Jungle Fever - Toronto speaks

29 Mar 2006

Editor''s Note: Recently we ran two articles by Jane Musoke-Nteyafas on interracial relationships. The response from the public was overwhelming. So to continue the discussion, we decided to publish some of the opinions collected by Jane as part of research for her articles. Feel free to send us your views.

“It doesn't really offend me till I hear a bro’ or sis’ talking all this "continuous, pro-black" stuff, but has a European on their side. I was born to and raised by a christianized yet militant family and was taught to NEVER forget the past”

-Nat, African American tourist (black)

“I would love to know why interracial relationships offend certain people. I don't see what's so wrong about it and that is probably because there''s nothing wrong! I was raised in societies where race was not an issue...like, no one ever acknowledged it. Everyone was the same.”

-Rosette, 18 year old high school student (white)

“Falling is basically out of control, right? So you can’t help who you "fall" in love with. I''m sorry, but my sisters are just too fine and well put together for me to look elsewhere; now if I do fall, it'll be in their direction.”

-Eric, 25 year old singer, Toronto (black)

There is just something about black men, don’t you agree? They are just sexy. I’ll take home a chocolate man any day.

-Holly 35 year old publicist (white)

I only date black men. Why? Because that’s my preference. I know that it sounds crazy because I am a white girl, but I am just attracted not attracted to white men. Period.

Shauna, 30 year old Insurance Rep (white)

Black women have attitude and they have extremely high expectations. They come with drama and all that cr**. I’d rather deal with a white girl. I am attracted to white girls and Asian girls. I’ll never marry a black woman.

John -age withheld- (black)

“I personally prefer black girls because I think they are beautiful, I would never date anything but a black girl, and I do not see why I should point my finger at other people for their preferences. However I am in disagreement with brothers or sisters who date other races, or anybody that dates simply for status or economic reasons. In general people who date for false reasons”

-Parmy, a 27 year old bilingual CSR (black)

“It doesn't really bother me cause I have some bi-racial friends and I can see the love that their parents have for each other. I have noticed though that sometimes there are family conflicts because of the intermarriage of these races, where both sides of the family blame those in the relationship for being in it but I think that is unfair as we cannot chose who we love.”

-Shamika 20 year old Salesperson (black)

“I think that I would be called a betrayer if I dated a white man and personally I cannot handle that. I do find some white guys really attractive and I have noticed a few looking at me with interest but I would never dare approach them. Maybe it’s my loss but one has to be strong to face the difficulties of interracial relationships, and I do not know if I have that strength.”

-Judith 27 year old Model (black)

“I think that a lot of black women are attractive. My girlfriend is black and I am white and I love her. I have no problem with interracial relationships although I know that some people find it socially unacceptable.”

-David, 23 year old Sales Rep (white)

“Last year for Christmas, I went home with my white boyfriend in Peterborough. He had told his parents that he was bringing his girlfriend home but he did not tell them that I was black. You should have seen the look of shock in their eyes when they say me. I suppose one has to be ready for such occurrences.”

-Susan 30 year old (black)

“I do not agree. I do not tolerate it. Don’t get me wrong, my mother is white and my dad is black, but think one should stick to their own. I do not like seeing interracial couples together. There are just too many differences that arise that it is not worth it.”

-Ola –35 year old system Administrator. (biracial)

-I am all for it. It does not matter what you do, where you come from or who you are, it’s all about how you feel for the other party. I know that there are a lot of adversities that may arise, but if as a couple you are strong enough to handle it, then got for it. It’s ok for black men to date white women but when it is the other way around it is deemed scandalous. After all we are all human. History has shown that there are some black women who like white men and vice versa.

-Dan –42 year old Escalations officer (white)

“Well before I dated my German boyfriend, I used to say I would never date a white man, but he chased me down so hard that I gave in. He was the first man to say that I was beautiful and he treated me like a queen. He was so romantic and so gentle with me, and I began to realize that color was just a meaningless thing. Love really has no boundaries and that is the bottom line.”

-Alice 24 year old CSR- (black)

“Personally I am Portuguese and I have dated white, Chinese, black, and Indian girls. I think that it is shallow to date somebody because of their colour. One has to look at their character as well.”

-George 38 year old nurse-(white)

“Some white men think of black women either as exotic beautiful creatures that one can look at and admire but not touch and date or sexually satisfying creatures because of all those music videos and history that has been taught. That is sad because I know a lot of black women and there is more to them than that. All humans want to be loved and black women are no different.”

Brian-42 year old writer-(White).

“I am very attracted to the beauty and essence of black women. But I do not dare approach them because I feel like I would not measure up to the reputation that black men have. I noticed that black women will rarely approach white men whereas some white women will not hesitate to go after black men. There are some black girls that I wish would approach me but they never do. I do not know if it is because they are scared or because they are not interested”

-Ralph, 28 year old European exchange university student (white)

“I am too scared to date a white man because I will be called all sorts of names. There was a young white CEO of an Internet Company that was interested in me, and my progressive girlfriend encouraged me to go for it if I liked him. I saw him a bit but I could not handle the intimidating stares and remarks that I received from black brothers especially whenever we went out, so I broke it off. In retrospect I realize that it is my life and I have a right of choice, despite what others think. It’s ironic but I am still single and those same men that discouraged me are nowhere to be seen”

-Sandra 23 year old model and student-(Black)

“A black women with a white man? That is a rare sight. You see more black men with white women in comparison to the number of black women that are with white men. I think that culturally it is difficult because it seems like black women find it harder to accept white culture than black men. Both parties have to be tolerant with each other cultures and compromise sometimes. My wife is white and I am black and those are some of the challenges of our relationship.

-Adou, 29 year old CSR (black)

“I already told my daughters not to bring any white man to my house. I have cousins that are married to white men, but personally I do not want to be part of any of that nonsense. I have been discriminated so many times that I have no love in my heart for a white man.”

Delva 45 year old Sales operations agent (black)

One of the greatest gifts that we have been given as humans is our individuality and uniqueness. Being human means that we vary in our likes, dislikes, personality, looks, etc. Who we become attracted to is not exempt from this. I feel that every one has the right to date or become involved with whomever they please. If that person happens to be of a different race or color, so be it. It is a shame when we allow societal pressures or what we feel just isn''t common to stifle our opportunity to explore and get to know others because of their differences -- even if it is something as simple as the color of our skin. Perhaps we would be a step closer to expelling racism if we would free ourselves to accept our differences on all levels of interaction whether it be informal, formal, casual or intimate.

Karen 29 years old CSR (bi racial)

I am not saying this with absolutism, and mark you, there are exceptions to all situations but I have dated white men and black men and I find that a lot of the white men were so much more romantic. You know the flowers, chocolates and appreciation…the small things that matter to women came naturally from them. I am not saying that there are no brothers who do that, but I know very few. Another thing I noticed was that some black men would get very angry when they would see me with a white man and yet the same guys would not give me any attention prior to that.

-Suzette. 34 year old CSR (black)

-What do I think about them? They make cute babies. Ha, ha,ha. But on a serious note, people should feel free to go for whoever they like.

-Carolyne. 23 year old CSR (white)

“I think it is the traditional people that are mostly against biracial couples, you know like first generation Canadians for example who are new to this and have probably never seen such a multicultural society such as Toronto’s but as they get more non-traditional, they seem to mellow. I think that it is fear of the unknown that turns certain people against that. Personally I think that one should follow their heart and be strong enough to face the consequences. We are headed for a mixed society any way.”

-Ed 48 year old translator (white)

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