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Pet Sins November 2002

Four Profiles of Asian Women who have dated whites but not other people of color

Many Asians do not consider dating non-Asians who are people of color, or even fellow Asians from different ethnic groups. Blacks are the least favored in Asian intermarriage trends. However, there are relatively few Asians in America who will publicly admit having negative attitudes towards blacks. Others may express politically incorrect views privately to close friends while feeling a twinge of guilt. Yet others do not see themselves as racists at all. These individuals may not practice any active prejudice against non-whites, but still somehow limit their dating choices to whites even in an ethnically diverse environment.

Individual Asians don't consider dating non-white non-Asians for various reasons: attitudes towards blacks/Latinos/Native Americans could range anywhere on the scale from outright rejection to casual indifference - other people of color simply don't matter in their world. And perhaps, the cases of unquestioning indifference are the most difficult to diagnose and cure; it is hard to identify and address our prejudices when we can't even admit them to ourselves. Below are the profiles of 4 Asian women who date whites (the characters are based on real persons). Perhaps through them, people of all races can gain insight to our unspoken prejudices:

Woman 1:

Woman 1 was born in the US, in a minority enclave in a big city. Her family later moved to a nearly-all-white town, where she grew up. Woman 1 was interested in both whites and Asians during her high school years, but in adulthood, dated only Asian or Asian American men.

She does not consider dating blacks or Mexicans unless they have exceptional educational backgrounds. She says the "high black crime rate" is a turn-off. Woman 1 is ethnically East Asian. She does not find South Asians attractive although she is attracted to some whites and blacks.


Woman 2:

Woman 2 migrated to the US as a child and lived in a majority white state. She later moved to a more ethnically diverse city as an adult. To close friends, she admits she no longer find Asians attractive because of a few bad relationships. She says she prefers to "date whites".

Questions:

  • If she didn't want to date Asians, could she just as easily have said she would prefer to date "non-Asians" generally, but she never did.
  • Did dating Latinos, Native Americans and blacks never cross her mind?
  • She did have bad relationships with individual whites, Why doesn't she count those bad relationships against whites in general like she did with Asians?
  • To be fair, it should be said that Woman 2 has both white friends and black friends. She has expressed sympathy for the prejudiced faced by blacks.


    Woman 3:

    Woman 3 migrated to the US as a child. Her family lived in cities with large black populations. She has associated with working-class Latinos, specifically Mexicans. She appears to have a favorable impression of Latinos in general, whom she perceives to be hardworking and financially responsible. However, her views of black Americans are less positive. She cites personal experiences with black crime.

    Woman 3 said she did not find black men attractive, and would not consider dating one. She has dated a number of white men and Asian men. However, after exposure to other Asians who dated blacks, she started to see dating blacks as a possibility.


    Woman 4:

    Woman 4 migrated to the US as an adult. She lived in a country she considered socially repressive, and expressed an eagerness to participate in the "sexual freedom" of the US. She dated both Asians and European-descent whites in the US.

    She said, "I prefer to date whites because I feel that they are able to accept me for who I am. Americans are more open-minded than Asians in general."

    When someone asked her "But what about black Americans?" , she replied " I have nothing against black people but I feel that I have nothing in common with them. I know nothing about black culture."

    Questions:

  • What makes her feel she is more familiar with white culture?
  • Aren't African Americans part of American culture too?
  • In all fairness, Woman 4 has never expressed any negative attitudes towards blacks in public. If a black person asked her out, she probably won't reject him/her on the basis of race.