This is a bit different from my other response posts in that I’m not so much responding to an article as I am a sentiment: The idea that a black woman who is open to dating and marrying interracially is somehow negotiating anything with other people in order to be able to do so.
You see, some people are SO DETERMINED to manipulate, control, and dictate the boundaries of black women, that they will even try and come at you as if you made some sort of agreement when you decided to open yourself to IRR. They feel it’s their right to set up the ground rules regarding your interests, what subjects are now “off-limits” to you, and even try and rewrite what it is you’ve communicated, as if their approval gives them the right to do this. As if you are going to cooperate with some total stranger offering an unneeded blessing on your personal choices, so long as you abide by their rules.
These ground rules I speak of are usually expressed indirectly, but some times people can come directly with their foolishness:
- “It’s cool if you date white men*, but you don’t get to talk about the bad things that some black men do to black women, or warn other black women about them.”
- “It’s cool that you married a white man, but you don’t get to talk about black problems, because you marrying a white man means you agree to forfeit your ethnic and or racial identity.”
- “It’s cool that you’re engaged to a white man, because you act white anyway, and you should understand no black man would ever want you anyway with all that whiteness.”
- “It’s cool that you’re into white men, but no white man could ever (insert inappropriate comment about your body and sex life) like a black man can. You’ll just be missing out.”
- “It’s cool that you’re dating white men, but understand that issues impacting black women are now no longer any of your business. So shut your mouth! (Bonus lulz if this comes from someone who isn’t a black woman)”
- “It’s cool that you’re marrying that white guy. I mean, we all know that there’s a man shortage and sistas get lonely. I understand you’re unhappy with being unable to find a good brotha. And so I wish you well as you are empty and miserable the rest of your no-black-man-having life!”
- “It’s cool that you like white guys, but you should know that any white guy interested in you is just looking to live out his slave fantasies. It doesn’t matter if he or anyone in his family never owned slaves. Or even if he’s not American: As soon as he steps foot on US soil, the first thing he’s going to go shopping for is whips and chains. Just thought you should know!”
Yup, interracial relationship spaces geared towards black women often features somebody showing up to dictate “read between the lines” sentiments meant to silence and corner the women there and gaslight them regarding how they get to feel about different topics. It could be because such persons are hoping you’re too stupid to see how inappropriate and ultra-familiar their behaviors are towards you. It could be because some people resent black women who date and marry white men because they suspect they’ll be picking up a butt-load of privileges passed on from white manhood (You can’t have it all, you fence-sitting jezebel! *snatches black card*).
What I do know is that when anyone comes with the “It’s cool if you date ____, but-” nonsense, you’re entitled to shut them down immediately. Take a page out of Mr. Samuel L. Jackson’s book: Inform them that you don’t remember asking them a godd*** thing, and then eat their Hawaiian burger and drink all of their Sprite before walking away. Or quoting Ezekiel 25:17 (which, surprisingly, is rather relevant in this context) at them and making them pee their pants while slowly reaching into your purse….for your lip stick. ;D
*Depending on the contract you never actually signed, this is ALWAYS true for white men. However, depending on the ethnicity of the man if he’s not white, the retention of your ethnicity or race may be negotiable.