I almost couldn’t BELIEVE my eyes when I read the Wall Street Journal piece “An Interracial Fix for Black Marriage,” by the very black, male, Dr. Ralph Richard Banks, who basically said the reason why so many black women are single is because…THEY SELF-LIMIT THEIR DATING OPTIONS. Pray for Richard, because he might get jumped by a bunch of black dudes for revealing the obvious.
What explains this marriage gap? As a black man, my interest in the issue is more than academic. I’ve looked at all the studiesâ€”the history, the social science, the government dataâ€”and I’ve spent a year traveling the country interviewing scores of professional black women. In exchange for my promise to conceal their identities (in part by using pseudonyms, as I’ve done here), they shared with me their most personal experiences and desires in relation to marriage and family.
I came away convinced of two facts: Black women confront the worst relationship market of any group because of economic and cultural forces that are not of their own making; and they have needlessly worsened their situation by limiting themselves to black men. I also arrived at a startling conclusion: Black women can best promote black marriage by opening themselves to relationships with men of other races.
That emphasis is mine, and if I had the money to put this on a billboard in very city in the United States, I’d probably not do it, but suggest somebody else like Peter Norton who has millions coming out of his armpits, because I’ve got four kids to send to college and three wedding to pay for.
A writer friend of mine, whose name is Katty Grey, is one of those nothing-but-a-brother (NBAB) women. She’s in the book. Here’s what I said about her:
Writer Katty Gray, 50, has never been married and loves black men because she feels they are the only male species on the face of the Earth that can understand what it is truly like for a black woman living in America. â€œThe are preference for many reasons. I like the aesthetic, I like how black men look, I like music and the culture.â€ Katty is a dark, beautiful dark-brown skinned woman, with full lips, hips, a fabulous smile and wears keeps her head shaved almost bald. She has been approached by non-black men; sure. But she feels like their interest is more fetish than attraction and has rebuffed any overtures from non-black men. Never-been-married and facing the very-real possibility that she may enter her senior years alone, she has a natural desire to find a mate. â€œItâ€™s unnatural to be alone. But Iâ€™ve always had that desire.â€ But with a white boy? Not on her life.
Back to the article. Ralphs assaults us with more T-I-IS truth:
Educationally, black men also lag. There are roughly 1.4 million black women now in college, compared to just 900,000 black men. By graduation, black women outnumber men 2-to-1. Among graduate-school students, in 2008 there were 125,000 African-American women but only 58,000 African-American men. That same year, black women received more than three out of every five law or medical degrees awarded to African-Americans.
These problems translate into dimmer economic prospects for black men, and the less a man earns, the less likely he is to marry. That’s how the relationship market operates. Marriage is a matter of love and commitment, but it is also an exchange. A black man without a job or the likelihood of landing one cannot offer a woman enough to make that exchange worthwhile.
But poor black men are not the only ones who don’t marry. At every income level, black men are less likely to marry than are their white counterparts. And the marriage gap is wider among men who earn more than $100,000 a year than among men who earn, say, $50,000 or $60,000 a year.
Translation: Black men who are upwardly mobile and make lots of money KNOW that the NBAB women will sex them, cook gourmet meals for them, wash their dirty poop-stained draws, wash, fluff and fold their clothes, vacuum their carpet and lick their toilet seat clean…did I miss something? Oh yeah. And since there’s so many NBABs if one won’t do it, 180,000 more are standing in line to take up the job.
That my friends, is what I call an IMBALANCE OF POWER. “The dynamics of the relationship market offer one explanation for this pattern. Because black men are in short supply, their options are better than those of black women. A desirable black man who ends a relationship with one woman will find many others waiting; that’s not so for black women,” says good ‘ole Ralph.
Thanks buddy, for saying what I and several other bloggers and author and speakers have been saying for years. But maybe because you’re a man, more people will listen.
Here’s more juicy nuggets:
Part of the reason, again, is the market. Numerous studies of Internet dating confirm that black women are the partners least desired by non-black men.
But that’s not the whole story. Even if a majority of white men are uninterested in dating black women, that still leaves more than enough eligible white men for every single black woman in America. Moreover, many major urban areas have large numbers of Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and Latino men, some of whom, according to at least one study of Internet dating, are more responsive to black women than are black men.
[Here’s me: So to all the black men who come on this board and say rainbeaus don’t want you, IN YO FACE!!]
To understand the intimate segregation of black women, we must go beyond the question of whether black women are wanted and look instead at what they want. For some black women, the personal choice of an intimate partner is political. They want to help black men, not abandon them. As one woman told me, “If you know your history, how can you not support black men?”
What a gaffaw! Where’s the line of black men supporting black women? This has been a personal gravy train for black men since…ever. Time to stop “supporting” anything and everything black, especially if it is at a cost to your own personal happiness. You know what other races call that? DUMB.
You know what I like best about this article? It was written in the Wall Street Journal. Guess what kind of dudes read that? Hint: Not Ray-Ray.
It’s at the crescendo, ya’ll. Pass this along to your NBAB friends and relatives, cuz I know I’m just preaching to the choir on this Sunday morning.