Why White Ain't Right for Me12/15/2013
White men are not foreign to me. As a black girl raised in the suburbs, I've had countless inte...
White men are not foreign to me. As a black girl raised in the suburbs, I've had countless interactions with our paler skinned pals. That is why I can comfortably say that I have no desire to marry or raise children with a white man. That's not to say that my interactions with white men have been so overwhelmingly horrible that they've pushed me away forever, but I know enough about what I desire for my life and my household to say no. No thank you. That is also why I've grown so resentful of the "just find a white man" dating mantra that's taken hold in "Black Women's Empowerment" spheres.
Few things tire my spirit like hearing regurgitated facts about the dire state of black marriage and doomed fate of black women. These stats are rarely presented in good faith with our interests at heart. When presented, they are meant to scare black women into action. I'm not biting. I know too many married black women
Black Women's Empowerment blogs, and now an increasing number of authors, seem to believe that "dating out" will the cure the black woman's problems. The presumption is that women who don't desire to date out are blinded by loyalty or that we just don't know what's good for us. That's untrue. We know exactly who we're dealing with.
I have certainly been physically attracted to white men. Justin Timberlake, Bradley Cooper, Paul Walker (RIP) could all proverbially "get it.". But as a black woman who loves black people and feels committed to keeping the black community, at least in part, I just cannot abandon the brothers.
I'm decidedly unromantic about long term partnership. Let's say, for argument's sake ,that you cannot control who you fall in love with. You can certainly control with whom you procreate and marry. I do not see being desired by a white man as an achievement. These women view dating out as a feat.
I have no fantasies about what life with a black man may be, but it does seem like "find a non-black man" rhetoric is predicated on unrealistic expectations. Idealizing non-black seems must as harmful as shunning them entirely.
The interracial dating champions also minimize the difficulties that accompany dating out. The ubiquity of white supremacist cultural conditioning indicates that any man you date will have been affected. No that doesn't mean that all white men are racist, but it does mean that constant messages about the inferiority of black people and their own superiority have shaped their thinking. I don't want to be anyone's race teacher. In any relationship there will be explanations and compromises, but I feel comfortable knowing that there are things about me that a black man will just know.
I'll be the first to call black men out on their misogynoir, but I do so from a place of hurt and frustration. And that certainly does not mean I believe in abandonment. The divisions that exist between black men and women are real and should not be understated. However, they are not, in my opinion, insurmountable.
I have no fear of never marrying. Singledom is not a black woman's curse. I know too many black women in healthy happy long-term relationships to ever believe that. Black women marry later. So perhaps, I'll have to wait a while for my shining black Prince. But please stop telling me that he will never come -- that my desire to cultivate a black family will leave me alone.
Love can be beautiful. Making a life with anyone has complications, and I'm sticking with my decision.
Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or Follow @KimberlyNFoster