*spoken from a black guy’s perspective*
Interracial relationships are undeniably more prevalent in society than ever before. I can confidently say that if I took a walk through the nearest high street to me, I’d see more interracial couples than same-race ones.
This isn’t a bad thing.
But for those less culturally liberal, or for those who grew up in less diverse communities, this is a difficult phenomenon to get your head around. This 21st century conundrum brings to the fore two main questions…the what, and the…well, it’s a what again.
The first ‘what’ being, “what’s wrong with your own race for you to betray them?” (yes, betray. Deep init)
The second ‘what’ being, “what do they have that we don’t? What’s so good about them?”
If you are in an interracial relationship, you will probably have realised that these are trick questions. You can try and play it down with a generic, “I don’t like those kind of girls, I just like them for who they are.” Or, if you’re feeling particularly brazen, “they just have bigger bums tbh.” Either which way, there is no answer that you can give here that will appease those asking.
A N Y W A Y…
Fast forward a few months or years and if you’re lucky enough to have made it this far, you’ll probably be gearing up for the dreaded ‘meet the parents’ test. For a guy, this is a particularly daunting experience to train for, as circling prevalently in the mind will be that scene from Bad Boys 2 . Other worrying questions to be answered include, “is her dad an absolute nutter?” and, “does she have an older brother that benches 6 plates and is a black belt in laying out boyfriends?”
One question that doesn’t immediately come to my mind though is, “Do they know I’m black?”
I mean, given the political and societal age we live in, this is extreme naivety on my part. Without getting too personal, my last “official” relationship was made virtually untenable once she declared to her parents that I tick the Black Caribbean box when filling out diversity forms. For whatever reason, this was a signal to her Mauritian Hindu parents that I was not a guy to be trusted, or indeed loved (I know right, teardrops). Bless her heart, she defied her parents and continued to see me, even though her parents would often check her phone for texts from me and stop her from going out to see me. Eventually I thought this was way too much hassle than it was worth and, regrettably, we parted ways.
What was an issue then, in my middle teen years in 2010, is still a very relevant and poignant issue in my early 20’s in 2017. A fact beautifully demonstrated in the recent motion picture “Get Out”.
I won’t give away too much of the story, but in the early exchanges, we see the main protagonist in the film, a black guy called Chris (indeed, a black guy is the protagonist! A brief reprieve from us being the first to die) packing his bags with a miserable look on his face. When his girlfriend, a white woman called Rose, questions why he is down, he questions “do they know I’m black?”
It’s a question that sets the precedent for the rest of the film, and one that immediately forces the audience to empathise with not only him, but black males also.
Scene after scene follows with covert racisms being thrown at your face from all angles, forcing you to have to sit awkwardly and stare right back at it. If you are black, many of the occurrences will not surprise you, though it was funny to see some of the white people in the audience’s reaction to Chris being unnecessarily asked by a police officer to produce ID (hashtag normal).
Back to the point though, my naivety towards asking a girl if her parents know that I’m black is made more surprising when we take a closer look at racial dating preferences.
Data from the Facebook dating app, Are You Interested (AYI) revealed that all groups of men (White, Black, Asian, Latino), except Asians, preferred Asian women. The data also revealed that all groups of women, except black women, preferred white men. Interestingly though, both black men and black women got the lowest response rates for their respective genders (madting sadting). But before the tear even has time to reach the floor from my face, the data goes on to highlight that among men, all racial groups preferred another race over their own!
With this data suggesting that we think the grass is greener on the other side, it is perhaps not surprising to see the growth in interracial couples.
However, as alluded to earlier, society hasn’t always been like this dating-wise. Whether that be down to lack of means/technology to branch out or other, many of the previous generation wouldn’t have enjoyed such variety.
It is important then to keep possible racial prejudices her family may have somewhere in your mind when approaching her dad’s front door for the first time. Otherwise you might end up tied up to chair, waiting to get your brain transplanted (oh shit, spoiler alert!).