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What you need to know about interracial relations

What you need to know about interracial relations

Katya Shaposhnikova

Casual racism and fetishization are some of the issues faced by interracial couples on a regular basis. Even though this is an occurrence that many readers don't regularly think about, we do think that it’s about time that everyone should! You'd be surprised, but it occurs everywhere, even in very close relationships. In this piece, we look into the difficulties that interracial relationships face.

What you need to know about interracial relations.0.0

What are interracial relations?

This is the term used for relationships between people of different ethnicities or races. For example, between an African American and an Asian. Even though we seem accustomed to international relations, but in many areas, society has only recently accepted this. When committing to an interracial relationship, many couples still face numerous societal challenges.

What difficulties do interracial couples face?

  • Family dynamics are frequently one of the biggest difficulties in an interracial relationship. Elderly family members may not always be willing to compromise on tradition or heritage. They presumptuously expect a Ugandan man to paint Easter eggs or an Uzbek woman to make dumplings. And even though very often these customs are simple to learn, many people still feel that it is important to honor their heritage.
     
  • A variety of ideas about family, society, religion, and individuality are important. Different beliefs, lifestyles, eating, dressing, and daily routines weigh heavily on and can affect how society views people. Furthermore, even if the couple agrees on these points, occasionally society will step in and try to reject one of the partners. Even if a couple has a similar upbringing, as in the USA, Sweden, or Russia, there will most likely still be many different experiences that they had while growing up. Therefore, there is always a dynamic of mutual compromises.
     
  • So what does "fetishization" mean? This is what happens, for instance, when you type "ebony porn" into Pornhub and choose the Interracial category. People with different skin tones or different facial features frequently get the unfavorable label of "exoticism." Nobody wants to be known as a soulless trophy or the star of a wet fantasy created by the porn industry. There are numerous urban legends claiming that members of a particular ethnic group are "sexier" than others, or that people from a particular community conform to other stereotypes that have no basis in reality. For many different ethnic groups, fetishization continues to rank among the strongest negative triggers.
     
  • Racist prejudice is the result of outdated and often irrational beliefs. It may be difficult for some to comprehend that some people still believe that gypsies steal horses for a living. Being surrounded by an inclusive society presents challenges, as many people continue to hold onto outdated beliefs, even though the opposite is more common. The murder of George Floyd and the 2020 protests in the USA are two well-known examples of daily racism and related violence that are still reported in the news. Unfortunately, people are frequently only tolerant in their words and as long as it does not interfere with their daily lives.
What you need to know about interracial relations.2.0

Why is it important to talk about interracial relations?

60 years ago there was almost nothing to talk about: interracial relationships were often prohibited. The ban on interracial marriages in the United States was lifted only in 1967 and in Italy a little earlier — in 1944. Relations with foreign representatives of other ethnic groups were banned in the USSR until 1953.

It turns out that you and I live in a better world. And this is a great chance to make it more progressive. In Britain and the USA, there is specific training for interracial couples, where they teach how to navigate society with your partner. 

5 tips on how to build interethnic relations

  • Do not treat a representative of an unfamiliar to you culture as the "other". In reality, no one is exotic. Where he/she/they come from, your appearance might also seem uncommon. Remember, fetishization is equally unpleasant to everyone.
     
  • Don't just go on a date with a person with a different ethnic background as an opportunity for a free convo about racism, communism in Cuba, and dress code in Arab countries. It's disrespectful to waste a person's time on what you should have read before the meeting. If you wanna learn something new, talk about your date’s personal experiences, if possible.
     
  • Before talking, study taboo topics. It is well known for everyone that the n-word is not to be said out loud, but for representatives of different cultures, there is still a ton of topics that can lead to conflict. You don’t just meet people to upset them, right? So try to be mindful.
     
  • Don't compliment the appearance or skin color. Essentially, don't mention anything at all that a person can't influence. But do mention what they have made an effort to do. "You look like coffee with milk" — absolutely not. "I love your manicure" — sure.
     
  • Be ethical. Ask your dates in advance how to address them, and what you can and cannot talk about. This is normal and will only add bonus points to your attractiveness. By showing respect for each other, we become closer. And for true inhabitants of Pureland, it is really important.
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