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Hanjo
 
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Racism and Interracial Relationships

22 February 2013, 12:01

Racism is simply defined as “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race. “ and “Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief. “ also “a belief that one race is superior to others.”

The past 20 years flew by and South Africa now finds itself emerging from the infancy of our democracy.

20 years is arguably a long time, hell! I’m only 22 so who am I to judge. When I take a quick look around I spot the nostalgic Afrikaner with his old South African flag, the many Cape coloured All Black supporters and the ANC constantly mentioning ‘the struggle’ in a futile attempt to revive its dying reputation. Suddenly we all seem stuck in the past, extremely reluctant to embrace the beautiful diversity that this country provides.

There specially exists a general reluctance to share our love/sex lives with different races.

 Interracial dating is still being actively opposed by some and frowned upon by many.

- What causes this reservation toward other races? Is it simply synonymous to ‘subtle racism’ OR can it be justified?

I’ve heard a few attempted justifications for non-participation in interracial relationships before, so in an attempt to avoid hearing the usual excuses simply being repeated in the comments section, I will list (and refute) them.  

1. Personal preference –“ The claim that personally you prefer to engage sexually or emotionally with people who have a certain skin colour” – If we look at the definition of racism at the start of the article, you’d have to admit that judging the abilities of a person to satisfy your sexual, emotional or any other relationship related needs simply by his/her racial classification is simply prejudice discrimination (possible based on a baseless generalization), which is simply racism.

The personal preference claim tries to redefine the definition of the word ‘preference’, preference does not rule out the other alternatives, instead it simply implies a lessor liking for them. I personally have a preference for Redheads but I’d happily date a blonde or brunette. The personal preference claim therefor suggests you are open to interracial dating.

2. Cultural differences – Much like different views on marriage, having children, monogamy, politics, family, religion, etc. cultural differences are not limited to interracial couples, I will however concede they are more likely to occur in interracial relationships.

Cultural differences is perhaps a very valid point to raise though and one that any young interracial couple should take note of, It is however just an added challenge. I have certain views on religion, marriage and having children that any women would have to consider before dating me. These views are also contrasting from the cultural norm. You’d have to find out how much value a person adds to ‘culture’ and decide on an individual basis what potential issues it may cause.

These differences would only really become an issue in a serious relationship and as a result, the cultural differences claim does not warrant opposing or avoiding interracial relationships.  It simply preaches Caution.  

3. No attraction to other races - “The Claim that a pair of tits or a nice ass suddenly loses its appeal when covered in a different colour.” – I think this one does a good job of refuting itself.

- In Reality there are just two reasons why people don’t consider interracial dating or outright oppose it.

1. Racism – People either have racial hatred, fear and prejudice embedded in them from a time when racism was considered the norm OR they’ve been indoctrinated to be racists. – While in both instances some of their reservations may have faded with time, they still cling to others.  

2. Fear of Judgment. – knowing less acceptant family members and friends might react negatively and disapprove of the relationship (or even just the willingness to consider it), could result in someone discarding the idea and sticking to ‘the norm’. In a sense this is simply giving into the majority vote, letting others dictate your view. Argumentum ad populum comes to mind.

There simply is no rational reason to hold reservations toward people based on skin colour. It creates unnecessary division, which is something that South Africa can really do without. 

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