"This is a civil rights issue," Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said during a news conference announcing Democratic plans to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey. Supreme Court eventually heard Richard and Mildred Loving’s case and ruled state statutes banning interracial marriage unconstitutional.Oliver recounted the story of an interracial couple forced to leave Virginia in the 1950s or face jail time for being married. But, "in 1958, there were 16 states in this country that prohibited -- prohibited -- an African-American and a Caucasian from being married," Oliver (D-Essex) said on Jan. "Without question, Senator (Stephen) Sweeney said it best: this is a civil rights issue.

I finally came to the conclusion that if this was really what my friends thought, then perhaps they should stay away from us.

Black people are better off without your lethal rhetoric to pollute our lives and dismiss our realities.

But it still makes me question why these same people also see white people as safe and valid options, don’t have a problem recognizing the attractiveness of certain black people, but still categorize it into this idea of “black attractiveness” that will never reach the spectrum of real attractiveness.

Once this thought began to take shape, I started noticing more and more that most of my friends of color either dated within their own race or white people.

Should black people really be made to feel small, unattractive and/or complicated because of other people’s inability to understand and interact with realities outside their own?

Gay rights advocates are casting the fight for same-sex marriage as a struggle mirrored in the nation’s past.

Perhaps they thought that their only options were to be in relationships with people who experienced the same race-based oppression they did, or to swallow their identities as people of color whole in order to better appeal to white people.

Was this some rare coincidence or was a statement being made about how nonblack people view blackness in terms of physical attraction?

It seems that what many non-black people aren’t wanting to admit to themselves are that these cheap claims of having a “preference” is just a mask for the fact that, inherently, you think blackness is unattractive.

Whether it’s because of our negro noses or afros, I am beginning to realize that so many of my friends’ dating preferences are linked to explicit racism and are rooted in anti-blackness.

It put the number of states where interracial marriage was illegal in 1958 at 16.