On October 27, 2016, openly-gay, YouTube personality with over 8 Million subscribers and over 650 Million views accumulated on all of his videos who goes by the name of Tyler Oakley, tweeted this to his followers on Twitter.
Strong words there from Tyler. Racism is such a strong claim to put out there, especially the connotations it has been used in the past. Is it really discriminating that being attracted to a certain ‘type’ puts you in the same label as slave owners in the 1600’s?
Personally, these thoughts never occurred to me, nor has it ever bothered me. While I have always been friendly to every other types of people, ranging from so many races, I have only been a relationships in few select ethnicities. Not because of discriminating on other skin colors, but maybe because I’m just not attractive enough for the other person (which could also be influenced by race). This does not bother me at all, because who am I to force someone who to be attracted with? I won’t lose sleep on it.
While I couldn’t really give a toss of going into discussion of that topic, the tweet above did receive a fair ton of responses, mainly offended people saying racism is a big accusation and what not. Seeing that, Oakley decided to tweet a follow-up response to clarify his thoughts.
My response to that was “Wow, he really does think this is racism!”. My thought process went from “Yeah, not really. Falling in love with someone is definitely not like whipping blacks to do stuff for us.” to “Wait a second, am I getting the definition of racism wrong here? He seems so sure of it”. Just to make sure, I had to open up Merriam-Webster’s definition of “Racism” and this is what it said:
2a : a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
2b : a political or social system founded on racism
3: racial prejudice or discrimination.
Based on all three of Merriam-Webster’s definition of “Racism”, there are common themes that is very innate in all of them; power, and pride. Racism from what I gathered is as some sort of thought process that the own’s persons race is better than any other race different to the self. It was the same belief that Hitler prides in the Aryan super race which initiated the Holocaust. Racism seems to be more of a situation in being tough and a very self-centered approach. Attraction however, in my personal experience, actually does not take a self-centered approach, and falling in love most of the time is considered as a weakness, hence the word “falling” in the expression.
If Oakley’s logic of having a preference is considered ‘racist’, Caucasians who only prefer Caucasians are racist, Black people only dating Black people are racist, and Indians will only want to marry Indians are also racist. But if a Black guy only wants to date White girls, he is not racist. I know it’s a flawed logic, because I do believe there are actually people who actually write off a certain race choosing a partner simply because of their dislike towards that certain race. But Oakley’s statement seems to be a hasty generalization on everyone and a big middle finger to someone who has a certain ‘taste’.
I kind of am annoyed of Tyler Oakley at this point because he actually made me think I was racist for a while, because I genuinely believe I am not. Pity though, because I actually don’t mind Tyler at all, in fact he’s the few openly-gay guys out there who doesn’t use his sexual orientation as a gimmick he sells, rather he spreads awareness and is probably the biggest spokesperson of the LGBT community that had his fame from YouTube. I admire that of him, but while this blanket statement was a bit controversial, it wasn’t really worthy of a rant. However, this was the tweet that inspired me to write this response.
I hate this ‘choice’ defense he hides behind. A friend of mine back in high school one day asked me “Have you ever realize that you only really like girls from a certain ethnicity? And you like girls from very different than yours?”. Of course I called bullshit, but he then proceeds to list all the girls that I have dated, almost dated, or generally just admitting someone is cute. The weird thing was, all the girls he listed was all of the same ethnic background, and I have never realized it until that day. Did I ever consciously chose this specific race? Of course not. Do I have friends from different races that are different to the girls I’m supposedly attracted to? Yes I do. But sadly, I am a huge racist because big ol’ Tyler said it. Lock me up because I don’t have an acquired taste for other types of girls.
Also, I would like to ask how is sexual orientation NOT a choice? You prefer men over women, that is as big of a choice anyone will make. I do know for a fact most people that are gay at first do not realize that they prefer those of the same gender, and they embrace being gay it when they finally do realize it. You can’t say that my realization doesn’t have any similarity with that. Suddenly because gender plays a role in this that it can’t be discriminatory? Piss off. He also had to add one final tweet on this topic, and it doesn’t get any better.
Who broke your heart, Tyler? And “favor whiteness”? I’m sorry, I think you’re the one who is racist here now. With you being white, you are actually cornering yourself by roughly saying “society makes white people the most attractive race in the world”. Ask the Kardashians and their black boyfriends, see if whiteness had a hand with their relationship.
If you’re going to use that argument of people who has ‘preference’ on attraction, I’ll use this one on you too. If you say that being gay “wasn’t a choice”, that you “can’t help what you’re attracted to”, how do you know that you like a men in the first place? Because being gay/homosexual by definition means “sexually attracted to people of the same sex”, and by identifying as one means you by default admit you prefer men than women. Preference means having a choice, and you definitely know you should not have dug a hole with this argument.
While it seems like I have written this post pretty well, I must admit that I can still improve my English because I did not know what prejudice actually means. So another trip to Merriam-Webster was needed, and here is what it gave me:
: an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc.
: a feeling of like or dislike for someone or something especially when it is not reasonable or logical
Oh wow. Is he really concluding that if I like women from a certain ethnic background better that means I dislike all the other women with different ethnicities? And you’re telling me a guy being sexually attracted to another guy is based on logic? Oh Tyler, you’re better than this. An absence of like does not instantly mean dislike. You’re an intelligent man, but watch what you speak. Asian woman being attracted to Asian men does not mean she has illogical hate towards White, Black, Latinos, or Arabic men. Hell, love has never made any sense anyways.
Even after all these critics though, I do kind of see what Tyler Oakley was trying to say. He’s just trying to push people to love everyone and don’t give a damn what color their skin is, what color their hair is, or what language they speak in. I get that he was attempting an “everyone is equal, what matters is what is inside” kind of statement, but right off accusing racism is just not cool, especially coming from such a cool person like Tyler Oakley. If you ask me, both sexual orientation and physical preferences are both so vaguely to be discussed and such a sensitive topic that I would rather leave it at “both are not influence by choice, but it is human to want something specific.”
(Wow, did I just have a strong opinion about something I have no interest in? I must be good. Well in the words of Tyler Oakley…)
Well this piece of garbage of an article won’t ever end up on Tyler Oakley’s browsing history, but if he ever reads this, he should know that he’s awesome, and don’t make me disagree with you again.