I caught Dave Chappelle's 2007 stand-up act Killing Them Softly on Comedy Central over the weekend. For all the feigned LOLs in this world, it's seldom that you actually "laugh out loud" - especially when you're alone. But this part did it for me.
I have a friend who’s on Match.com. We spent a couple
minutes perusing profiles, paying particular attention to the “my date”
criteria. On Match, people can select all the things they’re looking for in a
date, ethnicity included. We found one guy who checked off every box except
African American. But why? We needed answers!
So we decided to do some investigating.
My friend sent the guy a note. She
wrote something she thought he’d actually respond to – i.e., her friend’s
interest in him (which was purely fabricated, let me add). Here’s her email:
I've got a
friend with me who thinks you are interesting.
wondering why you don't list African Americans in your dating preferences?
cute and athletic - very smart and working in advertising.
We didn’t really expect him to respond. Too blunt of a question for someone to
address, we thought. But he did! Go Match guy!
answer to all your questions.........
First off I'd
like to say that I'm flattered by the fact that you are investing time in me
for your friends benefit not to mention the easy on the eyes statement your GF
has made about me.
The answer to
your question is really quite simple. I have it way bad for the dark haired,
olive to dark skinned, exotic, ethnic beauties of various backgrounds. I've
probably only dated 3 blondes in my life so I know the look that trips my
trigger & I'm very consistent. While I never discriminate, here on match
there is some criteria that I leave up to my discretion so as not to waist
others time or have me being matched up w/ women I'm simply not attracted to. I
prefer to be selective in the African American category & while I may be
missing many an opportunity based on others viewing my preferences &
passing me by I'd like to believe the girl for me knows that there are
certainly exceptions to the rule & more importantly the answer is no if you
don't ask. Basically no different than if a guy views your profile & his
income is only $68k, should he pass you over or take a chance. I believe our
profiles are simply a guideline but not cast in stone.
short the answer to your question is yes I'm open to dating African Americans,
I've yet to although I do have several female friends.
So many interesting and weird things here. Before I comment
on this, I’ll say that I appreciate the guy’s willingness to answer the question
as openly and honestly as he did.
Okay. Moving on.
Clearly his type – “dark
haired, olive to dark skinned, exotic, ethnic beauties of various backgrounds”
– encompasses African-American women and women of African descent… right? (I
mean, with all those “other than White” code words like “exotic” and “ethnic”).
In fact, his type doesn’t seem to describe Caucasian women at all. Or, at the
very least, based on his email I’d think he’d choose to be as select with
Caucasians as he would with African-Americans. So why did he check the
Caucasian box? So as not to discriminate or miss out on an opportunity, so it
seems. Which is contradictory to why he doesn’t include African-American women
in his litany of ethnicity preferences.
But nonetheless, if you’re a Black woman and you’re not
deterred by his total dismissal of “the African American category”, you must
come to him. Because you could be the
lucky exception to his rule! All you gotta do is ASK (otherwise the answer’s
no… which it was anyway because he states plainly on his profile that he’s not
in to you). Like his ideal African-American woman needs to cower to him. So
So to make a short story even shorter, my friend:
If you are really
open to dating African-American women it’d be wise to include them in the list
of ethnicities you’re interested in. Or, better yet, since you say you don’t
discriminate, maybe don’t even specify an “interested in” ethnicity on your
This Valentine’s Day, I spent the day dating myself. First,
I took myself to the movies (note to all you singles out there, try not to see
Up In The Air alone), then stopped in
a new-ish salon on State Street by Division for a $49.99 one-hour deep tissue
massage (deal of a lifetime!), and then cooked myself a delicious meal of lamb
chops and steamed broccoli.
All this auto-dating inevitably got me to thinking about
actual couples and actual Valentine’s Day, and what you’re actually supposed to
be doing on the hallmark holiday… ie, dating other people. But what people?
Specifically, what I
wondered – and have been wondering for quite some time:
When you have a “type”,
is it preference or prejudice?
For awhile, I’d been arguing that types are just preference.
And what’s so bad about that? We have models of the opposite sex in our lives
(our first loves, our brothers, sisters, parents, etc) and these help create what
we’re attracted to. Of course, there are tons of other factors that go into the
why of who we pick, but they’re
almost too complicated to get in to.
Or are they?
A few days ago, I came across this neat article on Time.com that
discusses dating sites and online personals listings, particularly focusing on
users’ “looking for” race specifications. The article cites some startling
“… a study published last year in Social
Science Research examined 1,558 profiles that white daters living in or near
big U.S. cities placed on Yahoo! Personals, which, much like Match, lists 10
racial and ethnic groups users can select as preferred dates. Among the women,
73% stated a preference. Of these, 64% selected whites only, while fewer than
10% included East Indians, Middle Easterners, Asians or blacks. The story is a
little different for the men, 59% of whom stated a racial preference. Of these,
nearly half selected Asians, but fewer than 7% did for black women.”
Okay – I’m not going
to totally hate on the White women
for their overwhelming preference for White guys. That’s like condemning Jewish
dating site JDate.com or BlackPeopleMeet.com – and I’m sure if the study did a
tally of Black women’s race preferences they’d see a strong showing for Black
What really wigs me
out here is the White guys’ preferences. Because – just a hunch – I highly
doubt that the majority of these men based their preference on personal
interactions. No, sweeping stereotypes put forth by media outlets (as the article
states, “media's portrayal of Asian women as being hypersexual and black women
as being bossy”) must have influenced the race boxes that these men checked when selecting
their dating preferences. Actually, strike that. Dating prejudices.
But taking a step
back, clearly we’re all guilty of it. I think that one reason people tend to
date within their race is because they assume common beliefs
and values. And yes, that’s stereotyping everyone within your race, assuming
they’re just like you because they sport your same skin color.
Course I’m guilty of it,
too. My prejudices tend to lead me towards a particular type: interracial, curly haired
laugh-lovers who enjoy movies, massages, and lamb chops.
Valentine’s Day turned out to be a home run.