How to Talk to Your Partner About Racially-Charged Issues

I was invited to talk as an interracial dating expert for the Tom Joyner Morning Show this morning with Jacque Reid to discuss how people in interracial relationships deal with potential conflicts when discussing issues like the Trayvon Martin case, Mike Brown shooting, and the Eric Garner killing. You can listen hereinterracial couple argue.

One thing that black women often assume is that white people inherently can’t or won’t understand us because they aren’t black. The truth is, there have ALWAYS been white people who have lobbied, fought, marched and even lost their lives to join hands with us to overcome. Don’t assume that because your partner is white that he won’t share you grief. Remember, your guy is walking this experience alongside you, and if you marry and have a family, he’ll be completely invested in your experience.

Often, black women talk themselves out of dating interracially because they throw roadblocks like, “What if Greg wants Mike Brown’s killer to get off!! I can’t. That’s why I don’t date white men. They’re all racist.” Say that out loud so you can hear how truly ridiculous that sounds.

However, if you’re the type of person who wakes up every morning wondering who the first person will be racist against you, then you’re probably not a good candidate for interracial dating.

Tips to Successfully Discuss Racial Issues

–Give each other equal listening time.

–Don’t assume that his whiteness means he inherently can’t or won’t understand.

–Don’t downplay your partner’s feelings or attempt to gaslight.

–When things get too hot, take a break.

–Remember your relationship is not the United Nations–you don’t represent all black people, and he isn’t the rep for all whites.

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