I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend with high-school kids and prom proposals–white guys asking black girls to the prom with posters reflecting racist stereotypes. Worse, we see photos of the black girls smiling gleefully as they accept said proposals.
I have never seen anything so blatantly derogatory by white boys coupled with the mental acrobatics these black girls are using to think this mess is funny. It’s not. This year my oldest daughter will go to her senior prom. If a young man came to our door with a watermelon and Kool-aid packets to ask Maxi to the prom, the door would shut in his face so fast it might break his nose.
Some folks may say this is harmless fun and just a joke. But I’m growing exhausted of black girls and women being the butt of jokes and pranks while daring us to “not be angry about it.” There’s a level of cultural and historical insensitivity that disqualifies such a boy from coming anywhere near my daughter. And while we don’t know what the reasons of the parents were, I can only hope that they would pull these girls to the side and tell them there’s no level of humiliation worth securing a date and an overpriced dress you’ll only wear once for a few hours of your life..
The goal for my work is not to encourage and celebrate black women with non-black men at all costs. Rather, my goal is to encourage black girls and women to open their dating pools far and wide so as to increase the odds of finding a man of character. The idea that these girls are allowing themselves to be the objects of ridicule from the boys that *say* they want them is unfathomable to me. We leave a community in which you are degraded and disrespected and turn around and be degraded and disrespected by members of an outise community? It’ makes no sense. Somebody please tell me this was the social media equivalent of “Punk’d.”
We’ll be discussing this topic further for a Google Hangout this Friday, April 22 at 7PM PST. In the meantime, if any of you know additional details about how and why these girls and their parents thought this was okay, please share.