Dating Asian Guys 101: Run Girl Run! Race Relations Edition

9.1.15 ShaSha LaPerf 5 Comments

Dating Asian Guys 101: Initial Contact
Dating Asian Guys 101: Dating Asian Men and Loving Asian Pop Culture
Dating Asian Guys 101: The Matters of Shyness
Dating Asian Guys 101: Run Girl Run! Guys to Avoid
Dating Asian Guys 101: Fears and Frustrations
Dating Asian Guys 101: Online A-Lovin' and A-Datin' Part 1
Dating Asian Guys 101: Online A-Lovin' and A-Datin' Part 2
Dating Asian Guys 101: Live and Learn

Hey hey folks! Somehow this post that I started in November has become the first post of the New Year for me. This is actually the most difficult blog post I've written. Yes I know I've said that before, LOL. But I started writing this blog post two months ago. I had so many ideas and emotions running through my heads, and ended up stopping and starting way too many times. I couldn't figured out the best way to write this post and even who I wanted to address this to. In the end I decided to make this a Dating Asian Guys Post.

But before I get into the meat of this post I have a little anecdote for ya:

Back in my dating days, I was with a Chinese-American dude, let's call him "John." He was the so-called "good on paper" type: attractive, owned his car and home, all that good stuff. John told me that he only dated black women, loved Marvin Gaye and black culture, but didn't seem to be the "I'm SSSSSOOO into black pop culture and need a black woman to prove my credibility!" type.

During a date, we were having a conversation about television and movies. It was around the time of the release of the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender, a movie that most of us know for being a Shyamalan crapfest. John wasn't too familiar with the show so I gave him a quick run down of the series. I told him about the movie, and how many folks (including myself) were not too happy about the film's lack of Asian actors.

John didn't think it was a big deal. He then proceeded to have a mini rant about how people of color complain too much about race and racism, and needed to shut up. Before I could even process any of this in my head, he decided the conversation was over and moved on to another topic.


That was the last date I had with him.

I learned something very important about myself that after that date. I hadn't really talked about race related issues with any of the men I'd dated before, even though I'd been doing interracial dating since my teens. I figured I didn't need to talk to them about it anyway. I guess I thought I was just so "post-racial" that the guys I was with would obviously see the world the same way I did and there was no need to talk about it. And I'll admit to not really paying attention to the world around me. However as as I've grown, I've become quite aware of how the world treats people of color, specifically black people...even more specifically black woman. Let's face it, black woman are beautiful, smart, funny, successful, interesting people, but at times the world likes to treat us like shit just because. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. In addition to my partner understanding how beautiful, smart, funny, successful, interesting we are, he also needed to understand the other part.

John was the type of guy that though people of color complained to much years ago; I can't even imagine what he would say about #BlackLivesMatter.

At times, this actually made me feel conflicted about dating outside my race, especially when it came to Asian men. Could an Asian man really understand where I was coming from and what it mean to be with a black woman? Would he be there for me when I came face-to-face with a race related issue? Was John guy an anomaly or the norm? Honestly I found out there was a mix. I met other dudes who had the same mindset like John, but also found out that there were plenty other Asian men that didn't feel the same way (including Shen).

I see so many Asian men who claim to love black woman and want to be with them, and this makes many black women happy. But ladies, many of those guys really have no clue of what black woman face. So that's why I've decided to make this another Run! Girl Run! post and why this on is specifically in situations involving race. I know it's a topic we try not to think about when it comes to IR dating, but I think there are some red flags you should look out for. Because when there may be times you'll need an ally and if a guy is doing any of the shit below, I would rethink that relationship.


He Won't Talk To You About Race
As I said earlier I didn't really talk to my guys about race and some of that was my assumption that since I was an IR dater and there were plenty of non-Black men looking to date me, I was living in a "post-racial" world. Look, I'd love to live in a post-racial world, but we ain't at that point yet. So there's nothing wrong with having a conversation about race. It doesn't mean you need to have a "race session" from 3:00pm - 4:00pm every Tuesday and Thursday. But if you have something on your mind that's race related, then he should be open to hearing it. This is one of the reasons why I love Shen so much. One minute we can have a conversation about race and police brutality and the next minute we can discuss Transformers and a TLC reality TV show. It doesn't need to be a part of every conversation, but there is nothing wrong with it being a part of the conversation period. Your race isn't all you are but it is a part of who you are and it's fine to acknowledge this. I know it's a difficult topic, but then again, shouldn't you be able to have a difficult conversation with your partner? Don't let him shut you down.


He Thinks You're Being "Too Sensitive"
On damn near a daily basis black woman are reminded of the fact that they are black and have a vagina. We're hit with microaggressions and in some case, outright dickish behavior. And frankly dealing with these things are obnoxious. However, when we challenge people on these things, we're told we're being "too sensitive" or that we "can't take a joke." We shouldn't be upset because "it was a compliment." None of these words should be coming from the mouth of your partner. When you come home, pissed off because your white boss tells you he's blacker than you now because of the tan he got from a vacation, your guy needs to shut up and listen. When you're done, it's fine to for him to offer encouraging words of advice and maybe help you figure out the best way to deal with the situation. You may not decide to do anything about the situation, but its nice for him to give you support instead of telling you just misheard a comment and moving on to something else. If a guy is cutting you off when you tell him these things or just tell you you're being too sensitive drop his ass.


He Expects You To Be His Teacher
I actually talked about this in my last Run! Girl! Run! post but I'm bringing it up here for another reason. In addition to the "teach me everything about black culture because it's so cool!" person, there are the "well I don't believe you because I don't see it" person. These skeptics seems to have a hard time understanding why black people are upset about what's happening to them and insist you--the black person standing there right now--should explain every detail of it and provide sources. Like I said in the last Run Girl Run!, There's nothing wrong when someone asks a question or two. And as I said here, there's nothing wrong with a conversation about race. But there needs to be some effort on his part to learn without your help. If this guy can find all the lyrics to a School Boy Q song and watch Love and Hip-Hop, then he can spend time Googling current events involving black folks that don't relate to black pop culture. It is not your job to put in the work for him.


He Thinks He Can Tell You About Being Black
So maybe you met the Asian guy that does know more about blacks than just black pop culture because he lived around black folks or he interacts with them on a current daily basis. However that doesn't mean he gets to tell you how you feel about what it's like to be black. I'm talking about the guys that feel they can say the N-word around you because his black friend says it around him. I'm talking about the ones who think blacks need to do blah blah blah to succeed in life because of his what his black worker did. And I'm talking about the ones that question your own blackness because you do something he doesn't isn't "black" enough. Sorry but these type of dudes aren't really being supportive or an allies. They're dudes who think black people need to act and think a certain way, even though they are not black people. And it's not their right to tell you how you should live and feel as a black person.


He's Uncomfortable With How Others React To You
IR relationships are more common these days, but there are still a lot of people have stupid ideas about them. You may encounter stares, or people not thinking you're together. And you know what, it doesn't matter what these people think or say. But what does matter is how he reacts to them. Like letting your hand go when he catches someone staring at the two of you. Or calling you his "friend" when he's around certain people. Or expecting you to be the one to call out that racist joke (or letting it slide completely). It's obvious he's uncomfortable with your relationship and are letting the feelings of others get in the way of his own feelings. If his friend is making racists joke, he needs to tell them to stop being assholes. If he catches someone staring at you to, he needs to not give a fuck. If you've been together for a while and decided to be in a relationship, he needs to let people know you are not his "friend" but his "girlfriend/wife/partner/whatever you towo say to each other." In the end it doesn't matter what those other people think because he's not dating you. And the person that gets the most hurt from the actions will be you.


He Needs to Be An Ally
Just summing in all up here. Look, You are a Black woman. Black woman can have Black brothers or sisters or kids or parents or cousins or uncles or aunts. Black friends and colleagues and teachers. And the realities of black people (at least in the states) is often very different from others. Losing out on a job because of your hair, your skin tone, your name, those are realities. Being followed around in the store despite making 6 figures a year. Fear getting shot when you ask for help. Fear of hearing that your unarmed brother was killed because he looked "suspicious." Your dude needs to fucking support you. He needs to not just say "I like black women and I want to be with you." He needs to say "I love you and I want to understand what the world likes like for you." LOL well not literally, but you get the basic idea. And don't buy into that "well he's just ignorant" idea. He needs to be willing to learn and empathize. At some point it's not longer ignorance. The dude you're with needs to be an ally period.

Finally so glad to get this one out! Look, I get that there are plenty of black woman out there that don't have to deal with the stuff I posted here. And there are black women in IR relationships who have never had to discuss race-related issues. Unfortunately that isn't the case for everyone. The purpose of my blog is to celebrate the relations between Asian men and Black women, but I also try to balance out things. Like I said, Shen and I haven't really dealt with too many race-related things, but I also know when things come up he is a person I can talk to. So ladies you when you're first meeting a cute Asian guy, you don't need to jump into race related topics and feelings right off the bat. But remember there's no reason for it to stay completely off the table. A lot of Asian men out there do understand where black folks are coming from and offer support and love.

But I will say one more thing to you ladies:

Black folks get treated like crap, but other people of color are subjected to crappy treatment as well. So while you're taking notes of what to look out for when it comes to Asian guys...you should abide by this advice as well. I know it gets difficult to not play Oppression Olympics, especially when we read about stories like Eric Garner or Rekia Boyd or Trayvon Martin. And Asian people have the "model minority" hanging over the heads which is actually a double edge sword. When you're dating a guy, you need to remember that Asians get their share of microaggression and racism. So you need to listen to your guy who's complaining about his boss asking to call him Tom because "it's easier than that Chinese name." Just like you need him to be an ally, you need to be one for him as well.

FINALLY I got all this out! Sorry if this seems all over the board, I actually got a bit emotional at times when writing this post. And thanks to the folks that encouraged me to keep writing! I need a drink now...My next post will have a much lighter tone! I'm getting back into a writing mode again so it shouldn't take that long for me to get back to blogging again!

5 comments:

  1. When I hear a non-Black man tell me that they love Black women, I'm weary of it.

    In the natural, it should make Black women feel that the men love their culture,but that has got to be the the biggest myth in loving them. First of all, to say that you love Black women is like you're shielding yourself,,like you have to say that to prove that you're into Black women. I've looked at plenty of AMBW/IR blogs about people professing their love of ..in this case..Asian men. Sometimes , reading them can be disgusting. I mean , if you have a preference for them ,ok..we get it,but for some women, why do they have to go out of their way to do it by , for example(s) putting down their own people or, telling us that they love K/J-pop,

    My folks would tell you that when I want to learn about people stereotypes and musical genres has nothing to do with it as they aren't cultures. I've always been in world cultures since I was a young'in. I had an Togolese fiance and when we were dating , I didn't ask him teach me about his Togolese/ South African culture, even though there were certain things that warranted me to learn about it and if we would have had kids , certainly I would have liked them to learn about the beauty of is culture and mines as well. He was an interesting person,not because he was Togolese/SA,but because he seemed fun and grounded at the time. I didn't just get interested in his culture, when I got with him. Ive always been " wordly" ..though I have yet to act on it.I don't have problems teaching people about AA culture, if they really want to learn more about it , they would go to a HBCU, African American museum and/or library or go to a place that is rich in AA culture. Don't wait for me to teach my culture when you're with me. I see it was a condescending gesture as you're not really interested in who I am unless you're only dating a Black woman.

    If I had a man like " John" I would be in trouble. That would be ..and always will be...one of my concerns is the non-Black man realllly liking Black women. It seemed that John liked the idea of being with a Black woman,but not necessarily wanting to know about them. It reminds me of the argument that some Black people have with entertainers like Iggy Azalea. She's being accused of loving the idea of being with a Black man,but not wanting to walk that walk of racism with them. Whether or not it's true, I do get where he critics are from. Just like John, they do not want to face the reality of racism whether it's about you or your man. He seemed to be like the kind of guy that wanted to live under that "exceptional minority" mantra. John liked the idea of being tolerated instead of being sincerely being accepted for substance. There are some minorities who really believe that they are such and that racism only happens to Black people. Got news for him..if he just think that the White man don't wrong Asians perhaps he should read about about the Japanese being thrown into concentration camps or about the young Vietnamese woman who was brutalized an raped by members of the LAPD in 2013( Source: Huffington Post). There are plenty of Asians who are wronged by Whites. Some blatantly ,some underhanded like the one you see on the OSU. My advice to John: He's not the exception, he's a flunkie and White ( racist) society will est him up and spit him out. The sooner he learn that,the more aware he will be about the real world.

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  2. This is a great post on a topic that can be hard to write about, and it's right on time for me as a reminder as I start dating again. Thanks for taking the time to write this, and I'm so happy to see you posting again! Happy New Year. :-)

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  3. Great post! Glad you wrote about this, it is a difficult but necessary issue that if more people were willing to discuss it would help people as a whole.

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  4. Great post the same would aply not only to black women but to latinas like me to . So thank you

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  5. Great post the same would aply not only to black women but to latinas like me to . So thank you

    ReplyDelete