Actually, it was just around that time that I was worried about the opposite. I was worried that I could never date a white person again. And I was worried about what that said about me. My last relationship was with a white person. An incredible, loving, progressive person. While we were together I had never considered race an issue in our relationship. Sometimes I forgot that we were interracial at all. But as I reflected over our relationship, I realized that sometimes the race difference was hard on us.
I remember getting into a huge argument about rich, white folks and their huge houses and expensive cars. She thought I was too angry and militant.
I remember her breaking down in tears when I made a half joke about not living with only white people in the future. And I remember how guilty I felt afterwards, like I had failed to be enlightened enough, that I had failed at fitting in. People are people. Why not hang out with only white folks?
And yet, it seemed impossible. My recent experiences with white folks seemed less than promising. Somehow things I said, jokes I made always seemed to alienate them. I was too angry. I pointed out white people too much. I could tell this. I could sense it. And I could tell that people didn't like me because of it. And yet I couldn't stop. It was like being transported back to middle school again when you're trying so hard to make friends but you can just tell that nobody likes you. Except, back then sometimes it was just confusing and not necessarily your fault. You were still learning social navigation skills and didn't know what you were doing wrong. This time around, it was all the same feelings of being unliked coupled with the knowledge that you were the one doing something wrong over and over and over again. It's a terrible to feel unliked. It's even worse when you're certain it's your fault and you can't fix it.
It's a confusing place. I've often wished that there were some kind of objective meter out there that I could judge my behavior against. On one hand, I felt for certain that my comments were militant and out of line. Response after response of those around me had told me that. Maybe I was a racist. On the other hand, a small part of me cried out to be validated. The most effective tool of counter-organizing is to convince those who are oppressed and those who are aware that they're being extreme. Was I falling victim to societal pressures to fall in line? The uncertainty killed me. Was I a good person or not?!
I didn't know. But whichever I was, it was pretty clear to me that I would probably never date a white person again, not necessarily because I was against it in principle but because it just could never work out. Whether I was a good or bad person, I could not, for the life of me, keep my mouth shut. I'd have to find someone who was ok with that.