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#211 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 12:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama
It doesn't really sound like you are interested in opening your mind to other points of view either, considering you have already stated that this is racist and that some people here don't want to understand that. You say this as though it is an undeniable fact. Is there a Racism Handbook that I am unaware of? No one has to agree, but there certainly doesn't have to be any beating into submission either.
I have, repeatedly, opened my mind to other points of view on this topic.
I have considered where people are coming from, and what their opinions are. I have read what they are using to back up those opinions.
My conclusion is that the statement is racist.
I can understand that it may be more difficult for other people to come to the same conclusion. Not everyone knows history. Not everyone understands that racism isn't limited to the KKK. Not everyone comprehends institutionalized racism. Not everyone can see the messages we are given about black people by the media, by authority figures, by the shopkeeper down the street.
Threads like this can be enlightening, to those who read the posts with an open mind. It's not fun to find that you may hold racist thoughts in your head. Racism is a loaded term, one none of us want to claim.

I can't say that I understand not being attracted to black people, or to people with dark skin (they are not interchangeable). I have always been attracted to people with dark skin and dark features. But, I can say that it took me a long time to understand why my black sisters were angry with me for dating black men. How they saw me as the oppressor, taking away their potential mates. They saw me taking advantage of the ideas put in the heads of my black boyfriends - ideas that said that black wasn't good enough. Ideas that white was better, superior
When I figured that out, figured out how I was contributing to the issue in my way, I was astounded and ashamed. I never looked at my relationships so closely. I had never realized that the racism that coarsed through everything, everywhere, had affected so many black people in that way.

My point? I'm not saying that black people shouldn't date anyone outside of other black people. Not for a second. I am saying that we should all realize that racism affects us all. That the racism that we encounter EVERY DAY in so many different forms IS NOT BENIGN. And that we may not realize that we have been affected. And we may not see how far racism has reached. And we may not understand all the facets of our lives that racism has infected or impacted.

But, just because we don't see it. Just because we don't yet understand, doesn't mean it isn't there. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

"I don't date black people" is a racist statement.


"I'm not attracted to dark skin" likely comes from a place which has been infected by racist ideas.


These are my beliefs. But, they did not come from a place of close-mindedness. I had to open my mind wide to come to a more complete understanding of racism. I had to challenge my ideas of what racism is. And I had to think critically about racism. This has not been an easy path for me. It has been wrought with arguments and soul-searching. Some discussions have nearly come to blows. Racism is a loaded and complex topic. And the justifications for "I don't date black people" and "I'm not attracted to dark skin" have not taken that complexity into account.

I read every post in this thread. I read them with an open mind. I didn't hold firm to my initial reaction that the statement is racist. I loosened my hold on that belief so that I could more fully take everyones viewpoints into consideration. So that I could weigh, and reweigh the arguments.

And, still, I come to the same conclusion.

I don't see how anyone who has done the same amount of soul-searching, critical thinking, and close reading can come to a different conclusion. I have to ask if they've been paying attention. Are they aware of all the ways that we learn racism? Do they understand the history of racism? Have they really, deeply thought about the issue? Or are they just holding firm to their own initial reaction? Are they coming to this discussion with their defenses up and their minds closed?

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#212 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama
It doesn't really sound like you are interested in opening your mind to other points of view either, considering you have already stated that this is racist and that some people here don't want to understand that. You say this as though it is an undeniable fact. Is there a Racism Handbook that I am unaware of? No one has to agree, but there certainly doesn't have to be any beating into submission either.

I have read as many posts as I possibly can, though not every single one so please let me know if this is redundant (and forgive me if so)!

As far as I know, there is no racism "handbook," per se, but there is a dictionary that defines racism as:

1.The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2.Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Based on the second definition in particular, the phrase "I don't date black men" is racist because it delineates a preference based on race (i.e. black). Unless people are arguing that "black" is not a racial term??? As far as I'm concerned, it is--it is the socially constructed term used in reference to a group of people some refer to as African, African American, etc....

Now, I'm curious--how many people in this thread who believe that the statement "I don't date black people" isn't racist are, themselves, black? How many are white?

Racism and privilege are particularly invisible to people who are in a privileged societal position, i.e., those who are white. Racism is deeply rooted in this society, and it's not only hard to bring the issue to light but it's difficult to have to face the fact that one has racist viewpoints, however invisible or ingrained. Doing so, however, is critical if we're to expunge racism from our culture. I hope I live to see the day....
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#213 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 12:57 PM
 
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Lotusdebi, I completely agree with your post. I understand exactly what you are saying as well. My only thoughts are that you came to your conclusions just others have come to there's. Just becasue we haven't all ended up with the same one, doesn't mean, IMO that anyone is really wrong or refusing to see the truth. Everything changes and can turn out different will all kinds of ifs, ands or buts attached to it. We (generally speaking) don't have to agree on a final answer. Debating isn't about one side making the other side submit to their views (I am not saying that you are either), it's about presenting your facts and ideas on the matter. I completely respect the decision of anyone who has decided that this is a racist statement, however, I do not think it is (without any ifs, ands or buts attached). This is not directed specifically at you, just generally, but I think it's sad that "the other side" cannot respect the views that I have. I don't think that I have ever given any of you a reason to believe that my decision was based on racist views, because it wasn't, not one bit. I took the question for face value, without attaching anything else to it.
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#214 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 04:11 PM
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I wouldn't say I wouldn't date a black person or an asian person because you never know WHO you might becoem attracted to. I typically like my men tall with dark hair - I married a Tall Greek man - but that doens't mean I would limit myself to men who fit that description only, yanno?

It is racist to say I wont' date anybody but a blue eye blonde or I will only date a black men or I won't date a hispanic? Probably not, but it is very closed minded.
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#215 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 04:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AnaNicole
I have read as many posts as I possibly can, though not every single one so please let me know if this is redundant (and forgive me if so)!

As far as I know, there is no racism "handbook," per se, but there is a dictionary that defines racism as:

1.The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2.Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Based on the second definition in particular, the phrase "I don't date black men" is racist because it delineates a preference based on race (i.e. black). Unless people are arguing that "black" is not a racial term??? As far as I'm concerned, it is--it is the socially constructed term used in reference to a group of people some refer to as African, African American, etc....

Now, I'm curious--how many people in this thread who believe that the statement "I don't date black people" isn't racist are, themselves, black? How many are white?

Racism and privilege are particularly invisible to people who are in a privileged societal position, i.e., those who are white. Racism is deeply rooted in this society, and it's not only hard to bring the issue to light but it's difficult to have to face the fact that one has racist viewpoints, however invisible or ingrained. Doing so, however, is critical if we're to expunge racism from our culture. I hope I live to see the day....

Very good points. I get the sense though that all the wise words in this thread aren't being heard, as it seems that people are posting without reading.

I think the question bears repeating: How many people here who say this isn't racist are people of color?
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#216 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fire_in_july
how many would find the statement "I don't date black guys" to be racist - in and of itself?
I would. There is a difference between preferences and blanket statements. My preference (in men, at least) is tall, thin, and boyish. My husband is short, stocky, and not boyish at all. How lucky I am that I didn't stick to my predetermined list of who I would and wouldn't date! By excluding an entire category of people based on physical or racial characteristics is not only extremely stupid and limiting and superficial and shallow, it is also prejudicial, and that, to me, in the instance of not dating "black guys," is racist.

If someone said "I don't date fat guys" would you take that as lightly as you would take "I don't date blondes"?

Namaste!
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#217 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 08:33 PM
 
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I was thinking about this while I was in the bathtub and I remembered something that happened when I was about 10. A bunch of us were at a slumber party and we were talking about who we "liked." We weren't just naming boys in our class, we were talking about just about everyone in our school/town, "Is he cute, no he's ugly, he's got a mono-brow, he's got hairy ears," etc. We were going around the room naming whom we thought was cute. This one girl (I'll call her Jamie) said she thought that the captain of the football team (I'll call him Vaughn) was cute. There was suddenly this silence, and the ringleader of the group said, in a very incredulous/nasty way, "You can't like Vaughn! He's black!" Now, I knew that Jamie was biracial because I had been to her house and met her parents. I guess that not everyone could tell by looking at her. I don't know how many other people at the party knew she was biracial, but no one (including me, I am ashamed to admit), came to her rescue. I did go in the kitchen when she was calling her mom to come get her and take her home. She was crying and saying, "No, mom, I want YOU to come, not Daddy" (her dad was black). She never really hung around with us after that.

Is this the same thing as saying you don't date black guys? I don't know. But I DO know that the person on the receiving end of such a sentiment wouldn't really care whether it was a statement of preference/attraction or racism. It would hurt just the same.

Namaste!
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#218 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 10:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
Is this the same thing as saying you don't date black guys? I don't know. But I DO know that the person on the receiving end of such a sentiment wouldn't really care whether it was a statement of preference/attraction or racism. It would hurt just the same.

Namaste!
Thank you for putting a human touch to a subject discussed so antiseptically. I have tried to read through most of this thread, but not the entirity.
I wonder if this thread would have taken a different path had the question stated dealt with white men as the unwanted preference? I guess you would have to also envision a world where much of society views white men or to be white as a negative. It would be quite negligent to assume that such a statement said in our society is independent of any racial connotations. Perhaps the denial comes from a place of not wanting to be labeled as a racist, but clearly these are prejudices. And to some degree we as humans tend to prejudge many things. Hence we hold, have, and are prejudice .
But what am I saying? Denial is so much easier than dealing with the real situation. Its not as though someone's white child will feel slighted by an offhanded remark meant only to state a preference. (<---for clarity, I am being sarcastic)
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#219 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 10:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I was thinking about this while I was in the bathtub and I remembered something that happened when I was about 10. A bunch of us were at a slumber party and we were talking about who we "liked." We weren't just naming boys in our class, we were talking about just about everyone in our school/town, "Is he cute, no he's ugly, he's got a mono-brow, he's got hairy ears," etc. We were going around the room naming whom we thought was cute. This one girl (I'll call her Jamie) said she thought that the captain of the football team (I'll call him Vaughn) was cute. There was suddenly this silence, and the ringleader of the group said, in a very incredulous/nasty way, "You can't like Vaughn! He's black!" Now, I knew that Jamie was biracial because I had been to her house and met her parents. I guess that not everyone could tell by looking at her. I don't know how many other people at the party knew she was biracial, but no one (including me, I am ashamed to admit), came to her rescue. I did go in the kitchen when she was calling her mom to come get her and take her home. She was crying and saying, "No, mom, I want YOU to come, not Daddy" (her dad was black). She never really hung around with us after that.

Is this the same thing as saying you don't date black guys? I don't know. But I DO know that the person on the receiving end of such a sentiment wouldn't really care whether it was a statement of preference/attraction or racism. It would hurt just the same.

Namaste!
Good point. Very good point. My heart hurt for that little girl while reading your post
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#220 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 10:52 PM
 
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Denial is so much easier than dealing with the real situation. Its not as though someone's white child will feel slighted by an offhanded remark meant only to state a preference.
Thank you.
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#221 of 240 Old 08-06-2005, 11:37 PM
 
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dharmama that little girl could have been any of my kids. I think that is why this thread bothers me so much. Ten twenty years later shouldn't we have evolved some. If we can't admit to racist thoughts and racist comments(any opinions I have do come from a point of white privilege) then we will never learn from them or grow. To liken the original statement to a looks preference throws up a smoke screen. To look deeply into subtle racist overtones in our thoughts and actions will cause us all to acknowledge and maybe someday turn around the racism that so entangles.
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#222 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 06:52 PM
 
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: where i live (in general), black people are just a racist as white people, and for that matter....i think it feeds off of eachothers feelings....i dont see why race matters....i do want to teach my child to have a general love for everyone no matter what race, size, shape...whatever else....
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#223 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 06:56 PM
 
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: where i live (in general), black people are just a racist as white people, and for that matter....i think it feeds off of eachothers feelings....i dont see why race matters....i do want to teach my child to have a general love for everyone no matter what race, size, shape...whatever else....
You should probably read the whole thread.
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#224 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 06:57 PM
 
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Why? Why resurrect this thread?

And yes, basing whether or not to date someone based on race would be, by definition, racist. Just like basing on size would be sizist, age would be ageist, etc. If you are making this decision purely based on race...what else would it be?

Yes, I realize it is rather hypocritical of me to complain about the thread being resurrected and then contribute to it (again), but I don't get the it's not racist argument.
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#225 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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I would find it to be racist. To say that you "don't" date black men implies that you have not and would not. To exclude an entire class of people from your dating life due to the color of their skin is racist, IMO.

If somebody said "I haven't dated any black men" - it would depend. Why are we discussing it, why was it necessary to make the statement? Why hasn't the person dated any black men? Those factors would color my impression of saying a person "hasn't" dated a certain race of people.

For example...I never dated a black man, but when I was single, I was in social situations which did not lead to my having met a black man in whom I was interested. I can't say that I will never date a black man in my future, if I ever enter the dating world again. It would all depend on who that particular man is. I try not to say "never", because I just plain don't know whom I'll meet in the future or how I'll feel then.


Turning it around to other races - like not dating blonde guys...well, anybody saying they would never date somebody because of a characteristic like skin or hair color is foolish, IMO. But racist? Well, that depends on the power issues. If that person is a part of the social group in power and they're prejudiced against people in social groups without power, then yes, they're racist. (This all goes back to the racism = power + prejudice definition that has been discussed here many, many times. I didn't buy it at first but after giving it a lot of thought and evaluating my reasons for not liking it at first, I have to agree, yes, racism = power + prejudice. All prejudice is potentially wrong, but racist prejudice is even more so.)

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#226 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 07:07 PM
 
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Oh, ugh, sorry, I clicked on reply before noticing that this thread is OLD and TWELVE PAGES LONG. My apologies.

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know  - e.e. cummings
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#227 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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But racist? Well, that depends on the power issues. If that person is a part of the social group in power and they're prejudiced against people in social groups without power, then yes, they're racist.
Well, honestly, if you are bringing up the power issues and that racism is only power+prejudice, I'm not sure how not dating fits into that. Perhaps it wouldn't be racist in a political sense, but more separatist. It's just that I consider the use race as a determinant for discrimination as racist, but I realize this is not the political definition of the word. I just think there can be different meanings to and applications of the same term.

Anyway...
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#228 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 07:31 PM
 
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It's racist, to me. What Viola said has merit. I have dated all kinds of men in the past, all shapes, sizes, and colors.

And wow, this thread is oooolllldddddd.... :
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#229 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 07:38 PM
 
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Post-holiday let down? End of the year angst?
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#230 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 07:44 PM
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Another thread has me truly curious - how many would find the statement "I don't date black guys" to be racist - in and of itself?

I would not. Absent the person going on to talk about how black men were "stupider" than white men or "lazier" than white men, or what have you, I would just assume it is a personal physical preference, and that we all have them to some extent (though some people are better than others at caring less about what the outside of a person looks like).
Here's my question, though: to what degree is that preference racist in and of itself? It's not like all black men look alike; some are handsome, some ugly -- just like men everywhere. It would be very difficult to group all black men into a group and say, as a blanket term, that they're all unattractive...unless the color of their skin was the thing that was unattractive, in which case I'd have to say that this sounds awfully like racism to me.
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For those who WOULD see it as racist, why?? Would you find it racist against Europeans if someone said "I don't date blond guys?" How do you see "I don't date black guys" as being different from other statements of physical preference?
Actually, I would find it racist against Europeans to say, "I don't date blond guys" for the same reasons as I would find it racist to say, "I don't date black guys." Given that the focus here is on a physical, external quality fairly specific to a person's race or ethnicity and that is the only quality being excluded here, it seems like racism to me.
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I think there are all kinds of physical preference - I don't date tall men; I don't date short men;
But there are short and tall men in every culture and group. Some groups (Scandinavians) tend to be taller than other groups (Asians), but this is not always the case, Ming Yao being a perfect example.
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#231 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 08:19 PM
 
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Wow...I was a hundred posts into reading this thread when I realized it was almost a year and a half old.

I think saying you don't date black men is very racist. And even s a preference..I am glad I never went a had my preferences stuck in stone...I was always attracted to big broad men, teddy bear types, with darker hair and skin tone....and wound up married to a skinny blue eyed blond...but I guess it is just that I had that preference, not that I was prejudiced at all.

I don't know...but I'll agree with other posters who want to teach their children to love differences in all races and skin colours and body types.

Nancy, Mom to Kyra (2005), Zoe (2006), Callie (2007) (2008), and Xavier (2009)
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#232 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 09:03 PM
 
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Yep, it's still as racist now as it was when this thread was first started.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#233 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 09:27 PM
 
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but no one (including me, I am ashamed to admit), came to her rescue. I did go in the kitchen when she was calling her mom to come get her and take her home. She was crying and saying, "No, mom, I want YOU to come, not Daddy" (her dad was black). She never really hung around with us after that.
This whole story makes me very sad. I truly hope that I don't raise my boys to be ashamed of their father. My dh is Asian and the boys can "pass" very easily for white. Without people knowing that dh was Asian, I've heard comments about Asians before and I've always found it discriminatory, hurtful, and narrow-minded.

Shannon, mum to ds1 (8/03), ds2 (6/05), dd (5/07), and ds3 (7/09)
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#234 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 09:29 PM
 
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Another thread has me truly curious - how many would find the statement "I don't date black guys" to be racist - in and of itself?
I'd say it's racist.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#235 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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Why was this thread resurrected?


mamajama, thanks. Your posts save me any further typing.



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#236 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 10:20 PM
 
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i must say that i haven't read the whole thread :

there's no accounting for taste, and i wouldn't automatically assume someone was racist if they said something like that, but it would definitely depend on the context. i might think they were small minded, superficial and shallow, though

i just saw an article about how some people on israeli dating sites say they won't date sephardic jews (who are often darker--my h is sephardic, btw)...it's quite a touchy topic there. i do know that this sort of listing of preferences is de rigeur on gay dating sites, and it runs the gamut from race to nationality to body type to bedroom practices to hiv status to circ/uncirc and much, much, much more i think it's rather ridiculous, personally, but to each his/her own. this is how it is in the age of online hookups

as a side note, i have been part of discussions where someone was called a bigot for saying they wouldn't date someone outside of their religion :
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#237 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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When I first clicked on this, I really would have said that it may or may not be racist, it would have taken a lot more context to know. But after reading ALL millions of pages : I'm really thinking twice. I could even have seen my self saying that in certain context. Not as a general comment, but more as a discussion of dating with a close friend. But still, I can see how the person may not have meant it as racist. I know if I had said it, it wouldnt' be meant that way, but just mis-stated. What I would have meant (and now would be much clearer about in the future) is that I haven't dated any black or dark skinned men. I could also say that though I have noticed some men of darker color as attractive to me, very few are chemically attractive (sparks etc) to me.

I agree that racism is all over, and unnoticed. I often see it in my dh. He was raised mostly by his mom, but his dad's family is very everything bad (racist, sexist, homophobe, you name it). And occasionally, he'll say something, not realizing it, until I'll look at him, then he realizes what he has said, and really examines it. Because, having grown up with the speech and attitudes, he often doesn't realize parts are still there, even when he doesn't feel that way. Really makes you aware of the 'silent' judgements that we absorb from our environments (and for the record, he's pasty white and short, and I'm NA (though I look white) and shorter). But we've both been judged by religion and appearance (he especially doesn't fit the 'norm' has many tats and dresses in an alternative style), and try to be very aware of not subconsiously carrying on the behaviors of past generations, even when unintentionally.
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#238 of 240 Old 12-28-2006, 11:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Viola View Post
Why? Why resurrect this thread?




Yes indeed ,why.......:
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#239 of 240 Old 12-29-2006, 06:14 PM
 
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I am so sorry for resurrecting this post....: Yes, Im afraid it was me...I just was looking at some post by someone and came across it. I just didnt notice the date...I will be more cautious of this sort of thing in the future, but i just wanted to say that i didnt know that racism was such a big issue...i am not racist at all (or at least i dont think i am...I dont notice if i am, but i make an effort to be loving of everyone...no matter what you look like) sorry again...
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#240 of 240 Old 12-29-2006, 08:21 PM
 
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"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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