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Race, humanity, and what I learned in high school. By Andrew Grant-Thomas. About three years ago I saw an old friend in Boston. We had dated for about a year in graduate school, when we were in our mid-twenties, and on my visit she showed me photos of ourselves from two decades earlier.
My response was a little different, more Shock than Awe. The younger me looked handsome. Not just in a young-people-are-adorable kinda way, either. Who knew? Not me when I actually was that guy, tell you what. A weird discovery to make so long after the fact.
Bob and I went to a predominantly white private school in New Haven, Connecticut. Through high school, as a straight, Black guy, I had no sense of myself as someone girls might be attracted to. But my truth is different than her story or mine. Nor did it help to be a work-study kid at a 7th—12th-grade school with a lot of well-to-do White kids, including girls, in the company of whom I often felt invisible. It was much later still that I began to think of myself as a more or less attractive person. Are you? What do we call that? Some call it racist.
Others disagree, including, not surprisingly, those who do it. I came across an article about the phenomenon, which one Facebook commenter called racial friendzoning. Another commenter, a young White woman, wrote this:. I am Caucasian. I have absolutely no sexual attraction whatsoever to Caucasian men. I am completely open to friendships, business relationships, etc. I still think white men are capable of love and by no means do I think my sexual attractions make me a racist person. I do however find the whole concept interesting and am curious as to why I am sexually repulsed by my own race.
To me, the word that comes to mind is dehumanizing, the denial of humanness to other people. To rule out an entire group of people from romantic consideration Black women are not attractive the basis of race is to dehumanize them. I get it. Public Health Service from to Few of us recognize our own impulses in such obscenities.
My wise friend Courtney notes that we often define terms like homophobia, misogyny, racism, and dehumanization with reference to behavioral extremes. Or not. Some people seem highly evolved, whereas others seem no different than lower animals. Using the image below as a guide, indicate using the sliders how evolved you consider the average member of each group to be. My guess is that in the United States of Muslims, Arabs, and Mexican immigrants would fare even worse.
Participants who saw an evolutionary gap between Muslim Americans and themselves preferred funding greater surveillance and more policing over more schools and libraries in those communities. The belief that target groups were subhuman also predicted less concern about African American and Arab victims of injustice, less support for Hispanic immigration, lower donations to a Chinese charity, and more.
In the conveniently, insistently hyper-privatized middle space of interpersonal attraction and dating, can dehumanization show up as racial friendzoning, aka sexual racism? Of course. Is racial friendzoning even a thing nowadays?
Yes, it is. Much less work has been done on cross-racial attraction and aversion in the gay community. All groups of women were most likely to respond to inquiries from same-race men. Men had weaker same-race preferences, but only Black men showed no same-race preference at all.
Asian American, Latino, and White men all friendzoned Black women relative to other women. Black, Latina, and White women all friendzoned Asian American men relative to other men. Latina and especially Asian American women friendzoned Black men. Yet the consistency of the findings tells us something.
Among straight people, African Americans, especially women, are effectively friendzoned much more than their peers are. Is it coincidental that many Americans subconsciously associate Black people with apes? In high school I felt dehumanized. Later, like the peasant in Monty Python and the Holy Grail who had been turned into a newt, I got better. So, too, were the people who helped restore my full humanity to me.
My story is a common one. When the people in your life, and at the margins of your life, look into your eyes, what of themselves do they see reflected there? Im a Person. What Are YOU? It might have been prom season. Another commenter, a young White woman, wrote this: "As someone who has been accused of being a racist dater [the article] was interesting to read. Dehumanization To me, the word that comes to mind is dehumanizing, the denial of humanness to other people.
Some of you just threw up your hands. What self-respecting person would want to date a subhuman? In Sum In high school I felt dehumanized. More Resources.Black women are not attractive
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Psychology Today Apologizes for 'Black Women Less Attractive' Post