Yesterday, Twitter was atwitter about a theory Insecure star, Issa Rae, posited in her book, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. She said black women and Asian men should hook up because both groups are high achieving but have bad romantic PR. Here’s what she wrote:

There is a widening gap between the education of black women and men, which doesn’t leave very many “suitable” suitors. Unfortunately, the higher one’s degree, as a black woman, the lower your chance of getting married. Add to the con pile the stereotypes of being loud, complicated and difficult. Black women, your reputation sucks.

Asian men are also overburdened with racial stereotypes that don’t really work in their favor. Why wouldn’t women want to marry and reproduce with men who are classified as intelligent hard workers? Maybe because Asian men are frequently emasculated in the media, or presented as sexless props, for comedic relief…The plight of Asian men is nearly the same as that of black women, except for the fact that their women tend to marry white or “other” far more often. Asian men, your reputation sucks too.

This is why I propose that black women and Asian men join forces in love, marriage, and procreation. Educated black women, what better intellectual match for you than an Asian man?

Where is the lie?

In any case, ‘black Twitter’ is a couple years late on discovering this (the book was published in July 2016), which puts a quip itching at my fingertips about hiding stuff in books because some folks are allergic, but I’ll refrain.

As a result of these aforementioned three paragraphs, folks are calling her an agent and a black man hater.

Let’s be clear. Black women are making strides in education and business. Economically we’re the backbone of the community. But Issa is right–our romantic PR sucks. Some of it is unfair, some of it comes us just plain not knowing any better. Many of us are waking up though, and why The Pink Pill is flying off the virtual shelves.

Asian men are also high achieving with bad romantic PR, whose women intermarry at high rates just like black men do. In fact, black men who achieve a bachelor’s degree or higher intermarry at upwards of 30%. That makes sense because as soon as it was legal to marry out, black-on-black marriage rates decreased remarkably. From a 2015 journal article: “black marriage rates fell at the same time that racial discrimination was declining and black men’s wages were growing. Between 1960 and 1980, employed blacks saw real increases in wages relative to whites, partly due to increases in their educational attainment and partly because returns to education also increased. The 1960’s was also when the landmark Loving vs. State of Virginia that legalized interracial marriage in every state of the union.

Issa Rae and co-author of “Swirling,” Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn

Despite voluminous research data and peer-reviewed journal articles, the black community as a collective is still very resistant to black women expanding their dating options. I have a friend who once told me that she would rather see her daughter be a baby mamma to a black man than a married mother to a white man. The blowback toward Issa Rae is a reflection of those sentiments. Black Twitter doesn’t want black women going anywhere.

Issa Rae and I before she became a household name. She’s earned every bit of success she has.

But here’s the problem with connecting Asian men with black women: initially the cultural barriers may seem insurmountable. There are a lot of suspicions and stereotyping happening on both sides. That, and the fact that Asian men are extremely reserved in their approach to the point that a black woman could completely miss the pass or never see it coming.

But there’s hopeful news on that front. As an advocate of black women crossing romantic color lines, these AMBW pairings are still rare, but growing at a healthy clip. There are even communities on Facebook and Instagram (#AMBW or #BWAM) dedicated to these pairings. They are not without their challenges, but what in life isn’t?

I do take issue with Issa making that crack about Filipinos–they are some of the most wonderful and welcoming of all the Asians I have ever encountered.

Other than that, Issa is nowhere near canceled.

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