Is it Really Just a "Preference?"

9.6.11 ShaSha LaPerf 5 Comments

So I spotted this video on Youtube a few days ago. It's from the site "Wow My Date Sucked!" and let's people upload stories about really, REALLY bad dates. Some of the stories were made into videos like the one below:

What gets me about this video isn't that this guy isn't attracted to her because she's black, but the way he goes on about his preferences and how he's not racist. It's something I've seen people do a lot. And it makes me question at what point is it still just a preference and not a racial thing?

Now I'm sure you're like, "wait a minute? This is a site about you dating an Asian man! Who are you to talk about preferences!? Don't you like Asian guys?"

Sure I'll admit to having a preference for Asian and black men. They have some traits I find physically attractive (particularly lips, various skins tones, and hair textures). So yes, I get that people have certain things they like. However having a preference means you may like something a bit more than others, but you ARE still open to other things. And that's a key thing. I may notice the hot Asian guy first, but if his Latino friend and I click more, guess who I'm exchanging numbers with (if I was single of course. :P). Besides, I'm sure a number of Asian men and black women have been ignored or rejected because of someone's "preferences."  The girl in the video is a real person after all.

So why not examine this idea of preference? Because sometimes those preferences have more racial undertones then people want to admit, or they're in straight denial. Here are a few examples of what I've seen people do in when holding steadfast to their preferences and when I think it's more of a racist tendency.

They refuse to give someone the time of day because of their race.
The guy in the video said he wouldn't have gone on the blind date had he known his date would be black. He didn't know how cute she was or how smart she was or if they had anything in common. If they're doing something like this it means that someone is not worth your time because they're not a certain race. Meaning they are beneath you because of their race. Meaning, they're probably a fucking racist.

They are interested in someone until you find out their race.
As I've mentioned here before I did internet dating including using Craigslist. It was amazing the number of guys who emailed me because they loved what I wrote and we'd write back and forth...until they found out I was black. Suddenly they were "busy" or didn't reply back at all. And I got the "no offense but I don't date black girls." These guys were clearly interested in me until they found out my race. And I'm sure it's happened to other people as well. If you're seriously vibing with someone, why would anyone do a disservice of not getting to know someone they clearly have a lot in common with simply because they're not the race you like?

They use "I'm not racist" or "It's not racist" as a way to justify your preference.
A general rule of thumb: Anyone who uses phrases like "I'm not racist" probably is. I don't think I need to say more here.

They give sweeping generalizations as a means to justify their preference.

This is a slicker way of the "I'm not racist" lines. Instead they give a list of what you think are positive traits that a certain race has. Like "Asian guys are just so nice" or go for the more negative stuff like "Black guys are too ghetto." Common sense should tell you that no one group is a monolith. Additionally it alienates the people that don't even fit into these categories. It's not a compliment to me when you tell me you like black girls because they have big asses, but I don't have one. Thanks for making me feeling ugly and self-conscious you bastard, no get out my face. See?  You're an even bigger douche now because not only are you excluding a group of people because they aren't the race you fancy, you're stupid stereotypes about the you do like hurt the feelings of the women in that category.

They put higher standards on people that don't fit your racial preference.
Ever meet the guy that says, "I don't like black girls but I'd date Beyonce?" Yeah, I'm talking about those type of people. The average black girl isn't good enough for them yet the average white girl is simply because she's white. Umm yes this still a bit of racist thinking here. They still think black girls are beneath you. Sorry but I don't think Beyonce, Rihanna, Gabrielle, or Halle (yep, even crazy ass Halle) will want to date any guys that see them as the only viable datable black women. 

So that's it. I know the topic of preferences is much more complicated then what I laid out and I'll expect some push back on this. I know a lot of people have strong feelings about what they like. I bet some of the people that feel that way probably have done some of the things I wrote about and still see nothing wrong with it. But hopefully some people will reconsider things. So I just wanna say two more things then I'm done for real this time:

Take time to examine your preferences.
So many people get defensive when they are questioned about their racial preferences, but think about what is it about a certain group that only appeals to you. Or why people in your own group don't appeal to you for that matter. Are things based of one or two experiences? Is it more shallow reasoning? Could there be a possibility of internalized racism (for those who "prefer" to date everyone BUT their own race)? There's nothing wrong with a little self-reflection.

And most importantly,

Karma is a bitch.

If you're a person who spends their dating life blocking people out because of their race, don't bitch and moan when it happens to you.
Guys, don't bitch and moan about white girls only having eyes for non-Asian men when you're completely ignoring the beautiful black girl sitting next to you. Likewise ladies don't bitch and moan said Asian guys bitching and moaning about not getting white guys when you only have visions of marrying an Asian man. That's the thing about you being so specific; you can come across the same thing yourself.

Okay, done FOREAL for real now.


  1. Shasha, I just love the way you break down things because at the end of it all,it gives readers like me a limpid picture of what you're talking about.

    I laughed at that clip. Though it was a humorous one,it does describe the reality of many people who harbor those same racist feelings as the guy in the video.I'm not going to lie, I too, have preferences,but like you said, some people don't understand the difference between preference and prejudice.

    I've learned the the hard way of that( though mines wasn't about race) and I vowed not to close the door to any possibilities again. I think about the Asian male character in this clip. He automatically dismisses Tiffany because of her race....didn't learn about her or anything that. In real life, I knew an African-American acquaintance of mine. She had a preference, in her case, for lighter skinned Black men w/ lots of moola. Again,I'm not going to dis her for her preference,however, her preference also has caused her to possibly miss out on happiness because of it. It just seemed that every light skinned guy that she had was no good and the last man--her husband isn't too much better than they.He doesn't help out with their children. Darker skinned men wanted to date her,but they weren't good enough for her. The lesson that I've learned from her: The grass isn't always greener on the other side.I'm not saying that light skinned guys are no good as there are lots of them. In her case,I think its' also a lesson for her and many others who doesn't look at the persons insides.She should have chosen her men wisely no matter who the man was.

    There was also another true story( or at least by the words of the poster)that I read on Allkpop about this Blasian girl. The poster described her dad as a Hapa man who once harbored racist tendencies that his White father/Japanese mom instilled in him. During his time in college, he came across a Black female student at his mostly White college. She said that the dad told her that he had no intention of dating an Asian girl,Latin girl and definitely,not a Black one.

    As time passed, the father said that there was something about the Black girl that he couldn't resist no matter how much he tried. He continued until he couldn't do it anymore. Eventually, he asked the woman out to a dance and you know the rest..

    Honestly, I could see my self marrying any man of any race,but I would have deep reservations about marrying a guy with a racist past.I also found the poster's story to be ironic and sweet. It wasn't supposed to happen to the her father. I thought that he didn't like Black women and that he wouldn't date them? I guess God had other plans.

    In spite of his attitudes, it just goes to show that we can have preferences about anybody and anything,but as my mom and other's have taught mean that they are/aren't for you.The older I get, the more open minded I continue to be. Not too long ago, I passed by a district where I live and since I was a child, I was always drawn to it because it's very diverse in every way possible. It's fits who I am as a person. That is now how how I see people in the same way. Again, like Black and non-Black men, though it may be a little tad stronger for non-Black men,but it doesn't mean that will reject them because of who they are. when it comes to all men, I have to be interested in them as people and not their race.Something has to stand out about them for me to be interested in them. Race, alone, will never be my deciding factor into considering relationships with them. I wouldn't want to be one of those people, like my acquaintance, who is missing the goodies of her marriage because of her prejudices.

  2. Oops! I see two dreaded typos in my post.

  3. Girl, don't worry about typos! :)

    I can understand having reservations about people who originally had negative attitudes towards blacks but it seemed to have worked out for them. People can change, but they have to put their own effort into doing so. As long as the dad isn't trying to instill the same thing on his children.

    And your mom is right! I've seen people that are so bent on a certain type and getting hurt over and over again as a result. At some point they need to say, this isn't working out, but THIS one is, and move on. There are people that can get what they want in the end, but I'm guessing that group of folks is much smaller than those who happen to find love elsewhere.

  4. racist people cling to 'preference' just like they cling to 'intention' as if it cancels out all their harmful racist thoughts and actions

  5. Hi, I agree with you and would like to share my ideas with you. This post is quite educational..Thanks Forever