Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interracial Dating

Interracial dating has long been a topic exciting strong opinions.  I began to think about this topic more over the summer when our church had a series on interracial dating.  It was a very progressive topic for a very progressive church.  Our church is encompassed by multiple races and ages and is a safe haven for those of us that live in or near the racial utopia that is Columbia, MD.  And I am sure the fact that our pastor is black, while his wife is Korean can't hurt either.  

But I am embarrassed to say that even after sitting through the series and even having friends that I love and respect who have been in interracial relationships, as a black woman I still have trouble accepting a black man with a non black woman.  And let me be more specific.  My issue is not with interracial dating in general.  As a black woman I have often talked about "getting my swirl on" or "trying something new," a.k.a, dating outside my race.  I even find myself looking at couples with a black woman and non black man in awe.  Part of me gives a proud head nod to those women.  However, despite my admiration for the black woman/white man combination I still have the problem with a black men dating a white women.

Why am I embarrassed?  I am embarrassed because it is 2012.  I have been blessed to grow up in various locations around the country.  I have friends that span all races and ethnicities.    Above all that, I believe in love.  I think people should have the right to love anyone they want.  So why can't I get over this?

Maybe part of it is the disparity between educated black men and black woman.  More black woman are in college then black males and the disparity just increases the higher up the educational ladder you go.  Finding a black man who shares my educational status is already difficult, black men know this.  Therefore, they have their pick of who they date.  Many, not all, then play the odds and date numerous women at once.  The plight of the black woman dating and finding marriage is a subject that pops up every few years by the media, but it is not what I want to focus on here.

Many times when you find a successful black man, you will find a white woman on his arm, not all times, but many.  I will be even more specific.  I think the issue is not a black man that finds one white woman that he loves.  I think the issue that myself, and many other black women have is that black man that dates exclusively white women or exclusively non black women.  It is like a slap in the face!  

Why do they have the non black female preference?  Here are some theories.  Some just straight up don't like black women.  They say that we are too loud, too bossy,  and ask too many questions, so you know, they use the usual stereotypes heightened in the media and other entertainment outlets.  Maybe it has to do with slavery.  A time where black men were constantly emasculated by white slave masters who violated their black wives and continuously ripped apart families leaving the black woman to become the matriarchs of the family.   Maybe their dating preference is a way to stick it to "the man" by dating his once forbidden white female stock?   Perhaps black men have fallen victim to the white aesthetic of beauty?  Society is constantly defining the ideal beauty as being a blond haired blue eyed fair skinned woman.  Possibly, black men lack confidence in themselves.  They could have been that guy that liked to listen to Nine Inch Nails or enjoyed reading rather than playing sports.  The non black girls may have been the only girls to accept this boy for who he is.

What do I think?  All of the above?  None of the above?  A combination?  Who knows!?  I am no psychologist!  But everyone has their own experiences and their own perceptions.  It is unfair to judge black men as a monolithic group.  A black man's dating preference is an individual preference, much like my own.

And even though it makes me uncomfortable sometimes to see the pictures of a black man with his umpteenth white wife or girlfriend is it about him and his preferences or is it about me?  In other words, is it that man that is bothering me or the fact that I feel rejected by a group  that historically was supposed to be my strength and support.  A black man is the only other person that can truly understand my plight.  And maybe I feel hurt, because I don't look like the woman that you will see on a billboard.  I thought that my black man would love my curly hair, my curves, and my caramel skin because we are one in the same, but maybe he is looking at me with disgust.  Maybe it is when society tells me that I am not smart enough, successful enough, or beautiful enough that I thought that you, black man would have my back but then I find out you don't?  It hurts to think that you don't see me as your black queen.

The truth is though, regardless if I feel hurt by my black brother choosing a white woman over me, it's none of my business.  We are far removed from the days of Loving v. Virginia.  People of all races can marry and date who they want, at least in the United States.  Hell, more and more states are even allowing for gay marriage.  So who am I to judge?  

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