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Question for Discussion: When do Dating Preferences become Racist?

by Grant Langston - Senior Director, Content

Question for  Discussion: When do Dating Preferences become Racist?

True story…

 A good friend of mine takes a young lady to dinner for a first date. They are having a very good time. They are each into their 2nd glass of wine when they start talking about past relationships. (Yes, big faux pas in my book.) At a certain point she says, “I’ve tried dating Mexican guys, but it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t know if it’s their culture or what, but I have problems getting along with them.”  

 He was stunned by what he saw as several unpleasant indicators. He stuttered around for a minute and changed the subject. The evening was otherwise pretty great, and now he’s wondering, when it comes to dating – Where does preference stop and racism start?

 Specifically he told me his concerns:

 –Maybe she was talking specifically about Mexican men, but some people use Mexican as a catch-all for every Latino group. That seemed a little suspect to him.

 –She blamed not getting along with four men on their culture? What about just not getting along with these four men? She’s probably been out with 20 white men that didn’t work out, and it’s doubtful she would’ve blamed it on the culture. She was white, by the way.

 –He doesn’t want to fall in love with this woman only to find out that she is harboring some ugly prejudices.

He could’ve asked for more detail on the date, but he was a little shocked. He can revisit the topic and if he likes her he might have to. But he was wondering if he just over-reacted, and I think it’s a fair question. Is it okay to say something like this and pass it off as an attraction preference for one ethnic group over another?

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