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Case in point: Recently, Black students walked out of their school in protest after a school official tweeted this a photo along with the caption “every white girl’s father’s worst nightmare or not.” Aside from obvious ignorance and prejudice, White “curiosity” about “otherness” often leads to very uncomfortable conversations that can sour quickly. According to the Bureau of Justice Victimization report, biracial individuals are victimized at a rate three times that of Whites and two times the rate of Blacks.
POC regularly field questions like “Can I touch your hair? Though “mixed” individuals are often featured on magazine covers and in the media as being especially “exotic” or beautiful, America’s history of slavery and its resulting racial and social hierarchies have created a very divided world, where biracial people often find it extremely difficult to find a place. You should explore the social stereotypes and fetishes associated with “blackness”/ “otherness,” but NOT play into them.
These attitudes have been ingrained by a White supremacist/patriarchal society that has created a system of White normalization (i.e. The only way they can be overcome and dispelled are if they are confronted and challenged, not denied or avoided. Be prepared to encounter ignorance, even from your own family and close friends.
Many of the racist notions and opinions that may have otherwise seemed trivial carry far more weight in the presence of a non-White partner.
And such displays of ignorance, sadly, tend to become a frequent part of your interaction with the world as you move through it beside a person of color, including when dealing with family, loved ones, coworkers and authority figures. This same White curiosity will lead many to ask you some pretty ignorant questions about your partner so be prepared. Society fetishizes mixed babies, but does not treat mixed-race individuals well.
Dangerously, it is with this lens that many come to understand their interest or “preference” for a particular race.
For example, a man who seeks an Asian female partner because he believes in stereotypes of Asian domesticity and submissiveness is playing into these stereotypes, and thus fetishizing his partner.
We’re often unaware of the stereotypes that creep into our psyches, planted early and then fed throughout our lives.