When interracial dating goes wrong
One person told me she was “tired” of seeing black and brown people dating white people.And I’m not alone: several black and Asian friends tell me they’ve reached a point that they feel awkward introducing their white partners.This might be an obvious point to make, but it’s one that feels especially important right now.At the heart of the “woke” objections to interracial dating is the belief that people of color date white people in an attempt to assimilate, or out of an aspiration to whiteness.My little brother has a black girlfriend, dark-skinned.My mother has been married to a white man, then a Ghanaian man, very dark-skinned, now a Jamaican man, of medium-skin. That can’t work.”I’ve been forced to ask myself the same question.
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 reply—”no, I don’t think they’d care”—filled me with dread.
And when he admitted that I’d be the first non-white woman to meet them, I almost jumped off the train.
But attacking interracial relationships is not the way to get better representation.
On screen, we should be demanding better roles for people of color, period—as lovers, teachers, comedians, friends, and flawed heroes in shows and moves that tackle race, in those that don’t, and in everything in-between.