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For anyone familiar with racism in the social arena, the issues raised in Rae’s commentary are nothing new or even radical.
Thanks to the intermingling of technology and dating, there is irrefutable evidence that in modern American society, races and genders do not mix in harmoniously colorblind fashion.
You have to understand the context in which this passage exploded.
I’m not going to boast that I’m all plugged into Black Twitter, but I do know these things have happened recently: During this time, I saw a lot of tweets by black women, decrying how straight black men were the “weakest links” in the fight for social justice and how they knew many black men who exhibited internalized racism in their dating preferences.
Thus, internal fights within minority communities that were suppressed for the sake of appearances are now surfacing.
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So watching the same fight in the black community is fascinating, because in terms of relative social positioning, black women are more like Asian men.
But because black women are women, they also use similar language and tactics as Asian women in framing the whole interracial dating disparity issue as feminism and women’s progress. I’ll never forget the fact that during the darker days of this whole argument within Asian America— when we didn’t have the data, studies, or even freedom to openly talk about the obvious gendered racism infecting our supposedly diverse 21st American social scene —black women were usually the outsiders who backed up Asian men online when the denialists and apologists gaslit us and talked down to us.
On Monday, the last day of April 2018, Issa Rae was trending on Twitter because of what she wrote about black women and Asian men in her book three years ago. Sometime late on Saturday night, Plan A’s Five Alive tweeted a passage from in which she wrote about interracial dating disparities hurting black women and Asian men in similar ways.
She came to a tongue-in-cheek conclusion that black women and Asian men should therefore get together.