Why can't I be friends with my female co-workers without people giving me a hard time?

Anonymous
People at my job are constantly giving me grief about 2 women on my team. I'm a single black male in my mid-20s. One woman is married, biracial, and in her mid-30s. The other one is single, Asian, and in her early 20s. I'm pointing out the demographics because different groups of people are giving me grief about each woman.

My black co-workers give me the most grief about the biracial woman. Black men think I'm romantically interested in her and are pushing me to flirt with her even though she's married. They think she'd be mine if she was single. Black women stare and don't speak to me when I'm with her. However, when I'm by myself, black women go back to being super friendly and asking me about my day.

My white co-workers give me the most grief about the Asian girl. White men keep setting us up to sit next to each other in meetings. One has even gone the extra mile to talk about dating and marriage in front of her while telling me to pursue marriage. White women often stare and point at us, smiling. I overheard a group of them talking about us being a couple.

I'm not romantically interested in either woman, but I enjoy being around them because they're good people. It's bothered me so much that I don't want to go to the break room, walk in the hallway, or each lunch with them. Any idea as to why these groups of people care so much about who I'm friends with?
Why can't I be friends with my female co-workers without people giving me a hard time?
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