In the current generation, love has been able to take all types of forms and shapes. People have learned to fall in love with what is inside a person rather than with what they look like. Personalities have become much more valuable in regards to dating, even though there is still an overwhelmingly large amount expectations still put on looks. But what has changed despite the pressure of gym memberships and perfect eyebrows is the increased number of folks dating outside of their race.
Interracial dating is the concept of dating outside the lines of one’s identified race/ethnicity, for example, someone who is Hispanic dating someone who is white. At first, this was something that was unheard of. The social structures of communities everywhere made it so that people had no choice but to date within their own cultures. Minority races were sectioned off and secluded so that the only persons that they had access to were people of their own culture. The imbalance of power could have also made them afraid to date people outside of their norm. All of this leading to an internalized oppression that has been passed down through the generations.
In minority cultures, people are taught to be attracted to those that identify as the same race as they do. It is an expectation that elders subliminally project onto children starting from a young age. When people come along and break that standard, they are looked down upon. Within this person’s family, the disdain for their choices may manifests in constant jokes that aren’t always funny, being uninvited from family events, or even being disowned by the family all together (however in cases like those, I would hope to believe that something other than systemic segregation is the cause of the distaste for other races). Amongst friends, it could lead to more jokes and comments that are more hurtful than playful. Those who do not agree with interracial dating could be quick to judge and dismiss those that do.
Another potential problem with interracial dating is that it can promote the self-oppression that has been imposed upon members of minority races. Although it can be argued that not everyone identifies with the idea of self-oppression, there are those that do and can be affected by seeing men/women of “their” race with men/women of others. They don’t see themselves as beautiful so they have a hard time seeing people who look like them as attractive. This is especially present in the African American community in terms of its members dating people that are white. The idea has so much hurt behind it especially because the US has not moved past the oppression of people of African descent that started when the slave trade began. The damage is further done when black men and women are seen speaking ill of one another in terms of what is attractive and what isn’t. The growing romanticism of mixed-raced children does not help with anything either.
It is true though, that not all people think that way. Love is not something that should be stuck in such confinement. It is important to understand history and know why it can be hurtful to some minorities to be seen in love or relationships with those of the majority. But it is also to not judge them for their choices. “Well in my opinion I have no problem with black people being in interracial relationships. Personally for one, I find other females of different races attractive besides my own. And two, people have the right to have the choice to date whoever they want,” Javonte Hubbard said. The complicated history of our world and our instinctual drive to have power has skewed even how we expect ourselves to find love.
But amongst all the negatives that come with dating between races, it can show how we’ve grown as people. “At first I will take a double take and be confused but then I will just go on with my life because love is love and who am I to judge,” student Josefina Cruz said when asked about interracial dating. The mix of races can allow for the spreading of culture and potentially the makings of new ones. By learning to get past the physical and go into the emotional realms of a person, we are allowing for several cultures to blend into something just as beautiful. As our country (and campus) continues to grow in diversity, it is hard to stick between strict boundaries and not meet amazing people of all shapes and colors.
Picture Credits: Quotes Gram