Before she broke history for The Bachelor franchise by becoming the first Black Bachelorette, we knew Rachel Lindsay was open to interracial dating. After all, she was one of women vying for Nick Viall’s heart last season. He is nothing if not very white. The politics of interracial dating in this country are complicated, as evidenced by the fact this is the most diverse season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, ever. But make no mistake about it: This is the result of a certain kind of white privilege, not a lack of women of color interested in dating white men or making their love lives public. So while it should certainly make headlines that Lindsay is Black, her racial preferences — or lack thereof — on the other hand, should not.
This did not stop one publication from running a story that low-key lauded Lindsay for her choice to associate with white men, mainly because it counters data that revealed Black women are less likely to date outside of their race. The headline began, “Unlike New Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, Black Women…” Twitter immediately commenced dragging the story, accusing the publication of feeding into stereotypes about Black women. Earlier today the publication retracted the article and issued an apology, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
The myth the Black women are against interracial dating gets fired off from several different directions. Black men like Nate Parker and John Ridley have publicly accused Black women of being closed-minded or sabotaging them in a spiteful display of intolerance because the men date non-Black women. And a white-dominated American society, which sees itself as way more woke than it actually is, can’t understand why Black women aren’t reflecting the same acceptance of interracial relationships as the rest of America (even though the country just came around to it less than 60 years ago).
The underlying tone of these accusations is always the same: Black women are behind the curve. Meanwhile, the entire world seems to have rallied together to place Black women at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of desirability and eligibility as romantic partners. Studies have shown that only Asian men receive fewer messages than Black women on popular dating apps. In other words, it might not be solely the fault of Black women that they aren’t dating outside of their race.
Politics aside, dating is still a personal choice; one that race can certainly factor into. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a partner who shares similar cultural values and experiences. There’s nothing wrong with dating someone who doesn’t. But you don’t deserve a cookie for dating outside of your race. You don’t deserve to be side-eyed if you don’t. Interracial dating is not the beacon of diversity that you think it is, especially not when it becomes another way to shame Black women.