The Struggle is Real
In my last article, I did a breakdown on the first part of The Real’s interracial dating conversation last week. I thought that the second part of the video was just as important to discuss, so here we are with a part two! I hope you will take the time to watch part two of the video as well.
Loni has often mentioned that she did not choose James on purpose. (I almost wish she would not say it as much, but James seems to be all right with it. If he likes it, I love it.) She has said before that James was not her first choice, and that she tried for years to find a black man… forty-seven years to be exact.
Due to mass incarceration, accordingly to Loni, black men are not available. To me, that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many reasons why black men might not be available to date and/or marry black women:
That list is not a condemnation of black men, just stating facts. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Black women deserve to have happiness too. I personally believe that happiness can come in different colours, shapes and sizes. Loni is tired of seeing her sisters alone, and frankly, so am I. I am tired of nonblack women approaching black women to tell them how strong, confident and independent they are, and encouraging them to continue with dysfunctional behaviour, like the Pied Piper. Why should everyone else get married, have children in two-parent households, and build wealth and legacy? Is marriage truly for white people, as the book by Ralph Richard Banks cheekily says? We deserve to be as happy as everyone else, with our futures (and that of our children’s) secured.
Leaving Black Men Behind
The panel started digging into deeper questions, exploring why do black women feel like they cannot expand their options. Tisha said something quite interesting: she felt like she would be turning against black men by dating interracially. How many times have I heard this comment and seen it online? I have honestly lost count.
(Do you have time for a quick personal story?) In a time not too far away, I was having a conversation with some family members. They were discussing some of the dysfunction of the black community, and some behaviours we had witnessed by black men towards black women. I started really enjoying the conversation, and, for some stupid reason, decided to make the following remark out loud: “I am personally so done with the foolishness. I have already decided – I am not marrying a black man. I prayed about it and told God, ‘If the man you picked for me is black, you better throw him right back.” (I am still working on Pink Pilling my mouth, you guys, We will get there.) It was like the room was full of music and sound, and everything screeched to a halt.
All of a sudden, I was being rebuked. “How can you say that you do not want to marry a black man? Your father is black!” “You need to repent! God will never bring you someone if your mindset is like this.” All while this was going on, I looked at my father, who had been listening to the conversation. He sat there quietly, as is his way, with an unreadable expression. I have always had people in my family laugh at how “white” I am and how I would probably marry a white man, but now, as an adult, I am interested to see how this plays out.
Back to Regularly Scheduled Programming
I really appreciate one thing Loni usually says when she discusses interracial dating, “It’s not about allegiance [to black love, black men or the black community], it’s about love and compatibility. Love is love.” I think it is important that Loni mentioned this thought. Many women think that if they choose their own happiness first, and dating outside of their race, they are betraying their people. It took a while, but she finally found love that works for her, outside of her race. Although, she dated all kinds of men on the app, she and James ended up together.
Jeannie had good points too. She asked some really critical questions: What could possibly be holding you back from dating outside of your race? Stigmas? Old ideologies? Tisha said that was scared to find someone who loves her for herself. (This post is getting too long, so I am going to put a pin in my thoughts until the next article. I do have a lot to say on this point.)
Tamera told Tisha that the person for her is out there. I believe that for each one of you, and I hope that 2020 will be the year that you find someone. Loni says to take your time and trust yourself, there are going to be differences, but you can work through them. I love that she took her time before bringing him onto the show and opening up about her love. Interracial relationships will have their ups and downs. Tamera and Loni have both mentioned that their men really struggle in the dancing department. (You can see Loni and James dancing in this clip.) Loni also mentioned that white women will treat her like she is invisible when she is with him. Of course, there are other difficulties that can arise:
This is not the first time they have tackled this subject. Three years ago, they mentioned that when integrating black children in nonblack environments, some people feel that their children will not be accepted. As there are more mixed race people out there now, that will not necessarily be an issue for them. Other concerns could be that the children of these unions will not necessarily feel black or white enough. As a biracial woman, Tamera spoke of this at length in this segment. To that, they advise that people should not let others define them. All someone can do is be the best person that he or she can be. To best tackle interracial dating issues, I will include Jeannie’s thoughts, “Interracial is interresponsible. It is important to learn about different cultures, traditions and practices, venture out of your safe zone.”
Even earlier this year, Yvette Nicole Brown sat down with The Real, and discussed interracial dating with Loni as well. The two of them went on and on ad nauseum about how much they loved their brothers, and would fight for their people, but they were at the point of looking for compatibility. They also referenced Serena or any other prominent black dating outside of their race, despite having no success with black men, facing extreme backlash.
One note that I appreciated came from Yvette. She mentioned that black women are always giving a lot of chances, and said something to this effect, “I have always dated in her race, and I love my brothers, but if you ever see me dating someone outside of my race, do not ask me a thing.” Again, as I mentioned in the last article, dating outside of your race really should not be a last case scenario. No one wants to be a second choice, but it is important to be open to different people that you could love. It is also important to know when something is not working for you, that you can try something different. Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting a different result.
Let Us End On a High Note
I want to go back to talking about Loni and her man. Loni decided to try something different, and do something that worked for her. He is a man, just like any other man, but, so far, he suits her quite well. Now, she is happy. She loves his loyalty – the fact that he is there for her and treats her well. She mentioned a friend who loves to say that she doesn’t need a man. How many sisters out there talk like that? Many sisters are lonely and do not want to admit it. (Loni said that one too, so kindly send your hate comments to The Real. Thank you!) She loves someone to be there, say, “Hello,” talk about her day, hold her, or even just pick her up from the airport.
Loni shared that her mother just told her to get an education, get a good job, stay away from boys but she needed a man too. We need love. It is not a bad thing to want someone to turn to when you have a bad day – turn to someone other than your best friend of your mother. (Loni is out here telling all of my business!) There are so many black women out there who are single and alone. Most of us are so caught up with the training and conditioning that we have had over the years: we are strong, we’re independent, we do not need anybody, we must not cry, we must not express our emotions. That we can do it all. It is okay to need other people. It is okay to be vulnerable. It is all right to desire a relationship. Lastly, it is perfectly acceptable to date within or outside of your race.
Christelyn has also done a video on the subject. I encourage you to watch it and enjoy. Remember, with choices comes power. It is time for us to exercise our power as black women. Within this video, Christelyn mentioned some specific cultural barriers as well. To best understand how other communities work, you can sign up for the Pink Pill. For other people’s experiences with swirling, I would highly encourage you to read Christelyn’s book, Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate – Mixing Race, Culture and Creed.