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Black women have told me it's because I'm a sellout.

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White women range from those so intrigued by black men that it veers into fetish to those so reluctant to date black men that it feels more racist than preference-driven.

These are generalizations, of course, but they are attitudes that I've personally encountered.

A racist jury acquitted his murderers, Roy Bryant and J. Milam, despite overwhelming evidence, and, to rub salt in the wound, both admitted to killing Till in magazine the next year. The shoe was on the other foot for once and so be it if two white people wound up dead. That's harsh, but that's the historical context of black men dating white women that I unfortunately have to consider when doing the same. Even then, I understood that it was racial, but there was a disconnection from my personal reality. Whatever I learned from the trial was tucked away as something that I should know as a black man, but it didn't have a life-altering impact on my own development. For whatever implications the trial had, that shit also had nothing to do with me. My attraction to them was likely a natural response to my environment. Nobody was trying to assimilate with white people, but sometimes that's just the way things go when you want a better home and better schools for your family.

Though those events are something of which I'm always cognizant, I didn't adhere to them as any sort of cautionary tale. The idea was always to live my life however I wanted to live it. But it does have an unforeseen effect on your outlook when you're one of the few black families in town.

But because I know I'm not one of those sellouts, I feel no guilt about dating white women. A lot of white women have been extremely accepting of and loving towards me my entire life and that's all there is to it.

If anything, I just hate that there's such a vast misconception about my intentions from people who don't even know me. Though this very article was written in an attempt to bring context to these consistently misunderstood relationships, I don't have to explain who I date to anyone. I never really think about race while dating unless somebody else makes it an issue or I notice that the way a white woman I'm with looks at something is flawed because of her upbringing. I view it as an opportunity to educate and eradicate even a small amount of ignorance.I can't say that my own mother has never asked, "When are you going to bring home a girl who looks like me?" Running around with white girls comes across as a rejection of your blackness to the women in your family, even though that wasn't the case. The girls who showed me the most attention at school were white.Skepticism towards black men/white women relationships is a longstanding and well-documented part of our cultural fabric in America. I'm not a "black man" who "dates white women." I'm a person.I have my own unique experiences and some of them include having dated women who are white, but because interracial dating is such a historically tense and loaded subject, it's hardly ever looked at with any understanding or compassion for the people personally involved.That swath of generic ideas has an actual impact on culture and society, too.

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