Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What's the big deal about...inter-racial relationships?

I have for a while now been reading blog posts that either promote inter-racial relationships or are opposed to them.

This is my feeling about inter-racial relationships. It does not matter to me one bit if someone chooses to be in a inter-racial relationship. My feeling is find love where ever you can. I am a believer in love. Also in the abstract I really don't believe in, as they say, the construct of race. But I know that in the real world race exists.

Also I should note that I have a history with inter-racial relationships. All of my siblings who are married or were married, have been married to White people. I haven't really ever even contemplated why that is. I'm sure there are reasons. What has been most important to me is that my siblings found love. I have never even had any discussions with my sisters or brother about it.

I do however find the debates on blogs about IR, as they are abbreviated, relationships very interesting. They seem to fall into two categories. The first, someone promoting inter-racial relationships, the second; someone speaking against them.

I personally don't understand how one can either speak for or against them. Relationships are about individual choice. So how does one say that inter-racial relationships are good or bad?

Anyway I have found two very interesting posts about IR relationships. I thought I would share them and then get your opinions on the subject.

From the blog: Black Women's IR Circle

"And here I am preaching that bw should seek out wm for relationships! Oh well, there goes my black 'something or other' awards lol! I am glad some of you can still win them though and get invited to speak in mainstream black circles, and all."


From the blog: Ruminations of a Racial Realist

"Since the release of the film Something New, (featuring a black female/ white male interracial relationship) there has been a major effort in the blogosphere to similarly encourage black women to pursue relationships with white men. While the film clearly promotes black female interracial relationships, the blogs take this promotion to a whole new level. Their basic argument is that white men are the answer to all black women’s problems and make it seem as if white men can do no wrong. I find it all rather cringe worthy."


So what is the big deal about inter-racial relationships? How do you feel about them?

Should they be promoted?


Anonymous said...

I'm not against IRs but I won't promote it like its some way of life, that equally disturbs me.

To each his own.

What bothers me is the not person who dates outside their race but those who refuse to date within their own. I don't believe for one moment its preference. We're not talking about height, weight, or hair color.

There should be a web site not about IR but healthy relationships. Someone of another race will beat you and kill you just as quick as a Black man would.

And I love when the standard ignorance of "Black men dont..." and "Black women are too..."

Personally, I'm thinking there are a lot of White women who would love to know where all the fabulous white men are and vice versa.

jjbrock said...

Mes Deux Cents great question. I don't think them should be promoted. It seems like they are making a statement to someone.

Love is love. Why do we always make category's for ourselves? A circle for BW who have married or dated a WM. I don't understand! Why would you choose a mate based on race alone?

It is better to have been love than not known love at all. So, more power to love.

wisdomteachesme said...

these talks/debates/conversations- on this topic always make me laugh.

they are useless to me. love is love-it has no color at all!

the other thing that i find amusing, is that, do people realize that at this point and time most people have a mixed heritage? no matter what color your skin is-you are probably mixed with some other groups/cultures?

i guess they don't--cause they seem to be wasting much of their life on useless topics.
talk about something that will help people-not continue to increase intolerance.
hate can never kill hate!

Fat Lady said...

I have dated, both seriously and casually, men of different ethnicities, so I don't have a problem with IR. However, I do, like Symphony, have concerns about people who refuse to date within their ethnic group. I worry that these are people who have issues with their culture, heritage, appearance or all three - and that's not healthy.

I think we all struggle in various ways with not being happy with ourselves, but to reject others of the same appearance and culture seems to be indicative of a deeper lack of appreciation of oneself than some other actions might.

I do disagree, though, with those who say that love is color blind. I mean, yes it is possible to love someone of any color. But the reality of the world in which we live is that most people of different ethnicities have different cultural experiences, different day to day situations in how the world perceives and treats them.

When you choose to have a relationship with someone of another ethnicity, you have to be prepared to know that there are things about that person's life that you will never fully understand because you cannot experience them. And that there are things about you and your experiences that the other person will never fully comprehend.

I think this is particularly true as a Black woman in a relationship with a White man. Too often the man in that relationship has grown up in a position of privilege that makes it hard for him to clearly perceive what life is like for those who have not had that privilege. It takes an exceptional man to be able to grow past that. And a strong woman to know that there are things her man will never be able to empathize with her about.

Now, I don't say it's impossible and that there aren't exceptions, or even that this is the rule. But in the society we live in, it's wise to keep ones eyes open when walking into relationships of any kind. And generally being color blind doesn't mean that someone has grown beyond race - it means they're not dealing with it. And a strong relationship has to deal with what it faces - not ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist.

wisdomteachesme said...

without looking for this-it found me! LOL...

just thought i would share with youall...
I share the Maria P. P. Root's Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People here:

"I have the right...

*not to justify my existence in this world.

*not to keep the races separate within me.

*not to be responsible for people's discomfort with my physical ambiguity.

*not to justify my ethnic legitimacy.

*to identify myself differently than strangers expect me to identify.

*to identity myself differently than how my parents identity me.

*to identify myself differently than my brothers and sisters.

*to identify myself differently in different situations.

*to create a vocabulary to communicate about being multiracial.

*to change my identity over my lifetime--and more than once.

*to have loyalties and identify with more than one group of people.

*to freely chooose whom I befriend and love"

written by Maria P.P. Root in 1996.

browngirl said...

i agree with everyone on the whole relationship propaganda of any combination of ethnicities. the amount of melanin in one's skin should not be a deciding factor in matter's of the heart. this reminds me of an important case--loving v virginia. the lovings, an interracial couple, were kicked out of there home state for being married. the case went to the supreme court and they won, thus legaling ir marriage in the 1960's. i'm sure black couples fought to have their marriages legalized as they typically were not during slavery and here we have an ir couple who's fought the same fight. i said all that to say, ir relationships ought to be as moot an issue as a supposedly homogeneous relationship... said...

I don't care. Live and let live.

XJ said...


I read both of the articles you referred to and I found a couple of things disturbing.

I do agree that just because you date someone of a different race doesn't make you "not a racist" and that works regardless of your race.

There seems to be a recurring theme that blacks are less than whites - I know I am white so I can't speak much on it but I would say that class is almost as important in America as race and I think as a lesbian I do understand a little about not being accepted. In fact it is still okay to hate me!
I have dated women from all backgrounds but I will say that I find it offensive almost when someone finds out I have dated a black woman they say -"Oh you like black women" - usually said w/enthusiasm but nonetheless disturbing to me. I don't like black women I simply like women their skin color does not matter. I am attracted to the intelligence first. Yes I like attractive women and I find women of all races attractive - just not all women attractive.

I think one thing that might surprise some people who read your blog is that black women between the ages of 25-45 are more successful than white women in that age range. I think this is a positive step but rather than fighting I think women should really reach out to each other - regardless of race, age, sexual preference, etc.

wisdomteachesme said...

@xj =


well said....

poitou said...

Those who are opposed to inter-racial relationships should sign a petition and ask the US congress or the United nations to ban inter-racial marriages or re-intoduce segregation or apartheid in US and/or in the entire world.Stupidity to the end

Blu Jewel said...

Having been born and raised in London, which in my opinion is the real melting pot and not the US, I've always been aware of IRs. I've never had an issue with it as it was normal for me. I've dated both within and outside my race and don't justify myself to anyone about it.

My preference is to date within my race, but if I meet a man who consists of the many things I want/need in a man, I'm not going to deny myself the opportunity due to his race.

I have a biracial daughter and do not promote on of her races over the other. I've taught her that she is who she is and doesn't need to justify herself one way or another. I've told her that she'll be both liked and disliked based on her mixed heritage, her looks, hair, intellect, etc because people will always find something to dislike you for. It's been important for me to educate her to be the best person she can be regardless of her skin tone and to make sure that she leaves a positive mark on with world.

One of my brothers has never dated a black woman and I've never questioned why because it's his choice and his business. I feel as long as he or anyone else for that matter finds someone to love and love them is far more important than the color of skin.

"The colour of a man's skin is no more important than the colour of his eyes" Bob Marley

Lastly, I don't think that a white man would up my status as a black woman just as I don't think a white woman ups the status of a black man.

clnmike said...

I dont have a problem with IR my mother's 2nd husband after my father was white and I got a cool little brother out of it.

But the whole idea of needing a "movement" rubs me the wrong way. These IR blogs seem to me to be taking advantage of the insecurities of some women and promoting the myth that the answer to your problems is a man, any man who says they love.

If they were sincere about finding happiness than they would promote love period, regardless of race, not just love with a white man as if in 2008 that he is the last frontier of true happiness.

What about Asian, Latino, African and Whites?

When they focus on whites it tells me that it is a purposefull move to go the opposite of black, which stinks of self hate.

And the blog you chose happens to be in my opinion the worst offender it as if she is trying to make a buck off all of it.

If I was a white man I would think I would be offended that the reason you are dating me is to further some misguided cause or even worse you have issues with black men. (Offened right after I got some though)

Beside that I always thought it was a myth that black women are so closed minded to IR dating. A quick survey of history and celebs seem to contradict that notion.

You should love the one who loves you. If you need a motivational speaker for that than you really have no business in a relationship.

Now as for me I have no interest in IR but that is for selfish reasons. I look good in black.

Anonymous said...

Yoh! I looked up a blog on "Relationships" and i came across this heavy stuff. I am glad i did too. So allow me to add my pennies worth. I am married to a White man and i am Indian. We both have children from previous marriages and come from a culture of Apartheid still prevelant in most parts of South Africa. Today it might not be the law but the mindset is ever present and that we cannot change. So whilst we as a couple manage to live past that kind of prejudice others cannot! Does it bother me-honestley - Yes it does...and for many reasons...but that too is my own mindset and then I always say its someone elses problem. By virtue of the fact that i chose to send this blog means that in all honesty its my problem too and that i do actually have a problem with not being truly accepted as a couple in some spheres of sociey. But hey this is South Africa - where post 1995 - the doctines of Apartheid was law. As black and white people we still carry that stigma to some extent and whether we like to admit to it Apartheid is to a certain degree still entrenched in us as South Aficans It just is so and that is the sad truth.

Afrodite said...

I actually read a could IR relationship blogs just because they're very interesting.

I've dated most colors under the rainbow. I don't promote IR relatioships but I also don't distcriminate against it. Do you.

The problem I have with people promoting IR relationships is the whole "Great White Hope" theory. Just because he's white doesn't mean he will treat you any better than a black man will. He is just as liable to dog you out!

clnmike said...

"I am married to a White man and i am Indian."

"As black and white people we...."

They consider Indians black in South Africa?

Anonymous said...

When they focus on whites it tells me that it is a purposefull move to go the opposite of black, which stinks of self hate.

Good point Mike. A lot of those blogs arent promoting IRs, they are promoting relationships with white men/women.

Muze said...

i don't really know what the big issue is about dating inter-racially. i say, do what makes you happy. if that happens to be a person of a different ethnicity, then fine.

i DO have an issue with someone saying they will ONLY date such and such race because they are ..yadda yadda. i have an older brother who will only date white women because they are 'easier to deal with' and it irks me to no end. not because of who he's dating, but why he's dating her.

but i do think some people are taking this issue to far. really. let people do what they want. lol.

Professor Tracey said...

I find this whole issue to be a complete smoke-screen argument for black folks to get distracted. The number of inter-racial relations and marriages is so, so, so, small in comparison to the uproar the issue causes. There are 13 million black people and less than 140,000 black women have white husbands! This is a fake issue.

Until the number of black women have that have begun dating and marrying white men reaches 500,000 plus, let's stop talking about it.

Mes Deux Cents said...


"What bothers me is the not person who dates outside their race but those who refuse to date within their own."

That is worrisome. I look at someone like Quincy Jones who, as far as I know, has only been married to White women. I wonder what that is about.


"Why do we always make category's for ourselves?"

That is so true. People constantly complain when others put them in a box and then they do it themselves.


"love is love-it has no color at all!"

That is the point exactly!


Do you think love can be color blind in other countries?

For instance in Scandinavian countries that never had slavery or segregation?


Thanks, I saw that over at Light - skinned-ed Girl. It's very interesting.


"the amount of melanin in one's skin should not be a deciding factor in matter's of the heart."

That's how I feel, how can you make a choice based on skin color. And if you do then doesn't that count as a fetish?


I totally agree.



"Oh you like black women" - usually said w/enthusiasm"

Yeah I get that, it's as if they are saying Black women are a fetish.

I think that if there is talk of Black people being less than it may be in terms of societal status.

Nice to see you again, so to speak. Lol


Lol, okay that's pretty extreme, but I get your point.

I think knowing the genesis of the objections is interesting. I think some of it has to do with simple tribalism and sometimes it has to do with fear and insecurity.

Blu Jewel,

"I don't think that a white man would up my status as a black woman just as I don't think a white woman ups the status of a black man."

I think a lot of people feel that way. It's an odd concept.


"If they were sincere about finding happiness than they would promote love period"

That's my though on it too. Why not just promote healthy relationships.

"(Offened right after I got some though)"

Shut up!!! Lol


In so many ways S.A. and the U.S. mirror each other. I think both countries will be dealing with the remnants of racial issues for centuries to come.

Have you considered living in a more racially progressive country?


"The problem I have with people promoting IR relationships is the whole "Great White Hope" theory."

That school of though always stops me in my tracks too. I think it should just be about character.

I am not bothered in the least. If I was I'd have serious problems as my siblings are or were all married inter-racially. Lol


I wonder if your brother's girlfriends know why he's dating them and if so how they feel about that?

Don said...

Co-sign Muze.

I don't think it should necessarily be promoted either.

Just as I don't think a certain color dating a certain color should be promoted either.

If a black person dates a green person, and the green person makes them happy, then I don't see how anyone can have a problem with it.

The majority of people aren't as different as many people think, anyways.

While in the Army, I dated both a black puerto rican and a white female. I also date a black female. I can't say that either experience was that much greater than the other. They all had their good days and bad days. Me too.

I don't think neither of the four os us would take out an ad which promotes the relationships we developed.

lisa said...

I agree with you. . . find love where you can. I just have never dated a white man, though, and I'm not sure I could. . .

clnmike said...

"Until the number of black women have that have begun dating and marrying white men reaches 500,000 plus, let's stop talking about it."

Holy S@!T!!

Now I know I am drunk I actually agree with the professor.

tasha212 said...

I only date in my race, but if other' choose to date outside of their race then that's their perogative. I have a problem with te norion that in order to find a decent man, you have to go white. If ur not making good choices when it comes to black me, then why would u make good choices when it comes to white men? All black men are not thugs, abusers, and players. So if black women choose nocount brothers to date, the'll probably choose deadbea white guys.


Mes Deux Cents said...


"The majority of people aren't as different as many people think, anyways."

I think in many cases that is very true. It's almost condicending to assume that people of different races are necicarily different.

But I do agree that there are somethings that you can't understand unles you experience it, like descrimination based on race.

And no co-signing please. Lol


Yep find ir where you can because it's a rare thing!





"I have a problem with te norion that in order to find a decent man, you have to go white. If ur not making good choices when it comes to black me, then why would u make good choices when it comes to white men?"

That says it all! I agree totally.

Professor Tracey said...

cln mike -

Obviously, you need to keep drinking then! LOL!

XJ said...


You can't imagine how enlightening and saddened I was to read into that - "a fetish" I guess you're right and that is really sad - a person should never be a fetish - I am sickened by the thought - I never knew why it disturbed me but always let them know that it isn't about color - it is about the person. Now I will say this though, I do find dark skin more beautiful - it is smoother and softer looking - but that is just what I see - I even like a tan on my white self - just don't get it much! :) Thanks MDC

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi XJ,

There is nothing wrong with finding dark skin attractive! :)

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron