So let me tell y’all about this constant mental struggle I go through—rationalizing interracial relationships! Anyone who knows me, knows I stan out for Black men (BM). I’m still looking for my “Idris-Elba-in-shining-armour” (PS: if y’all know where he is, put me ON!!!!! LOL)
My feelings on interracial relationships weren’t fully formed until I found myself in undergrad at a small liberal arts school in one of the most racially homogenous states in North America. Being a first year student provided me with a number of challenges that I never had to deal with. Prior to matriculating at my undergraduate institution, I did not have to explain my socio-economic background, I was never questioned about my race, and I had no exposure to the ways in which stereotype threat could (and would) affect me. Yes, there were some observable parallels between my college’s social culture, and that of my high school. Emerging from behind high school’s protective veil, however, allowed me to experience novel situations, and critically evaluate them. It was from this standpoint that I decided to focus my undergraduate years learning about both human behavior and Black history’s role in comprehending race relations around the world.
Now, in a school of no more than 1,850 students, there weren’t really many pigmented folks around. A few Latino/a (s) here, a few Black folk there, what seemed like a whole slew of Asian Americans (I’ll explain what I mean in a later post J). As I became more passionate and vocal about racial equality, and how it related to my new social environment, one thing constantly puzzled me—interracial relationships. Don’t get me wrong—my school wasn’t a place where people particularly “dated” or were “in relationships.” Hooking-up was the norm, and even that racial racially polarized. One of my favorite Deans (whaddup Joe lol) put it quite poignantly for me—“It’s sad, but at the end of the day, on college campuses, Black women are at the bottom of the barrel. White guys want white girls, black guys want white girls [or any other race besides their own] and not much has changed since I was in undergrad!” (Joe is quite older…)
Based on my observations on our campus, Joe was right. What was even more interesting was that when I had conversations about this with brothas on campus, I got an array of excuses. They went a little like this:
- “I think of y’all as my sisters. We’re already too close. We’re friends—things could get awkward.” *blank stare*
- “Black women are too aggressive. Too loud. Y’all don’t need us men—you’re men enough for yourselves” (Again, someone remind me to write a post on this point.)
- “Y’all aren’t in shape. Not on teams.”
- “There just aren’t enough of y’all.”
And that’s just me paraphrasing. Don’t get me wrong. I know fully well that not all of you precious brothas think this way or can relate. But this was my reality at that time. And while I could sit here on my high horse and talk about how these things didn’t bother me, I wouldn’t be honest with myself. What’s more important, however, is why BM dating outside of their race translates to some sort of self-hatred to me? Am I buggin’? Why don’t I feel the same way when I see a sista dating outside of her race? Am I the hypocrite for that? What does that say about me? In all of my conversations with BM, I haven’t really gotten the answer I’m looking for. I surely have my reasons thus far (which I’ll be following up on the blog about later), will I ever get the answer I need from BM?...
To be continued…
(please feel free to comment and sound off below! I love a passionate debate!)