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Interracial dating: Can whites ever really understand the black experience?


Dear Deborrah:

I have been in a relationship that I would like to think of as a healthy one, but there are things that I just do not know about him. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and always had friends of many different races. 


But when I talk with my boyfriend about things such as hair, perms, and special needs, etc. he always points out that I do not know and understand anything he is talking about. The truth is that he is the first Black man I have ever dated and I really don't understand what he is talking about.


How can he being a black man and I being a white woman differ that much?


You are my only hope of answering these questions for me; I have no one else to turn to. I'm confused! I care about him more than I have ever felt for anyone. I have gone against my entire family to be with him. I just want to understand where he is coming from in all angles, please help me!


Signed,

Confused in the Black Love


Dear Confused:

How can him being a Black man and you being a White woman be that different?  I'm surprised you have to even ask that question! Where have you been living for your entire life honey?  Though I grew up in San Francisco too, I am still very aware of the vast differences in experiences that White people (especially White females) have as compared to that of a Black woman and especially those of a Black male.


The Black experience in America is something very few Whites can really understand, as you move through life in a world that is designed by and for you.


Hairdos and cuisine are easy things to learn about. But how do you explain the feeling of being followed around in a department store by store detectives for no reason other than you fit some stupid racist profile of a thief when you have 10 credit cards and $500 in cash in your pocket?


How can he explain to you the rage he feels when pulled over and placed face down on filthy cement, asked rude questions and searched just because he is a Black man driving down the street in the "wrong" neighborhood at a "suspicious" time?


How can he explain to you the frustration he feels when he applies for a job and is totally the best qualified person for the position, but he sees it go to someone with less education, less experience, and less capabilities all the way around just because they are White?


How can he explain to you the feeling of abandonment many Black women feel when they see Black men with White women? How could you understand the pain and loss an African American man or woman feels when hearing stories of how your great -great grandparent was dragged out of his house in front of his wife and children and lynched by a mob of drunken white men for entertainment?

I am not trying to be mean to you, just to raise your awareness of the fact that you are being very naïve if you think that our experiences are all the same. The answer here may be as simple as you over-romanticized the idea of being with someone who is not part of your culture and your upbringing.


Patience is the prescription of the day. If you really love him, listen to him and teach him things about your culture and history as he teaches you about his. Don't ever assume to know anything he is saying and never dismiss his anger or frustration with racial issues by telling him that he should "get over it" or that "racism doesn't exist anymore because we have a Black president" or that laws that give minorities equal opportunities are no longer needed because things are different.


Don't you dare do that to him.


And if you find that this educational process is too hard, too confusing or too painful to deal with, reconsider the relationship. An interracial relationship requires even more understanding, tolerance, strength and patience than one between two people of the same race with very similar backgrounds and upbringing.


You also have nothing to gain by continuing to rebel against your family in order to stay in a relationship that is too confusing or borders on being unhealthy and detrimental to your self-esteem.  I know you love him, but sometimes love really isn't enough.


Comments

  • WTF 4 years ago

    Guess what? Using your same logic I'm going to pose a question for you. Can blacks ever understand the white experience?

    By saying that no one but blacks can ever understand the black experience you are isolating yourself (blacks) behind a wall. But its easier to do that than to actually honestly look at yourself and take some personal responsibility. Blacks are no different than whites, asians, or latinos. We all bleed red blood. My dear, YOU are the real racist, because you keep spewing this trash that constantly focuses on our racial differences instead of what we all share. Grow up. and start taking some personal responsibility instead of blaming whites for misunderstanding you. The guilt trip is getting old.

  • JB 4 years ago

    I tried to respond to your gripping analysis. Being a white man of course my opinion has no value. As we know the Truth is inappropriate.

  • Bubba 4 years ago

    There are 2 sides to every story. Face down in the cement? It's been my observation that for a good 30 years now blacks have been given preferential treatment. In the military, universities, jobs qualifications. But that's o.k. I come from the 60's and in those days we tried to get along. I tried to be friends only to be rebuffed by blacks all along the way. It is they who put up the barriers in my experience. There's no time to explicate this whole neurotic scenario in this setting. I don't know the answer but stop blaming, stop whining already. True racism ended probably before you were born. What exists now is something else maybe just as horrible but more of a standoff that will most likely continue for a long time.

  • chle237 4 years ago

    I am a black woman...I feel the same as everyone on here...It needs to stop. I hate when other people speak for me. Not all black people feel this way. I agree-- "We sometime isolate ourselves behind a BriCK wall" We are all the same.. the only thing that seperate us is US.

  • Victor--Seattle Singles Scene 4 years ago

    I agree love isn't always enough. But I don't agree she should "fall in line" with her family. She's not the one who is wrong. They are. If she loves him and he loves her she should stick by him and learn from him. There may be a cultural divide at this time. But it can be bridged because both of them are human and therefore are more alike than different. The Human Genome Project reported a few years ago humans are genetically 99.9% identical. And the .1% that separates us doesn't provide enough information for geneticists to determine who is what race. So race is a social construction not a scientific construct. Unfortunately this social construction was used to justify Slavery and Jim Crow. And the cultural residue of those policies and practices is still with us in the public and private sectors. Fortune 500 CEOs and the Supreme Court are mostly White males...but not because White males make the best CEOs or Justices.

  • Deborrah Cooper 4 years ago

    Yawn. All this rhetoric you all are spewing is cute, but its unrealistic. Though I certainly appreciate that there are White people in this country that are not racist, the fact is that racism is still alive and doing quite well thank you in every aspect of existence for African Americans. Search for Oscar Grant killed by a White BART police officer in Oakland. In front of dozens of witnesses, he did nothing but ended up dead. And Whites are defending his actions. This type of thing happens daily in this country. So if you think this is "getting old" then you need to tell that to your White counterparts and get them to stop their behavior. Don't tell me as a Black woman to stop complaining about it, just because you don't want to hear the truth about YOUR folks, their attitudes and their negative actions against MY folks.

    Lastly, the girl said in her letter that she doesn't understand what her man is talking about, so why are you trying to blame that on me???

  • A Great Spirit 4 years ago

    1. If a black woman uses the realtionship of another to give her perception she is lacking, it has nothing to do with a black man dating a white woman; the issue is who she is as a woman.

    2. I have experienced much of the same you are speaking of in being stopped, eyed, and followed in a store, AND I am a white woman. Not Everything is about the color of a person's skin, it is circumstance.

    3. I was in love with a black man when I was very young and "fell in line" due to my family, but only because he did not want me to ruin my relationship with them. Twenty-two years later we have "found" each other; you are an idiot if you believe "true love" has anything whatsoever to do with the color of a person's skin, or cultural influences. What I don't know about him, what he doesn't know about me, intellectually, emotionally, mentally,cultural differences or experiences, we love each other enough to learn.

    WE do not choose our soul mates, trust me. You sound like a racist.

  • edward 3 years ago

    Im not judging anyone,
    But I dated white woman and i was always frustrated by them,
    presupposed idea's,
    some kind of atitude ,
    I never dated a mexican girl but I know it would be different, and seem like more normal feeling as the culture is different,
    I know mexican woman can cook too, so that's a good thing,

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    I understand your pain as a black women being hurt by racism, bit if you say that love is not enough then what is. Of course racism is still out ther but thumbs up to any interracial couple who is confident in each oher to battle it. I belive the that the more interacial couples we see in America means that this country is making progress in its attitudes toward skin color. I am a black man and if the women is for me no matter what color she is I am going to love her. Give yourself some freedom and do the same.

  • Ozzy 2 years ago

    Maybe they will understand the black experience if they try the black experience.

    www.matchowl.com best free online dating site ever!

  • Angi 7 months ago

    What are hidden racist answer.Bottom line- nobody understund black man same us black woman.hehehe
    And second things-diging in the past will bring you nowhere...I am half jew.Do you know what Hitler and people done to us diuring second war??
    This what you writting about is just bunch of stereotypes...Nothing else,which obviously everbody is having,even black people about whites.Belive me you are not holy either.So you thinking that white woman are easy,selfish,not good mothers and obviously we are kinky as well and we like to cheat white husbands with black guys because we just feeling boring...
    About black woman feeling abadon when they see a black guy with white woman...Hhehe.Are you hipokrit or you are quite old.Do you know how independent are black woman nowadays and with how many black girls my black boyfriend had are friendship with benefits.So what are you talking about??
    Who feels abadon.
    And this girl should talk about Barack Obama to her boyfriend,because it's a simbol that whites and black can be uniterd,live togheter,and US nation chosed him because of intellect,inteligence,spirit and strengh.
    Stop to have mentality of the victim and giving advices to the people is not your cap of tea.You out of the date.

  • Chelle 4 months ago

    Wow, you need to chill! Whether you meant to be mean or not, that's precisely what you were.

    First of all, not everyone takes racism lightly. I happen to be ultra sensitive to the subject, and while I may never fully comprehend the black experience, at least I try.

    As for the sense of loss you seem to feel whenever you see a black man with a white woman: get over it. I'm white, and for years it irritated me to death, to see white men with Asian girls; now I could care less because I suddenly realized my sense of loss was ludicrous considering said men would have never been interested in me regardless of Asian girls. You can't lose something you've never possessed and never will.

    Interracial dating is probably the best thing to happen to the world - this is one of the quickest methods toward eliminating racism and prejudice. It pretty hard to be racist when you're in bed with someone of a different colour.

    Oh, and by the way, if the genetic engineers are correct, technically there's no such thing as race - minor genetic differences, yes, but ultimately there is no major dichotomy to suggest racial divides.

  • davange 4 months ago

    I am going with a black man, and I don't care what pople think, I love him so much, and nothing, nothing on earth would stop me loving him, No racist scum will ever separate us,LOVE IS ALL THAT COUNTS IN THIS MAD WORLD.

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