Devin Randall's picture

Real Talk: The Whole Truth Behind The "Your Preference Is Racist" Discussion

MTV’s Decoded is back again to specifically talk about racism on gay dating apps.

We know, several readers are probably rolling their eyes and sighing (or did so as soon as they saw this article’s title).

That said, the conversation of racism in gay dating keeps coming up for a reason. The topic is relevant in several gay men’s lives.

We know, in today’s PC culture some readers may feel like we’re the boy who cried wolf, and honestly some people’s perspective on the issue can be quite repetitive/restrictive.

That said, the overall situation is fairly simpler than most are willing to consider.

First, check out the Decoded video starring internet content creator Dylan Marron (of the “Shut down” series) to see most of the situation’s truth. Then, come back to read this Instinct writer’s additional thoughts below.

Now again, we know that some of you are already triggered and writing down your opposition to this side of the conversation (if you haven’t already), but hear me out.

No matter what, the preference to date only one type of guy is by definition racist. (Note: I don't mean having a preference of liking Native/Indigenous men more than other races. I mean the decision to reject all other men or one type of race specifically).

For instance, imagine if I were to say, “I’m only interested in Black guys. It’s a preference.” By saying so, I’m ultimately rejecting every other shade of man that there is out there. Do all mixed men look alike? No. Do all Asian men have the same personality/lifestyle? No. So, how can I outright reject all of men of a certain color? That’s a gross generalization.

By rejecting all white men, for instance, simply because they’re white, I’m showing prejudice against them based on their race, which is the definition of racism.

On what basis can you really justify going, “I wouldn’t date you because you’re ____,” or “I would never date a _____ guy,” when there’s a wide variety of looks and personalities within one race?

And if you’re immediate response is, “That’s just what I like,” or “That’s what makes me hard,” my response to that is, “Why?”

Now, of course, there could be some understandable explanations like some kind of traumatic experience. But even then, the simple solution is exposure. Meeting a few more Latino men can widen your perspective on Latino men and wipe away that bad memory (in terms of dating at least).

Now for those vehemently against this “Preference is Racism” mentality, here’s where you might be happy to see my reasoning.

At the end of the day, this writer realizes that I have no real sway in anyone else’s life. Everyone is entitled to dating whomever they like, and my forcing my views on you would ultimately be another form of oppression.

Let’s be honest, this is your life. I may not be happy with how you run it, but you get to live and date how you want.

But that’s not all. There’s one final piece to the puzzle. Acknowledgement.

As someone who understands the “preference” defense is racist, I can still acknowledge that I shouldn’t force my views too much on others. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t express them.

In addition, you can live your life and date whomever you want, but I hope that you can eventually acknowledge that what you’re saying/thinking is inherently racist. I’m not asking you to change (though I’d like you to), but I’m asking you to acknowledge the problem.

Alright, that’s my spiel. That’s my perspective. What do you think? Is there a hole in my reasoning? Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts below.

Just remember when commenting, there are (hopefully) other human beings on the other end of your screen.

Comments

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What's wrong with long posts? No, really I've seen that concern before. I think you communicate very effectively Devin.

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It's a tough one.  I understand both side of the coin.  My number one rule. Do what you want as long as jou not hurting another.  

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You can take this to the point where the words "racist" or "misogynist" practically lose all their meaning. And certainly their impact.

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Well being an older, white, heavier, hairy (front and back), uncut, bald man with a southern accent (some think redneck/unintelligent)  One or more of my physical attributes will be on someone's (not into) preferences. Which I completely understand..Seems as though a lot of people are assuming dislike is the opposite to preference for example just because I might have a preference for Latino men does not mean I dislike other races or if my preference was for older doesn't mean I dislike younger. So for everything I find physically attractive about a man there will be another man that doesn't have those attributes and will be offended should that become MY issue??? Can I be more understanding and take their feelings into consideration and not say (blacks only) (whites only)  (younger only) ect...Yes it's called common courtesy. Will racists try and hide their hate under the umbrella of preference? of course they will. Will other people that have been racially profiled, judged, dumped on, put down... think a person that has a preference is racist? of course they will. I can only say this about me and me alone The attributes that I look for in "sexual partner" are not the same as what I look for in friends. So if you're quick to think I'm a racist because of my certain preferences we wouldn't make good friends. I don't do friends who say they know what it's like and hate being judged for being a______, while judging others...

Devin Randall's picture
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Hi Jerryln,

I gotta be honest. Your comment is hard to read and repeats a lot of thoughts that I've already shared, so it took me a while to decide if I'd respond. That said, I do want to address one thing (& thank you for that, because I couldn't find the right place to put it in the article when I was writing it).

I'm not trying to say people are racist. Instead, I was saying rejecting all Asians because they're Asian is a racist act (& again, I'm not talking about preferring one race over the other).

When we think of the words racists or racism, we think of angry people with tiki torches. We think, "They're racists. Not me." But, anyone, no matter their race, can do/say something racist or prejudice like making a joke about white people or saying "No Latinos. Its just a preference."

Being a racist and saying/doing something racist can be two different things. And I was talking about the latter.

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Who I take into my bedroom is no one's business but mine and the person going in there with me. What got us there is called consent.

How I interact with people outside of my home (and especially at work) IS open to discussion.  So when using a dating app, don't be a d***.

Devin Randall's picture
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Like what's said in my article, I mostly agree with you.

Though, posting racial preferences on gay app profiles is a weird middle zone between being personal and public. Ultimately, people are sharing that personal info and saying, "This is who I'll take into my bedroom" to the world. And then seeing this happen multiple times on multiple accounts makes it worthy of public discussion.

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I have three thoughts on this: first, I think we need to be concerned with behavior outside the bedroom. Do you restrict your friends and acquaintances to people of one race? Are you angry if a person of another race is your boss or neighbor? This is where it really matters. Second, this is where living to much in a digital and hook up society is problematic. Behind a computer or using a devise makes everything less personal. Third, I am getting so sick  of hearing straight white men who view themselves as privileged as if it is wrong to appear to be enlightened and comes across as sanctimonious. This whole thread strikes me as a bit high and mighty but lacks sincerity.

Devin Randall's picture
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I agree on all your points.

Though I have to ask, what do you mean "whole thread" at the end. I assume you mean any theoretical straight white male in the circumstances you explained, but I'm having a dumb moment and just need clarity lol.

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I get your perspective, and I have never been one of those preference people. My only issue is that it’s only considered problematic when I white person has this “preference”. Being from NYC I’ve seen men of all colors of the rainbow post racial preferences on their profiles. It’s annoying that this is made out to be a white people problem when it’s not. There’s closed minded people all over the world from all walks of life.

Devin Randall's picture
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Hi, 

I know what you mean. Men of color (of all different races) are just as prejudice as White men. I think the reason Gay White men get the most attacks is because they are the majority.

That said, I am no researcher (or even a Pseudo "I did a online poll, which counts as a survey, which counts as a study" researcher), so I can't/won't sling numbers at you. 

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I'm a misogynist as I only want to date men.

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