Does their schooling trump my lived experience?

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am dating someone who thinks they know more about my culture than I do.

Harriette Cole

I am a Black American who is dating a White American. They majored in African American studies in college. I didn’t attend college.

We were having a casual conversation the other day when it turned into a debate about my knowledge on all things Africa. They implied that they have more in-depth knowledge about Black culture than I do because of their studies.

I thought this was incredibly offensive, wrong and inappropriate to say. How could you know more about my culture than I do? I have firsthand experience, and they could never understand that.

I don’t think I care to see them again after that conversation. Would I be overreacting if I cut them off for this?

Disrespectful Date

DEAR DISRESPECTFUL DATE: Don’t give up yet. Instead, sit down and have a talk.

Your date obviously wants to know about your culture, which is why they chose to study it in college. That is a good thing. They also chose to date someone who is African American, likely because they truly are attracted to you and your culture. These are good things.