“I keep hearing over and over that racism is everywhere and everyone is racist in some way.”

This is a comment by wellokaythen on the post “Is it Wrong to Prefer Dating Only People of a Specific Race?

wellokaythen said:

“I keep hearing over and over again that racism is everywhere and everyone is racist in some way. Everyone has internalized some of it.

“What this means is no matter what your dating preferences are, they’re racist.

“Only want to date people of one race? Racist.

“Have no racial preferences in dating? You are blind to the ways that racism has shaped your life and are naïve to think that racial differences don’t really matter. If you’re white and express no racial preference, it’s because of white privilege—only white people have the privilege of pretending that race doesn’t matter. If you’re a person of color and you have no racial preferences, it’s because colonialism has denied you a heritage of your own and you think just like the white man wants you to think, that race doesn’t matter. No preference? Racist

“I don’t know about “wrong,” but the realistic political answer to the question is, ‘it depends on what you are and what race you’re attracted to, according to an arbitrary, unofficial chart that we all carry in our heads but don’t speak about out loud.’

“I’m only attracted to women. Does that make me sexist?” 

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  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    Nick. Of course my statement about libs was a non sequitur–unless you ask them. But the point is, so are your examples. Or none are.
    In any event, you are saying you would ignore group characteristics in your initial assessment of an individual of/from that group. Might be the group characteristics are irrelevant. Might be relevant..
    However, evolution has prepared us to use the known group characteristics until we know more about an individual. Safer that way. Sometimes the group’s known characteristics which diffferentiate it from other groups don’t mean much. Sometimes they mean an important bunch.

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    Nick. I know your answer is what the really Good Guys are supposed to say.
    However, stereotyping is a survival skill. Sure, that lion might be the cowardly one. Go ahead. Bet your ass on that.
    You’ll also note I said until you get further info that contradicts. Presuming there is any.
    And, I suspect you wouldn’t say “no” if the characteristics were positive. All liberals are morally superior.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Your attempt to frame my opinion as one shaped by societal expectation is rather crude and does not serve as evidence to support your retrograde opinions.

      Your suspicion of how I would feel in your hypothetical is also wrong. Either you did not read, did not comprehend, or willfully ignored my previous reply. Your statement about liberals is a non sequitur.

      Good day, sir.

  3. Richard Aubrey says:

    Nick. Characteristics common to a large minority, at least, of a particular group can be considered to be characteristic of that group. If it’s a majority, it’s the way to bet until you get further info on an individual which conflicts.
    The problem is, as with Asians, when colleges have to have an anti-affirmative action program to keep their numbers down.
    You can have any number of stereotypical views of groups which have nothing to do with race: Conservatives are racist. Mesomorphs are pushy.
    Stereotyping a group about a particular characteristic because it has a racial identity is not racism unless there’s a component of superiority/inferiority.
    I recall, back in the Sixties, even in college anthro classes, awkward, strained discussions of socio-economic-political factors which caused blacks to be grossly overrepresented in short and middle distance running and some of the field events. Wouldn’t have done to talk about quick-twitch muscles and Achilles tendon angles or some such.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Characteristics common to a large minority, at least, of a particular group can be considered to be characteristic of that group.


  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    Racism–you can look it up–is behaving with regard to racialism, the belief that some races are superior and others inferior.
    It has nothing to do with personal preference.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      I did look it up, and out of the first half dozen definitions I found (both online and in the massive dictionary I use primarily for pressing delicate flowers) none of them had the definition you propose. Animosity towards or feelings of superiority over another race are not necessary; the core of the meaning of the term is believing that X is true because of race, where “X” is something not linked to race.

      For example:
      Black men have large cocks.
      White men can’t jump.
      Asians are smart.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Maybe my problem is that my definition or “racism” is even broader than that.

        I would say the belief in the existence of “races” in the first place is a racist idea. Using the word “race” as if it was a valid way of categorizing people is a racist practice. Putting a person into a particular box labeled with a racial term is an act of racism. Everything that uses “racial” as an appropriate word is racist. Racism is treating races like they actually exist.

        You make a very good point here: racism can also come with positive stereotypes, not just negative ones. The positive ones seem to last longer, because so few people try to destroy them. The problem is that the positive ones are usually negative ones in disguise.

  5. wellokaythen says:

    Here’s a gray area, maybe:

    What if you’re a young man and you would never date a woman of color because you’re parents are overtly racist? What if you are willing to date a woman of another race but decide not to because of what other people would think? Is that being racist in your dating preferences?

    I ask because other people’s opinions can have a big influence on our own preferences. “I’d never be able to bring him home to meet my parents” still has an impact on women’s choices sometimes. It could be other people’s racism at work more than your own, but it may be hard to distinguish between the two of them.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      My step-father was racist, but towards Mexicans (he was black). To drive home the point that he was behaving badly, I once quoted his words back to him except I substituted the term “nigger” for “wetback.” I’m not terribly interested in having a relationship with someone unless it’s on my terms, and those terms include you not being a racist asshat.

      I don’t know that it’s reasonable to expect everyone be willing to defy their parents, but I sure as hell am not interested in aiding and abetting such attitudes.

  6. Over the course of human history, people have always dated and married people of other races, religions and cultures.If that and genetics are any indication, the desire to reproduce with someone who meets the biological preferences is paramount and overrides the artificial limits of social constructs. We all have heard the story of the poor guy or girl who falls in live with someone beneath their station. As a youth because of these constructs, I was convinced that white women, primarily due to their different body type(flat butts), were not as attractive as black women:It didn’t work. I have dated women of a variety of cultures and races, still do.For the most part, I find most white women and women of other races who are interested in dating me,haven’t worked any issues surrounding race and believe many myths about men of color. Many times, they have fetish sized men of color as sex objects, not whole beings, seldom stopping to think that they hate being treated like sex objects themselves. That’s why, for me, the let’s get People Magazine to put a man of color on the cover as the sexiest man of the year rings so false.

  7. I’m racist. I will date humans, elves, half elves and even half giants. But I HATE orcs, trolls, and ogres.
    There I said it.

  8. Hmmmmm, I would not date a non white man – End Of!
    * Am I racist……….I wish no harm or evil to come to anyone, we are all made from the same stuff and are equal in Gods eyes.
    * I have a nephew who is mixed race and he gets bullied at school nearly everyday, my sisters and I had our kids at the same time (4 kids within 14 months of each other), this nephew NEVER knew racism existed before he stepped into school. Racism is a learned behavior.
    * In my opinion …. and it is only that (so subject to change) Indian / Pakistan Men do not show gentleness towards women, Black Men want a badge of honor and a mother hen to look after home and kids, White Men they think they are better than anyone out there (including white women). *However, each and every race people fall in to two camps. The loving and rats, so just shelve the “what do you honesty think of me” question, and live life in a loving way, as it will be that what you are remembered for.
    * Is the color of our skin the first thing people see…ER YEAH DUMMY,
    *But it all comes down to us as individuals as to what we want people to think of us and the true impression of ourselves we want to leave them with!
    Love God and know peace x

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Hmmmmm, I would not date a non white man – End Of!

      In my opinion …. and it is only that (so subject to change) Indian / Pakistan Men do not show gentleness towards women, Black Men want a badge of honor and a mother hen to look after home and kids, White Men they think they are better than anyone out there (including white women).

      THIS, right here, is the definition of racial prejudice (go look it up, seriously). I think what a lot of people think of when they think of racism is racial bigotry – accompanied by images of white hoods, burning crosses, lynching – and so they think they can’t possibly be racist.

      The answer to your question is yes, yes you are indeed very racist. But it sounds like you’re okay with that.

      • @Nick
        I am me, the point is, I made a statement, which is he first thing you saw about me, and subsequently judge my whole being based on “I will not date non white men”, now you have kindly given me the racist tag.
        FACT: I never said black men are beneath me or I am superior
        FACT: I would not date white men with red hair
        AS I find neither attractive…….that is personal choice and God gave us free will
        In your books I would be rather be my kind of racist, than a false victim of abuse, that “some” black people talk about all the time.
        I think a confident man is attractive, despite the color of his skin (not sexually), whinging guys that bang on about the fight their forefathers went through seriously is boring and weak!
        My relatives more recently went through ethnic cleansing in Germany during the war…….Would i date a German, yes as it had nothing to do what Hitler did……

        • Nick, mostly says:

          So God made you racist, eh? Is that the same God that gives women the gift of rape babies? Just curious.

        • Nick, mostly says:

          Sorry, I misread what you wrote. It’s clear now that you said God gave you free will to choose to be racist, not that God made you racist. My apologies for the error.

    • Yeah your views are quite racist, I suggest meeting more people from these groups and you may realize they differ just as much as white people do.

  9. PursuitAce says:

    I don’t understand. Why would someone prefer one race to date over another? You’re dating a person not a race.

    • Bay Area Guy says:

      @ PursuitAce

      Good god, your statement is saturated in white privilege! How dare you see people as people and not look at their race. Only privileged white people can afford to ignore race or look at people as individuals!

      *sarcasm off*

      • wellokaythen says:

        Sarcasm about white privilege is another white privilege. “Check your privilege at the door,” as the kids say today. : – )

    • Physical looks basically. It’s like why do people date fat or thin or tall or short, why do straight people only date the opposite sex? How much of attraction is in our control. A black woman and a white woman next to each other, I find the white woman more attractive, I dunno why but it has nothing to do with what I think of their personality. Why should we only find the opposite sex attractive for straight people?

      • Nick, mostly says:

        Archy, do you really think your preference for white women is as inscrutable as you make it out to be? Do you truly feel you’re immune to the judgement shortcuts we make based on appearance? Do you really think it equivalent to your attraction to “women” rather than an expression of the background noise of the society in which you were raised?

        Are you familiar with the Clark Doll Experiments?

        • I think it’s mostly physical, I am very very attracted to pale skin women. Tans to a point are ok but kinda turn me off if they aren’t natural skin-tone due to skin damage which is bad in Australia where I live. I haven’t got a clue why I am attracted to pale women but it just happened, I’m guessing society played some role in it. I am pretty pale myself so maybe that plays some part in it.

          I’m not saying I am not attracted to other women though, I’ve found women of all races attractive but I just find pale white women with red hair the most attractive. I am probably more likely to date a white woman though simply due to numbers and the types of hobbies, activities, people I meet, etc seem to have the vast majority being white.

          Did media play a huge role in this? I dunno, most media I see portrays tanned women as the most beautiful and pale women as not pretty so I’m unsure of just how much media has influenced my attraction. I should be attracted to quite tanned large breasted women if media was any indication.

          I also prefer to date people who’s customs n culture are closest to mine which may explain some of my attraction to white people?

          • Nick, mostly says:

            I also prefer to date people who’s customs n culture are closest to mine which may explain some of my attraction to white people?

            I once had a conversation with a girl about this idea. She liked the hipster type – scrawny bodies, skinny jeans, indie music, fixie bicycle, retro eyewear, ironic facial hair – but he had to be white. She asserted that she wasn’t racist but if a guy fit her criteria exactly except for his skin color, he was disqualified.

            I think it’s likely that people will be attracted to those with whom they share something in common, particularly culture. Where racist attitudes creep in is where someone is disqualified solely because of their skin color, even when they share all of the attributes, qualities, characteristics, history, and cultural background that might otherwise qualify them. As with my acquaintance it sounds like you didn’t consciously choose to prefer white to black. The preference, however, speaks to how these attitudes exist and are transmitted in our culture.

            The role of media isn’t simply the explicit messages we’re given but also the implicit ones. If most black men you see are on the nightly news with the caption “Suspect” beneath the image, it’s no surprise if you begin to form negative associations. These associations carry over in many ways, including our perceptions of who is more attractive.

            Perhaps you might touch on how the various Indigenous Australian groups are viewed with respect to dating people of European descent. My Australian friends (most of whom live in Victoria) say that attitudes are shifting, but very slowly. Is that the case where you are?

            • I live in an incredibly racist area, where evvveryone is fair game. Sicilians get called wogs for instance (I’m half sicilian) but it’s a very multicultural area.

              I don’t rule out dating non-white women, but to put it in numbers pale white women with red hair are my 100, others maybe 80-95? It’s hard to quantify attraction but I just feel most attracted physically to pale white redheads, but still attracted to other races, tans, haircolours, etc too to some degree. Another group I seem to be incredibly attracted to are half white, half asian women whom I think were born from US soldiers after ww2 etc. But that’s all purely physical.

              For personaity I am most attracted to a similar culture but that’s just mainly the Australian culture which there are plenty of whites, blacks, asians, etc. Someone who doesn’t want me to look after them like some traditional values areas which include Sicily, some asian countries, etc from what I’ve heard. But I don’t assign culture to race when I meet people, I let them fill me in with who they are and try not to make any judgment at all. My black friends are everybit as aussie as I am although they have a different “extra” culture to me, their’s being aboriginal, mine being half scottish half sicilian but we both share the love of aussie bbq’s, etc.

              I got sick of racism when I hit about 22, when I started to open my eyes n saw every race has the same damn potential to be good n bad. One key thing I learned here in regards to aboriginals was that is that the high crime-rate, drug abuse etc in some areas have nothing to do with their race but how they were treated. I guarantee white people would do the sammmme thing in their situation.

              Have I been attracted to aboriginals? Some yeah. I’ve been attracted to people of all races, just for some reason pale white redheads are most attractive to me. One thing to note is that the women I am attracted to, are usually women my friends aren’t attracted to. I’ve heard some friends say a woman was too skinny for instance but I thought she was extremely beautiful.

              When I see women of other races I don’t assume anything about them though, I still see them as women as I see all races of men as men too. But seeing those pale white women is just more physically arousing? I suppose it’s like how we have other visual traits we like, tall/short, fat/thin, skin colour, hair colour, glasses/no glasses, all preferences which don’t need to be about racial judgment.

              As for perceptions of black? Well these days I follow many blogs n facebook groups which include quite a lot of black people who are quite inspirational. People like Obama, n the other random faces I see speaking out against abuse, etc. Of the negative people I see (rapists, murderers, abusive people) the most common race I see in that is white, far far far more than I see with black so shouldn’t that make me like black more?

              Even in my experiences of violence, they’ve all been white, and in the bullying n teasing I went through it was mostly white. I have a family member who married an aboriginal n had aboriginal friends growing up n still have them today so I was surrounded with plenty of positive experiences with them, I have more to fear from white people to be honest if I am to fear anyone.

              I thought maybe it originated from growing up n seeing beauty paegents, porn, etc, but when I think back most of the women represented in that were blonde, tanned, with large breasts which is not what my ultimate woman would be which leaves me clueless as to where the attraction for pale-white redheads came from. Hell at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the half-scot in me being attracted to scottish women. 😛

              • Nick, mostly says:

                It doesn’t sound to me as if you’re like my acquaintance, who actually disqualified anyone who wasn’t white. OkCupid seems to suggest that this is a white women thing predominately.

                I get it with the pale redheads. My wife doesn’t understand what I see in Tilda Swinton…

                • Tilda reminds me too much of Julia Gillard. 🙁 Deborah Ann Woll from True Blood (Jessica) is hot hot hot, although she’s not a true redhead:P. Julianne Moore is also amazing both in looks n talent even at her age today (I am Deborah’s age).

                  Still unsure of what made me so attracted to women like that especially considering when I grew up they were given a lot of hate for being pale which was seen as sickly, and redheads copped a lot of “ginger” hate.

        • @ Nick- please limn the “Clark Doll” reference

          • Nick, mostly says:

            The Clark Doll Experiments are generally thought to have demonstrated racial bias at an early age. Kids were presented identical dolls, with only the color being different, and showed a heavy bias towards preferring the “white” dolls and ascribing positive characteristics to those dolls, while ascribing negative characteristics to the “black” dolls.

            • I saw a bit about during that time period black dolls were used in a negative way, wouldn’t that affect the results of the experiment?

              • Nick, mostly says:

                The experiments have since been repeated though, with the same results. And it’s not as if this was one study that alone showed this effect, it’s just one of the first that demonstrated it among very young children.

                We absorb culture from the minute we’re born. For example, parents have been observed to treat female infants more delicately than male infants. It’s difficult to tease apart nature vs nurture unless you’ve got your kids in a Skinner Box.

                All of which is to say that there are reasons we have the preferences we have, some of which we are aware, most of which we’re not. For that latter set we can look at the cultural narratives and if they are in concordance with our preferences it’s not unwarranted to suspect some influence there.

                • I’ve noticed black is evil, white is pure n good in culture, would that play a role?

                  • Nick, mostly says:

                    That’s a little more complicated. First, that’s a facet more of Western culture rather than a universal. Second, the white/black duality also has roots in the day/night cycle, which might have a strong influence on our feelings of white=good/black=evil. Those two appear to collide somewhat, since day/night is a more or less universal experience whereas exposure to different races was not.

            • Funnily enough my toys were yellow (lego) and then the GI Joes which were tanned and ranging to dark skin. I was a pale kid and I don’t think I had any toys my colour.

  10. Everyone is racist to some degree…every society is racist and no matter how intelligent and anti-racist we are, we cannot escape doing things that are racist. As long as we are aware of it and do our best to not be racist, that’s pretty much all we can do.

    Now what is racist and what isn’t just depends on the person. There is obvious flat out racism that any intelligent person can see as racism but there are more subtle gray areas such as dating preference that just depend on personal opinion and just like with any opinion, you can take it or leave it, it doesn’t mean you need to agree with it. I don’t think having a preference for a certain race is racist as long as it’s because they just like what they like and are not being racist against other….races and seeing other races as ugly or inferior.

    I prefer white men but will date any race or gender, it’s just mostly been tall white guys. I am a 5’5 Latina female and I know many white men who prefer non-white women…in Bangkok I see a lot of people wanting someone who is of an “opposite” race than them, mostly white males/females with Thai male/females. It depends on the culture. I’m sure in areas where there is a high percentage of one race, people will prefer to stick to their race, especially if they are the ruling class.

    So date who you like and just try to be aware if you are being discriminatory because of something other than just personal aesthetic.

    • wellokaythen says:

      I think that’s a valid point, that there’s such a thing as a personal aesthetic. That aesthetic could be shaped by racism, but not necessarily.

      It also depends on how strong the preference is. If I say categorically I would never, ever date someone who was ____, that’s one thing. That seems a little extreme, but some people just have very specific tastes, and that doesn’t mean those tastes are racist. I never dated any African American women, and so far have not met very many that I was attracted to, though I have met some I was attracted to. I don’t have a strict preference, but I do seem to have a clear leaning.

      So, if I were single, I wouldn’t say I’d never date a black woman, just that odds are, given my previous experience, I as an individual seem to find white women more attractive on the whole. I might even say my preference would be to find a white woman, but that wouldn’t be a strict preference. To some degree, in the dating game you have to play the odds.

      There’s also the question of the message one sends by stating a preference or no preference. If your dating profile says “no preference,” that sometimes comes across as a bad sign as well. If you go overboard and say you don’t care one bit what the woman’s race is, they are all beautiful to me, that can get taken very badly – perhaps you are just desperate for anyone whatsoever.

      • Yeah there is a big difference between saying “I have a preference for _____” and “I will ONLY date ____” everyone has a preference but if you only date one race, it’s because you’re racist.

        I don’t see how having “no preference” in regards to race on a dating profile would make you look desperate, to any intelligent adult, it just shows you are open and not racist. The rest of your profile will make it clear how desperate you really are.

        • wellokaythen says:

          You’re right. I guess how it looks depends a little bit on the format of the profile. If there’s just a form to fill out and under “racial preference” you just click the box marked “none,” then that doesn’t say much. If in your personal essay about yourself you go on and on about how unracist you are, how you love all women of all shapes, sizes, and colors, and how you want to add all women to your Magic Love Rainbow, then that can be a little off-putting.

          Just guessing, though. I’ve never searched the personals for a male partner.

    • Dating preferences are not inherently racist. That’s as stupid as suggesting straight people are sexist. If you only wanna date a race because you think others are beneath you then that is racist, but simply being most attracted to one race is not. I can’t help the fact white women are the most attractive to me.

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