Note: I actually wrote this for an interracial couples Facebook group many years ago before Alabama Liberal even existed, but since plenty of other people have re-posted in the years since, why not the person who actually wrote it? Since it’s “Loving Day” (an underrated holiday that didn’t even trend on twitter this year), it’s the perfect time to celebrate interracial couples and all the nastiness they face. Interracial couples are actually the last group in America that doesn’t have a major political action presence or lobbying group inside the media. Here now, is a list of the most common stereotypes black women/white men couples specifically face…
[I’d like to emphasize again this was written nearly 10 years ago, and I wasn’t quite at the height of my writing powers, but it’s still a great list.]
“These are by no means all the stereotypes about bw/wm couples I have heard, but just some of the most common ones that need to be put to rest NOW. Everyone reading this is probably well aware that they’re bogus, but if you’ve ever caught yourself thinking any of these, it’s time to stop. [I apologize for the length, but it’s a comprehensive list]
1. “A white guy is just interested in sex with a black woman”–And black guys aren’t? The last time I checked it is a widely held belief that men in general tend to like sex, want sex, think about sex once every 7 seconds (I just did), and–and this will surprise exactly no one–don’t want to marry every girl they have sex with. I am not exactly sure why it is completely sinister for a white man to want sex while it is just regular lousy or typical for a black man to want it. Does anyone really think every single black guy they meet or that tries to talk to a black woman is interested in a relationship? Probably not.
I just think this is a tactic used to make black women so (subconsciously) leery and paranoid about white men they don’t really give them a chance. And yes, keeps them from having sex with them. Why? Believe it or not it’s about the best way I can think of to sabotage a relationship. If you would have sex with a black guy after a week but want to hold out over paranoia of a white guy for months, it’ll create distance, suspicion you don’t really think white guys are all that attractive, and make us wonder where the relationship is even headed if you vastly preferred your past boyfriends enough to have sex with them so much sooner. None of that might be true, but it’s how men might interpret it. There’s a saying I’ve heard before that goes “White guy gets the check, black guy gets the sex,” men may falsely interpret your sexual wariness as wanting a relationship with a white man but being more sexually/physically attracted to black guys. However false, it IS completely accurate to call it prejudice to suspect the worst of a guy’s romantic intentions simply because of his skin tone.
2. “A white guy won’t marry you”–Judging by the statistic that 40 percent of black women in the US never get married, black guys won’t either. It’s not white men that are keeping black women single. The “Won’t Marry You” line is an especially popular one among black families who perhaps aren’t all that ready to embrace a white in-law themselves. It’s a familiar tactic of the prejudiced to make it seem like they are the victims of prejudice (like Glenn Beck saying Barack Obama hates white people in a recent interview lol). So I would always encourage people to ask themselves why someone is really saying this and if maybe there isn’t at least some wariness on the part of a black father or grandmother or traditionalist (i.e. segregationist) aunt to completely embrace bw/wm relationships in general.
Plus, if your grandmother is telling you this…how much is she really and truly living in 2010 [this is the year this post was originally written] when she says this? Interracial marriages might have been unthinkable or even illegal when she was tying the knot–as they were for my grandparents who got married in the early 50’s–so it’s hard to take the opinion of someone even 40 years old on this in the age of constantly evolving Obama-era race relations. Tyler Perry is a fairly young guy and even he got it dead wrong by trafficking in ugly stereotypes in “The Family That Preys Together.”
In the US there are almost 20 percent more eligible black women than eligible black men, meaning that in an absolute best case, never going to happen scenario, if every single black woman got married to a black man tomorrow there would be nearly 20 percent not getting married. There are 5 times as many white men as black men in the US, even if only 20 percent of those white men were interested in marrying black women (and trust me, it’s a lot more than that) that’s still the exact same percentage of black men in the US. I’d say your odds of a white husband are just fine.
3. “Black Women are just interested in money”–Women period are interested in money in that they probably expect you to have some. I would never say that a few black women aren’t proud gold diggers looking for the next Kobe Bryant or Ludacris when they cruise the partying circuit…but so are some white women (ever watch that show Millionaire Matchmaker or Who Wants To Marry a Millionaire? Mostly white women fishing for bucks). And there’s many women who aren’t interested in these things just like not all guys are interested in casual sex.
I think women of all races have roughly the same things they’re looking for in a guy, and usually one of those things is a measure of success or a job. We shouldn’t kid ourselves that black women have higher economic standards than white women or any race of women.
4. “Black and White Children Won’t Be Accepted” “Neither black people nor white people will fully accept interracial children”–Didn’t hurt the current President [this was Obama early in his first term]. He campaigned for both group’s votes, got both group’s votes, and is the first racial minority ever democratically elected President ANYwhere, not just the U.S., ANYwhere. I’d say that kid that “would never be accepted by blacks or whites” did pretty okay being both. Just like Halle Berry did being the most successful black actress of all time, or Vin Diesel, Mariah Carey, Michael Ealy, Wentworth Miller, Paula Patton, and about a 1000 others did by being considered some of the hottest people on the planet. It’s ironic to me that some black women won’t date white guys but would crawl through broken glass to date a “mixed” guy. Let’s face it, interracial people are hot, and even people saying “They’ll never be accepted” are the first ones trying to have sex with them.
5. “Black Women More Attracted to White Men are Self-Hating”–Yes, because as we all know there is absolutely no difference between black women and black men and they look identical and to turn down sex with a black man is like turning down sex with yourself and doing that means you hate your skin tone. It’s a ridiculous argument usually said by black men who are mad they’re not with you. It’s down and dirty sexual jealousy dressed up as noble racial pride. And when black men date other races of women are they self hating? Well no…they’re just “seeing what’s out there.” Which is what everyone does. From black men to Jewish men to Asian women (the 3 groups who actually have the highest interracial dating rate in the US) people are attracted to the exotic. The second lowest group of interracial daters in the US? Black women. The outlandish accusations of self hatred should be put to bed and the legitimate question of “Why not more attracted to something more exotic?” should take its place.
6. “They are also Traitors”–This sentiment is usually expressed by lunatics babbling about the upcoming race war. This feels like something you might tell a pre-schooler but when someone is black, they’re black. They were born black, they will die black, it’s a gene, it’s a skin tone, not a commodity that can be measured and weighed and if you listen to country music you lose blackness and you have to quickly put in the T.I. CD to get some of it back. Marrying a black guy doesn’t make you any more black than if you married a white guy. It’s not a one size fits all mold where being black automatically and oppressively means you have to marry black people that seems more suffocating than a true racial identity. It’s a physical trait, not a personality type, and you can’t be more or less or a “traitor” by whom you choose to socialize with or marry. Plus, thinking of it in terms of “traitor” implies a war, implies two sides that should be kept separate and at each other’s throats instead of humans in the same boat, and I thought most people were tired of that mentality.
7. “Black Women Marrying White Men is hurting the black community in some way”–I have heard a lot of different arguments saying this and no one has made a convincing one yet. Let’s be honest and break it down to what this is really about: the control of women. Men are territorial, they often feel like women are their property whether they actually have a chance or not. I have seen some black guys on message boards get so mad when they see Joy Bryant or Zoe Saldana or Naomi Campbell date/marry a white guy, even though they don’t know them, never met them, never will meet them, and never had a shot anyway. It’s a little known fact that men are as big a haters as women ever thought about being, and would probably hate whoever a girl dates no matter who it is. “Oh, he’s an athlete? You a jock fucker now huh?” “Oh, he’s rich? You ain’t nothing but a gold digger” “Look at how fat he is! You like ‘em fat huh?” It’s just that when a man is a different race, it gives an easy, lazy way to hate him; it lets you take a short cut to finding any real reason.
The bottom line is that some of the most charming, good looking, intelligent black men I can think of (Taye Diggs, Montell Williams) are married to white women, and that leaves some lower class, misogynistic black men with black women ridiculously out of their league: Ike and Tina Turner, 50 Cent with Vivica A. Fox or Ciara, Chris Brown beating up Rihanna’s beautiful face, Jay Z writing nasty songs about ex-girlfriend Rosario Dawson and then repeatedly cheating on Beyonce, Lil Wayne reducing Lauren London to a baby mama while he also gets another woman pregnant at the same time, or Halle Berry who had relationships both horrifically abusive (David Justice, Wesley Snipes) or filled with serial cheating (Chris Williams, Eric Benet).
Some black men are panicking and throwing out any wild argument they can because they really don’t want to have to compete. As I hit on in point 2 there are currently more eligible black women in the US than black men, which means black men have it pretty good when choosing a mate. Plus, they have a virtual monopoly on black women who statistically are the least likely to IR marry/date in the US. Who wants to see their monopoly end?
8. “Only a Black Man Can Understand the Struggles of a Black Woman”–Does he have a vagina? No? Then no he can’t. Only women fully know what it’s like to get paid less for doing the same job as a man, for being denied a promotion because of gender, and for the constant barrage of “be more sexual” the media flashes at them while at the same time holding out puritan scorn for “whores” who do embrace their sexuality. Too often in America it has sort of been white men, white women, and black people just lumped together with no distinction to gender. And that’s false. Even though African American women in the 60’s identified much more with the civil rights movement than the feminist movement, that’s beginning to change, and should be.
By all accounts, black women are surpassing black men economically and intellectually, earning more degrees and then more money which makes them feel like “traitors” or as if they’re “leaving black men” behind, and a lot of other guilt that feels oddly outdated post sexual revolution. I think black women’s gender and sexuality have never been properly claimed as individual of black men’s (like I hit on in point 5) and it’s past time that changed. In 2008, only 10 percent of America admitted to having a problem with a black president. Way too high, BUT nearly 25 percent said they had a problem with a woman president like Hillary. In America, gender can sometimes trump even race, whether we realize it or not.
9. “That White Men are not Interested in Black Women/That Black Women are Not Interested in White Men”–Black women are interested, not all of them, but enough that if you make the first move you might be surprised. White men are interested, not all of them, but most. Studies have shown men are more open minded to interracial dating, open minded meaning “Woman hot, drag back to cave” cave man logic that means if someone is attractive they’ll date them. Surprisingly, that’s a lot more sophisticated than all the lunatics babbling about traitors, and self hatred, and sell outs that people think are “intellectual” arguments.
Also the argument that white men only date “pretty” black women or ones out of their league or better than them. Well, as I pointed out in 7 there are a lot more black men dating black women out of their league.
10. “White Men Who Like Black Women Have A Fetish”–Yes, because any weirdo who thinks black women are more attractive than white women naturally is a sex fiend. I think of fetishes as something abnormal or bizarre and probably containing leather, piercings, and Clay Aiken music. I don’t think finding darker skin tones attractive qualifies for any of that.
11. “Black Women are Sell Outs Who Date White Men”–99.5 percent of couples in the world are same race. Only 1.5 percent of black women in the US marry white men, I am pretty sure it is not “selling out” to do something only 1 out of every 200 couples in the world does. If anything it’s “selling out” or compromising to marry same race if you’d really rather be married to a black woman/white man. It’s giving in to what your friends, family, and society want more than what you want, thus, selling out.
12. That You’re Really as Open Minded as You Think–A lot of women have told me they’re “open minded” to white men who haven’t dated white men, never had sex with white men, and routinely turn down white men that ask them out. I didn’t know being open minded meant “Only if Justin Timberlake personally flies to downtown ATL to ask you out would you date a white guy.” And I have seen white men in this group [this was a FB group for black women/white male couples] say they “like all colors” only to have a white girlfriend a month later. Same with black women who sometimes even admin interracial FB groups for years, then have a black boyfriend and act like they never said anything positive about IR relationships.
I hate it when someone says bw/wm relationships are “just a phase” in a young person’s life. I especially hate it when it’s so often the case. Don’t pretend after a couple white boyfriends and then you are engaged to a black guy that race “had nothing to do with it.” It’s unfortunate that too many men/women I know might throw in the towel on interracial dating after one or two bad experiences but have given same race partners many more try’s. Interracial dating isn’t a cure all that will magically work the first time you try it. I think you find white men/black women more attractive and you stick with it. Like I said, 99.5 percent of the couples in the world are same race. The world needs to bend more to us than we need to bend to it.”
2018 End Note: Although I’d probably change a couple of the wording of some points, I still think all are valid and wouldn’t really change much of this today. Happy Loving Day everyone!