"no matter what the people say/i'm gonna love you anyway/you are my life/i can't let go..."--Anthony Hamilton
I was amused to see the super cheesy banner on the Web last night of InterracialRomance.com. The sight of the bright, cheerleader-esque White woman and overly jovial Black man so happy to have found one another tickled me for the simplicity of it's message, obviously making an effort to appeal to the basest of our instincts. In the midst of my laughter, I clicked on the link and became horrified. Maybe it's my general bias against internet dating in general (which certainly leaves me in the minority in 2008, I'm well aware) but the way interracial relationships are presented by this site is slightly disturbing. It seems as though the genius that dreamed this up is all for stereotypes ("yeah, rip Jamal's shirt open! Yeah, yeah, Jenny, you got it...touch his chest, smile harder! Flip your hair! Look fragile!") and general exploitation of the concept of dating someone outside of your race. As someone who has dated interracially in the past and probably will again, I was deeply offended. So, in typical BIC fashion, I had to know more. Once I'm angry, I like to flesh out my anger and roll around in it for awhile. So, of course I registered. After being led through three screens of information to fill out, I was presented with my own personal options for "interracial" dating--six rather seedy-looking Black men "in my area"; a young White guy with a skinhead-esque baldie, a vaguely queer camera smirk, and the screename "white tiger"; and a very confused Indian man who looks like he's not quite sure why he's doing this, either. Although there is an obligatory stock photo on the homepage of a Black woman without her hair done joyfully hugging a so fresh and so clean White man who seems only vaguely interested in her, I don't see how this site is a true embrace of interracial romance. What this tells me is that this is a) a ridiculous notion, and b) a site that basically caters to the ultimate American ideal of "Jungle Fever"--a White woman and a Black man. Nevermind the hordes of Black, Latino and Asian women who might be interested in dating men of another race or culture; they either don't exist or they're cheap, frigid and uninteresting. And certainly nevermind the men who might be interested in dating them; no, no, we'll make our money by appealing to White women who lust after the elusive Big Black Buck and those bucks who want to use them for sex. Hey, don't mind me...maybe this site is the Truth. Maybe I'm just cynical and judgmental. And if you're a cheerful White woman who likes skulking Black men with screenames like "aintnoother" then, by all means, go ahead. Conversely, if you're a Black sex addict with 12-inch biceps and a penchant for bottle blondes who giggle when nothing is funny, knock yourself out. But if you're a Southeast Asian man from Southern California, you might just be S.O.L.