Increased interracial dating serves, for some, as strong, heartwarming evidence for the existence of a post-racial world. With a significant jump in the percentage of newlywed couples in interracial marriages--from 3.2% in 1980 to about 15% in 2010--it's hard to believe that race-based restrictions on marriage were only completely invalidated in 1967.
Others, however, are quick to point out the race and gender imbalances behind interracial dating. My Chinese-American ex-boyfriend once pointed out an Asian woman and a white man locking hands as they left a store together in Times Square. "I'd like that more," he whispered to me as he shook his head, barely hiding his disdain for the young couple, "but you never see it the other way around. No Asian man is considered attractive enough to be in that kind of relationship."
The black man occupies a unique space in American culture. He is an aggressive and inherently violent threat to society. Both insatiable and lazy, he is creator of chaos and maker of his own inevitable demise; he is forever guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He does not feel pain, or remorse, or empathy. As angry and volatile as their female counterparts, black men, by their very presence, give society reason to assume the defensive. He is simultaneously invisible and ever present in the minds and lives of white America. A non-citizen, he holds no right to self-defense.
Debased, filthy and unworthy, black men, we are told, are sexual deviants incapable of either desiring or maintaining healthy, meaningful relationships.
I have been in a middle-distance relationship (MDR) for just over a year. My partner and I live about 3 hours away from each other by car, and see each other every 2-3 weeks. Everyone is familiar with the perils of a long-distance relationship: lack of trust, infidelity, lack of physical intimacy, and the distance just getting between the lovers. With all these challenges, knowingly entering into an MDR might seem crazy. But for me, my middle-distance relationship has helped me regain my self-worth, autonomy, and intimacy within a relationship...