Are interracial relationships really all that special?

(Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs.)

LaShawn Barber has a post up about interracial relationships. Specifically white male/black female pairings (there's a whole blog dedicated to discussing interracial relationships involving black women). The comments stray into some discussion of persons of group X who will only date inside/outside of their group for whatever reason. I've been lurking for several days now watching people make the usual arguments for and against (mostly for) interracial relationships. I've finally managed to put into words some of my thoughts on the matter.

First with the divorce rate in this country alone through the roof I don't see why people single out interracial relationships as being especially challenging or worrying. Worrying about a *perceived dilution of culture due to interracial relationships is suspect. Especially so when people of the same race/culture can't seem to maintain stable life long relationships. It is a bit like complaining about the speck in someone else's eye as they bob and weave to avoid being taken out by the log that is sticking out of your own eye. Worrying about deviations from the racial phenotypes that we've become comfortable with is just plain stupid.

Arguments for interracial relationships that rely on saying how good it will be to have everyone blended into one light brown race totally miss the point that humanity is already one race. There is just a great diversity in phenotypes. We tend to put a bit too much stock in the different groups that we have currently precipitated into based on similarities and differences in phenotypes. There will always be a diversity of phenotypes among humans. Interracial relationships won't change that. What interracial relationships might change is our perceptions of the various phenotypical groups.

Lastly, so what people date outside of their race for the wrong reasons? Clearly people date inside of their race for the wrong reasons (probably some of the same wrong reasons). When was the last time you heard anyone speculate that person A of group X was in a relationship with person B also of group X for the "wrong reasons"? It is usually the first thing that is mentioned when discussing persons of group X involved with persons of group Y. There's that speck again. Watch it with that log will you? Singling out interracial relationships for extra scrutiny on these grounds is, I won't say racist but it definitely reveals a level of unsavory prejudice.

*I say perceived because there need not be any loss or dilution of any culture in an interracial relationship. If anything it is more fertile ground for the preservation and enrichment of culture. If someone wishes to leave behind certain aspects or all of their originating culture then that is entirely their business to do so and none of anyone else's.


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