Interracial dating discussion questions

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A white (or non-Black) partner who doesn’t respect those boundaries is an absolute menace because a lot of white people think their Black partner is an automatic invitation to invade and encroach on Black people’s shit, Black people be damned.

I’m talking about white people who get too comfortable.

I’ve observed many reasons why people have stopped assuaging people’s feelings and started just defaulting to not fucking with white-partnered Black people, and one of them is the unnecessary defensiveness of a lot of people who have white partners.

We all know how annoying it is to have a discussion about race and racism and have a white person hop in to say, “Oh gosh, most white people aren’t like that! ” Most of us wouldn’t bat an eye at these people from the “not all white people” “All Lives Matter” brigade getting told to stop focusing on themselves and their feelings.

Those of us with white partners really do engage in some self-centering, fragile, overly reactive behavior when we or our partners feel threatened. That’s why it’s important to go beyond deciding whether one can be woke and date a white person and begin asking instead about the whole host of behaviors surrounding that decision.

White people who openly fetishize the Black people they date but think they’re not racist because, look, they’re dating Black people.

The truth is, there are better questions to ask oneself about the personal choice (and yes, it is a choice) involved in being Black and dating a white person or people.

If that’s you, it is not the job of all other Black people to make you feel good about that choice, to make your partner feel comfortable, to make you feel “woke” as a Black person who is adjacent to whiteness, or to make you feel secure in your Black identity.

Most, if not all, of that work—that emotional labor, criticism, and reflection—is on you as the person making a decision that no one but you and your partner can consent to.

I’m saying this as a person who, full disclosure, has a white partner and doesn’t care who other people date, but I’m also saying this as someone who doesn’t think it’s unreasonable for other Black people to side-eye me or anyone else on sight for that. There are a lot of problems that come along with un-examined proximity to whiteness, and intimate partnerships can bring those issues into communal Black spaces very easily.

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