dating · race/racism

Racism and Dating

My response in “Everyone’s a little bit racist” to a white Jewish friend telling me she wouldn’t marry a black guy, not even a Jewish black guy, was purely emotional. At the time, I felt as if my still beating heart had been ripped out of my body and skewered and barbecued as I watched it standing naked in my skivies. It was brutally personal.

In “Reject guy because he’s black? That’s racism”, a Dear Abby-like post in The Boston Herald’s Lifestyle section, Carolyn Hax just tells it like it is.

9 thoughts on “Racism and Dating

  1. people are attracted to different physical characteristics… why is differential attracting based on skin color worse than differential attraction based on how nasal someone's voice is, how big their muscles are or how much they weigh? fine it may be shallow, but racist in the sense we usually use the term?


  2. Yes, it's racist. Accept that and move on. Because if you can't look past the skin color and look at the actual person and you are deciding based on their race to exclude them, it is racist. That is what racism is.

    And yes, I do take issue with people who are choosing people based on how big their muscles are or how much they weigh. Thank G-d, I didn't have to do the frum dating circuit. I wouldn't have survived. Again, it's people who can't look past the person's face to get to know the real them. I've learned from my own experiences that people become more “attractive” to you physically based on what you learn about the person inside. But this is not racism, it's something else. It's shallow.

    The first example is shallow AND racist.


  3. hm. i will contemplate your analysis.

    i agree that “i would never date an X person” (where X is an ethnicity) is racist. the distinction i'm trying to draw is on “i am not attracted to X people” — is that also racist? or is it the decision (once you conclude that you don't find X people attractive) not to give any X people a chance racist?


  4. I love this quote from the columnist: “More people date interracially because more people realize that the only alternative to being racist is to judge each person as a person.” She totally sums it up.


  5. Yes and no on this one Aliza. Personal attraction is very personal, and as someone who works as a racism educator, I disagreed with her reply. I'm not attracted to every phenotype in existence, but I believe they are all beautiful. Some people's looks intrigue me while others don't.

    The friends did the woman a disservice when she stated her preference and they tried to change it. Interracial relationships aren't for everyone. Not being attracted sexually to someone isn't a crime. She never stated that she thought black culture or people we're inferior.

    There is a world of difference between your friend and this woman. You're friend stated racist epithets in addition to dating patterns. This woman is just attracted to people who share her phenotype. One behavior is racist, the other is not.

    We know that people often marry people that resemble family members. Roughly 10-20 percent of a population or outliers of a population will marry outside of their group. Both social phenomenon are appropriate if the involved parties are happy. I fail to see where carping on either group solves anything.

    This Dear Abby letter is making my blog. I'm writing an entry on racial sensitivity gone wrong.


  6. mixedjewgirl, I know where you stand on this issue because we've touched on it before. I'm going to stand my ground and totally disagree with you. I look forward to your blog.

    By the way, someone in Israel thought my boyfriend (now my husband) and I were “family” because we looked a like so that's an interesting point you make.


  7. That's just crazy, if I am not physically attracted to someone for whatever the reason why should I date them? If I don't like fat women, short women, old women, or white women why should I date them? I don't believe racism permeates into our dating preferences until you exclude someone simply because of their race. However, having a preference is perfectly okay if it is based on characteristics you prefer. For example, if i am not attracted to dark skinned women then it is fine if I don't date black women. However, if the reason I don't date black women is because I don't think they are equal to white women then that is racism. We all have preferences, how can someone else dictate who you should be dating. I take offense to that, after all I am the one that is going to be sleeping with them not you!


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