Ujinga! Myths about interracial relationships!

Despite the rising rate of interracial marriage, mixed-race couples not only continue to face scrutiny and disapproval but sweeping generalizations from outsiders.

Individuals in interracial relationships often are accused of entering such unions for less than honorable reasons. This review of the myths that shroud interracial couples indicate that romance across the color line remains a source of stigma.

Interracial Means Black And White

Arguably the biggest myth about interracial couples is that such pairings always involve a white person and a person of color. Interracial couples consisting of two people who belong to racial minority groups are largely overlooked in the mainstream culture. This is likely because discussions of race in general still are based on a black-white paradigm.

Accordingly, discussion of interracial relationships should include pairings of Asian Americans and African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Arab Americans, and so forth.

People in Interracial Relationships Never Date Their Own Race

Taka taka, lubbish, and foolishness! Strangers often assume that people in interracial relationships have long-dated exclusively outside of their race. It’s undeniable that some people display strong preferences for a particular race. I currently have a Caucasian in my life but I have dated Kenyan men before.

Many people in interracial relationships don’t have a type. They have dated both intra-racially and interracially and just happened to end up with partners who don’t share their ethnic background. They don’t have a pattern of choosing solely white mates or solely Asian mates or Hispanic ones.

If you don’t know the dating history of a person in an interracial relationship, don’t assume that they have no interest in dating members of their own race. Unless you’re interested in dating the person in question, however, ask yourself why you care whom this person dates.

If the person has bought into the idea that some racial groups are more desirable than others and date such people because they consider them to be “catches” or “trophies,” there’s little you can do to change their mindset anyway. They’ll likely excuse their dating patterns as being simple “preferences” rather than examine how our racially stratified society has influenced them to find some racial groups more appealing than others.

Minorities in Interracial Romances Hate Themselves

People of color who date interracially are often accused of suffering from self-hatred. who comes up with this type of kosokoso? While some minorities date whites in particular for social status, many minorities who date across the color line are proud of their heritage. Kwanza mimi ni mang’aa.

They’re not dating interracially to dilute their bloodlines. They simply felt a spark with someone who doesn’t share their racial background. This doesn’t mean that they don’t identify with their minority group and are ashamed to be part of that group.

Whites in Interracial Marriages Are Rebelling

Get off your high horses, Hitler! While minorities in interracial relationships are often accused of hating themselves, whites in such relationships are often accused of rebelling. They didn’t marry interracially because they truly loved their spouse, outsiders say, but because they wanted to get back at their parents.

Are there white people who bring home a person of another race because they know it will drive their parents crazy? Probably. But it’s unlikely that these people would have a sustained relationship with someone of a different race just to spite their parents, let alone marry interracially to do so.  

Minorities in Interracial Relationships Date Down

It’s a common belief that people of color in interracial relationships, especially with whites, date down rather than up. In other words, their partners aren’t particularly attractive, moneyed or educated. They are not dating “catches.”

The rationale here is that whites enjoy so much privilege in society that minorities who pursue romances with them aren’t exactly picky. Any white person will do. This, of course, is a sweeping generalization. Unless the only criterion a person has in a mate is that she be white, it’s doubtful that this generalization applies.

The fact that black-white couples earn less than white-Asian couples reflects the fact that blacks generally earn less than whites in the United States, while Asians tend to earn as much or more money than whites. Given this and the fact people of all races are more likely to romance those who share their economic and education background, it’s inaccurate to suggest that minorities in interracial relationships marry or date down.

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