Life on the Color Line (Why not go white?)

Before I begin, let me share some statistics

  • “…black men are seven times more likely than white men to be incarcerated and twice as likely to be unemployed.”  – USA Today
  • “…American black women are among the least likely to marry.”
  • In 2004, 26.5% of black males ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in college versus 36.5% of black women that age…” American Council on Education
  • Nearly three quarters of the 403,000 black-white couples in 2006 involved black husbands.
  • According to USA Today, in America 6% of marriages are interracial; in 1970, it was less than 1%.
  • A Gallup Poll on interracial dating in June 2005 reported that 95% of 18- to 29-year-olds approve of blacks and whites dating. About 60% of that age group said they have dated someone of a different race.
  • 22 percent of Asian-American women have a non-Asian husband while only nine percent of Asian husbands have non-Asian wives
  • Currently, six percent of black husbands are in an interracial marriage, compared to only two percent of black wives.
  • Fourteen percent of black men who are cohabiting without marriage have a white woman living with them (Sidebar: DANG!  They can even get them to move in with them!)
  • Slightly less than 18 percent of Hispanic wives are wed to non-Hispanics husbands, and a little over 15 percent of Hispanic husbands have non-Hispanic wives (Sidebar: Probably white).
  • 86 percent of black-asian couples consisted of a black husband and an Asian wife.
  • The higher the social status of the black woman the less likely she is to ever marry.

Now while I understand that statistics can be manipulated to suit any purpose, you can’t disagree with what anecdotaly you know/see for yourself.

While I’m not necessarily advocating you MUST marry interracially, what I am saying is WHY NOT?  If what you want in life is to be a wife, mother, partner to someone who loves, respects and honors you, what difference does that make if they are white, Asian, Native American?  Why are we holding out for a pick from a dating pool that is slowly becoming a dating puddle and may soon dry up while we’re looking out on the horizon for our Black knight in a shiny car.

I can attest that I’ve dated white, Asian and OTHER, if I so chose, because that’s who made me happy.  Shoot!  I dated a white guy in the ATL.  Now if that ain’t controversy, then I don’t know what is.  But he was a sweetie and he introduced me to the best garlic butter buns at this Italian restaurant in Gwinnett county!  And I married Black.  But I digress.  The point is….even in the midst of an ocean with all that water, you still can’t drink it…so why not take a glass of “drinkable” water if it’s offered to you?

If a man is in a situation where he is surround by the white sands of Hawaii and not the black sands of Negril, do you think that will stop him from going to “the beach”?  So why does it stop us from taking a dip?

I’ve heard it stated even more pragmatically. “…[B]lack women deserve to be happy to and need to drop their racialism and take men of other races seriously, because God did not guarantee them a black man….Get in where you fit in.”  I don’t think I could have said it better myself.  Now it’s your turn to think about it.

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  • JC

    Reply Reply November 1, 2008

    “If what you want in life is to be a wife, mother, partner to someone who loves, respects and honors you, what difference does that make if they”…were incarcerated, didn’t go to college, have a blue collar job???

    IMO, (1) black women expect a lot more from black men then they do white men. (2) both black men and women treat each other like crap.

    America has trained the sistas to expect black men to be better than, instead of equal to, the white man. The same way a high-school educated white man can make upper management, and be the boss of a black man with an undergrad degree, that same white man will get the attention of a sista as a guy with stature and ambition, while the lower level brotha is viewed as complacent and lazy.

    I must admit, we brothas make a lot of excuses as to why we don’t try to better ourselves, history in this country being one of them; but where we have messed up is we’ve allowed other people to define “better” for us. I wish more brothas would follow the Jay-Z model and live the life they feel is best for them (it may or may not be college) and settle down after they’ve made it, rather than going through the motions just to fit someone else’s definition of a “real man”. BTW, you can’t deny the fact that it always takes shit like 9/11 to get America to remove “Tyrone” as public enemy no. 1. Has Tisha EVER been public enemy no. 1?

    My second point. I think black women have stepped their game up over the past few decades to establish themselves as equals, and deserve credit for it. But I can’t help but notice the lack of respect/acknowledgement for the black men they are equal to. There seems to be a higher level of tolerance for that GED havin, upper mgmt cracka then there is for college educated brotha if he isn’t tryin to take that next step, whatever that step is. That perception of complacency brings about a certain disdain, or resentment, which leads to that “real man” B.S..

    Now brothas also have problems showing respect for black women. We’re a lot quicker to call a black woman our her name than we will a white woman…sistas call us everything in the book BTW. You can blame it on hip hop (you wouldn’t be right), but I think that, deep down, brothas wish sistas would treat us the way some white women do (which is exactly how the sistas treat GED-Billy). Unfortunately, without that graduate degree and GED-Billy’s job, a lot of us have no idea how to make that happen.

    Both sexes need to take a breath a realize that all we need to do is treat each other right. Cuz in the end, no one will be there for us but us.

  • JC

    Reply Reply November 2, 2008

    “our her name” = out her name

  • starr71

    Reply Reply November 2, 2008

    I agree with keeping your options open. I married a brother, but if we were not together, I would definately consider dating men of other races. I was actually open to it before we committed to each other, but my issue was that I couldn’t find men of other races that I was ATTRACTED to. My preference has always been the brothers, physically.

  • A. Fox

    Reply Reply November 2, 2008

    So the first part of my response is to JC…now incarcerated might be taking it a little far. And I will say I’ve dated blue collar brothers (construction worker/electrician)…BUT…the buck stopped when he had some “down” comments to make about the importance of education. I believe if he doesn’t have those same wants/hopes/desires…regardless of his current situtation…then when you start trying to save in a 529, he’s going to be like..what’s that all about….goin’ ta college ain’t that big a deal. And to me…that just ain’t one battle I’m willing or tryna fight. Now if he’s on board with the whole education is important…vs look at me…I didn’t go ta college and I turned out alright…then we can work with your Blue Collar! :o)
    Now…I’m glad you took the time to read this week’s post with an open mind. And I like how you summed it up.

    “Both sexes need to take a breath a realize that all we need to do is treat each other right. Cuz in the end, no one will be there for us but us.”

    I’m right there with your brotha…especially that my Hubby is on the same color line as myself. But I’m with STARR….if this didn’t (doesn’t) work out…I’m over to the other side! :o) LOL

    But my final thought JC is I don’t know if we treat Billy better than Tyrone…it’s just that we DO have expectations for Tyrone and if Billy is new meat…we don’t know what to expect. I know that sounds like a cop-out…but it doesn’t matter the color…I wouldn’t take GED Billy OR GED Tyrone. All things being equal…but you know it’s not b/c we expect more from Tyrone!
    :o)

  • A. Fox

    Reply Reply November 2, 2008

    typo…that’s just one battle I’m NOT tryna fight!

    Sorry!

  • deeceevoice

    Reply Reply November 3, 2008

    Bleh. White men are just gross. Pale, hairy skin; flat behinds; flabby, fleshy; they smell different. Pink privates. Oh, just barf!

    And that’s not even getting to the history of White men using and abusing Black women and their history of oppressing Black people. All that’s way too close for comfort for me. And White folks, still — as well-meaning as some may be — are just to damned ignorant/benighted when it comes to Black folks. I can’t see putting up with that kind of stupidity/naivete in my close personal relationships. There are some battles I’m just not going to fight in the bedroom.

    Besides, why is it that the alternative is only White men? As a Black woman, I am a pan-Africanist. A nationalist. A race woman. I prefer Black men. But if I DID date across the color line, a White man would be my LAST choice.

    Self-loathing runs deep in the race, and Black-White relationships have just too much freakin’ baggage historically and culturally. And I’m an activist. I White bwoi would just plain cramp my style. Even if I encountered a White man who appealed to me (highly unlikely — yuck!), I wouldn’t act on it. I’m not going to feed the culture of self-hatred in The Race by stepping out with a White man. Let my misguided and often self-loathing brothers chase after White meat if that’s what floats their boat.

    It’s not for me.

    There are lots of men out here: Black, Latino, Asian. I’d choose just about ANY male of color — or go it alone.

    No thanks.

  • A. Fox

    Reply Reply November 3, 2008

    DeeCee…going it alone is also an option. I’m not advocating that you MUST bein a relationship….I’m only saying that is you WANT to be in a realtionship, we need to expand our horizon’s options. But you do raise an interesting point that I did not explore and that’s Black men who are not of US lineage. African, Carribbean, etc.

    The reason I (personally) wanted to go Black is b/c of all the cultural things that I was NOT willing to give up. I’m not saying that I would have to…but then how could I ask my husband (if non-black) to give up his. So I’m married…but I’m really just asking the non-married women why is this not as much of an option as it appears to be for our brothers?

    I really appreciate your comments.

    And YEAH….the white guy on your activist arm would really (how do I say)…take the punch out of your message! :o) LOL So I really see your point there!

    :o)

  • RS

    Reply Reply November 3, 2008

    I live in Atlanta and went out on a few dates with an Indian gentleman (from India not Native American). He was a really nice guy and it was fun learning about his culture and meeting his friends. I also enjoyed seeing how they interact (in many ways it’s the same as us, in some ways it was different). But truthfully, I couldn’t take the looks and stares from my own people. When non-Blacks stared it didn’t phase me at all….but when brothas stared….I wanted to crawl under a table or disappear!!! I felt the full judgement and disapproval. I felt like I had betrayed all of the good, good looking and hard working brothas everywhere. It got so bad, I stopped wanting to go out in public.

    Now that was almost 10 years ago and I am now in a different place in my life. I would be open to going out with a non-Black but I can’t imagine a serious relationship or marriage. There are too many things that are significant to my life that they don’t really get. I graduated from an HBCU. I’m in a Black Sorority. I grew up eating neck bones and collard greens (And still do! LOL). Trying to explain the Black American culture and experience is like trying to explain love. It’s difficult to put into words but those that have experienced it know exactly what it is.

    So I say live life and explore your interests. If you find a non-Black intriguing, go for it! I would! But when it comes to with whom I’ll be sharing my life, for me I believe the choice will have to be Black.

  • sunshine4

    Reply Reply November 4, 2008

    Very interesting. I am happy to see this conversation. I am currently dating a white man, in a large metropolitan city. I graduated from an HBCU and spent a few years in Africa. I looove Black men and have never and will never give up on them. But it was not a Black man I met and am falling in love with – to my surprise! Do we have our differences and problems, yes. Some of them are culturally based, but most or gender based. The female/male thing causes more problems than anything. Would I marry him, I don’t know. I’ve never considered spending the rest of my life with a white man. I’ve always seen myself with beautiful chocolate babies. Can I break up with someone who cares for me like no other man has based on the color of his skin and my childhood dreams?

    I hear everyone here, I know the history, and I know what people think when they see us. (Fortunately we haven’t had any problems/comments in DC or any place we’ve traveled together.)

    I guess you can decide its a brotha or nothing, and possibly be alone for the rest of your life. But we (women) cannot/should not deny ourselves joy. Why not be open to whoever God brings you? You might be surprised.

    Btw, the private parts are not all pink. And he has a booty like the best of them;)

  • A. Fox

    Reply Reply November 4, 2008

    RS and Sunshine…thanx for being so open about your experiences. I agree with you that to make a choice (or even accept God’s choice) of who on this earth is meant for you….does not mean you’ve turned your back on brothas…it just means you’ve opened up to “othas”. :o)

    I know it’s a corny rhyme…LOL

    Anywho….my sister hangs out with Indians in Jersey and has even travelled with them to India. She says they are almost just like Black Folx…save some food and clothing choices. :o)

  • Latherio Boyd

    Reply Reply November 4, 2008

    I wholeheartedly agree that we should consider anyone who repsects, loves, and regards us. However, I think a large part of the problem for black men is that we don’t properly value the qualities of black women, especially strong black women. Additionally, an insecure man will find those strong qualities intimidating. In my book, “The Man’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Mate”, I stress the fact that we men must first know and love who WE are. We need to be okay with us. Secondly, we have to understand that many women are strong and take the leadership role because so many of us(black men) do NOT. Women are survivors by nature and they will do what they must; however, it doesn’t mean that that is what they want to do! One of the interesting things about this election is that it will remove excuses for black men not to be successful. We can’t blame it on the “white man” or society or our parents. All a woman has to say now is “Look at Pres. Obama!” Though I would have no problem marrying a white, Asian, Hispanic or Martian woman, my preference is for the Sistahs and always will be. But it is because I am mature enough and secure enough in who I am that I can truly appreciate you all and that’s where brothas need to be!

  • JC

    Reply Reply November 5, 2008

    YES WE DID!!!!
    YES WE DID!!!!
    YES WE DID!!!!

    Let us all thank our Father for this day, and pray for PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!!

  • JC

    Reply Reply November 5, 2008

    Latherio Boyd,

    I whole heartedly agree that men must know and love who they are. However, don’t think that men NOT taking the leadership role is the ONLY reason that women are. As Fox stated in her statistical breakdown, nearly three quarters of the 403,000 black-white couples in 2006 involved black husbands. I doubt that these men are also not taking the leadership role in their marriages. I also doubt that these men have educational/professional backgrounds that aren’t comparable, if not superior, to their white wives’. The question I have to Fox’s statistics is that why did those men, who apparently are taking responsibility, chose white women? It can’t be just insecurity.

    Like I originally stated, women have made tremendous strides in their personal and professional lives over the past 30 years. Women have proven that they are just as competent and able to perform any task traditionally reserved for men. With that, I believe, came an empowerment and a belief that the leadership role in the household was to be shared. That can’t work as long as only the man is held responsible.

    It is true that men turning their back on responsibilities was the catalyst for our situation today, but what we have created is a catch-22 where the man doesn’t step up, the woman does, she then adopts a disposition where a man is not a necessity to her, and then, unfortunately, man then sees no reason to step up.

    Yes, all women have to say is “Look at President Obama”, but do these women look at Michelle as an example of a woman who knows when to be strong, and when to let her man be strong for her? Has Michelle ever told Barack that she didn’t need him…or a man at all for that matter? A man’s role is to be the head of the household. But if a man is expected to be able to perform without the encouragement and support from his wife, then he may as well stay by himself. Independence may be attractive, but relationships are built on interdependence.

    It’s hard to see any black woman with a white man. But I’d hate to think that she’s using stats like Fox’s to (1) convince herself that black men are unworthy and are illegitimately running to white women, and (2) date white men out of spite. I’d rather believe that she just met someone whom she felt a connection with. I’d even take curiosity…hell I’ve been there.

    Sunshine4 – Do you wanna hear me talk about the color of some white woman’s labia minora? Too much info girl;)

  • A. Fox

    Reply Reply November 5, 2008

    JC. I think your comments are spot on in ANY relationship…a man who is not needed, won’t stay. Sometimes it’s our very action that drive them away. Independance we wear on our sleeve…but too much independence will surely make him leave. (you like my rhyme, huh).

    Anyway….women we need to know when to be indpendent (at work) and when to let our man lead (at home). We dont’ need to show him up at every opportunity…but I have a sneaking suspicion that we wouldn’t do that if he were an OTHER brother. For some reason, we hold our men to an unreasonable standard that we don’t even hold folx at work up to.
    Sigh…I guess I just want to say that it’s a tough road…but whether you choose black, white or other…be advised that only YOU must be happy with the choices you make.

  • JC

    Reply Reply November 7, 2008

    Lemme know when your album drops MC Foxy-Lyte(skinned).

    Happy to share my understanding of the situation. Shame you were jokin a while back.

  • A. Fox

    Reply Reply November 7, 2008

    No album…but I WILL invite you to my book signing. :o)

  • El Mostro

    Reply Reply April 2, 2009

    Very interesting.

  • Jerry B.

    Reply Reply April 12, 2009

    I have no problem with interracial dating as long as it's not a rejection of your own.. I've heard many sistas say things like"white men treat you better…" This statement is all but comical. I think we have to begin to re-evaluate what constitutes a "good man…" If he's honest, gainfully employed, and spiritual this should put the guy up for consideration but in many instances it tends to be just the opposite. Most folks end up with people that look like themselves but in those instances where love is found in a different color don't allow it to become a rejection of your own.

    Peace And Blessings to All

  • SaraB.

    Reply Reply November 25, 2009

    Me being a white women, I just have to say I agree with deeceevoice, except in the opposite sense. Black men just have 0% attractiveness in my eyes. Dark crusty skin with purple penis’s repulses me. However I’ve met many nice black guys, but just I could never be attracted to them physically.

  • Dawn

    Reply Reply December 29, 2009

    I have always dated and preferred balck men. As a college educated white woman, I have never had a negative relationship, I just have been an equal partner and have been treated very well. Although, I am not demanding, I do require an elevated level of respect which I whole heartedly return..I feel that many people today are too demanding and materialistic and that this desire to “one up” everyone else in as far as cars, clothes, homes etc takes away from what is really important in a relationship; honesty, loyalty and teamwork..I am married to a wonderful and HUMBLE Nigerian man and he takes nothing for granted and treats me like a Queen..We have an equal partnership,no fighting, no disrespect it just works out that way!

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