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While browsing YouTube the other day, I noticed an interesting ad, placed below a video entitled, “Single black women find the search for love is especially difficult.”

The ad pictured a Black woman with a shirtless White man next to the text, “AfroRomance — Where love is more than skin deep.”

I didn’t want to assume that it’s placement was intentional, so I refreshed the page at least half a dozen times, even closing the browser, opening it back up, and going to the page again, and each and every time I saw the exact same ad. I even went so far as to have four other people check the page, but we independently saw the same thing. No matter how we tried, there was no escaping AfroRomance.

It seemed that YouTube, with it’s consistent ad placement was saying: “Hey Black women, you know your pickings are slim with all the black men being either unemployed or incarcerated. Not to worry, come try out this interracial dating site and find you a nice White man!”  (Ok, perhaps that wasn’t the intent, but that’s certainly how I took it.)

The ad suggests that you “join thousands of members looking for their interracial partner!” I understand that people sometimes have proclivities to be attracted to certain types of people, and that’s fine. It’s likely no secret that I am attracted to Black women. I’m also, however, attracted to Latino women, Indian women, White women, and Asian women.

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The fact is, we all have preferred body type, skin, hair and eye color, and such, but the idea of someone dating exclusively outside their race is disturbing. To not be attracted to a person of the same race seems to be a form of self hate, does it not?

The concept of an exclusively interracial dating site would lead me to believe that the people there are looking at skin color first and foremost. After all, isn’t the reason they’re there is to meet someone with a certain pigment?

I find that attraction based solely on complexion, especially when using lines like, “where love is more than skin deep,” to promote your service, actually shows that the love you may find there would, in fact, be only skin deep — at least initially.

This is dangerous because it gives place to those who fantasize and even have fetishes about people of a different race. Fetishes tend to debase and disrespect their subjects because they are viewed simply as a source of pleasure or fantasy, rather than as a valued and complex member of society. This is something that Whites in America have been doing since the first Africans have placed their coerced feet onto the continent.

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Systemic racism and personal prejudice toward Black people have found a comfortable home here in American society for centuries. And while one would think interracial relationships would tear down these walls and barriers between the races, it seems that when built on the wrong premise, and with the wrong intent, these relationships can actually serve to perpetuate the degradation of Blacks in America.

Hear me clearly — there is absolutely nothing wrong with dating someone of another race. What is wrong is when you date someone of another race with impure motives.

Are you dating them because you’ve “always wanted to know what it felt like”? Or is it because you genuinely see qualities in them that you’re attracted to regardless of their skin color? Is the love really more than skin deep? Or is it only skin deep?

I wouldn’t dare judge anyone in a relationship and answer that question for them. Instead it’s something that needs to be seriously considered by both parties.

[Written by Stuart McDonald for For more from Stuart, check out his personal blog, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on Facebook.]