Another article titled, “Nobody Cares That You Date White Girls” ended up getting way over 400 comments, much more than average piece.
We need to stop pretending that people don’t care, because comment sections on blogs are all blowing up with discussing this supposedly irrelevant issue.
For people of colour, the personal is very much political and some argue that it is not possible to be pro-black and in a relationship with a white man and that was the part I struggled with the most. Many assume that because you are dating someone from a different race, that somehow, you don’t see (or perhaps don’t want to see) colour. The terrain of interracial relationships is fraught with nuances, complexities and pressures that are embedded within our everyday experiences – often amplifying issues of race.
When I walked down the street with my boyfriend, I hated to think that people thought I didn’t care about the issues facing communities of colour. We rarely spoke of the times that my boyfriend didn’t always feel welcome at predominantly black events or how some sales advisors would naturally feel more comfortable talking to him than me.
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It was loud in the club, and I was trying my hardest to communicate without us getting too close. I took my phone out of my bag, and showed him the wallpaper of me and my boyfriend, who at the time was white. You coconut.’ In life, we’re often taught that who or what we love doesn’t matter. We’re taught that love is (colour) blind and that may be true, but the world we live in isn’t and neither am I. The stares we received when we held hands were too frequent to ignore.
I told him I was in a relationship, but he wasn’t convinced. He and I dated in secret for five months before we went public, and I wish I could say that it was because we enjoyed our privacy, but that wasn’t entirely true. My boyfriend’s whiteness afforded him a certain privilege that we often never spoke about; the fact that for him, dating a black girl made him appear ‘progressive’, ‘open-minded’ – one of the ‘good ones’. Did my relationship serve as an affirmation to their suspicions; that underneath my black skin, I was coconut white?