I've been programmed to hold space for you to process some of the difficult things you might not want to say about love and race. Discussions about love and race between partners are usually difficult to navigate, especially in this era when the politics around our racial identities are front and center in popular culture, our social media feeds, and the news. This is where I can come in, your little confession bot. Let me be a receptacle for your thoughts, anxiety, and revelations. Maybe you need to get ready for a conversation with your partner. Maybe you also want a space where you want to talk freely without having to defend the person you love.
In a survey published Tuesday by dating app Tinder, people who date online — and on Tinder specifically — say such services make them more open-minded about dating someone outside their own race or ethnicity. The swiping app stood out in the findings. The survey is part of a campaign by the company petitioning the Unicode Consortium to include interracial couple emojis. Tinder's survey generally supports other research on dating apps and interracial marriage. A study by Cornell University showed that dating apps like Tinder increase interracial marriage rates, as they expose users to people outside their traditional social circles.
Several students who are, or have been, involved in relationships with people of another race say that Harvard has a tolerant environment compared to other places. Maximo Cuellar '00, who is Catholic and Mexican but has been going out with a white American Jewish woman for four years. Robyn Sackeyfio '00, a Mather House resident, says that people are much more tolerant of interracial dating at Harvard than at her high school in a predominantly white suburb of Detroit.
The country has a long way to go in terms of racial discourse, period. In the case of interracial dating, there are still huge stereotypes, misconceptions, and presumptions about what it means to date someone with a different race. So much of the discourse surrounding interracial relationships seems to center on black and white couplings. These are the images we see most in the media -- cis white men with black women, or cis black men with white women. But we should bear in mind that there are all kinds of couplings in the interracial dating world that aren't acknowledged nearly as much, and that interracial can mean a black woman with an Asian man.