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Gawker sent the internet into a spiral when writer Ernest Baker wrote about his interracial dating experiences in the essay “The Reality of Dating White Women When You’re Black.” Ernest initially attributed his dating choices to geography:

“I never consciously set out to date white women. My attraction to them was likely a natural response to my environment. The year after the O.J. verdict, my dad was now getting enough money to move his wife and three children to a nice house in a Chicago suburb. […] Before I was even 10, I started having crushes on girls, trying to get my first kiss, and all of that. All I saw around me were white girls.”

But later on in the article, he wonders if he’s been “brainwashed” by Eurocentric beauty ideals before asserting that blonde hair and blue eyes are intrinsically attractive:

“It’s not like I think that type of beauty is superior, but motherf*ckers try to make you feel guilty for being attracted to those types of features at all. Let’s be real, blonde hair and blue eyes are f*cking attractive and thinking that doesn’t mean you’re a piece of shit who gives those features inherent value over the features of other races. Rihanna is hot and so is Blake Lively. Lupita N’yongo is hot and so is Allison Williams. Sue me for not allowing my race to limit what I find attractive.”

His article sparked so much debate that Gawker decided to create a series of posts about people who date interracially and why. Erika Ramirez followed with a piece entitled “I’m Mexican But Date Black Men,” where she maintains that her relationships evolve organically (“the heart wants what the heart wants”) and that the interracial aspect is merely a coincidence:

“I used to say I didn’t have a type, but if we go off consistency, I do. While I’ve dated other races, I’m mostly attracted to black men. My eyes and heart tend to steer me in that direction. I can’t pinpoint physical features or characteristics of black men because that’s not only wrong, it’s just not the entire case. What I’m attracted to can be found in men of all races: strong arms (sense of protection), a great smile, nice build (healthy), ambitious, passionate, a sense of humor—a touch of sarcasm helps—and a kind heart.”

Baker and Ramirez have two very different rationales behind their dating choices but the reality is the same: the majority of the people they date are white women or black men, respectively. Do you find that you mostly date people of a certain race? If so, is it a coincidence or a conscious decision? Is it based on something you can’t control like geography or does your dating pattern have a deeper social implication?

Let’s discuss.

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