How is tumblr disapproving of interracial pairings/ships/relationships?
There’s a bunch of different ways, honestly, all cloaked in like five layers of nonsensery.
- The “they’re just platonic bros” type: These people will go to any lengths to deny the existence of chemistry between people of different races. These aren’t just people who don’t ship an interracial pairing, they’re people who dismiss the ship as entirely impossible because it would “ruin the great friendship between them.” Examples: Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills, Turk and J.D., Shawn and Gus, Troy and Abed.
- The “[character of color] and [white character] can’t be together because [white character] is supposed to be with [other white character]” type: These people really want you to know that it’s not about race, it’s just that they would just happen to prefer their white fave to be with any other white person rather than any person of color. Did you know that Doctor/Rose was generally regarded as a crackship, and a rather creepy and disturbing one at that, until Martha came along and expressed an interest? Sorry to bring Sleepy Hollow back into this, but I honestly believe that if Abbie were not on the show, the fandom would be just as distrustful of Katrina as they are of every female character on Supernatural, and the only reason they’re convinced of her perfection is because the alternative is admitting that Ichabod/Abbie is a legitimate possibility.
- The “they’re turning their back on their culture” type: These people will do everything but call the people in an interracial relationship “race traitors.” It’s almost exclusively other white people I see doing this, but they’ll pretend to be so concerned about someone’s cultural identity so they can disapprove of interracial relationships while deflecting charges of racism was “no YOU’RE racist, I’m FIGHTING racism.”
- The “I think everyone is as openly racist as me” type: These people somehow use interracial relationships to hate on everyone, even people who are totally detached from the relationship. For example, there’s this racist meme going around that’s a photograph of a family where the mom is black and the dad is white, and it’s captioned with thought bubbles. In it, he’s thinking “my friends dared me” and she’s thinking “financial security.” That manages to paint black women as unable to attain financial security on their own, as well as painting men of color (but specifically black men) as being fundamentally not financially secure. These racists use interracial relationship as a way to make fun of all people of color, even those who are not in them. They see an interracial relationship and decide the time for them to say every racist thing they’re thinking has come. See also: The incredibly racist “Daquan” meme.
- The “what do you mean an interracial relationship doesn’t need white people in it” type: These people might fall into one of the other categories here, but I’ve legitimately seen people saying Troy and Abed wouldn’t be an interracial relationship because neither of them is white. Same goes for Turk and Carla, despite the fact that Carla explicitly identifies as “Latina” and “not black” on the show, and multiple people, including both Turk and Carla, describe their relationship as interracial.
- The “I’m concerned if a person of color tends to date white people but not when a white person dates other white people exclusively” type: Mindy Kaling came under a lot of fire for the fact that her romantic interests were mostly (if not all) white. Why didn’t Steve Carell come under the same fire when all his girlfriends on “The Office” were white? Why didn’t Amy Poehler come under the same fire when all of her boyfriends on “Parks and Recreation” were white? Why didn’t Tina Fey come under the same fire for all of her serious boyfriends being white on “30 Rock?” Why didn’t the production team behind “How I Met Your Mother” not come under the same fire when literally all of Ted Mosby’s girlfriends (and friends) were white?
- The “I don’t date [race] people” or “I don’t find [race] people attractive” type: There’s a difference between never having dated outside your race and never being willing to. There is no non-racist reason to categorically rule out an entire race of people from your attractions, since there is no characteristic that is either universal or exclusive to any one race. I’m not saying you have to date anyone of that race who asks, and I’m not saying you have to find everyone attractive, but if their race is the reason you’re ruling them out, you’re a big ole racist.
There’s also the flipside, people who are gross, creepy, and fetishistic about it:
- The “I only date [race] people” type: The bizarro-world version of the last point above. You’re still saying people of that race are interchangeable and that you believe stereotypes about them. You’re still saying that there are universal, exclusive characteristics to one race. Have you ever met a white dude who says he only dates Asian women? Ask him why. I guarantee he will say at least two racist stereotypes about Asian women. If you’re only dating someone because of their race, you’re just as racist as the people who only rule people out because of their race.
- The “I can’t be racist, my [romantic partner] is [race]” type: Being in an interracial relationship doesn’t exempt you from being racist. In fact, if you’re using your partner as a shield to deflect accusations of racism, you’re at least a jerk.
- The “you should be grateful for my fetish” type: These are the type of people who run porn blogs dedicated to a specific race and then follow women of that race on tumblr in the hopes they might one day post nudes that can be reblogged. They’re the white people who talk about black men’s penis size as though that’s not a racist stereotype. They don’t understand why they’re being called racist, because in their mind, it’s a compliment. It’s objectively not a compliment, but these people really don’t care about the feelings of the people they fetishize, they just tell themselves it’s a compliment so they don’t feel like creeps.
- The “give me a cookie for not being a white supremacist” type: Do you know how many other white people I’ve seen, both on tumblr and out in the real world, saying that they’re not exclusively attracted to white people, and would even be open to dating a person of color, and patting themselves on the back for not being quite as racist as Bob Ewell from “To Kill A Mockingbird.” You aren’t making some great stand for racial equality by not being repulsed at the idea of dating outside your race. Remember that episode of It’s Always Sunny where the waitress overhears Charlie saying the n-word, so he goes on a date with a black woman to the waitress’ coffee shop, just to prove he isn’t racist? Don’t be Charlie.
- The “I want to have beautiful mixed babies!” type: This is creepy as hell. You’re literally fetishizing infants, and not just infants, your own hypothetical children.
I also get that, since tumblr is a microcosm of society as a whole, these attitudes are not exclusive to tumblr, and that not everyone on tumblr holds any of these attitudes. I also know that not everyone on tumblr is white, and I’m sure different racial communities have different attitudes towards interracial relationships, but I didn’t feel like it was my place to speak to those.