Let’s get interracial for a minute here.
I am a longtime advocate of interracial relationships. I don’t remember the last time a child in my family was born of less than two races. I believe in tasting the rainbow, following your heart, throwing caution to the wind, and not restricting your dating pool based on something trivial like race. I believe that couples who can overcome cultural gaps grow stronger because of it, and I believe that expanding your horizons is a lot more fun than sticking to the same old thing.
But what if… what if it IS a racial fetish? How can you tell? How do you know if the interracial relationship you’re in is legitimate, or if you’re just proving everyone else right?
The good news is that you’re most likely doing just fine, and you shouldn’t let hecklers get to you. Very rarely have I ever seen an interracial relationship come about that was based on a sexual fetish for race, and even those rarely last long, one party quickly realizing just how boring it is to stick by a person they’re just not into. If she hasn’t run away from you screaming in less than three weeks, you’re probably not pursuing her because of a racial fetish, and you can stop sweating, start focusing on your relationship, and laugh together at those who just don’t get it.
The bad news is that it’s absolutely possible to slip into a situation where you’re pursuing an interracial relationship because of a racial fetish, and if you find yourself in this situation you are destined to crash and burn, my friend.
With that in mind, here are two things you should keep an eye out for so you can avoid taking your interracial relationship in the wrong direction.
Are you after a woman of a certain race, or is she simply a woman you’re after?
This one is a little confusing at first, but let me elaborate. The man who is in an interracial relationship because of a racial fetish is a man who specifically seeks out one single race. He is not more attracted to a certain race than other races—which does happen and which I am guilty of myself—but he does put a certain race on a pedestal above all others. Nobody will blame you or judge you for simply being attracted to one race more than another; it is when you start denying all other women only because of their race, nothing more, that pursuing a racial fetish comes into question. For the man who has a racial fetish, a woman is a goal simply because she is white or black or Asian, not because she is a white or black or Asian woman who is funny, intelligent, and attractive.
Do you brag about her because of how she makes you look, or do you brag about her because of how awesome she is?
This one is a little more direct and straightforward. Every man brags about his girlfriend, and if you aren’t bragging about yours I suggest you re-evaluate your relationship. Every man thinks he has the prettiest, smartest, funniest, best girl in the entire world. And that’s how it should be: he should be focusing on her qualities, the things that separate her from other women. It’s how we know that a man is madly in love with a woman—he just can’t get enough! But red flags will fly when he stops focusing on how great she is and he starts focusing about how great she makes him look. For the man who has a racial fetish, a woman’s qualities are irrelevant. She could be dumb as a post, mean as a snake, or vegetative and drooling down her chin as long as she represents the right accessory to him; she is little more than the right tie or a good pair of shoes.
When you’re in an interracial relationship where one person is nothing more than a thing or an object, you’re staring in the face of racial fetishism.
Being in an interracial relationship is hard enough. We are on the cusp of an era where behind us are generations of discrimination and ahead of us are generations that will do things we could never dream of even ten years ago. We are the generation that represents change, and we bear the burden of proving that change and acceptance of interracial relationships is something worth embracing as a society. The future of interracial acceptance is on our shoulders and is watching us as we bravely walk down the sidewalk hand-in-hand with someone it was once illegal to be with.
And this is why it is imperative that we avoid situations where we pursue someone of another race as a means of showing off arm candy or our status in society and proving to the hecklers that interracial relationships aren’t worth anything. If we are to be taken seriously and not accused of pursuing a racial fetish, we must focus on the beauty of blending two cultures into one. We must focus on the blessing of getting to experience something our grandparents never did. We must focus on our ability to bring earth-shattering change to the world.
And most of all, we must cherish having found someone who can handle our quirks, our highs, our lows, and our special breed of insanity—regardless of their race.