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Interracial Dating in a Time of Civil Unrest: Is your beau built for it?

Avoid wasting your time on a closeted bigot with these questions specially designed to navigate uncomfortable conversations, vet your suitor, and discover if he is the type of man that deserves the time of day. 

By: N'diah Love
By: N'diah Love

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Following the pubic lynching of beloved Minneapolis native George Floyd, there has been a stream of peaceful protests, uprisings, and rebellions. Thousands of American citizens have joined forces and organized protests from Oakland to New York City, calling for the conviction of disgraced Officer Derek Chauvin and 3 of his fellow officers. During this time of civil unrest, the last thing on many of our minds is dating. However, for those of us who may be in interracial relationships, it can be difficult discussing social justice issues, especially if you’re still in the honeymoon phase.

Below I have developed a list of questions to help you navigate these often— uncomfortable conversations, help you vet your suitor, and discover whether your current beau is down for the cause.

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Questions to Ask Yourself

I think these following questions are things you should be asking every suitor, despite the color of his skin. A bigot is a bigot. And no one wants to be two months into being swept off their feet to discover then that their new boyfriend is at the least, uninformed or the most, a complete closeted racist/sexist. It has happened to the best of us, however paying attention to the following signs and asking questions will save you a lot of time, exhaustion, and one-sided conversations.

  • Does he gaslight you when you bring up issues you feel strongly about?

For example: “Wasn’t George Floyd resisting arrest?” Or, “How do you know he was a good person?” “Why is everything always about race”?

  • Does he insist that all lives matter?
  • Is he dismissive?
  • Does he wave off conversations about white privilege, police brutality, and LGBTQI rights?
  • Is he combative and judgmental? Or Is he open-minded and thoughtful?
  • Does he undermine the implications of his male and/or white privilege?
  • Does he use microaggressions?

For example:  Does he make sly or negative comments about other people? Does he comment on your wigs or makeup?

Questions to Ask Your Beau

These questions are conversation starters and can (and should) be asked as early as possible. They are concise but do not come off judge-y or accusatory.

  • What charities do you donate to? Or would you mind donating to _______ charity?
  • How do you use your privilege to help others?
  • Have you ever witnessed blatant racism? How did it make you feel?
  • How did your parents talk to you about racism and sexism?

Understand that your feelings are valid, and if your man doesn’t have empathy or compassion about your values, DROP or DEMOTE HIM. There is no right way to bring up racism, or any other “-ism” for that matter, but these conversations are necessary. And his reaction will tell you everything you need to know to move forward or to drop him completely.

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