Dominique King Lean in with Love

It may not be ­possible for boyfriend to move beyond systemic racism

Dominique King Lean in with Love(April 18, 2023) — Q. I am on the verge of losing my mind with my boyfriend, who says: “I can’t be racist: I am a Democrat, and I am dating you.”

I am trying to get him to understand that those two things do not exclude him from having racist or discriminatory views. But he refuses even to consider the possibility that many of the things he believes and says are deeply rooted in racism. His last comment to me during dinner stung: “The BIPOC community is so used to thinking like and being victims, they can’t get out of their own way.” – Sydney

A. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you didn’t know your boyfriend had certain views and beliefs that could be seen as disparaging to people of color before you began dating. However, now that you know, why are you working so hard to change him when he has no intention of acknowledging that his views are problematic?

Sydney, you are right. Belonging to a political party, having a friend of color or even being a romantic partner does not exempt individuals from participating and believing in systemic racism and discrimination or holding biases.

Your boyfriend’s views originated from somewhere. It’s likely these beliefs and opinions are familial and exist within his social circles. Sydney, you are working against a support system that will validate his truth because it is quite possible their truths are the same.

Instead of trying to change him, I suggest you continue to engage in topics that cause intentional discussion and are aimed at uncovering who your boyfriend is at his core. Not for him. For you.

Can you continue to see yourself with him even as more and more of what you find is not in alignment with your values, morals and beliefs? The questions and reflection need to move inward.

The reality is he is the only person who can change himself. At some point, you will have to make an executive decision for yourself: Stay or leave.

Be well; you are worthy.

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Dominique King
Dominique King

Dominique King is a blogger who centers around marriage, family, fitness and personal growth. Her insightful and practical approach to advice gives everyday couples, parents and individuals a space to get answers to their questions.