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White people are always fascinated by my natural hair.

Some ask questions such as, "Is it real/is it all yours? " The majority simply brush aside all rules of etiquette or respect and reach out and dig their fingers into my hair as though I were a lamb at a petting zoo.

I was once in a restaurant when an older, white, weathered-looking man decided to pet my head without warning.

Everyone seems to have a convenient solution for single people who have fallen into a monumental dating slump: Look for love online! According to Kevin Lewis, a University of California-San Diego professor and sociologist, the average user of an online dating site is more likely to to contact someone who shares his/her racial background.

In the age of instant gratification and lightening-speed technology, the 21st-century meet-cute is about as romantic as browsing the cereal aisle in the grocery store. Fork over your cash and trust the algorithms perfected at or e Harmony. Using Ok Cupid as his data pool, he gathered the following information about the racial breakdown of user interactions: "Most men (except Black men) are unlikely to initiate contact with Black women, all men (including Asian men) are unlikely to reply to Asian women, and although women from all racial backgrounds tend to initiate contact with men from the same background, women from all racial backgrounds also disproportionately reply to white men."Lewis's studies may be unsettling or hard to believe, as other findings have verified that interracial marriage is on the upswing.

Recent studies have proven that online dating can be tainted by racism.

If you're young, black and female, your identity might be a liability.

Regardless, the everyday racism that Black women encounter in the real world is often translated into a few thoughtless and crass keystrokes.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal declared that Black women are "the most unmarried group of people in the U.

S." Unlike the writer, Ralph Richard Banks, I believe that the factors of fetishization and exoticism are often magnified in the online dating world; framing the explanation by a matter of "desirability" or at worst, the consequences of self-segregation, blatantly ignores the roadblocks that prevent a higher marriage rate among Black women.

Hiding behind the relative anonymity of the Internet allows all walks of bigots and sexists to vocalize their views.

Some are so bold as to state this "preference" in their profiles, listing which races they don't want to date.

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