NOTE: This post is ONLY for women who WANT to get married and have families. If this isn’t you, you might just want to check out Tanisha’s post on black and white fashion trends.
One of the chief complaints I hear about the advocacy of interracial dating has to do with the argument that “nobody understands you better than your own.” When it comes to black women, I hear a lot of clucking about how nobody but a black man can truly understand the hurdles and challenges black women have to overcome because of the double-whammy of being black and a woman. Conversely, the argument of the women in the pro-black-love crew say that nobody but a black woman can properly support and uplift the black man. So if that’s true, you’d think unions between black men and women would thrive, right? I mean, you’re both black–equally-yoked, right? We should all be in thriving relationships and marriages, with our kids loved, protected and provided for, correct?
Here’s a startling fact, dearies. African Americans have the highest divorce rates of all races.
In a study called “The Topography of the Divorce Plateua,” Dr. R. Kelly Raley and Dr. Larry Bumpass said the high rate of divorce among African-Americans “may provide an important insight for understanding the low, and decreasing, marriage rate for the group as well as the high proportion of the birth to unmarried black women,”
The researchers found that “70 percent of black women’s first marriages will end in divorce, as will 47 percent of white women’s marriages…” Age, education and income are major factors in the stability of all marriages, regardless of race or ethnicity, but those factors affect African-American couples more than others, according to the two researchers.
No wonder whenever we talk marriage ’round these parts there’s a real feeling of hopelessness (or disdain) in that regard. So as a result, many in the pro-black-love crew resigns to either go it alone or settle for half-a-dude, all the while pushing that whole, “marriage is obsolete” garbage. And yes, it is a pile of stinky garbage topped with dog doo. Check out this study from the Pew Research Center. Blacks rate the highest in the belief that marriage is passé. Hahaha and LOL. Blacks are so “above” the whole marriage deal, huh? It’s no wonder, considering that many of us have seen horrendous unions chock-full of abuse, poverty and infidelity. Who would want that? While others of us wouldn’t even know what a married couple looked like unless it was on television. Most of us–yes MOST–have no good examples of healthy, long-term marriages. Of course so many of us don’t want marriage. We don’t even know what it looks like.
Think about some of the most powerful people and families in the country, regardless of race. The politicians, the physicians, lawyers, business owners making kabillions and ask yourself how many of these leaders and movers and shakers are saying marriage is just a piece of paper. The most successful people in our country almost ALWAYS marry, and almost ALWAYS marry well. They marry like-minded people who are usually on the same level at least educationally, professional and most often socially. Black women are the only group of women who are basically being commanded to lower their standards if they want to get married. Do you know why the GAT-DL pushes for that so hard? Because they know that educated and successful black women outnumber educated and successful black men by a mile. And educated black men are the ‘magic purple unicorns who go on to marry whomever they please (and intermarry twice as much as black women do), and who often have a bloated sense of entitlement for just doing the normal stuff… you know, like getting an education, staying out of jail, and not having a bunch of babies out of wedlock.
But lowering your standards is almost always a bad idea. One of my closest friends married a man she met while he was in prison serving time for armed robbery. She is college educated and is in a management position at her job. Because he is a felon, he has always struggled with finding long-term work. He has cheated several times and given her two STI’s. He also does no work around the house, because you know, that’s for da wimmiz, so she does a double shift everyday, working, cooking, cleaning and caring for the kids while he hangs out with his homies and smokes weed. They are still married. Why? Because she thinks God wants her to stay married to him.
When they began their relationship, my friend thought they were equally yoked because they we both black and both Christians. In the black community, that’s pretty much all you need to be considered suitably matched. When she told me 12 years ago that she was going to marry this man, I blurted, “He’s beneath you.” She was incensed. She accused me of “changing” and “thinking I was too good,” which is code for “You’re dating that white man and now you think you’re too good for your own people!!” But what my friend didn’t realize is that I was more “equally yoked” and compatible with my husband-to-be than she was with her own “skinfolk.” Take melanin out of it, I know my friend would have never married a man of any other race who had such an abysmal history. She gave her husband a “black pass.” She graded him on one hell of a curve.
Here’s my advice. “Equally yoked” doesn’t have to be so dang complicated. It means that you find someone on your level. If you have a college degree, so should he. If you make six figures, so should he (or at least have the ability to support you if you take time off to have his kids). If you want kids, so should he. If you like Christmas, you probably shouldn’t marry a devout Jew. You don’t have to be twinzies, but you need to have enough in common to have a fighting chance. If you wouldn’t accept multiple kids from different women, a jail bird that’s built his nest at Folsom Prison, or an aspiring rapper who lives in his mom’s basement from a white guy, why would you accept it from a black guy? Keep skin color out of it, and grade everyone with the SAME RED MARKER.
Finally, do this exercise. Look at the person you are dating or considering a long-term relationship with and ask yourself this question: “Would I want my daughter to marry this man?” If the answer is NO, you KNOW what to do. And if you’re the kind of parent who doesn’t want the absolute best for your kids, then get off this page and go twerk somewhere.
Special thanks to Felicia for bringing certain things to my attention.