Is It Racist to Date Only People of Your Own Race? Yes

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NorthReport
Is It Racist to Date Only People of Your Own Race? Yes

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NorthReport

Yes it is.

Is It Racist to Date Only People of Your Own Race?

Nevertheless, I do feel comfortable judging them guilty of being clueless. There are good reasons to question the moral appropriateness of strong same-race preferences and their close cousin, in-group favoritism. In The American Non-Dilemma, Nancy DiTomaso argues that persistent racial inequality in the United States is not solely or even primarily a reflection of racism and discrimination. Rather, it reflects the fact that whites tend to help other whites without ever discriminating against or behaving cruelly toward blacks and other nonwhites. As long as whites tend to dominate prestigious occupations, and as long as they control access to valuable social resources like access to good schools, the fact that whites, like all people, will do more to help family, friends, and acquaintances than strangers will tend to entrench racial inequality, provided that white people choose to associate primarily with other whites. DiTomaso observes that while Americans place very high value on the idea of equal opportunity, virtually all of us seek “unequal opportunity” in our own lives by leveraging our intimate relationships to achieve our goals, including our professional goals. Yet most of us don’t see the help of family and friends as an unfair leg up. This kind of “opportunity hoarding” is accepted as par for the course.

We could make an effort to eliminate in-group favoritism, but such an effort would inevitably fail, as in-group favoritism is a powerful human impulse. A more sensible course of action would be to do our part to expand the boundaries of the in-group. And by doing our part, I mean doing more than piling on when some minor celebrity or politician is accused of racism, or holding “rednecks” in casual contempt for their (supposedly) backward views.

In “The Duty to Miscegenate,” one of the more provocative Ph.D. dissertations I’ve ever read, the philosopher Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman argues that the fundamental problem with the prohibitions against “race-mixing” that were on the books in much of the United States until the late 1960s is that they strengthened the social stigmatization of people of African descent—not just that they were discriminatory. These legal penalties were not the source of this social stigmatization, and repealing them did not bring it to an end. Whereas discrimination is about denying an individual access to some benefit, stigmatization is about the damage stereotypes can do to our public reputations, and how the fear of living up to, or down to, our race-based reputations can warp our lives. According to Coleman, the surest way to break down stigma is to reduce anxiety about intergroup contact and to fight “emotional and perceptual segregation.”

Despite the title of his dissertation, Coleman does not see intermarriage as a solution, as “the production of cross-caste children has proved unreliable in giving rise to cross-caste commonality.” Rather, he emphasizes the importance of routinely putting members of different castes on an equal deliberative footing by encouraging the sharing of cross-caste meals, or “inter-dining.” Eating together can serve as a solid basis for companionship, a word that is itself rooted in the sharing of bread. The rural white Southerner who dines with nonwhites as a matter of course is doing more to tackle stigma than the urbane white hipster who hardly ever does the same.

As trivial as the sharing of meals might sound, it is not clear to me that it is any less important than supporting racial equality as a purely abstract matter. This is particularly true for those of us—most of us—who claim to support racial equality while engaging in the kind of in-group favoritism that entrenches racial inequality.

To be sure, dating is about more than the sharing of bread, and OkCupid users who express strong racial preferences may well be doing the world a favor by being open and honest about their wants. But I don’t think it’s too much to ask those who do express such preferences, and those who live them in practice, to reflect on them, and on how there might be more to fighting racism than voting “the right way.”


 

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/04/okcupid...

lagatta

Some people live in milieux where access to people of other races is infrequent; I certainly wouldn't call them "racist" if they wind up with a companion of their own race. I agree that miscegenation laws, as in the US, were extremely harmful, although it would be disingenious to pretend that there is no racism in Brazil or the Caribbean where there is a rainbow of skin colours and facial features. Africans and Indigenous Americans still tend to come out on the bottom.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

And of course fetishizing members of races considered "exotic" by a white supremacist culture leads to its own problems...

lagatta

Absolutely. Ideally, it shouldn't matter one way or an other, but racial supremacist cultures (and white European is not the only one, though probably the most widespread) mean that many humans - and NOT ONLY of the so-called "superior" race, may well discount people who do not have those traits at least to some extent. Even in my rather "mongrel" family, there are Caribbean people (of a far superior social class to mine) who seem to only marry other "brown paper bag" (or "Obama") coloured people, and I don't even think it is deliberately avoiding pink or black-skinned fellow citizens.

Just as "cultural" considerations (intellectual, artistic, leftie) contstrain whom I'd even consider as a potential companion (and this is in my dotage; no children will result) though I really don't give a shit what colour people are. Not out of "angelisme" but because there are too many genotypes in the family for that.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

lagatta wrote:
Just as "cultural" considerations (intellectual, artistic, leftie) contstrain whom I'd even consider as a potential companion (and this is in my dotage; no children will result) though I really don't give a shit what colour people are. Not out of "angelisme" but because there are too many genotypes in the family for that.

That reminds me: WHY NOT CHECK OUT RABBLE.CA's EXCITING NEW DATING COLUMN, "LEFT IN LOVE"?

 

Unionist

Is it homophobic to date only people of a different gender?

Is it anti-vegan to not give a fig for whom people date?

Is it delusional to date only people that you truly love?

I definitely see material for a new forum here. Thanks, NR!

 

 

takeitslowly

What about  non white who only want to date white people?

takeitslowly

 

And is it transphobic to refuse dating transgender people?

onlinediscountanvils

Unionist wrote:
Is it anti-vegan to not give a fig for whom people date?

Ha! Laughing

Some vegan pedants would argue that it's anti-vegan to give a fig.

KenS

See where diabolical and hysterical metabolism gets you?

Stop before it's too late !

KenS

For whom the grape dates?

 

It dates not for thee.

jas

takeitslowly wrote:

And is it transphobic to refuse dating transgender people?

Or zoophobic to not want to date other species?

takeitslowly

jas wrote:

takeitslowly wrote:

And is it transphobic to refuse dating transgender people?

Or zoophobic to not want to date other species?

 

Thanks for showing transphobia, now we know what it is.

NorthReport

Actually what we are talking about here is change - the changing society in which we live.

Unfortunately even when the truth bites you in the ass, obviously some folks can't handle it.

Com'on folks, time to move into the 21st century.

I guess some folks will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into it. 

lagatta

Catchfire, no way am I signing up for a "dating service", and that one is limited to Vancouver. It is a cute idea though, and I love the cute little academic-Marxist rodents (are they chipmunks, or something else?) Though sad that one is in a cage.

Renzo would love one of them for breakfast, though. Not to worry, vegans, he's past his hunting years...

Deliberately only dating people of one's race or ethnicity is rather different than dating by sexual orientation, but is it wrong to have preferences? For example, some prefer lean people, others on the plump side. This is of course determined by societal preferences to some extent, but not only lean people find companions. Idem tall vs short.

Caissa

Ms. C won't let me date.

Unionist

People should date whomever they like. The thread title is, of course, stupid.

Cultures or religions that tell their adherents whom they should or should not date? Yes, they are bad. Either the adherents will fix that plague, or else inbreeding will.

Long live evolution!

 

 

Slumberjack

The people I've dated didn't seem to mind.  Bless them.

MegB

Way back when, I dated without preference to race, religion or, occasionally, gender. I did, however, get dumped by a guy when he realized I wasn't Jewish. Neither was he, but he had a thing for Jewish women. I once broke it off with a guy because his Catholic guilt made a healthy sex life almost impossible.

Regardless, narrowly restricting one's dating preferences would seem to be more indicative of a lack of imagination than racism. Or, as CF pointed out, fetishizing. Like the white guy who will exclusively date Asian women, believing the stereotype of docility and submissiveness and finding it attractive. Now that's a whole big mess of racism, sexism and fetishizing.

ygtbk

Adult people should date adult people when there's a mutual attraction. I do believe that's the whole shebang.

Mórríghain

When I was dating I refused to date stupid people. If that makes me an elitist I'm comfortable with that.

zerocarbs

This seems like one of those things where the person who wrote the catchty headline is not the person who wrote the article - but this is Babble, so they're one and the same. For what it's worth, I couldn't be bothered to read the article - too long. I'm an Anglo and one of my best girlfriends ever was a mainland Chinese girl in the 80's. There was almost a marriage there. These days, I see kids of all types just mixing like crazy. So the headline is stupid and the article isn't worth reading. But I'm a downtown Toronto guy, so maybe I'm missing some of the nuance. And maybe I just don't care...

jas

takeitslowly wrote:

Thanks for showing transphobia, now we know what it is.

I didn't mean to offend. I was just riffing on a theme here and obviously chose the wrong post to riff from.

 

KenS

My daughter's best friend is a very outgoing [to say the least] and progressive young woman who will go to university on exchange in France next year, and who just assumes that when the time comes that she'll marry some Sikh guy. And not apparently because that's what her family expects. If she changes on that, I dont get the feeling she'll worry too much about what her family thinks about it.

And I dont know. Maybe its just me, but that assumption of hers just seems different, not fraught with implications.

cco

Seems like as good a place as any to invoke Betteridge's law of headlines.

KenS

Now i AM confused.

Because the article fits the type Betteridge is talking about. [It's bullshit.]

But it puts yes in the headline [and as far as I can tell, means 'yes' as the answer].

Must be time for bed.

 

KenS

OK. So maybe the article is not bullshit, per se.

[Can vapid and misguided be bullshit?]

I better stick with going to bed.

This is too deep.

cco

I'm ignoring the "Yes" in the headline and sticking only with the question part.

Mr.Tea

KenS wrote:

My daughter's best friend is a very outgoing [to say the least] and progressive young woman who will go to university on exchange in France next year, and who just assumes that when the time comes that she'll marry some Sikh guy. 

I think there's a difference between religion or culture vs. race specifically. Somebody's religion gives you a fairly decent sense of their own values and beliefs whereas race is (I think) largely a social construct and (by definition) skin deep. So while I would have only married a Jewish woman, it would make no difference to me whether she was white, black, red, yellow, purple or green.

I also think it's far more socially acceptable for non-whites to express a preference to date/marry someone of their own race than it is for whites. So, I have white friends who seem to exclusively date other white folks but I doubt any would publicly say "I will only date other whites" whereas I have friends of other races who are not remotely shy about insisting on dating/marrying someone from their own race.

Unionist

Mr.Tea wrote:

Somebody's religion gives you a fairly decent sense of their own values and beliefs ...

Wow.

lagatta

Mr Tea, would you have married a non-Jewish woman if she had been willing to convert?

Unionist

Of course he would - because once she converted, she'd automatically have the correct values and beliefs.

6079_Smith_W

I thought Tea's point was well taken, actually, even though it should never be taken as a discriminatory dealbreaker.

Sets of values are sometimes more important than race or skin colour.

To take it a little bit further, what actually gets you hot, be it intelligence, scent, or hip to waist ratio, is even more of a determinant.

Just to beat this thread to death, and point out how ridiculous it is to conflate sexual  desire with politics:

 r-behind-kansas-killings-paid-sex-black-man-dressed-woman-report-article-1.1767662

NorthReport

Tips for Finding a Great Mentor: Be White and Be Male

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/04/23/mentorship_in_academia_s...

Bacchus

Unionist wrote:

Of course he would - because once she converted, she'd automatically have the correct values and beliefs.

 

I expect when he says religion, he really means culture which is more encompassing of what 'jewish' prob means to him

NorthReport

Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy’s ignorant paternalism: Angry old white men gone wild, again!

Donald Sterling’s racial views are worse than Cliven Bundy’s, yet some on the right defend the racist billionaire

http://www.salon.com/2014/04/28/donald_sterling_and_cliven_bundys_ignora...

Pogo

Yes, but he is dating a black woman (just to bring it into the framework of this thread).  Still trying to wrap my head around that.  The Clippers used to be the crap team in Staples Arena always the poor cousin to the Lakers.  Perhaps this is the owners way or returning them to their rightful place.  The pool of players willing to play there has probably dried up considerably.

NorthReport
Struggling

There are many reasons for which people will marry only within their race. I remember having a discussion with a Chinese friend who would never Marty a person without her parents' consent no matter hwr age, and I could appreciate that sinse I habe the same belief even though I am French Canadian. She'd explained that sinse her parents would never approve marriage with a non-Chinesr, she therefore could not marry a non-Chinese. 

 

My ex-wife was Ethiopian and suckered me into a marriage of convenience, so I feared relationships with foreigners after that. Somehow I now find myself with a partner Hong Kong. Neither of us wanted this relationship. It just happened. She wanted nothing to do with foreigners because she knew little English, but I knew Chinese. We just real is ed one day that we were no longer just friends but really had feelings for one another.

 

There can be many reasons a person will choose to marry within a particular community.

lagatta

There was an interesting article about "Why is Green so White" (in Vancouver, referring to the relative lack of Asian people in environmental movements there), but it probably should have gone in environmental justice.

I remember a friend of South Asian descent saying his family would never take public transport or ride a bicycle because it was seen as déclassé. The group Vélo Caravane, whose missions include getting more immigrants to use bicycles as urban transport, has been addressing this issue for some years now.