Written by Nicole
For all the talk we have about black women dating interracially, black women who date and marry out represent a small fraction of the population. However, in that population is a curious phenomenon black women get the most out of all people who date interracially, and I am calling it Swirl Apologist Syndrome, or SAS.
Swirl apologist syndrome is a condition that almost exclusively impacts black women. Symptoms include:
There is a cure, which is to…just quit apologizing. Love is love, as they say.
For how few black women that are in the public eye who date out, we sure see them reminding the masses that they are still down for the brothas even though their beau is not black. Tamron Hall said something to that effect when her marriage and son were revealed. We’ve seen Loni Love and Eve do it not too long ago. Even biracial women in the public eye are not excused, with Halle Berry and Tamera Mowry making sure the world knows that they are still down for the brothas, even when they are half white themselves. Tamera even comes with a gif that gets shared with pure glee (from black males AND black women) when an interracial relationship of the black woman-white man configuration fail.
I am yet to see black men apologize for their nonblack wives, girlfriends, and baby mamas. They might say they still got love for the sistas, but it’s more likely that 1) they won’t be asked about their nonblack partner in the first place, 2) if asked, they won’t offer an explanation, because they don’t owe one to anyone, or 3) defend his choice by disparaging black women, using common barbs like “white women know how to submit” or “black women are not as feminine”. You know the words.
I get why black women in the public eye feel the need to express their confirmation – they don’t want to isolate their core audience. After all, most black women love black men more than they love themselves, and for even one black woman to reject a black man is an affront to her and what her womb produces (credit to Kendall St. Charles for that line of thought). So what can black women do to prevent getting diagnosed with Swirl Apologist Syndrome? Here are some tips:
It’s really quite simple. If someone asks why you’re not with a brotha, do what the brothas do and say “Love is love” and keep it moving. It seems to me that only black women are supposed to just accept any old effort that comes our way.
If we say we want a man who will financially provide for us so we can make the house a home, take care of the kids, and any other activities that nonblack women want too, we are labeled as gold diggers.
If we want marriage before children, we get told that desire is us wanting proximity to whiteness– an insult which is hilarious on several levels because people who say that must not realize that they are equating wanting to better for themselves as whiteness…but go off, I guess.
Black women, you owe no one a single apology for acting in your best interest. This may be the reason you date interracially, or require formal education in a scientific field as a barrier for entry. Remember, the people who do not meet your standards will the ones rallying against you the loudest.
For a platform that was built on black women exploring all potential relationship options, it seems out of character for such a suggestion to be made. But hear me out. If you are bordering on an existential crisis when it comes to the mere thought of dating out, then maybe dating out isn’t for you. When it comes right down to it, men are men, from here to Pluto and everywhere in between. In my opinion, I think so many black women are averse to expanding their options, not necessarily because of historical horrors, but because of misguided loyalty. Race loyalty is hard wired into black women from birth, so getting out of that mindset may prove very difficult, or even impossible for some. Therefore, if the thought of interacting with a pink or otherwise nonblack dick shakes you to your core, just don’t bother. Character over color is the name of the game. As long as you get the character you want in a man, then just find that character in the package that doesn’t conflict with some truths that you would rather not challenge.
Is interracial dating the be-all end-all for black women’s relationship woes? Not by a long shot. Too many black women put more value on the man they are with than themselves. If more black women spent more time getting to know themselves and left dating by the wayside for a few years, the state of black womanhood would start to change in no time. But since self-reflection is often unpleasant, we may not collectively be ready for that level just yet. Since many black women want to be in a relationship, and the natural counterpart of a black woman is a black man, it makes sense that is what would be desired. However, with black women outnumbering black men, outperforming them in scholastic and entrepreneurial endeavors, and many others carrying negative attributes such as being broke, a felon or serial baby daddyism, dating the rainbow while maintaining strict standards can improve a black woman’s outcomes. If you so happen to find the man of your dreams and he is nonblack, you don’t need to apologize for it. You don’t need to be sorry for being happy, even if the world despises a happy black woman for whatever reason.
Have you ever come down with a case of Swirl Apologist Syndrome? Have you seen it in other women? What treatment do you recommend? Share your suggestions in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.