You might remember the video I posted last week featuring the unseen white guy who commented at a SWIRLING event Janice and I attended hosted by Meet Up group, Sisters With White Misters. That voice belonged to a guy named Paul. He was tickled to know he made it on to the video, but wanted to expand on his thoughts to share with all of you. Below is an unedited note from him to me that he asked that I pass on to this community.
Paul (from Oakland CA)
As the (unseen) male voice on the video, I’d like to add a few comments. For those of us who are relatively new to interracial dating (less than a year), learning the social cues/values of another race can take some time. (Especially for white men who may have little experience with the culture of black women.) However, as a white male, I personally find that learning about black women has been very rewarding. This is a thought I’d like to see more white men discover.
From a personal perspective, I have recently looked beyond myth and stereotype and have discovered that black women are incredible, remarkable and beautiful. Yet, as a group, black women are too often physically abused, disrespected, socially limited and under-appreciated. Beauty is meant to be appreciated. It is a crime the beauty of black women has been made socially invisible to a large segment of our culture — and even to them. To the extent I failed to perceive this beauty in the past, my bad.
From a practical perspective, white men are the best natural allies in the battle to counter the negative misconceptions of black women. Why? Black men and white women might think they benefit from the existing misconceptions. (Actually they don’t, but that is another matter.) Thus, even if the majority of black men and white women are supportive of treating black women with equal respect (including the right to engage in interracial dating between white men and black women), there are still too many who are secretly (or even openly) hostile to the idea of a white man even paying attention to a black woman. However, there is no advantage for white men (a statistically large segment of society) to perpetuate the prejudice that prevents everyone from seeing black women as being beautiful and valuable. In fact, their failure to appreciate black women is their own loss.
From a social justice perspective, every group should be “allowed” and encouraged to view black women as beautiful, valuable and desirable. Prejudice and social stereotypes that “limit” expression, care, concern and love for black women is wrong — and it has many negative consequences. It is a sad truth that violence against black women is largely ignored. Maybe it is ignored by different people for different reasons, but it would not be ignored if black women were truly appreciated by all. Even if black women recognize their own value, they will suffer so long as their value can only be appreciated by some black men — and then hidden away from all others.
Of course, to do this, white men and black men must overcome the prejudice and hate that arises when a white man and black woman break stereo-type to discover and appreciate each other as individuals. This will be a new experience for many white men. When I was yelled at for holding hands with a black woman, I was surprised. (I do not have much experience in being the subject of a racial attack.) She was not surprised —She was pissed because she was sick and tired of receiving this kind of abuse! I got a glimpse of her world, yet I still have much to learn.
But even though interracial dating might not always be easy, it is worth it. Breaking down the barriers of racial prejudice is a noble and worthy cause — especially when coupled with the prospect of a “happily-ever-after” ending for two people. Go find your love!
Interracial dating between all races is an idea whose time has come. March on!