Social Question

troubleinharlem's avatar

Why is it bad when a black man dates a white woman, but its okay when its another race? And why is it okay when a black woman dates a white man?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7978points) February 21st, 2010

I’m black, and I always hear people talking about “Oh, that boy’s with a white girl, he should be with his own kind because there aren’t enough good black guys” and stuff like that.

My dad’s having an affair with a lady who happens to be white… I feel like people wouldn’t scream as much if she was black, but then again, maybe they would.

Does this make sense? =/ I tried really hard to get this to make sense, and I’m just trying to get this to… work out in writing as it does in my head. But even then, it’s not really that clear.

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57 Answers

whitenoise's avatar

I think your question is flawed. “Transracial” dating is not bad….
Some may say so, but those people themselves are the one who are wrong.

I couldn’t care less who dates who, unless you’d be dating my daughter. In which case your skin color would not be of my interest as much as who you are.

dpworkin's avatar

Stupid, old traditions die hard.

RareDenver's avatar

Why is it bad when a black man dates a white woman?

I didn’t know it was bad…

troubleinharlem's avatar

@RareDenver , @dpworkin , @whitenoise ; I know that it’s an old tradition, and that it’s wrong, but I’m asking why is it slightly better in society to date someone that’s… Hispanic or Asian rather than white if you’re black?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You will find people out there who will say it’s bad to date any race outside of your own and their reasons will vary from internalized racism to ignorance to racism. The problem is that your dad’s having an affair and not with whom. And as far as I know it’s not okay for some people if a black person is dating someone hispanic or asian

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think all people think that it is a problem.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@troubleinharlem the notion that some in an oppressed group will consciously or subconsciously perpetuate their own oppression or will agree to the oppressor’s ideas as to what they are, how they behave (especially the negatives).

dpworkin's avatar

@troubleinharlem Black women in the US are finding it increasingly difficult to find a Black partner who is their social and intellectual equal. Maybe that’s why people want to discourage inter-racial dating.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@marinelife ; well, no, they don’t. That’s why I didn’t say that.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir ; I’m sorry… that just doesn’t make sense to me. =/ Could you explain that? I’m really sorry to ask you that, but I really just want to understand and I’m just not getting what you’re saying.

@dpworkin ; That makes a bit more sense.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

We really need to move away from this whole “interracial dating is bad” nonsense.
If people don’t approve of who you date, that’s not your problem and it’s not your job to pull someone else’s head out of their ass.

RareDenver's avatar

@troubleinharlem maybe it is considered bad in Harlem but not where I live

troubleinharlem's avatar

@RareDenver ; I’m not from Harlem. I’m from Virginia.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@troubleinharlem okay…let’s take the black urban community…let’s say for years people in this community have felt that mainstream education is not the way for them to succeed…after decades of this, some parents in this community will say to their kids ‘what makes you think you need to get an education? don’t fill your head up with this nonsense, just get a job like the rest of us’...they have internalized some of the racism they have lived with and are now turning it onto themselves.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir ; okay, that makes sense. ^^ thank you for explaining it to me!

ucme's avatar

I guess it takes different strokes to rule the world.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ucme what does that mean, even?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

What does skin color have to do with anything? I thought we were beyond that now.

ucme's avatar

@ Simone De Beauvoir The TV series best sums it up for me.Why let race even become an issue in relationships or anything else for that matter,even.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I don’t think it’s bad either way.In fact,I never really think about it.I will say that people concern themselves with unimportant things alot,don’t they?

ChaosCross's avatar

A racist conception that black men are dangerous criminals contrasted to the also racist stereotype of a gentle, kind white lady.

Sad, but true.

davidbetterman's avatar

It is always worse when it is the black man dating the white woman because of the white man’s fear of the black man. After all, prejudice and racism is rooted in fear. And the black man is far more threatening to the white man than is the black woman.

essieness's avatar

@troubleinharlem I know what you’re talking about. I also live in the south (well, Texas) and I’ve seen that attitude here. The way it has been explained to me by my black friends, guys and girls, is most like what @Simone_De_Beauvoir and @dpworkin have said. It seems that some have the mentality that for a black man to date a white woman, he’s almost snobbing his own race or culture. Maybe this has to do with the internalized racism stemming from slavery. I’ve heard comments like, “Oh, he thinks he’s too good for a black woman” and so on. The other side of the coin is what @dpworkin mentioned, that many black women are having problems finding black men who meet their standards. My black girlfriends have made comments along the lines of, “All the good ones are taken by white women.”

I hope this helps. This is just my experience.

Edit: While it’s all fine and dandy to say that we should be beyond this type of mentality about race, it’s also very naive. Unfortunately, we still live in a society where people make a lot of judgments based on skin color. It’s starting to go away, but it’s still there.

laureth's avatar

Back in the day, and I’m not saying I believe any of this utter crap, but a black man who conceived a child with a white woman was (1) stepping outta line in terms of his social place (which was supposed to be slightly below human), and (2) causing the blackening (for lack of a better term) of that progeny – i.e., she’s pure, she should be having white babies.

A white man conceiving a child with a black woman, though, happened a lot in slavery times because the woman was seen as chattel. It wasn’t her choice necessarily, but she was the slave/property to be used by the owner. (Again, I don’t believe this is good or right.) Her offspring would be “lightened” (mulatto, or high yellow as it was called) and made the child sometimes of a higher social class than the mother.

When a black man dates from another race – it doesn’t matter because the other races are not pure white, so they’re somehow all “less than” – they’re not on top of the social strata like whites. You can even see some of this in the Jim Crow laws that lasted well after slavery times.

Nowadays, people (in most places) are more enlightened. But in some backwards places, people still think this way. And the stereotypes remain. Hopefully we, as a society, will grow out of them. Perhaps it will happen when we’re all sort of tan?

thriftymaid's avatar

I don’t think there is a general consensus on what’s “okay” here. I think love can be between any two individuals regardless of all of the minutia.

Fuchsia's avatar

What are you talking about? None of that is bad!

poisonedantidote's avatar

honestly, if i saw a black and white couple making out in the park or something i would not even notice what color either of them are.

when i was about 15 years old i was in a club and a black girl came up to me to chat me up, i thought she was nice and i took the bate. when i was alone with my friends again (all whiteish hispanics) they started to freak out on me cause i was showing interest in a black girl, it did not make any sense then and still does not make any sense to me today why anyone would have a problem with it.

lloydbird's avatar

The process seems to have produced a pretty decent American President.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Some black women feel insulted; they think the black man who dates white women feels black women aren’t “good enough” for them (see video of one man’s perspective).

This idea isn’t limited to black men dating white women. Light-skinned or light complexioned black women catch hell too. This is because light complexioned black women are often presented to be the standard or personification of beauty. Dating white woman, then, is probably like rubbing salt in a womb for many darker complexioned women.

essieness's avatar

@SABOTEUR I hope you meant it’s like rubbing salt in a wound, not womb. Eek.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Geez…don’t I feel stupid…especially since I know better. Thanks @essieness.

essieness's avatar

@SABOTEUR Lol, it’s ok :) Great video, by the way.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Thanks @essieness, but I really must learn to take my time and check my submissions before posting. (Glad you liked the video.)

candide's avatar

who says it’s bad? People do that all the time

SABOTEUR's avatar

@candide “Them” and “They”, silly. You know They always got sumpthin’ t’say!

candide's avatar

@SABOTEUR I never worry about “they” and “them!” ;)

SABOTEUR's avatar


Ron_C's avatar

Frankly, I think that all races should avoid dating their own race. That way in a few years we’ll all be the same color. Then we can get onto hating our neighbors for better reasons than color.

Jack79's avatar

I think it’s probably worse when a black woman dates a white man (at least from her side). I’ve known many black men who dated white women, but not the opposite (possibly because I have a lot of black friends who are male, but only one who is female). I also never recall seeing a black woman with a white man for some reason.

Not sure if there’s some statistic for it, just my own impression from seeing couples in the street.

@Ron_C nice answer ;)

personally, I would date any race if the person was right (of course race does count as part of overall looks) and similarly wouldn’t have a problem if my daughter dated a black guy (or a green guy for that matter) as long as he treated her right.

Jack79's avatar

btw one of my best friends is black (we are in an all-white community) and he has no problem getting dates, but when he started going steady with some girl a while back, she would hide their relationship from her parents, and eventually broke up because it wasn’t going anywhere. Regardless of the overall consensus that it’s ok to date (here anyway), marriage is a completely different kettle of fish.

Interestingly enough, the girl had even darker skin than my friend (even though she was officially “white”) but, to be fair to her parents, my friend is far older than her, divorced, has 3 kids to look after, and at the time still didn’t have the proper papers so he couldn’t even get a real job. I guess it would be different if he were some NBA star or a doctor or something.

Arisztid's avatar

I am trying to think if other non white male/white female relationships are stigmatized as badly as black/white relationships and I think they are. I am not white (or black) and get it, even for being with my white wife. Regardless of whether or not other non whites are objected to more or less, I would think the principle is the same.

I have gotten some lip from my own people for diluting the bloodline but have gotten a lot more lip and looks from white people. I have dated women of just about every ethnicity and have gotten some degree of the hairy eyeball for dating any of them but more for being with white women. The degree and frequency of the hairy eyeball to out and out frank nastiness is dramatically more prevalent for being with a white woman.

Bear in mind that the following is only for the people who disapprove of my being with a white woman (I have dated other than just my wife). I think that they perceive me as a threat… the whole diluting the bloodlines thing. I also think that they think that any white woman who would be with me is slumming.

I think that it is not as bad for a white guy dating or marrying a non white woman because sometimes non whites are seen as exotic (I have been seen and sought after by a couple of white women because I am “exotic”). However, that is far from unilateral: I have seen plenty of hatred towards white male/non white female relationships just not as much as towards non white male/white female relationships.

One of the things I have heard about non white male/white female relationships is that we are only interested in said white woman because we want status/ money/ to stick it to the “man” (err, woman… and that was a terrible pun) rather than liking her or loving her. I was talking to someone who believed this way and he was railing at me until I mentioned that she was my wife. He cooled his jets and he wanted to figure out why he got so bent… he was trying to understand it himself. So we had a good conversation and I came to understand more of the objection to non white male/white female relationships with him coming to understand exactly why he felt this way.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

As a young man, I dated exclusively within my ethnic/religious group. After my third marriage failed, I did date women regardless of their ethnic or racial origin and married a woman who has taught me what it feels like to be loved unconditionally. Of course, after my second marriage I had no plans to father any more children, so I was more open to dating women who appealed to me regardless of their religion, skin colour or race.

I guess my prior selectivity was a bias with which I was raised, but I never was against having friends regardless of their demographic description.

Ron_C's avatar

@Jack79 thanks. Just before I was born, the people in my community looked at Italian mixed marriages the same way they looked at racially mixed ones. Being half Italian and half Croatian, and a former Catholic, I have seen a little of that prejudice. Even worse, I married a girl that was Irish and only half-Catholic. We managed 44 years without much ethnic strife.

YARNLADY's avatar

Whatever made you ask this question is what is wrong. Your basic premise is wrong.

Kraigmo's avatar

Most people, in each race, are pretty damn stupid.

lillycoyote's avatar

All this stuff can get very complicated. I would like to answer your question but I need to come back to it when I am not so tired.

Steve_A's avatar

I believe because black and white people seem to have the most biggest racial conflict and “cultural differences” if you will even in America.

Depends on where these couples go and the people really. I can only imagine a white guy and black in girl in the ghetto, or say a white woman and black guy in a “white community”.

The stereotypes do not help at all.

Not to mention look at the past 100 years we have come a long way! But these kind of things do not happen over night, we still have a lot of maturing to do as a country.

RareDenver's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Of course, after my second marriage I had no plans to father any more children, so I was more open to dating women who appealed to me regardless of their religion, skin colour or race.

Are you saying you would feel uncomfortable having children with a woman of a different religion, skin colour or race to your own?

Arisztid's avatar

I was thinking about it and, yes, I agree that blacks overall get it worse when with white women. I am not black so I cannot compare what I, as a non white, get vs. what a black person gets. Thinking about it though, for instance, the stigma is not as bad with, say, Asians as it is with black people.

I think some of it has to do with how dark you are. I get the hairy eyeball and snide remarks when I am with my wife more after a summer with a lot of sun time (I look like my avatar if I do not have a burn) then I do at the end of winter when I am as dark as a tanned white guy. In both cases I still do not look white but it is more drastic when I am tanned… more “in your face” if you are the type to object to such things.

It seems to me that the less white you look makes you less palatable to the sorts of people who object to non white male/ white female relationships.

I would be interested in knowing if darker skinned black people get it worse regarding dating white women than lighter skinned black people. Based on my experiences, that would be a “yes.”

My observations in my post above stand with regards to “why” this is so.

essieness's avatar

@Arisztid After reading all your posts, I’m very curious… What is your race?

Arisztid's avatar

@essieness The Boston Maratho… errr…. Rromani Gypsy :)

syzygy2600's avatar

it goes both ways unfortunately. I’m white and live in Canada. Several black co-workers are of the opinion that black men can date whoever they want, but when a white man dates a non-white woman they refer to it as her being stolen by the white man. Of course I can’t say anything about it because then I’d be the racist.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@syzygy2600 No, you wouldn’t be ‘the racist’ if you told people that their statement makes no sense. It is not racist to tell someone that there is no reason to assume that a black person can date anyone but a white person can’t.

Kraken's avatar

It’s only not OK when any of the people that are being dated is not an OK person.
Love is blind and color means nothing.

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