I’ve recently been following two stories on Madame Noire regarding black men and their dating choices. The first was a piece about a self-proclaimed “dark skin activist” calling out Kendrick Lamar for having an extremely fair skinned fiancé.
The other story was about Romeo Miller whining on a talk show about all the hate mail he’s received for having a white girlfriend.
“It’s crazy to think that in 2015, when I start posting pictures of me and my girl–obviously I’m black, she’s white. I didn’t think that would be a problem. A lot of hate mail and hate comments was on there. They’re like, ‘Why are you with this girl?’ ‘She’s only with you because of this.’ It’s sad because honestly if anybody knows me, all the girls I’ve dated, I’ve dated girls who’ve been as black as Akon and white as Casper. It don’t matter. It’s all about the heart. In this time and place, she’s the one who captured my heart. She could be blue, green or yellow and it would have been her.” [SOURCE]
So here’s two very public examples of black men getting flack for dating light skinned women and non-black women. There’s no denying it. Black women also get the pushback when we date interracially, so isn’t it even?
Not even a little.
There are four key differences between black men getting criticism of their dating choices rather than the other way around.
Reason #1: Black men don’t give a shit. Patriarchy allows for men to date and marry anyone they want. Despite all the complaining, guilting, lip smacking and neck rolling, a black man will ultimately and unapologetically do whatever the hell he wants. Think I’m full of it? Check out the last 40 years of black men dating and marrying non-black women. Has it decreased or increased exponentially? Yeah, that’s happening, despite any objections their mammas, sisters, and jilted black girlfriends and ex-wives have to say about. If Waiting to Exhale didn’t make them “come back home,” then nothing else was.
Reason #2: The whole, “slave master” guilt trip is applied almost exclusively to black women. Many of us have been vulnerable to the guilt-tripping about how us dating a white man is an insult to our ancestors, slave women who were chained to beds and raped. We are the “bed wenches.” There is no equivalent insult for black men who marry white women, who did their share of abusing black male slaves, including having them lynched on the regular if a white woman claimed they so much as whistled at her. Let black men tell it, it was never the white woman’s fault. She was only acting upon fear of the “evil white man” who was also her oppressor. Utter bullshit, but people have bought that reasoning for longer than I’ve been alive.
Reason #3: Women have a stronger desire to please. Women are social creatures. We want the approval of the people surrounding us that we care about. If dating or marrying a white man could lose them friends and family, black women are less likely to take the risk. Black men face no such ultimatums. Their homies pat them on the back, the black women in their lives may complain, but they will still love them and eventually accept the situation they have absolutely no power to change.
Reason #4: Black men are allowed to be married to white women and still be “down for the cause.” Throughout history some of our most celebrated black men have been free to marry white women and still freely be able to advocate on “black issues.” No one tells them they don’t have the right to speak on the black community once they jump the fence. Most of my “conscious” critics hurl that in my direction, because my husband is white. But Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass, Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier, and legions of black men can. Umkay…no one accuses black men of not being black anymore when they hook up with white chicks.
So with those reasons in mind, you’ll excuse me for not feeling not one bit of pity for men who are free to do whatever they want. My focus if to try to retrain the brains of black women, so they too realize they have the agency to what what they want.
It’s time to tear a page out of their playbook. Girl, get yours.