To the white men who told me that they “prefer” white women
*This piece has been expanded to include an addendum, Click here.*
I am sorry, but exclusively dating white women is not “just a preference.”
At the root of your exclusion of women of color from your dating pool lies a deep-seated allegiance to whiteness so that you and your kin can continue to benefit from white privilege. Further, straying from white women as your partners of choice could have dastardly consequences that result in the dilution of your family and your own perceived whiteness.
So, let’s make it clear: No one is the passive victim of their own internalized biases. It is not a coincidence that the girl that you had relations with last week looks like your sister, mom, aunt or the random Gap ad you found yourself staring at for a little too long.
You have had choices this cuffing season and every other cuffing season. And to think that you don’t, or that your romantic attraction is out of your control, you’re kidding both yourself and everyone around you.
You exclusively date white women because trying to understand someone else’s world is too difficult — and white privilege is as valuable as gold in a country overflowing with Trump apologists and white resentment.
Not to mention, there is a worldwide cultural obsession with looking, acting and appealing to whiteness in romance. Many women of color are encouraged from a young age to use skin-lightening creams, use apps to make their eyes wider and conform to white societal standards of beauty. The entire world is tied into this white privilege.
And you, Mr. “I-only-date-white-girls” reinforce the intrinsic value of whiteness in this nation.
Saying that you “prefer” white women is racist. Well, maybe not racist to you, except it’s hard for me to find another word to refer to someone making negative assessments of large groups of individuals that they’ve never met, based solely on the color of their skin. It’s ultimately a bigoted and harmful way to think about potential partners.
Saying that you prefer certain women to others not only reinforces stereotypes about women of color, but white women too. Arguing that you prefer white women based on the presuppositions that white women are inherently more beautiful, passive, kind or financially-stable is — you guessed it — racist!
And not only is it racist, but it’s insincere.
You know that a white woman will let you ignore your privilege a lot more than a woman of color will. Shoot, a majority of white women voted for Trump. For the most part, women of color aren’t going to put up with that. Unless her name is Omarosa.
Let me be clear: I don’t expect you to reject your white privilege.
But don’t act like you don’t have it, like you’re not protecting it or that it doesn’t exist.