Written by Penelope Farthing
I came across two donation campaigns this weekend, featuring black women with their white partners, on Simone56’s Facebook page and I felt compelled to write about them.
First of all, I hate Go Fund Me. The advent of crowdfunding has led to numerous scams and gives lazy people the means to get money for bullshit, or for scammers to make a quick buck. The only time I ever gave to a crowdfunding campaign was when a friend of a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer and needed additional funds to be able to travel out of state where a new treatment was being trialed, meaning, the fund had credibility since I was in their extended circle. Otherwise, I don’t donate, because 98% of the time, it is people asking for stuff they want, rather than stuff they need. I want lots of stuff too, but I’d be damned if I begged for funds on the Internet. Maybe that’s just me though.
Now, I don’t want to be too harsh with what I’m going to say because the court of public opinion in these circles largely consists of people who must get their rocks off when a black woman gets her “comeuppance” as a result of dating out. In general, there is little sympathy for a black woman in any adverse relationship circumstance – if she is single, childless and alone at 55, it’s her fault, if she got mixed up with an abusive bum and ended up a domestic violence statistic, it’s her fault, if she got pregnant by a bum and kept the baby, it’s her fault, if she got pregnant by a bum and aborted the baby, it’s her fault, and in these scenarios, if she chose to partner herself with subpar nonblack men, it’s her fault.
In a world where the black woman’s plight when it comes to relationships will be seen as no one else’s fault but her own, it’s hard to criticize her relationship issues. Conversely, though, kid gloves and satin pillowcases won’t fix things either. So bear with me as I try to shed some light on these scenarios as delicately but as seriously as needed, as there are many lessons to learn from each of them.
The first, posted here, details the horrors of a black woman who has been dealing with the trials and tribulations of dealing with her white husband’s horrible, racist family members.
Several red flags jumped out at me while reading this story, which has been shared over 11,000 times and is now trending on a few social media platforms.
First of all, eight years of dating is too damn long. The longest I personally would date before a wedding was three years, maybe four if there were other circumstances. I find it very difficult to believe in almost a decade before getting married there were no signs of his family being batshit crazy.
Lesson: Your husband may love you, but if his family is racist and you either don’t pick up on it, or choose to ignore it, that stress could do you in, mentally, financially, or even criminally. You don’t have to just vet your mate, but his family too. Don’t let the color of a man’s skin blind you to the red flags he or his family might be waving.
I’m naturally predisposed to believing people asking for money are scamming. I’ve long since stopped giving panhandlers money; I keep a stash of nonperishable items in my car instead. But reading through it, some things just…don’t add up to me. I’m no legal eagle, but I feel that some pieces of the story are missing. I know the justice system is not kind to black people, but…I don’t fully believe the story. I’m no expert so I don’t feel qualified to delve into it, but…it just sounds amiss to me. One commenter posted screenshots from court proceedings that added another layer to this story. I just don’t buy it.
Lesson: If you put yourself out there asking the general public to part with their hard earned money, don’t be surprised when they offer unsolicited opinions, both positive and negative, too.
Now that the campaign is going viral, the couple has received negative comments questioning possible holes in their story, or what the husband has been doing while the wife is combatting her abuse. The lady of the house has clapped back, insinuating that those who are suspicious must be jealous of her relationship. Now, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but this is where she really lost me.
I believe that black women can have meaningful interracial relationships with their nonblack partners, provided they vet, vet, and vet some more. Not because someone is dubious or critical of your relationship means they are jealous. I’m not sure why anyone would be jealous of a relationship that has earned you jail time and the scrutiny of the Internet, or one that has been plagued with issues courtesy of your racist in-laws. Claiming jealousy was not the way to defend your case.
Lesson: Criticism of a relationship =/= jealousy. If you wanted to garner pity for your plight, attacking people asking questions was not the way to do it.
Call me flaky or shallow or whatever, but if I was in a relationship with a man whose family I suspected to be racist, I’m out. Love is great, but not only does love not pay the bills, love also does not sustain my mental health if my in laws are causing me my most prized possession, my sanity. Many posters have commented that the funds they have received should go to a divorce lawyer. I’m sad to say I agree.
Lesson: If you see red flags, know when to call it a day and cut your losses.
Even though I don’t know the entire story, and never will, I can’t help but feel that there were some other options, some other road to take before needing a $50,000 solution. In any case, I wish them the best, and hope the readers use the lessons here if they too chose to partner themselves interracially.
The second donation request, while not a Go Fund Me, (linked here) features a black woman and her betrothed white husband to be, begging for money to get married and buy a house.
This one annoys me more because, unlike the first one, they are begging for something that’s not quite needed. It just smacks of entitlement. Weddings are nice to have, and can be one of the best days of a woman (and man’s) life, but 1) a beautiful wedding can be done on a budget or 2) if the finances were not in order, perhaps a courthouse wedding should be considered until things got better. Besides, wouldn’t it be kind of tacky being invited to a wedding that was partly funded by the guests? What next, would invitees have to pay for their plate or do a potluck dinner?
What happened to the days where men would leave the wife hunt on the back burner until he was suitably able to provide? If they can’t afford a wedding or a house, how will they afford children if they come along, or all the issues that come with home ownership? It also bothers me that they are using Christianity to further their agenda. I just can’t abide any of it.
Lesson: no one owes you anything, and relying on the kindness of strangers is not a good way to get ahead.
What’s the point of dating out if you still pick a bum, only with less melanin? There is no benefit to swirling if you continue to pick the same ashy archetype of men if you stayed on the Black Love train. What is the point of opting out of the “struggle love” narrative, only to…still struggle, but with Tyler instead of Tyrone?
The world doesn’t owe you a fairy tale wedding or 4 bed-3 bath house in the suburbs or…really, anything. It really surprises me when people feel justified in begging for donations…for what is essentially a party.
Lesson: Hypergamy is the name of the game, whether you are committed to black love or to swirling. Any man you choose should multiply your blessings, not divide.
Dating out means nothing if you still employ the poor mate selection tactics that you did when you limited yourself to only dating black men. Nowhere on this platform will you see us say “any old nonblack dude will do” – you have to vet and vet hard no matter the race of man you choose, lest you end up in situations like these. In fact, when dating out, I’d say black women have to vet even harder, because not all racists are as outright with it as the family in the fundraiser above. Not to mention, if you swirl and it doesn’t work out, you’ll be branded as a pariah in some circles, since swirlers don’t deserve protection.
As with everything, there are layers to these situations. These two scenarios do not make up the majority of swirling black women. However, there will be choruses of people shouting “swirling gone wrong! Team Swirl hold your L!” as if the struggle life is inherent to black women dating out. The opposite reaction, when black relationships fail or face hardships, is hardly as scrutinized and not mocked to the lengths BW/WM ones are, even though they fail on a much more frequent basis.
If you feel the urge to donate to either of these campaigns, their links are included above. I wouldn’t, but hey, it’s your money.