Racial Preference or Just Simply Racism?
Last year, there was uproar and outrage over a niche dating website called “Where White People Meet” (WWPM). I think the name is pretty self explanatory, but just to clarify this is a dating site for white people to meet and date other white people. The overall consensus of netizens is that it is wrong and it is racist, but there are some who believe that this issue just boils down to preference. All this debate got me thinking about two conversations I’ve had in my life.
The first with a friend (let’s call him George), about two years ago that went like this;
George: “I don’t really have an interest in Asian girls, dating-wise. No offence.”
Me: “None taken.”
The second, with a guy I freelanced for (let’s call him John) after telling him I was working for Jodi;
John: “Isn’t it funny how (non-whites) can create these kinds of dating sites and not be seen as racist, but if a white-only dating site came up there would be uproar?”
Oh how prophetic of John.
So anyway, this got me really thinking about WWPM compared to all the other niche specific dating sites like Jswipe, Black Singles, Asian Date and even Jodi. While a lot of people would see these sites as discriminatory and racist, the fact of the matter is that these sites help people who prefer (the operative word here being, prefer) to date other people of the same race/religion regardless of their reasons why.
So yes, some of these people might very well be racists but others may just want to date someone who is familiar with their cultural and racial nuances, and I personally don’t see anything wrong with that. While I will never be ok with racism, I understand that sometimes it is just easier to date someone of a similar background.
Being in a multi-racial couple, I have experienced difficulty not so much in me and my partner’s differences, but more in how other people outside of my relationship perceive those differences. It is because of that, I understand why some people would prefer to stick to people of their own race. Perhaps the conversation we should be having isn’t so much about “why people of a certain race prefer dating other people of that race” but about “why society cares so much about who we date”.
If you think about it long enough, you’ll see a double edged sword; if you only date people of your race, you’re seen as a racist, but if you date people outside of your race, you’re subject to all sorts of other judgements and stereotypes. Either way, you can’t win. Unless and until society lets go of their hang ups when it comes to intra and inter racial dating, there’s always going to be a battle.
With these kinds of issues that affect our global society as a whole, there’s never going to be a quick fix but where I think we should start is to stop caring about who other people choose to date. Because it is just that; their choice.