Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Even in the year 2010, interracial relationships continue to be hotly debated and are often a point of contention between Black men and Black women. With all of the reports about the shortage of “good Black men” going around nowadays, some of us can get a little “spicy” when the topic comes up-and that’s putting it mildly.

We use all kinds of clichés to express how we feel (“Your mother is a Black woman. How can you say that we aren’t good enough?”), but none of it gets to the root of the real issue; and that is a belief in shortages and limited choices. Some of us express our displeasure loudly and openly, but preface our statements by saying that we believe that we should all love one another; that there are no color lines; that we are all God’s children. But if this is the case, why is it that some of us look upon interracial relationships, specifically Black Men with White women, as being an insult or a slap in the face to ALL Black women, everywhere? Do we really believe that the reason that we “don’t have a man” is because the “good” ones are being snatched up by predatory White women? Is it really a matter, as some of us would assert, that White women are easier to get along with and more willing to put up with crap than we are? Or could it be that Black men who date White women are filled with self-loathing and suffering from low self-esteem? Logically speaking, if these things are really true, wouldn’t we prefer, for these Black men to seek love elsewhere? Or is it that we want them to stay, against their own will, and be with us because they “should?”

Some of us speak of our loyalty to the Black man, saying that we would NEVER date outside our race, as if that somehow proves that we are more committed to our collective well-being than they are. We are ALWAYS down. We ALWAYS have our men’s back. When a Black man “dates White”, we often view this as an act of desertion. Our perception is that they have turned their backs on us; leaving us unwanted, unsupported, and unloved. Now of course, according to some of us, it’s okay for a Black man to date a White woman, but we take offense when we have determined that he has made it a HABIT or when it becomes his preference. But who are we to make that call?

We’ve heard most, if not all of the arguments. From intellectual discussions about the disappearing Black family to flat out anger and sadness over feeling dismissed and disrespected as Black women. All of these arguments have valid points, but we must always remember that there is no attack. There is no conspiracy. There are just people making decisions about who they want to love and be with. And whether those decisions come as a result of a deliberate choice or because of some deeply-rooted dysfunction, it is not OUR place to judge or criticize. Our only work while we are here is to be the best WE can be, as we encourage and support others to do the same. And in doing so, we must realize that we may not always agree on what is “right” or “best.”

When we mistakenly believe that someone else’s choice is making a statement about who we are, we limit our ability to define ourselves. And who we are is beautiful and worthy and powerful.