It was an eaaarly Sunday morning â€“ 5 a.m. to be exact â€“ and I wasnâ€™t even getting ready to go to church. (Lord forgive me!)
But I was preaching to the masses on Nathan Iveyâ€™s Cincinnati radio show — 101.1 The Wiz — to discuss the work that your favorite girl (and mine), Christelyn Karazin, and I are doing to support and promote black womenâ€™s choices to date interracially and cross-culturally with our blog, www.beyondblackwhite.com, and our forthcoming book, “Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed” (Chris chiming in here: Yes! We changed the name! Don’t you love it?! Okay, back to Janice).
In case you missed it, here are a few highlights of my Sunday morning conversation:
I came armed with facts and statistics on how black women outnumber black women by 2.8 million. (US Census figures.)
He talked about â€œWhere is the love for black men?â€
I followed up with excerpts Dr. Martin Luther Kingâ€™s dream â€“ you know the one: the day when all Godâ€™s children: black, white; Jew and Gentile; Protestant and Catholic will be free to live wherever they want and choose to love whomever they choose.
But all my man Ivey wanted to do was spout off something about pop culture â€œtrendsâ€ and the black woman-white man relationships on films like Something New and The Bodyguard (funny that he didnâ€™t remember Whitney Houston dumped Kevin Costner at the end of that flick).
After our hour go-â€˜round (and my voice accelerating a decibel or three), Nathan did his little happy dance up and down the isle. Hallelujah! He had â€œhit a nerve.â€ Somehow he was under the impression that he had gotten an up on me during our spirited debate.
He was right. He did hit a nerve.
It is the kind of ignorant thinking â€“ as in being based in emotion not in facts and data — that he fosters that gets on my very last nerve. Itâ€™s his kind of backwards, antiquated, sexist assertions that make it necessary and important for Christelyn and I to do what weâ€™re doing â€“ both with the book and the blog.
Itâ€™s this kind of attitude that continues to foster divisiveness not only BETWEEN the races, but within our own race.
According to Nathan and his ilk, black women have a â€œresponsibilityâ€ to black men. Why must we as black women always be accountable for what we are (or are not) doing for black men?
Whatâ€™s the black man (in general) done for black women (in general) lately?
Well, letâ€™s seeâ€¦theyâ€™re leaving sisters high and dry with babies in hand en masse: 45 percent of black families (versus 14 percent for whites) are headed by women. A whopping 65% of live births in our community are to unmarried women. (Thatâ€™s according to Department of Health and Human Services if anybody wants to look that up.)
Oh, and don’t let me forget all the brothers stuck in the joint — about 10.4% of the entire African-American male population in the United States aged 25 to 29 was incarcerated, by far the largest racial or ethnic group â€“ so saith the Justice Department. Today, more African-American men are in jail than in college. In 2000 there were 791,600 black men in prison and 603,032 enrolled in college. In 1980, there were 143,000 black men in prison and 463,700 enrolled in college.
On the flip side, about two-thirds of all bachelor’s degrees are earned by African American women, 70 percent of all master’s degrees, and more than 60 percent of all doctorates. Black women also hold a majority of all African-American enrollments in law, medical, and dental schools in twenty-six of the 30 highest-ranked universities.
So what is it exactly that single, college educated black women are supposed to do to help incarcerated black men? More to the point, what the hell do they have in common beyond skin color? (Feel free to take a listen to the feedback from Nathan’s callers on what they think black women should start doing their part for the prison population.) Chris here again. Oy! You HAVE to listen to this genius who called in after Janice was off. He reminded me of this character from In Living Color. Remember him?
HAHAHAHA! Okay, so here’s the real comment: Dumb stuff from radio. OMG did ‘Einstein’ say in that audio that the statistics were “segregated and stagnated?” Whoever da hell is running the Cincinnati school system should be taken out of class and have a switch put to his ba-hind!
Okay; Janice again: I made no bones about it: Christelyn and I love ourselves some black dudes: both of us have daddies and brothers whom we adore. Unfortunately what Nathan and other black men of his thinking don’t seem to realize is that for the black women who choose to date outside of their race or culture, their decision hasnâ€™t got a damn thing to do with black men. (See, missing church gets me all foul in the mouth.)
Our aim is to uplift our sisters who want to more out of their love lives that to sitting at home watching The Bachelorette.
Of course, if black men want to join in the movement, then they should feel free. (By the way, â€œReggie,â€ one of Nathanâ€™s on-air callers, insisted that he doesnâ€™t date outside his race because he knows that there are black women who need love. But that doesnâ€™t do much for the other 2.799 million women still looking for a potential mate â€“ and the cloning of Denzel is a long way offâ€¦)
The time I spent on Nathanâ€™s show let me — and Christelyn â€“ know the continued work we have cut out for us with this project â€“ and the level of sheer unadulterated stoopid we will have to encounter. (In my off-air conversation with Nathan, I learned that neither Christelyn or I are not as racially or politically conscious or as satisfied as women who choose to date or marry black men because only a black man can truly satisfy a black woman. Thanks for that insight, dude!)
But I must thank Nathan for having me on his show â€“ it was great being back on the air with him after so many years having lost touch (ahhh, the power of Facebook.) When the book comes out, he’s promised to have both me and Christelyn on the show and I look forward to that day â€“ or, rather, in the illustrious words of Mr. T: I pity the fool!
Chris here again. In case you missed Janice’s dynofastasmic smack-down of the knowledge, you can listen to a bit here: swirling II