Over the weekend I was doing a borderline obsessive search on the Internet for anything related to Asian men and Black women in interracial relationships (otherwise known as AMBW). The biggest question I had in my mind was, “Why is it that I’ve met so few Asian men willing to date a woman of color?”
I had answers to that question going through my head, but I didn’t want to believe them. One explanation is that perhaps some Asian men, either consciously or subconsciously, find Black women (and women who are otherwise darker than they are) to be not good enough. They see the beauty in an Asian woman, and they’ll definitely see it in a White woman, but Black women are simply “not for them.”
I had an experience in high school in which I had a crush on a Korean guy in my history class for almost a year. He was very kind to me despite how persistent I was, and he seemed to generally care about me as a friend. My Korean half felt some sort of connection with him, and I seriously thought I wanted this guy. But one day, I finally asked him, “Why is it that you’re not interested in me?”
His answer was that I wasn’t a “pure Korean.” I took this as meaning that I was tainted, and thus undesirable to someone–a 100% Korean–like him. (I should also mention that he wasn’t even born IN Korea, so that makes him Korean American :P)
I got over him very quickly after that. On top of that, he was a bit of a Korean nationalist and horribly racist against Japan (he kept it to himself unless the topic of Japan came up, which was often brought up by me since I was studying Japanese). He had friends of different races throughout high school, but he would only ever think of dating a Korean. And I don’t count.
That incident really messed me up. From that point, my interest in Korean guys slowly faded, and my interest in everything else Korean started to fade as well. I heard about racism in Korea against halfs, including with Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward. I remember seeing his story a few years ago after the Super Bowl about how he was picked on in South Korea simply for being mixed, and then suddenly when the Steelers win the Super Bowl, Korea suddenly have pride in him as if he was theirs. This attitude absolutely disgusted me. Don’t take this the wrong way though–in no way am I ashamed of being Korean. I love that my mom is not like that Korean guy back in high
school; she doesn’t feel any resentment towards my choice of studying Japanese, or the fact that I’m living here. And I know there are other Koreans who would think the same way. I want to believe that the alleged negativity and racism in Korea is only the minority, and that the rest of the country is okay. I guess I have to go and see for myself. My interest in going has waned, and at this point I feel I would only want to go if my mom came with me.
Anyway, it was because of this Korean guy that I started to become aware that interactions between Asian guys and Black girls was rarer than it should be, and I feared that it was because Asians (and pretty much everyone else in the world) generally looked down on Blacks.
I’ve been told that being half-Korean gives me more of a chance, but I don’t believe that’s true at all. A lot of people will probably “one-drop rule” me in their minds: I’m half-Black, so therefore I should be counted as just Black, even if it’s a total giveaway that I’m not 100% Black.
And this is why I was searching for information on AMBW, even though I’m half. I can much better relate to Black women that are struggling to find Asian guys open to dating other races (other than White). I know they are out there, but I wish it was easier for me to find them.
In the AMBW Facebook communities, the Black women pretty much always outnumber the Asian men. Whenever an Asian guy posts something in the group, they are welcomed by quite a few women. But when a Black woman posts in the group, where are all the Asian men?
Just look at this 2009 blog from OKCupid. Black women get shunned not only by Asian men, but by men of every race. It’s sad. You can say it’s the fault of the Black girls (not mature enough to be called ‘women’) who reinforce the stereotype of being loud and obnoxious, but it’s also the fault of people who believe in those stereotypes. And it’s the fault of the media (I blame the media for everything, really) for portraying Black women in such a way.
We need to stop eating up stereotypes on TV and actually interact with people. Ignorant people will just sit back and believe that all people of a certain race are more or less the same. Slightly less ignorant people will try to talk to one or two people of a certain race, and if they fit the stereotype that person will sit back and say, “See? I was right.” Open-minded people will treat others on an individual basis, and will still believe that there are people who go against the stereotype.
I’m working on blocking out my experience with that one Korean guy, because I know there are Koreans that do not share his racist views. I’m also hoping to meet more guys in Japan that are open-minded.
I’ll end this lengthy blog post with a quote from a Japanese girl I found in Japan Zone:
“I like a guy who can play some music instruments and never say ‘I love all Japanese girls.’“
I only hope that people will keep an open mind, and to try and look beyond race. Congratulations if you got that dream girl or guy of the race you so desired, but remember that it’s their character that is more important, not their skin color. I’m not interested in the hip-hop loving Asian dude with a “Black woman fetish”. I’m not interested in the Black guy with a fetish for “exotic mixed girls.” And I hope that like me, there are open-minded women of darker complexion who will love their guy (or future guy) for who he is, not because he’s a “hot Asian guy.”
I wanted to make a YouTube video about this, but I haven’t yet figured out how to express my thoughts properly.