Question of the Week: Why is it Everyone’s Business If Some Black Women Have a Preference for Non-Black Men?

I got this note from a regular reader and I thought it was worth it for all of ya’ll to read…

Dear Christelyn,

Over the past few months I have been thinking after looking at some of the vitriol and disdain spewed by others on the blogsphere regarding the preferences of others.  I am well aware of the double standard that black women face in regards to interracial dating; I also feel in my own personal opinion that black women and women with partial black ancestry face more backlash than any other group.  My claim is supported by the recent outrage Tamera Mowry and Stacy Dash faced, not only for their political views, but also for their choice in mates.

It also got me thinking about preferences and why others have a hard time accepting them.  What is so hard about understanding that people have a right to limit their dating pool?  I say this with black women in mind.  It seems like anytime a black woman has a preference for non-black men, the “self hate” and “bougie” smears are not far off.   I have experienced backlash for my own preferences,  even as a young teen.  While everyone else thought I should be into Omarion, Bow Wow or Romeo, I was busy admiring Keanu Reeves and Michael Douglas.  Needless to say this did not go over well with quite a few people, many of these people were my own family members.  Here is the tricky thing, my mother is non-black, my uncle is exclusive to Latinas, and my cousin (DBR and racist as he is) has a child by a Hawaiian woman.  I was exposed to the double standard early on, whats OK for black men is no OK for black women, even the ones that are not fully black.  No matter how hard my father and mother tried to shield me from toxic people like this, they always managed to get to me and try to indoctrinate me(which is why parents need to be alert, but that is another topic).  Fast forward 9 years and I am still dealing with the backlash and questioning of my preferences, I am now more well equipped to handle the idiotic comments and invasive questions as a young adult, but it still irks me.

Why do so many people believe they have a right to interject their opinions into the intimate relationships of others?  As many theories as I have come up with I still cannot fully answer it. In the age of twitter and You Tube, everyone has an opinion and a platform to share it. Maybe it’s the feeling that one’s opinion of another’s love life and who they choose to date really matters.  It could be that the people that some people have low self esteem and seek validation by trying to interject themselves into another’s private life.  It could be that they have a hard time seeing a viewpoint other than their own.  Some black women have a hard time with this, they have been taught that black men are the only men they should date, and have a difficult time handling women who don’t think this way. A big part of it is the desire to control and manipulate others through guilt, questioning someone why they prefer red over blue is seen as silly, why doesn’t this apply to finding a mate? Isn’t it just as silly to question someones dating preferences?

Many people fail to realize that no one owes them an explanation as to why they prefer what they prefer. No one should be backed into a corner and forced to explain why they chose A over B.  It’s rude, it’s pointless, and it will never yield the desired response.

Sorry if that was long, I just had to get it off my chest.

My take? It’s all about fear and control. What’s yours?