When interracial dating goes wrong
While I appreciate some of the nuanced discussion on how race intersects with dating preferences, there’s something quite stinging about reducing the choices we make in romance to just wanting to be white.
As the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates noted in 2010, there’s a real danger of taking something as intensely private as someone’s relationship, marriage, or family, and criticizing it with the same zeal as we would a social institution.
His whiteness hasn’t prevented the microaggressions and presumptions I face daily.Does dating a white person make you any less black? But it’s a complicated issue, one that British author Zadie Smith (author of ).Smith asks Adichie to reflect upon the pleasure they both feel in the fact that US president Barack Obama married Michelle Obama, a dark-skinned black woman.Hollywood is finally beginning to tell meaningful stories by and about people of color—from TV shows such as ABC’s But many of these stories have provoked strong reactions from audiences critical of characters of color having white love interests.“Why are brown men so infatuated with White women onscreen? “By earning white love,” we’re told in another think piece, a nonwhite character “gains acceptance in a society that has thwarted them from the very beginning.” In the hit US network show , the love triangle between the indomitable Olivia Pope and two powerful white men has been subject to intense scrutiny over the last five years, with some now having to defend Pope (who is literally portrayed as the de facto leader of the free world) from accusations that the show reduces her to “a white man’s whore.”Real people have also faced harsh criticism for their romantic choices.
When tennis star Serena Williams, a black woman and arguably the greatest athlete of our time, announced her engagement to Alexis Ohanian, the white co-founder and executive chairman of Reddit, she was hit by a furious backlash.
“But then I have to ask myself, well if he married a mixed-race woman, would that in some way be a lesser marriage? “If it was a white woman, would we feel differently?