This month I’ve touched on some of the complexities of interracial dating. The most complex issue to interracial dating is handling the feedback from your own. When Jungle Fever came out in the 90′s, it presented one of the biggest difficulties behind blacks and whites dating each other: the perception from your own community. Comments like “they are taking all the good ones,” or that someone is a Oreo” are far to common when a black male dates a white woman. While it’s more accepted now, there’s still levels of anger, resentment, and even criticism when a black male dates someone outside of their ethnicity. Many times his character is judged by his own.
To fully discuss the reasons these feelings exist would need a full discussion on the racial history of many ethnicities in America. Well beyond the scope of this post. This argument isn’t only a black and white one; I’ve had several Asian, Jewish, and Indian friends become the focus of criticism from their own. It’s interesting to see the way friends, family, and close ones may react when you talk about the person you’re dating. In many ways, it’s a form of peer pressure, and can be the cause of a breakup. For those who stay in the relationship, against the wants of others, things seem to become lonely, and often that person is marked as a pariah.
This part of interracial dating makes it the most difficult. In an age where everyone should be more accepting and understanding, why does the color of a person’s skin matter? While I often understand the backlash and misunderstanding of others, this part never made sense to me. A friend or family member shouldn’t be shunned because they are dating outside of their ethnicity or race. Instead, the person they’ve chosen should be embraced and welcomed. I believe, many people are not eager to date outside of their ethnic background, for fear of what their friends and family might say and react. Sometimes, difficult choices must be made.