Saturday, February 27, 2010

Who is this Black man (that SHE's with)? *side eye*

Preface: I'm about to be what some might call stereotypical: Angry. Black. Woman. The way I see it, I'm just a Black woman whose mood at this moment happens to be angry. So, don't click away just yet. Hear me out. Read my perspective. 

*Inhale, exhale.*


It never really occurred to me that I should be upset about interracial relationships until I got to college and met one bestie who was infuriated by them. Of course I championed Black love, but it never occurred to me to disparage interracial love until I watched her shake her head about it every time. I swear she invented the acronym "SMH," but I've digressed. I was all for you love who you love no matter what color; but at the end of the day I wanted a Black man.

The whole interracial relationships thing still hadn't really bothered me until the past few months, when I suddenly encountered all of these white women artists seriously dating and married to Black men (or other men of color). *Snarling. Panting.* WHAT IN THEE HELL? I click through Facebook and I see photos of another couple, and another. It's like an epidemic has hit 20 and 30-something white women dancers, that they need to settle in with a Black man. And GOOD ONES too! (I know. I am so cliche right now.)

And then my daddy emails me this: Look Outside the Race Box from The Washington Post. The article tells the story of a divorced black woman who's brand new man turns out to be white. It's selling point is this:
People who study race talk about the point beyond which you stop taking regular note of the person's skin color, or hair or background. It happens in friendships, with relatives, with colleagues. You look across the table and the person you are talking to is not a white person or a black person, but simply a person. People who date and marry across cultures often describe this feeling. People on the sidelines might stare, but the couples themselves often become oblivious to it [emphasis added].
The problem here is that there has to be a "point beyond which you stop taking note." And let's be real, there is no point in which you really stop taking note. Did we forget Obama was black the minute he got in office? Heeell no. The whole notion of a post-racial society, or post-racial relationship infuriates me to no end, because our whole culture, the entire human existence, has been built on the social construct of race. Whether we want to admit it or not, race plays into e v e r y aspect of our lives, so I'm not about to overlook it when it comes to my man. In fact, for someone to suggest to me that I ought to stop looking for a black man and date outside my race because eventually I'll just forget he's white is ABSOLUTELY LUDICROUS! [I'm looking, not waiting as the article's author suggests all black women do. I'm an active, not passive participant in my life.]

But back to the issue at hand: I'm FLIPPIN' OUT over seeing all these white women with whom I am acquainted, with a black man. *Panting* This knee-jerk reaction is serious.

Then the analyzer in me has to ask Why? Why am I getting so upset about this?

The answer is clear. I feel like they are encroaching upon my territory.

Let me say that again. I feel like they are encroaching upon MY territory.

You see, up until this point in life, I haven't been uber-serious about dating. As I get older though, my priorities are shifting. For the first time, I feel like these white women actually took something from me.

And then I ask myself: How could they have taken this black man from me and I've never met him a day in my life? Until the day I met him on her arm. Am I so territorial that I feel I have claim over any man who identifies as Black even if he doesn't want me? Where in THEE HELL do I get off feeling that way? Who said Black men were ONLY for Black women and vice versa? Do Asian, Hispanic and any other peoples feel this way about their men being with white women? Is a white woman a black woman's arch-nemesis when it comes to men? O! And other than the fact that as a black woman blogger I'm putting this up for discussion, doesn't it seem like we are the only ones whose love lives are incessantly being discussed in the mainstream?

Help me out here people! Talk to me about this!

6 comments:

Mexifro said...

I'm gonna have to think a little bit on this one before I can give a full response, but I respect your honesty and ability to so well articulate that irrational angry reaction that can just automatically creep up on us when we see that pairing. There is a lot of layers to it and most are societal and have to do with a very ugly history rather than with a true disrespect or disregard for the couple. Interested to see how your friends respond.

Crystal said...

Hmmm...Very thought provoking for sure. I guess my question to you is if you met a man of another race that you completely clicked with would you close the door on moving that relationship forward just because he's not black?

Sydnie said...

@Mexifro, thanks for pointing out exactly what this is: my honest irrational angry reaction that takes a lot of investigation to get to the root of.

@Crystal, I'll have to cross that bridge if/when I get to it. You never know how you'll react in a situation until you're in it.

RR said...

Cuzo: Quite normal reactions you're having. We must, however, get to the root of them. As a christian black man who married a black woman 23 years ago whose and whose sisters-in-laws married two white men, I have experienced a mind transformation regarding this issue/dilemma. If she/he loves God, Jesus and me with their whole heart, then it's all good.

Sydnie said...

@RR What do you think the root of these reactions are? Why does it seem like it's my nature to be so defensive and protective?

Andrea said...

When I read this I thought of you.

http://theybf.com/index.php/2010/03/27/jill-scott-gets-to-the-bottom-of-the-interracial-sting/#more-24947

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