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Instructor
Original Poster
#1 Old 3rd Sep 2011 at 3:09 PM Last edited by McChoclatey : 3rd Sep 2011 at 5:56 PM. Reason: Topic change.
Default Is It Racist to Not Want to Date Someone Based on The Color of Their Skin?
I've heard so many people say, "I only date Black girls," or "I only date White girls." But would that be considered racist or a preference? Can skin color be a preference?

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Alchemist
#2 Old 3rd Sep 2011 at 4:24 PM
I think it really is a preference. Not only because of the colour, but because of the fact that physical features differ from race to race, so it can be a preference. I don't consider it racism at all.

I would personally date any guy I like, no matter the race, as long as I like his looks and personality, but tastes are tastes.

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Theorist
#3 Old 3rd Sep 2011 at 4:27 PM
I would call it a preference since people talk about only dating blonds and nobody cares, it shouldn't be different if someone only wants to date black people. Now I believe that only dating people who look a certain way (brunette, skinny, nice breasts, etc.) is pretty stupid but that's a totally different issue.

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Instructor
#4 Old 3rd Sep 2011 at 4:54 PM
No. The dictionary def. of Racisms is below. This doesn't fit the bill.

1. the belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others
2. abusive or aggressive behaviour towards members of another race on the basis of such a belief

Everyone likes what they like.
Lab Assistant
#5 Old 3rd Sep 2011 at 5:55 PM
I think it's complicated. On the one hand, we all have our physical preferences; no one can deny that. Everyone has certain qualities that they are just intrinsically attracted to more than others. In many cases, it's all about the community you grow up in. Someone who grows up in a town populated with people of a particular race will often feel more attracted to men and/or women of that background. It's human nature.

On the other hand, one can take the statement: "I only date white/black/Asian/etc. girls and/or guys" and ask just why they focus on that group. I've come across similar discussions in other forums where a few posters brought up the point that every race has millions (in some cases billions) of people with an innumerable range of physical characteristics. In that case, how can we all comfortably say "I only date people from this race" and not feel that there might be something more than issues of attraction behind it?

Like I said, it's a very complicated issue, and responses like "it's racist" or "it's just a preference" don't cut it. I believe issues such as culture, similarities and differences in life experiences, and many more components factor into it.
Scholar
#6 Old 3rd Sep 2011 at 8:31 PM
I prefer guys with dark hair and brown eyes, but I think it would be a pretty harsh statement to say I would never concider the opposite. To state that I would NEVER pick anyone else. I don't see it as racist though, more to what you prefer. I'm a caucasian myself, and I prefer something else than blonde/blue eyes. I think this has more to do with our physical preferences, but you should always be careful when using the word NEVER. You .. never... know
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#7 Old 3rd Sep 2011 at 9:52 PM Last edited by Element Leaf : 4th Sep 2011 at 12:35 AM.
Not finding someone attractive =/= not thinking someone is equal to you in rights and respect. It's as simple as that, really.

EDIT: I don't appreciate Wojtek sticking Poland into irrelevant threads and don't wish to humor him.
Scholar
#8 Old 3rd Sep 2011 at 9:55 PM
I think it's a matter of preference. I don't think that most people choose their partner solely based on appearance, but appearance plays an important part in attraction. You don't have a whole lot of control over how you look, but you also don't have a whole lot of control over what you find attractive. I find tall, dark-haired men with dark eyes attractive, but I didn't decide that I find this attractive; I simply realized that many of the men I find attractive share those traits. I've never had a crush on an East Asian man, not because I dislike East Asians, but because the facial features I find most attractive are not often found in East Asians. What I'm getting at is that the things you find attractive in a person's appearance are not a conscious bias, but rather preference that you have no control over.
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#9 Old 3rd Sep 2011 at 10:41 PM
Hmmm, I agree more with BurgundyStars but what I really think is that it depends on the person making the statement. On one hand there are those who like many in the thread have said that it is just a matter of preference in regards to what that person find's attractive but on the other hand there are racist people, so they will disregard that ethnic group because of racism and in that case it is racist.
It should be taken on a person to person basis since there is no genral definitive answer to fit all.

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Alchemist
#10 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 12:05 AM
no, its not racist. what skin/hair/eye color a person finds more aesthetically pleasing than others is no more malice-based than painting a childs' nursery green instead of blue or pink.

i wouldnt fret over what others specify as credentials for their mate. there are reasons for most standards (just as we have standards of personality that we hold to a potential mate; who's going to start whining about how you wont give someone you dont enjoy being around for whatever reason 'a chance'? for example, maybe you dont like cocky people--thats a bias, but it rubs you the wrong way. should you have to endure what you know you dont find pleasing, for the sake of appearing 'fair'?), and while you may not agree with them, its also not a big concern of yours.

i think most people forget where their nose does and does not belong, sometimes. what color someone sleeps with is no more your business than what gender they are.


perhaps the question should be asked: why is it considered more 'shallow' to scrutinize someones appearance than it is to scrutinize their personality?

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Field Researcher
#11 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 12:09 AM
Its not racist everyone has a right too date who they wanna date its all a matter of preference.
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#12 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 1:30 AM
It tend to think that while, at a basic level, it's not racist to have sexual preferences about certain racial characteristics, sexual preference is a very acceptable and easy way to mask ingrained (perhaps not even conscious) racism.

I certainly look at the HUGE number of gay dating profiles that say "No offense Asian guys, just not into you" in New Zealand and think - yeah, this is a form of widespread racism.

I think it is far too easy to simply say sexual preference is never an expression of racism. I think more often than not it is.

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Instructor
Original Poster
#13 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 3:36 AM
Interesting answers...thanks for your opinions, everyone. For the record, I don't have anything against anyone for not wanting to date someone of a specific race. They can date whoever they want to date. I hold no anger against them. But I was wondering this a while back and I couldn't figure it out. It's possible that someone wants to date someone who is of their own race because they feel more comfortable; they have more in common with them. It's possible that certain traits people of different races most often carry may be deemed unattractive by someone, and that's okay. I was thinking that anyone of any race can be attractive, but now, to me, it depends on the person for what they find the most attractive and who they find the most beauty in. Not everyone thinks in the same way; I forgot that. I wasn't thinking this debate topic thoroughly, and now, I've delved too much into this--sorry if I came off as nosy. I was curious.

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Scholar
#14 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 5:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi_tea
It tend to think that while, at a basic level, it's not racist to have sexual preferences about certain racial characteristics, sexual preference is a very acceptable and easy way to mask ingrained (perhaps not even conscious) racism.

I certainly look at the HUGE number of gay dating profiles that say "No offense Asian guys, just not into you" in New Zealand and think - yeah, this is a form of widespread racism.

I think it is far too easy to simply say sexual preference is never an expression of racism. I think more often than not it is.


I think that it may be an expression of racism sometimes, but I wouldn't say that it is more often than not. It is somewhat close-minded to say "x race need not apply" when advertising yourself for online dating, but I think it's more a function of our tendency to generalize. If a person has seen/met many people of a particular race and never felt attracted to a member of that race, he/she may take a cognitive leap and decide that he/she will never be attracted to a member of that race. Note my use of the term "cognitive leap", as this is not completely logical, but a form of inductive reasoning that people engage in, nonetheless. In some cases, it may be that the person is very picky and only likes a very specific set of features and does not want anyone without those specific features. A fair number of people seem to think that they're hot stuff who can get anyone they want, and they want a hot girl/boyfriend. People like that are fooling themselves and are unlikely to end up in a happy relationship so long as they remain so focused on finding someone that looks perfectly like their ideal, with no thought to personality, but it doesn't make them racist.

I just don't really buy what people say about most people or everyone being subconscious racists. I think there are some people who are in denial about their racism or who do not advertise it, but that most people get along just fine with other races. I think most of the divide attributed to racism is actually a cultural divide. It is easier to relate to someone you share culture with, so you might be more willing to hang out with those who share your culture. There is somewhat of a cultural divide, in America, at least, between the various races and within races. This divide is blurry, as not everyone fits neatly into a predictable category. In areas where the culture doesn't teach people to be racist, those who fall outside of standard racial-cultural divisions are still accepted into whatever culture(s) they fit in.

Sorry about the sort-of off-topic-ness, but I think this addresses the point that McChoclatey brings up about people feeling more comfortable with those of similar race.
Instructor
#15 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 5:50 AM
Well it depends on the person who says it. maybe he/she think about thier future soulmate with a specific skin colour.
but i think it's kinda racist ;x
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#16 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 5:56 AM
I would tend to think the use of such cognitive leaps often constitutes racism itself. Not intentional racism, but in all practical senses: Racism.

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Scholar
#17 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 6:06 AM
Racism is generally defined as the belief that one or more races is inferior to (an)other(s). Most people do not regard aesthetic preference as a standard of the 'worth' of a particular race. Cognitive leaps in other regards - the belief that all members of a particular race follow a certain negative stereotype, which one regards as negative - are racism, as they would incite feelings of negativity toward another race. I think most of us are not so wrapped up in appearances that we are offended by everyone who doesn't look sexually attractive or otherwise beautiful to us.

EDIT: I think I can put this more clearly: Most people view aesthetics as merely a matter of taste. When a person says that x thing is beautiful, they are not claiming it as a universal fact. They are claiming it as a personal mental state. Racism generally involves some claim of universal fact, as there is an implication of universality in a claim of inferiority/superiority.
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#18 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 12:17 PM Last edited by missy harries : 4th Sep 2011 at 11:16 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Element Leaf
Not finding someone attractive =/= not thinking someone is equal to you in rights and respect. It's as simple as that, really.


EDIT: I'm also an Idiot so Element Leaf's statement is true.

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Now what dammit?
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#19 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 12:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by missy harries
though elderly seem to think they have more right than us sometimes!

Really?? Wait till you're old.
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#20 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 1:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wojtek
@Element Leaf: If you don't want to read my posts just skip them and do not write stupid comments!


Um, I gotta say, I agree with Element Leaf. Not everything relates to Poland, and this thread is about dating someone based on the colour of their skin. It is not a general racism-related thread. Please stay on topic or do not post.
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#21 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 2:08 PM
Then perhaps you need not participate in this thread.
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Scholar
#22 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 8:03 PM
If you don't know what to say about something, maybe you shouldn't respond to the topic.

It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the fact that you've never talked to a non-white person.

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Theorist
#23 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 8:16 PM
Normally, I wouldn't date ladies who are black. I say ladies because I don't want to say girls, and ladies implies that they are over 18 but younger than 28. Sorry if that offends you. But there have been a few ladies who are black that had magical qualities to me. There was one in particular that was almost irresistible to me.

She resembled a nerdy librarian, had freckles, and liked Steven King. We had a few silent moments, but I never advanced because she was black and I wasn't. What might have been had come and gone because I wouldn't break the race barrier. She pops into my head every now and then.
Field Researcher
#24 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 8:41 PM Last edited by unalisaa : 4th Sep 2011 at 8:56 PM.
This is a really difficult question to answer. Yes, if you're turning people down purely on the basis of their race, it can be because of racism. But it's not in the interest of a member of the minority group to be dating a racist in the first place, so it's a "victimless crime", so to speak. I don't think a lack of romantic or sexual attraction is necessarily racist, but unprocessed racism can cause lack of romantic or sexual attraction. As long as one properly examines oneself -- even if one reaches an unpleasant conclusion --, I think one is on the safe side.
It's hard, though, because there's always the issue of whether one's attractions are based on internalised societal norms or what have you. If one is attracted to Caucasian features, is that simply because one has come to accept the norms of what is attractive?
Quote:
Originally Posted by McChoclatey
Can skin color be a preference?

No one likes hearing about what pushes unalisaa's buttons, but personally, I do have a thing for paleness -- as opposed to tanned skin. I have, however, come to understand that this is a slightly unusual preference, and I think that a lot of the time, the skin colour thing is used as an excuse for underlying racism. I see a lot of people who have quite dark skin thanks to various bronzers, and they seem to be considered attractive even by people who "just aren't into ... dark ... [chicks/guys]".
Moreover, this is in no way the only criterion that I use to gauge attractiveness in members of my preferred gender, and I doubt that "skin colour" genuinely ranks that high on that many people's list. It's a way of trying to explain something that really is quite complicated. In other words, kiwi_tea worded this so much more concisely than I did:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi_tea
It tend to think that while, at a basic level, it's not racist to have sexual preferences about certain racial characteristics, sexual preference is a very acceptable and easy way to mask ingrained (perhaps not even conscious) racism.

I certainly look at the HUGE number of gay dating profiles that say "No offense Asian guys, just not into you" in New Zealand and think - yeah, this is a form of widespread racism.

I think it is far too easy to simply say sexual preference is never an expression of racism. I think more often than not it is.


I realise this is something of a rambling post, but I'm thinking maybe it's not a question of racism, actually. It's about beauty standards that may be derived from racism. You can reconsider them, much as you can reconsider the whole "blonde women with huge breasts" thing, but ultimately, attraction is such a personal matter that I don't think it's anyone's business but the owner of said feelings'.

Element_Leaf put it quite well. Not being attracted to someone doesn't mean you don't respect them as a person.
And even if your lack of attraction has racist roots... it's simply not relevant in your everyday life, if the only racism you are guilty of is concerning whether a certain characteristic is attractive or not. Not any more than it's sexist to have preferences that coincide with patriarchal beauty standards for women, as long as you understand that not thinking someone is attractive is no grounds for treating them as unworthy in some way. That's another can of horrible killer bees altogether.

Quote:
Originally Posted by missy harries
Just because I don't find somebody physically appealing or attractive does not mean I think of them as less!
I don't find the old dog man (he's always out with his dog ) down the road attractive and I know he has the same rights (though elderly seem to think they have more right than us sometimes!), I'm also very respectful so that statement is untrue.

... you don't know what =/= means, do you?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wojtek
Having no contact with non-white people doesn't make me incapable of answering a question. I think it's just a matter of preference. Having talked to my friends a long time ago I remember they wouldn't like to date a non-white person because of the cultural reasons.

Wojtek, you are something of a difficult person to discuss race with, but I do want to say this: what's with the assumption that one holds a certain set of cultural values because of one's looks? And what's with the assumption that one's cultural background is representable of one as a person? I've known quite a few people who have rejected/are actively rejecting the cultural background they grew up in as they became more conscious of it. Culture is not an excuse for anything, least of all one's personality.

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#25 Old 4th Sep 2011 at 9:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by unalisaa
... you don't know what =/= means, do you?


I don't no, I've never come across it and I was wondering what the point to it was!
Some enlightenment from somebody would be nice please, google's no help for it and at least then I'll know how much I misinterpreted that post

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