finally, it is entirely possible to raise multi-cultural, multi-lingual children with a broad understanding of their cultures, heritages and the world.

Not necessarily bigotry...

Hi Lilja,

Deciding that you'd prefer to partner with someone of your same cultural heritage doesn't mean that you refuse the mixing of race, culture, or heritage. Some people may feel that way, and that would be bigotry, but it doesn't sound like that's where Nadra's friend is coming from. She just wants a partner who can share these life experiences with her and pass them along to any children they might have. That doesn't mean she believes that people from differing backgrounds shouldn't be together or that their children wouldn't understand Latino culture, it just means that Nadra's friend would prefer to marry a Latino man herself.

I don't think Nadra is suggesting here that white people can't understand struggle, just that they don't understand racial oppression in the same ways that those who experience it do.

"I don't think Nadra is

"I don't think Nadra is suggesting here that white people can't understand struggle, just that they don't understand racial oppression in the same ways that those who experience it do." - That was directed at some of the other commenters who made the suggestion.

Am I being singled out for comments from the web editor because I disagree with the norm here? I've worked in anti-Nazi action for over two decades and can assure you I hear the same excuses this essay and these commenters are making from the white power movement every day.

Not singling you out

Hi Lilja,

Rest assured I am not singling you out. I was merely responding to your comment that "suggesting white people have it easy, or fail to understand struggle, just because they are white is completely ignorant" because I don't think that was the point Nadra was trying to make.

Also, I don't think that comparing the white power movement to a Latina activist who wishes to marry someone of a similar background yet (as far as we know) has no problem with interracial relationships for others is very useful here. There's a big difference between making a decision for yourself as an individual (I want to marry someone from a similar background) to making sweeping generalizations about entire races and ethnicities (white people are superior to non-white people).

The pot calling the kettle......

You would be surprised at how [the wp movement] rationalizes prejudice the same exact way, yet they are without doubt a known enemy to equality. Furthermore, how can I battle against this when they use the excuse, "But they don't want to intermingle or intermarry with us, either. They are just as prejudice against us." You see? And here is this discussion, verifying that point. All in all, it is just prejudice across the board.

I understand the need to find a mate one relates to on deep levels, yes, but as a person of mixed heritage (and whose family is full of multi-lingual and multi-cultural children) I cannot justify the idea of dating only within one’s heritage and culture.

What does matter is this:
Does the chosen mate treat you well? Respect you? Love you? Is s/he your friend? Does s/he respect your life experiences and your values and help you to celebrate and preserve what is important to you?
- These are the things that truly matter, because in the end we are all just people. All our backgrounds intertwine.

Race denial is racism/prerjudice

Of all things race is one of the most integral parts of ones identity. Every person has the right to value it and to want to preserve it through their children. Saying that a person is not allowed to do that is the most horrid form of prejudice. The world has really become a sick, sick place where people like you want to place social pressure on people (especially women) to make choices that cause their own heritage and racial identity to go extinct.

It is not racist to prefer a person of one's own racial group. It is the most natural thing in the world. In addition to this the fact that this topic "usually" becomes an issue when a white women rejects a non-white man it is clear that "pressure" to mix is racial hatred itself.

Race denial is racism/prejudice

Of all things race is one of the most integral parts of ones identity. Every person has the right to value it and to want to preserve it through their children. Saying that a person is not allowed to do that is the most horrid form of prejudice. The world has really become a sick, sick place where people like you want to place social pressure on people (especially women) to make choices that cause their own heritage and racial identity to go extinct.

It is not racist to prefer a person of one's own racial group. It is the most natural thing in the world. In addition to this the fact that this topic "usually" becomes an issue when a white women rejects a non-white man it is clear that "pressure" to mix is racial hatred itself.


Is it "heterosexism" if a heterosexual only wants to date another heterosexual?

"Awareness of race" is not the same thing as racism.

Racism is using one's power (as part of the dominant culture) to limit opportunities and advancement for people who are members of a particular racial group. (And one can substitute "ethnic group" for "racial group".)

Critical race theorists point out that equating "awareness of race" with "racism" has joined progressive liberals to right-wing conservatives in making race something we don't talk about and pretend we don't see, thus making it more difficult to call out actual incidents of racism.

I think that one could

I think that one could certainly term it "heterosexism." It is in keeping with the general construction of english words, and captures the spirit of having a standard for dating persons of a specific subtype. The social approval of something is another matter entirely and one should not make a claim based upon the confusion of the two distinct concepts.

Call such a dating preference "heterosexism" if you wish, but it does not provide you with the answer of how you view its social legitimacy.

No, it isn't. Dating only

No, it isn't.

Dating only people who are heterosexual--as opposed to say, bisexual--is a very specific characteristic. We aren't defined by our sexualities. People are actually real, full, whole people.

I don't think the friend mentioned in this post in particular is racist, but from how I've seen people outline their "preferences" for other races using things like outward appearances <i>generalizations</i> of abstract inner qualities--that's racist because you're asserting that certain qualities and characteristics you find attractive are found soley in that race--or aren't found in that race at all. For example, "I don't date Asians because they're shy," or "I don't date Africans because they're high maintenance." Really. You can't find a single Asian or African who's an exception to this rule? Of course not, because you're racist, and you're hiding behind the guise of preference. It's not the individual characteristics you prefer that make you racist--I couldn't care less if you preferred curly hair to straight hair--but don't tell me you can only find it in a certain race.

Which leads me to this: in a discussion, someone had pointed out that it's ridiculous to call this racist, because we would then have to call people who prefer dating a certain sex sexists. Is a man sexist against men if he dates only women, or vice versa?

No. And I can't believe anyone would bring this up as a counterargument. It's not sexist because you're attracted to a characteristic that biologically defines that sex. You want your significant other to biologically have a vagina and breasts--you have to date women, because if these characteristics are not present the individual in question is a man, or, at least, not a completely biological woman. "I only date biological women," is short for those characteristics, whereas "I only date Latina women," is not the same as whatever stereotypes you're looking for that you associate with Latinos. You can find a small stature in any race, but you can't find breasts and a vagina in a biological man.

Sexual preference is similar--it's not a giant part of <i>wholeness</i>.

I think using the term racist

<p>I think using the term <em>racist </em>in this context is incorrect. My understanding is that being racist refers to treating another person of a different race in a negative or less-than manner. Being prejudiced against them, denying them services solely based on race, etc. (I could go on but you probably know what I'm getting at). &nbsp;Just because she doesn't want to marry or date someone who is not Latino, doesn't mean she will treat non-Latinos with prejudice or malice. And it's not like she's denying friendship to someone because they are non-Latino. &nbsp;She just doesn't want to date them. &nbsp; Does it limit her possibilities? &nbsp;Well in this country it might. &nbsp;But she's well aware of that so who am I to judge that. &nbsp;I completely understand the desire to want to pass on culture to your kids. &nbsp;I think we're also confusing race and culture. &nbsp;Race is just a physical trait, culture is a much more substantial personality trait that is usually associated with a certain race. &nbsp; What this person wants to do is pass on her culture to her kids.&nbsp;Do we call Jews racists for looking to date other Jews? &nbsp;Do we call Christians racists for not wanting to date an Atheist? &nbsp;no, we dont. &nbsp;</p><p>Question... if she met a non-Latino person who was fluent in spanish and extremely well-versed in the traditions and customs of her specific culture, would she consider him a candidate if they happen to have a strong connection?</p><p>&nbsp;Speaking as a person who is 100% Latino, married to a non-Latino, I know it will be hard to pass my culture to my kids. &nbsp;But for me, it's not as important as it is to your friend. &nbsp;I'm more focused on just raising good children that are well-educated, kind-hearted, and very happy.&nbsp;</p>

Yes, it's racist.

Remember when John Mayer made the comment, "My **** is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a ****** David Duke ****." ??

Because I do. And I remember the backlash which described John Mayer's comments during the interview as racist. Why is it that when a White guy describes a preference for only White women is he (justifiably, I think) called a racist -- but when a Latina describes a preference for only Latinos is she said to be "preserving her culture"? I'm sorry, but we need to drop the double-standards, or risk alienating a large group of people from conversations about race in America.

Forget who suffers more from racism. Forget the Oppression Olympics. Forget the needs of Hispanic communities. None of that has anything to do with the racism of the direct statements made in this post by the woman in question.

It's fine to have a <i>preference</i>, but to refuse flatly to date outside your own ethnic/racial background? I'm calling a spade like I see it -- which is a fricking spade! It doesn't matter if said spade is Latina or White, or any color under the sun, because a spade is a spade <i>is a spade</i>.

Furthermore, all of the objections/justifications the author makes in this article defending her friend are BS. You can still pass on your culture even while in an inter-racial relationship. I am White/Jewish, and my girlfriend is Black/Christian, yet our kids (when we decide to have them) will still be raised Jewish AND Christian because we're not ignorant like some people... (ahem.)

As for finding someone who "understands" the problems of their partner, and what they're going through: can you not find that in relationships between an Asian man and a White woman? Or a Black man with a Hispanic woman? Or any other coupling? Just because someone's of a different race DOES NOT MEAN they can't be supportive to issues of race (instead of being another hurdle).

It's not wrong to want someone who "gets it", but it is wrong to translate that feeling into prejudicial actions which ultimately hurt those who practice them by limiting their chances for meaningful relationships by giving them a smaller pool, unrealistic standards, and objectifying their partners based on color or ethnicity!

Frankly, this whole article is a FAIL because it supports the same cultural racism that my girlfriend and I have to deal with on a daily basis. Thankfully, we won't be raising our children to promulgate these prejudices, because they'll understand it doesn't matter what color they are or what color their partner may be -- just as long as they love and support each other.

A difference

Hi Zek,

From what I can tell, Nadra's friend wishes to partner with someone from a similar background but she doesn't have any problem with interracial relationships, nor does she believe that traditions can't be passed on to children in interracial relationships. It's just not what she's choosing for herself. Yes, this choice is most definitely limiting, but I don't see how it supports cultural racism.


It assumes that racial discrimination in dating is actually okay, which reinforces the whole concept of "beauty standards" that often (but not always!) favors White women over Women of Color.

While you may be seeing the best in Nadra, I have no idea about her as a person and judging from her article she doesn't seem to support interracial relationships in this instance. In fact, quite the opposite, the article comes off as demeaning to those of us IN interracial relationships by her assertions that people from disparate races cannot understand nor support one another. (Which was why she said she was sympathetic to her Latina friend.)

I mean, you can interpret her article however best fits your opinion, but from where I'm sitting (next to my girlfriend) it seems pretty dang clear to me that: 1)it's racist, 2) it's ignorant, and 3) it's offensive.

"Forget who suffers more from

"Forget who suffers more from racism."? Um, no. And that's precisely why the comments of John Mayer, a white man, are different than those of a Latina woman.



A very useful definition of racism takes into account the dominant power structure and direction of power. In this definition, you can't just pretend that there isn't pressure on POC (and on whites) from the mainstream society to over-value whiteness and European or European-derived cultures, and to under-value POC and non-European cultures.

I'm also kind of amazed at some of the comments here using expressions like "the pot calling the kettle" and "call a spade a spade"! Correct me if I'm wrong, but are these not racially loaded expressions that we who work against racism in North America (for example) need to be conscious of and try to eliminate from our discourse?
That was certainly my impression, white women that I am!

Cigars are just cigars

"Pot Calling The Kettle Black" dates back to the 1600's when cooking was done on an open fire, so anything sitting over the flame turned black. The origin of the phrase was not connected to race in any way, but to every day life. ("Spade a spade" is even older. I think it dates to Ancient Greece.)

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

However, considering I was discussing the doubler standards of prejudice I chose this phrase deliberately to make a very hard point: When you point a finger you forget three more point back at you.

Systemic direction of power

OK, these language expressions are outside of my expertise, so you may have a point there.

However, the complaints of "double standards" etc, miss the point that the overall culture in Canada and the US is not only white dominant, but "white-supremacist," to quote bell hooks. The racial prejudice that has systemic power and effect benefits whites and oppresses POC. The systemic direction of power does not oppress whites based on their race. In a definition I think is important: if a white person experiences racial prejudice or exclusion due to their race, they are not experiencing racism (which aligns with the systemic directions of power in Canada and the US), but they may be experiencing racial prejudice (which can also suck!). BUT, there is a difference. The overwhelming weight of the dominant culture and its institutions and relations makes the difference between racism (which is systemic) and racial prejudice (which is not necessarily).

I would echo the moderator's point:
"Also, one cannot simply "drop the double-standard" because racism (inherently a double-standard) is a reality and its effects do not disappear if it is ignored."

What are you talking about?

The pot calling the kettle black is not racist. It's a saying which has no roots in racism. Just because it mentions a color in it does not automatically make it racist. That may seem obvious to most, but if it was truly unnecessary I would not be writing this comment in response to anyone.
As for the spade thing: "The phrase predates the use of the word "spade" as an ethnic slur against African-Americans, which was not recorded until 1928; however, in contemporary U.S. society, the idiom is often avoided due to potential confusion with the slur."

I'm not sure the phrasing is

I'm not sure the phrasing is totally clear here. Saying a "Latina" would prefer not to date outside of her race is akin to saying a French person would rather not date a vegan. Latinos are of various races, despite the term often being racialized. The question, as I see it, is whether or not she's being ethnocentric or xenophobic by not wanting to date non-Latinos.

Best reaction so far

I agree with you on this, even if the fact I used to date vegans is irrelevant :) ...

The problem is that there is a what I would call an "invisible hierarchy" on racialized people, for example inside the so-called latino group there are ethnicities that are even oppressed by the majority of the group. Race, as used in the USA, has a "in sich" and a "für sich" side, people who belong to a group whether they want or not, and people who feel like they belong to the group - even if these terms are kantian heritage in marxism, working to define structural sociology and if Kant has written racists essays.
The whole counterpart to Marx saying workers can only be freed bythemselves, is "X" group can only be freed by themselves. Then you have this articulation: whether in a leninistic and authoritarian way you can have "enlightened" people who works to free the whole group, even outside of it, or the groupe, here latinos, have to stay an homogenic group to struggle against oppression. You see there, that as long there is no oppression, there is no point to form a struggling group, so white people as a "race group" shouldn't compare, since there is no urge for them to struggle for the destruction of the racist system on the top of which they are. For myself, I think the articulation between "leaders from outside" and "pure struggling group" has to be overseen: the goal is in the way, and you can't destroy a system by adopting all its criteria, nor by forgetting those which tend to structure the actual system and slow the changes. So to fight racism, you have to deconstruct race, as to fight sexism you have to deconstruct gender.

Then, my point on this particular issue is that you can totally understand your friend's point, especially if she's part of a very small native south american group which culture tend to disappear. But the choice of the way of life is subsumed to all the choices you can make. In the nowadays society, you cannot anywhere live as a coherent group without struggle against not only the prejudice, but against the mark society puts on your face. You can date anyone you want. If you don't, you'd accept to be seen as a member of a "X" group before beeing yourself, then you won't accept to see in someone else his/her belonging to such a "X" group. Solidarity is important, inside a culture too, but choosing a mate in order not to have difficulties to be understood is too close for me to autarcy: there will always be something to explain to your partner, nobody can comprehend you entire backstory, were they your own family (I would even say especially if they are your own family ;) ).

Correcting myself

"if you don't, you'd accept to be seen as a member of a "X" group before beeing yourself, then you won't accept to see in someone else his/her belonging to such a "X" group."

should have been written

"if you don't, you'd accept to be seen as a member of a "X" group before beeing yourself, then you won't accept to see in someone <strong>anything else that</strong> his/her belonging to such a "X" group.

My apologies for having been teached english third to french and german.


Zek, "Frankly, this whole article is a FAIL....." - agree.

"...we need to drop the double-standards, or risk alienating a large group of people from conversations about race in America."- agree.

It is interesting that the web editor only picks on people disagreeing with the tone of the essay. (Which is patting prejudice on the back.) If you don't want people to argue all sides of a (sadly, controversial) topic fairly don't bother publishing an essay. If you don't want backlash, don't publish.

Leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Nadra's piece was an

Nadra's piece was an open-ended question, and was about her friend's experience, so I don't see how someone's personal experience can be a "FAIL." Also, one cannot simply "drop the double-standard" because racism (inherently a double-standard) is a reality and its effects do not disappear if it is ignored.

There are valid reasons for

<p>There are valid reasons for choosing a mate within your own cultural identity and I support the decision of the author's friend. My mother forbidding me from dating African American or black men and telling me not to share news of a date with a Taiwanese man; these are examples of racism, sadly from a woman who married outside of prescribed racial boundaries. The only thing worse than being in a relationship with a black man, in <strong><em>my mother's</em></strong> vocal opinion, was if I were a lesbian.

</p><p>Growing up biracial (Mestizo father and American white mother) but assumed white, I always felt a little out of place. I faced a lot of personal confusion, and it seemed like nobody else really understood the pull. Sadly, I never was immersed in the duel cultures, because my paternal grandparents died shortly after immigration and my father was raised in the US. How do others handle having been raised in two different cultures? Instead of the speculation of those who have not experienced it, I would greatly appreciate the lived experience of those who consider themselves bicultural and/or biracial (or multi/multi) by birth.</p>

Meee tooo

I'm in the same place as you are. My mother is Puerto Rican and my father is white. I grew up pretty much immersed in the culture of my mother's side, but I'm interpellated as white so things get emotionally confusing sometimes. My whiteness makes me feel as if there is a cultural experience people assume I have no right to claim, despite my childhood experiences and my lived reality as a member of a Puerto Rican family. I guess, overall, I would like to be treated as the mix I am rather than always being assumed to be one or the other-I don't want to deny my whiteness or my Puerto Rican-ness...as Audre Lorde wrote, "this is a destructive and fragmenting way to live."

More on topic with the above article, it's really interesting to see some of the rather heated replies people have on this issue. I myself am somewhat torn. I don't necessarily think it's racist, because she clearly doesn't condemn interracial relationships in general, but I don't think I can relate to making the same personal choice that she did...perhaps I would understand better if I wasn't already mixed to begin with :)


Hi, Birdie. I've had this experience personally. I'm the daughter of a Nigerian Muslim father and a black American Baptist mother. As an adult, I know much more about black American customs than Nigerian ones because black American culture is clearly dominant in the U.S. Adding to this was that my parents divorced, and I grew up with my mother, who knew little about Nigerian culture. So, now, I don't know my father's native language and the bulk of Nigerian traditions. The one thing I have somewhat of an understanding of is Nigerian food--but that's only to a certain extent. Anyway, some people wish to avoid having children who are culturally alienated from them and decide to marry someone from their same ethnic background to prevent this from happening.

It Can Be If It's Racist

By drop the double-standard I was referring to the double-standard by which one person's racial discrimination in dating is not as condemning as anothers, no matter what race each person is.

If you want to misconstrue double-standard with "White people have it bad too!" then go ahead, but that's NOT what I'm saying. What I'm saying is calling <i>individual acts of racism</i> what they are. If someone does something racist, it doesn't change based on race. If a Black person calls me a k-word, it doesn't stop being anti-Semitic just because they're oppressed too.

The reason this article is a FAIL is because it promotes double-standards of what's racist versus what's not racist, and encourages racist dating standards while simultaneously demeaning those of us in interracial relationships and ignorantly promoting people only date others of the same race. (Something frighteningly similar to what White supremacist groups often say.)

Also, it is really weird that the mods are only replying to those of us who disagree...

Notes for this thread

Hello everyone,

It seems that a few commenters here are under the impression that Nadra, or her friend, or one or both of the moderators, is against interracial dating. That is not the case. In fact, as she points out in her post, Nadra herself is in an interracial relationship. This post is about Nadra's friend's decision to date someone who shares her cultural background—that is all. Nadra's friend does not want to stop others from interracial dating, nor is she against it in any way (based on the information we've been given).

The claims that the moderators (myself being one) are only responding to those who disagree with the post is not entirely accurate. We're responding to those people who we feel may have misunderstood the post and are therefore disagreeing with arguments that Nadra did not make.

I hope that clears a few things up!

First of all, I'd like to say

First of all, I'd like to say that the article specifically asked the readers for their thoughts and feelings on what this woman said regarding interracial/ethnic relationships. It is possible that some of us will find it okay and some of us will not, and it disappoints me to see people who are giving honest feedback being "corrected" for doing so.

Personally, taking her comment out of all context, I think it's a limiting, narrow-minded way to think, and has the potential to be stunting both to her and to any future children. Statements like "I'm not against interracial dating BUT" are always red flags for me personally, no matter who they come from. But that's easy for me to say. The truth is, I don't know this woman. All I have to go on is that she wants to date people who share her ethnic background, which is perfectly within her right. I can't speak to her reasons for doing this--I know "preservation of culture" is the reason given, but plenty of people with mixed ethnicities are raised to be aware of their cultures, which leads me to believe there are perhaps more personal reasons. Honestly? I don't care what she does. She can date whoever she wants for whatever reason she wants. It's her life.

I guess it's bothersome to me that interracial/ethnic dating is still seen by many as such a big deal (and I'm realistic; I know it is to many people, unfortunately), and that many people seem to regard it as so difficult. Again, I know that cultural differences can put a strain on relationships, and that there are still people who look down on "mixing," but I don't think it's a very progressive idea to have the mentality that a successful relationship is less likely with someone who doesn't share your heritage, that you two would be "too different" to connect on any level outside of educating the other on your background. Assuming this because of racism/prejudice or because of the idea that the more privileged partner just "won't get it" is equally close-minded. (And yeah, they probably won't "get" it because they haven't lived it, but this doesn't mean they will be callous or dismissive.)

And yes, I'd also like to point out that "white people" are not one big group. No "race" is. My parents are both white, but are of different ethnicities, and have managed to make me aware of both cultures and their customs. It's true that two cultures sharing certain physical traits and a general geographic background might have an easier time in our society than others, I know that nowhere in the article is this claim made, but really, white people do understand what it's like to have ethnic heritage.

One final point and then I'll shut up: I want to know if race/ethnicity commonly factors into what people find "attractive." I think people are drawn to certain traits, but not all traits are limited to one race/ethnicity. In fact, many aren't. Speaking for myself, I find the people I am attracted to share certain traits, but quite are varied in terms of ethnicity. What do you guys think?

Oh, Geez

I only rarely comment here, but I felt like this one deserved some attention. I definitely agree that there has been some bias in response from the moderators. Don't ask the question "Is Refusing to Date Across Ethnic Lines Racist?" if you don't actually want people to respond.

This may not be "racism" exactly, but it is definitely ethnocentric in saying that the only people who can understand or be empathetic or be worth your time are the people exactly like you. I'm not saying that everyone should be with someone of another race or culture, but ruling out the possibility and being upset at the lack of availability of guys is upsetting to me.

I am in an interracial relationship. It's hard. There are so many things that are culturally different. People make a big deal about it when they are uncomfortable with the idea. I wish we lived somewhere where this didn't matter to people.

You can try to seek out people of your own culture, but don't put down interracial relationships by saying that you won't even give them a chance.

I think that if you outwardly

I think that if you outwardly say that you refuse to date "Blacks" or only will date "Asians" or "insert race here", then that seems to me to be racist. But I suppose if you say, "I only like to date guys who are blond and blue eyed", then you're specifying a type rather than race? So it depends on the delivery, maybe.

Personally, the more you narrow your choices, the harder it becomes to find someone you are truly compatible with. Also, you never know who you could become attracted to. Narrow choices are for narrow minds.

Meh, Why fight it

My friend's jewish mother was very unhappy when she found out that her daughter was dating a non jewish person. I believe the frustrated and cliche'd quote was something along the lines of "Do you really want Hitler to win dear?". As though there were some kind of purity to be lost there.

I can understand the fear to a certain degree. If your children don't grow up to be like you, and this trend continues then eventually no one will be like you. You and the group you identify with will be gone. Maybe this inspires despair in some. It's just not something I can care about. I can respect someone's life choices, but at the end of the day it just seems small minded. Fearful.

People can identify with whatever groups they wish, and they can choose to limit their experiences to those that also identify in the same way. But assimilation isn't exactly something to fear, nor the clash of cultures. Things change, desperately holding on to the past seems like a fantastic way to stagnate.

You and the group you

<i>You and the group you identify with will be gone. Maybe this inspires despair in some.</i>

This is an interesting point. The interesting thing is ... how many of us can look back at our family trees and see a continuous line of sameness? Are we trying to keep things the same, or are we trying to get back what we never had?

If this Latina friend were to

If this Latina friend were to fall in love with a Latino man only to have him reject her saying "I don't date Latinas" I think she would change her tune.

Latino is not ONE ethnicity, btw

Well, i think that is not racist, simply because Latino is not a race. Period.
I'm latina, nicaraguan, actually, and believe me, all gringos put is in this little narrow label "latino" no matter how different latinos are from each other. Mexicans and Nicaraguan both speak spanish, of course, but the culture is very different from each other. Centralamericans and south americans are very different from each other. And we do come in all the range of colors. I'm mestiza, olive-skinned, loose curly haired, but yet in Germany nobody read me as "latina" i was read as turkish or lebaneese, because i do not look like a cartoon of a latino person.
My boyfriend, latino too, is white, blond and light brown eyed, used to be read as white in the USA all the time, people were surprised that English was his second language.

Bottom line, i do get your friend, but I just want to tell her that finding a Latino man is no guarantee that they're gonna match culturally, boyfriend and I were both raised in Nicaragua, and we do match culturally, but here, at least where i come from, foreigners have a cultural shock even if they come from another latino country.


...all those damn gringos. Every single one of them, with their blanket stereotypes and categorizations. Right?

Stupid comes in all colors

Here's how I look at it:

"I prefer to partner with someone who shares my heritage" for purposes of forming a lasting pair bond based on common experiences and worldviews and raising a family in a certain culturally educated context? Go right ahead. Build a happy family.

Meanwhile, phrases like "I'm gonna take a break from black men; I want my next boyfriend to be Latino so he'll buy me lots of jewelry and be possessive of me" spoken by a white woman (or anyone else, of course) reeks of stupidity, ignorance, and racist b.s. (Direct quote from a former acquaintance, btw.)

Overall, I'm more troubled by the media's insistence on showing us culturally homogenous couples and families, particularly in advertising, than I am by the particular preferences of individuals in the dating world. But that's a whole other debate.

Cross-cultural bi-racial

Being a brown-skinned female legal alien means that I have to handle oppressions and ridicule of various sorts. It helps that my partner is a first generation (white) American who hasn't been homogenized, is a feminist, and enjoys and participates in my culture. And yet we face challenges and we are constantly examining our pre-conceptions and prejudices. Being in a cross-cultural, biracial relationship is even more complicated than being in a bi-racial relationship. And presumably that is what Nadra's friend will have to deal with if she were to date outside her race. The question is, if a person of a different race were to have the same characteristics, would they be acceptable? If not, I'd think of the friend as being ethnocentric rather than racist. Racism involves a power dynamic that is inapplicable to this situation.

Finally, to some of the respondents, being part of a dominant group but in a biracial relationship with a member of a minority group doesn't necessarily mean that one fully understands oppression or racism.

Not Racist to Date "Close to Home"

I can't imagine why wanting to date someone of your own ethnicity would be considered racist. Having a cultural commonality might...might make for an easier and/or better relationship for some people. It can limit your options but it may be a trade-off worth making. No one is racist for wanting someone like yourself. We don't complain when people want someone of the same religion. This isn't that different. www.TheSpinsterliciousLife.com

I don't care if it's racist or not :)

I don't care if someone calls me a racist for prefering my own race/ethnicity at all--simply put, it's not for them to decide what is or is not right for me. My heritage is German/Czech, and you can bet your life savings that that (along with Polish) is definitely what my preference is for a partner.

Should I be more open-minded? Actually, I am. I would date a Lithuanian, Norwegian or Icelandic person (and yes, they're ALL northern European, and if you don't like it you can go do you-know-what with yourself), and at the same rate, I have no interest in Brits, Italians, or anyone who I just don't really have any interest in dating. Blah, blah, blah it's so racist, blah, blah, blah it's so horrible. Yada yada yada I've heard it all before.

Yours is a case of cultural

Yours is a case of cultural compatability not racism. If you are a catholic and if you prefer an Armenian or white skinned moslem Lebanese over a Christian Filipina, you would be a racist...because then it will be based solely on skin color. Otherwise you are not a racist.

This sucks for white folks

Because once again, white is being used a not only a blanket term that encompasses a lot of different cultures and languages and customs, but there is once again the assumption that "generic" white people (me? I am American/Anglo-Saxon... white... Protestant... English speaking...) DON'T HAVE A CULTURE OF THEIR OWN. It is the "mainstream" culture in the US, yes, but the reason white people who only date white people are considered racist is because they're seen as unwilling to welcome "culture" into their lives -- not a specific culture, just the idea of culture.

Which is harmful to race discussions, because it de facto removes white people from feeling as though they have a useful place in this conversation -- rather, we should let what behavior is appropriate for us be defined by what offends the fewest people, when in fact the assumptions often made about white people really hurt my feelings at times.


PS -- Slightly off topic, I have a blonde friend who jokes that she can only marry a blonde because the hair color is dying out. But I always wonder if she's really joking... :)

Attraction comes naturally; you can't be guilted into it.

"Is refusing to date interracially ever justified" It's always justified. It's not racism; it's merely a matter of preference. When it comes to dating, we all discriminate in some way--this is also known as "having standards." They range from standards of appearance ("I like tall guys") or behavior ("no one with a criminal background") and lifestyle ("must have own car"). It would be racism if the attitude were that one's race is superior to another. However, if it's merely that dating people of your own race is more appealing to you physically and socially, then who can blame you for that? An example of racism would be a landlord who refuses to rent property to an African-American couple. Such a thing would be illegal discrimination. However, someone who doesn't want to date outside of his race? This is entirely his own choice. No one needs to "justify" their preferences of whom they like to date, wed, bed, etc., because these are completely private matters. It just doesn't get any more personal than that.
It is much easier today to be in an interracial couple than in years past when this was a crime called miscegenation. While it is wonderful that societal attitudes have improved, it puts so much pressure on people to be "open-minded" that people can't be honest about what they really want. Statistically, most people DO date within their own race. Only about 7% of marriages in the U.S. are interracial. Does this mean that 93% of people have racist attitudes about dating? I think it's nothing more complicated than that we generally prefer to date people similar to ourselves in culture, socioeconomic status, and (most relevant here) appearance. We want to eventually have children that will resemble ourselves, so we tend to seek mates who resemble ourselves. Every time a friend of yours gets married to someone of the same race, do you accuse them of racism? I think many people say they are open to dating other races, but they only say this because they know it will be unpopular to say "no thank you, I prefer those of ______ descent." Yet mustn't it be true that people do in fact (by and large) prefer their own race? Make no mistake, love is a beautiful thing as long as it's genuine, whether the couple has a similar ethnic background or not. But let's be realistic here and realize that you don't have to be "open-minded" to anyone and everyone just because of a social guilt trip. People fall in love out of genuine attraction (physical and otherwise), and some people may be attracted to people of all shapes and colors, but chances are you have some preferences about the physical appearance and ethnic background of a potential mate.

Race "preference" is a form

Race "preference" is a form of latent racism, and for that reason alone it should be scorned, despised, and derided. Here's an alternative perspective: I won't date anyone who has racial preferences. The idea disgusts me.

Race itself is an invalid concept that conflates societal and cultural factors with biological factors, so the idea of having a racial "preference" is invalid as well. Perhaps someone could make an argument about aesthetics, i.e. someone prefers the physical characteristics associated with a particular race, or dislikes those characteristics. That being said, however, it's incredibly racist to make a vast assumption that every member of a race will have certain characteristics--for example, one can't trust that all people of African descent (although technically we ALL are of African descent, but in this case I'm talking about black people) have the same or similar shades of skin; some have skin that is literally black, some are about as pale as white people, and the rest are in between. Because we can't trust these factors to be consistent on a universal level, relying on it to form your romantic preferences is racist, ignorant, and incredibly stupid.

Also, from a genetic standpoint: It's generally accepted by evolutionary biologists that genetic diversity is good for any significant population, and that genetic similarity between parents is positively correlated with their offspring having genetic diseases. Because of this, it's actually in the aspiring parent's best interests to select someone genetically different from oneself in some significant way, for the sake of their child; and it seems to be a fair assumption to make that someone who looks drastically different from oneself will probably have a significantly different genotype.

Long story short: If you prefer to date only people of a particular race or races, you are a racist, a bigot, and a stupendous idiot; and I probably don't like you.

The idea isn't racist...

Dating with her culture is not racist. I understand it. What would kind of make me side eye would be if she refused to date another Latino based on his color. As you mentioned, Latinos come in all shades. I do have a question though, if anyone could answer. Why do so many Latinos get upset when you say that "Hispanic" is an ethnicity rather than a race? I've learned this in a few classes and watched a few documentaries. The more I learn, the more sense it makes to me. There is White, Black, Asian, and Native American/South Pacific? I claim the ethnicity Haitian, because that is where my dad is from and is the most that I actually know about my ethnic background right now. My nationality is American, and the world sees my race as Black. My boyfriend's parents are from the Dominican Republic. He is American but is 100% Dominican (ethnicity). I feel like when I say this he feels like I am trying to take something away from his. He looks black/biracial. On a census couldn't he and many other like him put Race: Hispanic Ethnicity: Black or other? I don't understand the big deal. Latinos are of mixed race. Many Biracial Americans could be mistaken for Latino's because they are physically (good word chose?) the same. If more biracial American found partners of mixed raced like them and continued from generation to generation the United States would look a lot more like many Latino countries. Our differences are our cultures. I just get very confused as to why it is such a bad thing. It doesn't take away from who a person is...

I am just more comfortable

I am just more comfortable and sexually attracted to latinos and if a white girl felt the same way about white men I would understand her perfectly. I think it depends on where you grew up and your experiences . My first love was a latino man and that is just all I have known. I love my spanish language and music. I feel it is just the way I naturally feel at this point and I cannot help it. I love latino men with full lips, masculine faces and whatever shade they come in or mestizo vs. more european looking, they usually have a look in their eyes ( even when they are green, which I love in a dark skinned or olive toned latino) that tells me they are a sexy latino. I am not saying I could never fall in love and marry someone of another race but I honestly find that difficult to imagine. I am in my thirties though and would love to find a latino man with similar education to settle down with but I know this puts me in a more difficult predicament. I honesly wish I could be more open to dating other races but when I go to online dating sites I am more interested in checking out the latino men I find attractive.

Interracial Dating

I'm so thankful to come across this page. We live in a world now where if you're not promoting whatever is politically correct then you must be against it so that makes you a hater, a racist, a bigot, or narrow-minded.

I am definitely not against interracial relationships. Nonetheless, it is not for me and it has nothing to do with hate. For starters, I am a very traditional girl and thus my approach to dating is deeply-rooted in the dating style of my SE Asian culture. A man who didn't share this same upbringing probably couldn't understand or have the patience to put up with it. Physical attraction can only take you so far, after all, and the dating approach between SE Asian vs. American is so vastly different. If I had an American BF would he mistake phone calls from other suitors as cheating when it is totally acceptable in my culture? Would I lose trust in him when he goes away on trips with his female friends even though that is perfectly acceptable in American culture? Would he understand that I am not available to go on dates outside of the home without a chaperone?Or what of the fact that it won't be cool with my parents or me to visit him at his house? Continuously learning to square away all these differences would eventually take its toll before we ever had time to figure out if we're really that attracted to each other beyond the physical.

There was a time when none of these issues rose in my mind. I grew up in the states and lived in a predominantly white community. My life was saturated with white culture and it took a bigger effort for me to retain my roots. Essentially, I was a white girl living inside an Asian body. Like all the other white girls at school, I fantasized about white celebrities and pictured my future husband to be white. The thought of an Asian husband never crossed my mind and not because I discriminated against them but because there was not enough of them in my visual environment. But while I developed secret crushes on white boys, I was never the girl on their radar. This kind of rejection hurt me and distorted the image I had about identity. Meanwhile, I was never short of Asian boys chasing me whenever my family attended events in our Asian community. Surprisingly, the rejection didn't compel me to hate white boys (or even myself) but created the opposite effect. I still liked them but felt even more desperate to have them like me back. I didn't see that I was different from any of my white peers other than my physical appearance. For inside, I was just like them in every possible way. Why wasn't this enough to really fit in?

It was only until I reached my teens that I realized what my real problem was. I wasn't around enough Asian boys who could appreciate me since I fitted their standard of beauty. This kind of encouragement in addition to a newfound interest in absorbing my ethnic culture (which is one of the most severely under-represented and written about groups on the planet earth, we're like a freaking mystery even to ourselves) brought me back. The reason I had been so fascinated with white boys was because white culture had been my world since even my own parents could barely show me ours (remember, ours was practically a mystery). Obviously, I was going to gravitate towards anything that reflected the white culture, which had become so much a part of me. But once I learned more about my heritage, I was thirsty to learn more about my identity. Nothing could break me away from it. My mentality started including Asian undertones. Something that would've never been challenged had my family never fled Laos.

I still found non-Asian guys handsome but no longer attracted to them in the way that I once was. I was too lost (or should I say found) in my Asian-ness. I knew that nobody else would ever complete me like an Asian man who would know how to perform his role in our shared cultural customs and practices - which were meaningful and beautiful to me. I didn't want to be in a marriage where that kind of appreciation could only be felt by me while my spouse stood on the sidelines and waited for me to finish. That was no way for me to live in a marriage.

I have been called a racist by those from my ethnicity that choose to date outside. They mistake my being perfectly happy with an Asian man and upholding my Asian culture as a direct insult to the statement they're trying to make about themselves. They've accused me of being narrow-minded because I won't give up these traditions, which I find so meaningful and can't imagine not observing. They don't get why I don't get them, and that is why they say I'm the bad person. They don't think racist applies to them just because they're with someone who is outside their ethnic group. Despite the fact that they frequently display racist attitudes toward their own ethnic people and use that biased perception to justify why they had to go outside of their own race. Yet, they say I'm the racist one.

Like I've said at the very beginning: I have nothing against interracial relationships and people's personal preferences. But when someone openly justifies their choice by berating a group (which ironically happens to be the group they're from), these same self-proclaiming, open-minded trailblazers put themselves on the spot to be examined and interrogated. Calling me the racist is just a cheap diversion from the real truth about their prejudices. I'm just an easier target because I don't have a non-Asian mate as a guise.

A nice perspective but its more of an exception than a rule.

I completely agree with your article, however, I just wanted to point out that your friends reasons are more the exception than the rule. For most people I think it is a fear reaction from racist friends and family or they are indeed racists themselves. There still is a ton of racism in the US whether we want to talk about it or not.


Yes racisim is still going on.

Dating within your race to maintain heritage is racist. Why? Because you don't know if the black guy, indian guy, chinese guy, arab guy... doesn't share your culture.

What if he was born in your country and knows more poltics than you? what if he cooks better with your own ethnic food, or teaches class...

White men doesn't have much a problem because white men are more motivated by sexual body parts than anything. Women on the otherhand are shallow.

They will flirt with you and talk to you but they will say I dont want XXXXXX kids.

This is from a guy who have a masters degree, works in a professional job, and my skin is light. I get a bunch of women flirting and surrounding me in coffee shops yet they never want to date any further.

To date only a race

I could understand if your friend date only latinos because of sexual because of sexual orientation. It is true that they are super sexy. I'm a white woman and in my twenties, I dated only latinos guys, from Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, etc. because I like the little meztisos, with dark skin and black eyes. I speak spanish, I like de culture, and I'm catholic. I can't imagine me with a white man. They just don't attract me, and I don't know why. I don't like white mexicans too. I think that it's normal to prefer one kind of man. Some women like men very tall, others like the little morenitos. Nothing it's wrong with me. They should be happy that I'm interested on them.

But the big problem is, mexicans people are very racists. The mexican men (and colombian), are very players with the white women who love them with sincerity. They marry the latinas, and they use white women for sex, while promising great things for us. They promise the world! But they only want our body. Womanizer, womanizer, womanizer!!!

Your latina friend will be "the good wife". She will cook for her macho man. But he will cheat on her all the time with the white women (and I will say to the white woman that he is single). The latinos have the "The Mother and the Whore" duality.

Not all act like this, but in my personal experience, the good latinos guys are like the UFO. Everybody talk about them, but nobody saw them.

I have a lot of latinas friends who don't want to date latinos men exactly for what I'm explaining. They always said to me to stay away from this guys, but I always wished "this one will be different". I could be so naive when I see a sexy latino!

Good luck to your friend with latinos men! (She will need a lot of chance)

Nothing wrong with dating within your group!!

Interesting your experience but probably expected…
Anglo (= white) women do have a reputation in Latin countries (of being easy) so that kind of follows here too.
Also that type of men you were aiming for were the recent émigrés or 1 or 2 generation= more attuned to their cultures ….in other words not that Americanized yet; the only thing these men saw in you were easy access to the bedroom which didn’t put you in the category of a good candidate to “wife up”…let me explain: in most cultures -even here in the USA most of the traditions and customs are usually passed from mother to children so in their case if they were to choose you they probably had to say bye bye to their Latino/Hispanic heritage because most likely you a s a mom wouldn’t care too much about it them , just care for them to be good kids. There’s plenty examples when the relationship don’t work , they go they separate ways and the children stay with the mother but they end being monoculture although having a Latin last name.
An example of this …. I would put the names of some celebrities that have Anglo/white mothers: Selena Gomez, Cristina Aguilera and Jessica Alba…what do them have in common?? They all have Latin surnames ( Latin fathers) , all of them don’t know a lick of Spanish, all don’t know their culture so in reality they are Hispanics in name only, may as well be named Jones, Taylor, etc…and that ‘s the fear that a Latin families have when thinking about a relative marrying someone from the outside.

Now analyzing the main topic is not different than being Italian American, Greek American, etc. after being here 100+ years some of the communities are still tightly knitted, they still try to mingle among themselves so why give this Latin lady a rough tome for wanting to pair with a man of the same culture in order to make her culture last, I don’t understand!.
People talk about her limiting her choices but what choices are we talking about?? If you want to learn some other cultures o places there are libraries full of info, internet galore and you can always travel to different paces or if on a budget look up a phone book/internet and go to the local ethnic neighborhoods if you live in a big city…the last thing for finding other cultures should be looking thru marriage.

A valid point, but...

The particular Latin lady mentioned make's valid points, but i think requiring a specific race for a potential life-partner is like saying "I only date skaters" You dont have a problem with other types of guys at all, your ideal man is just this Dylan Rieder type who also cooks well and is really great with kids.
Rejecting a guy only because of he's race, MUST leave a bad taste in your ladyfriends mouth, minority or not,
of course she can just tell herself its because if he's poor taste in cloth or bad teeth. I hope that someday people will think of race the same way they think of bloodtype.
maybe start judging people on their culture instead, that is what truly makes us different.

It depends on the person

"Race Card: Is Refusing to Date Across Ethnic Lines Racist?"

I'll say for most people, it's a preference, there is nothing racist about it. There are some peoples in this world who are endogamous. I think we should stop imposing a unique way of thinking to everyone in the name of the fight against racism, when racism isn't even part of the question. Most people LIKE to forget the real meaning of racism: the idea of one's racial/ethnic group being superior to the rest, or at least better. As long as someone doesn't think or act (including subconsciously) "I don't want to date someone from this group because they're dirt/savages/ignorant, etc", I don't see why this would be considered racist. It's true that because of history (I'm not only talking about the US) a white person isn't allowed to state such preferences out loud because there will always be this huge suspicion that his/her motivations being racist. There's also the fact that so many racially biased ideas have been ingrained in people in their upbringing (and the TV still doesn't help) that they might not even be aware that sometimes, the real reason behind their reluctance to date out of race, is an unidentified very mild form of racism. Anyway!

As far as I'm concerned, I know that I'm leaning more and more about not dating a white person and my reasons are mostly anti-eurocentric. I am an African woman with a very dark complexion, I spent 10 years in different European countries, now almost 9 years in North America, most of it in Canada. I've dated out of my race and unfortunately, the most ignorant things I heard came from white guys. I blame it on the white privilege and I guess, I'm just sick of having to explain things that you don't have to when you're with other minorities. I don't believe in the whole "love is enough blah blah blah", I call it another platitude that only white people or people who can pass like white, can still spout in these days. These last 2 decades spent 24/7 in Europe and North America, just made me realize that there are still so much to be done when it comes to race relations and issues in the world. I feel like the only ones who think this is a settled issue are white people. I don't want to come home, try to explain to you that I've been a victim of racial discrimination in some context (yes people, it still happens in 2014 - it's not a product of our imagination) and hear you say: "Are you sure? Maybe this, maybe that" or worse "But, aren't you used to it now?". So call me racist, I don't mind to wear the cap if it fits but I am not dating a white person anymore. Been there, done that, on 2 different continents, different countries but always the same results, no matter how educated they might be.

I do not think it is racist, but I do think it is ignorant.

So, before anyone jumps on to me about the controversial term I've used to describe this, I am not trying to insult anyone at all. I use the term because I feel that those who do not date out of "their" race should think again. I am black. I have a African, Caucasian, Mediterranean, and Native American lineage. So when I hear or read that someone of any of these ethnicities say that they wouldn't date me because I am black I do feel slightly offended. I am, at the same time, of your race and not of your race. This makes me feel like I do not belong. I am in no way angered by a person's choice or preference, but when it comes to this I can only think that there's no such thing as a pure race. I am mixed. Everyone is mixed. There is no such thing as a "pure" race. It makes me wonder, how can a person have a preference that excludes those that would technically be included in what they search for?

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