Interracial Dating, a Civil Rights Protest

Thanks to Republican Ann Coulter, XOJane columnist Shayla Pierce realized this week that her white boyfriend was actually akin to a freedom rider.

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Married couple Robin Thicke and Paula Patton (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

When XOJane contributor Shayla Pierce, a black woman, began dating and fell in love with her white boyfriend, she thought it was because of their own happy luck. Now, after watching Republican pundit and author Ann Coulter on Fox & Friends jokingly talk about white men dating black women as trying to be "Freedom Riders," she realized that some may think her beau is actually attempting to make a civil rights statement about equality.

While Ann was most likely being slightly facetious, her misstatement got me thinking of some of the dumb assumptions that people have made about my boyfriend because he dates black women. For example:

He's a Sugar Daddy

According to this widely observed theory, there's only one thing that could have me snuggling up under the arm of a blue-eyed Irish boy: cold hard cash. Because, what the hell else could I possibly see in him? Sensitivity? Honesty? Psh. Damn the fact that the man owns only t-shirts and is probably the most unassuming human being on the planet, he must have money and plenty of it. Which, or course, makes me the conniving gold-digger. I must be rocking those Old Navy flip flops in 60-degree weather to make him think that I'm modest just to throw him off track. Dastardly.

What's funny (or totally f---ed up) about this misconception is that it comes from every direction; blacks, whites, men, women, strangers, and acquaintances alike. Like when the friend of a friend, a black woman, gave me a wink and told me to "have fun being a sugar baby" after she saw a photo of my boyfriend online. Or when the waiter, a white man, handed me my boyfriend's change and laughed that the money was "just going to end up with me anyway."

Read Shayla Pierce's entire piece at XOJane.

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