Written by Penelope Farthing
Following on from my blog a few months ago detailing some scare tactics black women might encounter when they give interracial dating a try, here are a few more that I have encountered, both in real life and online:
From Wikipedia, the “tragic mulatto” is an archetypical mixed-raceperson who is assumed to be sad, or even suicidal, because they fail to completely fit in the “white world” or the “black world”. Maybe it’s just anecdotal, but I find the mixed race children of black women and nonblack men to be better adjusted than those of black men and nonblack women. I’m not denying that there are unique challenges with raising mixed race children, but to avoid an eligible suitor because he’s not black out of fear for the mixed children you might produce seems a bit like self-sabotage. Raising children is hard in general, regardless of their racial makeup. To prevent the trope from manifesting, educate your children on their mixedness. Don’t force them into blackness or nonblackness, rather, raise them with love and appreciation for both sides. Biracial is not an insult.
This one is funny because I am yet to see anyone fetishize black women more than black men. Hell, the entire rap and hip hop industry is a perverted ode to black women’s bodies and how they want to defile said bodies, set to a beat. “Well all races of men fetishize their women!” True, but not the level or scale that black men do. Not to mention, other races of women have the benefit of equal promotion – they are cast in positive lights, like the princess or the damsel more frequently than the prostitute or the derelict.
All men have fetishes. Provided the fetish is not something sinister (which hopefully you would have sussed out in the vetting process), I don’t see a problem when men of any race find features typically seen in black women attractive. I’ve got the typical black woman’s body and I’d be a liar if I said my husband didn’t love those features (and the rest of me). If the content of a man’s character meets your standards, how is it a bad thing that he also finds you sexually attractive?
Interestingly enough, the fetishization talks disappear into the ether when the conversation surrounding black women being brood mares for the race comes up. Is pumping black women up with lots of babies without the benefit of marriage not a fetish? If a black guy, with good character and marriage-minded intentions said “Those lips are so luscious and I want a taste!”, would that be less fetish-esque if a nonblack man said the same thing? It is not a fetish to be viewed as desirable by other races of men for physical features that you have naturally.
There is a weird fear of biracial children growing up and taking over the world, erasing fully black women (never erasing the fully black men though…) as they go, similar to my point in the last blog that mentioned the concerns of the black race dying out (which it won’t). Even if black women kept their feet firmly in the black love fold, there would be babies with half black parentage being born, growing up, and competing, every single day. I don’t recall this concern when black men father their biracial children, interestingly enough. Fully black female babies will be born every day, so my image will not be replaced.
I was born black, I’m currently black, and will be black until the day I die. My future biracial children will one day grow up and make their own decisions in the dating and mating arena. No matter who they end up with, I’m not concerned about the state of blackness in my bloodline, least of all when I’m dead, as long as they are being cared for and loved by the spouse of their choosing. Though suspected to be biracial herself, Eartha Kitt’s grandchildren are white, yet 1) her legacy lives on, and 2) it’s not impacting her, as she’s dead. Doria Ragland’s legacy is firmly intact, even with a white grandson who is in line for the British Monarchy. My legacy is not in my melanin content or the melanin I pass down, it’s in what I do and have done for my family. I’m not bothered by the possibility that my grandchildren could be 75% nonblack. Are they happy, healthy, productive members of society? If yes, that’s good enough for me. The assumption in this scare tactic is that biracial children will always pick a nonblack partner, when real life has shown that’s not the case, either.
This is another funny one to me because it implies that the current black male patriarchy is something worth being in. Are black women benefitting from the current black male-led “patriarchy”? A good portion of black men can’t, won’t or don’t want to effect any real change. There are more black male millionaires than ever, and the most they do is drop a fashion line here or a community center there. For all the black churches that line every street corner, there are no black led faith-based healthcare systems (all while prosperity gospel “preacher” Creflo Dollar wants his congregation to finance a multimillion dollar jet), a very small number of black owned banks, and public schools in black areas consistently rank poorly in test results and overall outcomes. How many of us can say a black man signs your paycheck every week? If a sinkhole opened up and destroyed a part of your local freeway, whose infrastructure would be the one to get that repaired? We already live in the white man’s patriarchy, so it’s not a matter of being “let into” it. Besides, as was mentioned in the combined live video that CK and Chrissie did, you don’t need them ALL to love you, all you need is one. If he meets your criteria, by virtue of being with him “lets you in” to his patriarchy.
Character over color will always be the name of the game when it comes to black women in the dating arena. Whether it’s fear or jealousy or something else, the black community is invested in keeping black women where they are; whether that leaves them single at 50 still waiting for the Ideal Black Man, or onto baby daddy number 3 is irrelevant. Any other scare tactics you’ve heard? Share in the comments below!