v. stiviano

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard by now about the Donald Sterling racist rant tape. If you’re unfamiliar with this story, let me get you up to date. Donald Sterling is the owner of the L.A Clippers and his girlfriend V. Stiviano who is half-Black and half-Mexican released some tapes of him making distasteful and racist comments about black people. This conversation came about because he was upset that she posted a picture to Instagram with her hugging basketball legend Magic Johnson. On the 9 minute tape he implores his girlfriend to not bring Black people to his games and chastises her for wanting to be associated with Black people. His logic is laughable and very unsettling because 86% of his team is Black and he’s dating a Black woman. Now there’s a background story to this story because Mr. Sterling’s wife of 51 years is suing Miss Stiviano for the return of a luxury 1.8 million apartment and cars. Yes, he’s married and yes this story is insane. The media is going to town with this and many are comparing him to a antebellum slave owner. Now many are shocked that he would have these views because he’s so intimately connected to Black people- by working with and dating one, but I’m not shocked at all. This is why racism is so tricky. Unfortunately, you can eat, live, sleep, and pray with someone from another race, but still be racist.

Though Mr. Sterling and his views are egregious and warped, I’m not that concerned with changing his thought process. At 78, he’s not going to change his opinions; and to be fair he doesn’t have to. I’m more concerned about his girlfriend and what she might have dealt with by dating knowingly or unknowingly a racist. This story has shed a glaring light on interracial dating and it’s now became necessary and a sad state of affairs when you have to ask the person you’re dating if they’re racist but in these supposedly post racial times you must. .

Racism is so confusing to many because even though Mr. Sterling paraded her at his games and sat front row center with him, his contempt for her “people” is venomous. I sympathize with her because she probably thought if she represented the best of her race he would change his view. Or maybe she knew he didn’t like Black people but figured the longer they dated he would grow out of it. That didn’t happen and it normally doesn’t. That’s why it’s so important to discuss race relations especially if you’re dating someone outside of your race.

I’ve had the pleasure of dating outside of my race and it’s always been an amazing experience. My then boyfriend and I were able to share the nuisances of our cultures, food, art and our experiences and I left with so much compassion towards people who don’t look like me. We didn’t have the race talk, but I wouldn’t date someone outside of my race at this point without having it.

It’s so important when some people date outside of their race for complex reasons. For some it can be fetish, the love of what they deem exotic or they want to taste all the flavors of the human buffet. Whatever their reason, take a look at some of my red flags you should look out for to tell if you’re dating a racist are someone who isn’t culturally sensitive.

 

1) They say they don’t see color. While that’s a nice sentiment, that’s not reality. People do come in different races and they shouldn’t have to be made transparent to gain acceptance.

2) You haven’t met their friends or family and it’s been 6 months. Though meeting family and friends is a big step, you need to be upfront and ask your partner if it’s because of your race. If his parents and friends are uncomfortable with interracial relationships you can’t fault your partner for that, but you can’t be a secret either.

3)If he calls you racial slurs when angry or in jest END IT NOW.

4)If they only date outside of their race because they aren’t attracted to women/men that’s not a problem necessarily but if they bash their race that’s a red flag. You can like what you like without disrespecting your own.

5) If they’re silent on race relations: If someone in your race that you know or in media has been stigmatized, disrespected or harassed because of their race and you’re upset about it and they offer no empathy- that’s a red flag. When people are silent in these sort of issues, they side with the oppressor

Are you in a interracial relationship? Did you have any challenges with race sensitivity? If so, leave me a note in the comment and I may feature you in my next post. Let’s keep the dialogue going and happy dating as always!

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