Thursday, September 30, 2010

5 Reasons to Date a Black Man


I was a little conflicted about writing this, because people often assume that when you proclaim your love for one thing, you are simultaneously stating your hate or dislike for another. But, the article written by Lashaun Williams forced it out of me. She wrote an article entitled. "8 Reasons to Date A White Man." I don't disagree with the premise; I am open to more than just my own ethnicity/racial background. But the "reasons" she listed are an explicit summation of gross, hyperbolic, and racist generalizations about a rather large demographic.

Here's a brief overview of why Ms. Lashaun Williams believes Black Women should date White Men (direct quotes!):

  • 1. Gay White men are more forthcoming about their homosexuality. (Translation: More Black men hide their sexuality than White men.)
  • 2. Black men have backwards expectations when it comes to romantic relationships, and are looking for someone to take care of them. White men come from "stronger family structures."
  • 3. In White culture, education is valued and expected, while Black men continue to drop out.
  • 4. White men at least attempt marriage before making babies; "White men don't have children sprinkled around the world like Black men."
  • 5. "White men have a firmer grasp on what really defines manhood.They are smart enough not to act out rap music."
  • 6. Black men are always trying to shine, spend more money than they have. White men make better decisions when it comes to managing money.
  • 7. White men have no problem turning a ho into a housewife. They have the ability to look beyond our past.
  • 8. White men don't take everything as a challenge to their masculinity. As a result of their insecurities and low self-esteem, Black men are intimidated by the strength of an educated and ambitious Black woman.



Whew. Is your blood pressure up? Mine is! But despite what Mrs. Williams thinks, I was raised to fight ignorance with eloquence and a touch of wit.



So here we are...
5 Reasons A Sister Should Date A Black Man.
(Or at least not be opposed to the idea)




1. Black men and women share a common culture, history, and background that is comparable to none. You can analyze DuBois and Frantz Fanon, memorize a stack of Tribe Called Quest LPs, attend an HBCU, vote for Obama, and even follow Reverend Run on Twitter, but no one will ever be able to truly understand the Black American experience like a Black American. For example, I don't understand what it's like to be Jewish or morbidly obese, so my empathy for these groups can only go so far. Does this make non-Blacks less valuable or less suitable as partners? Not necessarily. However, ladies, when you come home from work, and you tell your husband, "I'm so sick and tired of tap dancing for these fools all day", he gets it.

2. Your little black boys and girls stand to benefit from a living, breathing example of a Black father. Black women, from vanilla to caramel to cocoa, your children will be at least partially Black, because of your DNA; you can't change that. Isn't that a wonderful thing? While we all know that mothers can do a great job of raising their kids on their own, and that a child can be raised by someone from any race, there's something about learning from someone who looks like you that can't be taken away. The rallying cry from black parents across the world when Obama was elected was, "Now our children have someone to look to!" Who better to teach Black children about navigating through a faux post-racial America than a minority himself? The man who has been pulled over for no reason, the man who stays late in the office because he has to prove he's serious about his work, and the man who wears dress slacks even on casual Fridays to avoid being looked down on.
(Photo: My brother-in-law and his daughter Willow)

3. The Stringer Bell Effect. HBO produced one of the greatest television shows I've ever seen, The Wire. Although he was ruthless and probably has his own seating assignment in hell, the character Stringer Bell, played by Idris Elba, had a stride that was both confident and urbane. His gait was like his character; it fit in business circles with powerful politicians but also seamlessly flowed with working class folks on the streets. I am the last person to suggest that you date a drug kingpin, however, there is something magnetic about someone who is able to fit in with the uncle at the family reunion that want's to "hold a couple dollars" and the Will and Jadas.
I don't believe there is a genetic difference in the way Black men and other men walk. But when you are fighting against stereotypes purported by Lashaun Williams, and the never-ending characterization of your demographic as stealing, rapacious, and ignorant bunch, it gives you reason to walk with your head held high, confident yet casual and with purpose! The only White man I've ever seen come close to this walk, is Robin Thicke, and he's married to Paula Patton, so maybe it rubbed off. (Just kidding).

4. Social Responsibility. Now this reason may be a bit controversial, but it still deserves some note. Know who the biggest individual donors to the University of Miami are? University of Miami Alumni. Know who the biggest supporters of the Holocaust Museum are? Jewish folks. And guess who can be depended on to uplift Blacks from our marginal status? Blacks! No one looks out for their own like their own. When I was moving to a new place, my mom implored me to: "Call your father to have him move your stuff. Your friends will chip in and help out, but no one takes care of your stuff like your family... because if something happens, he's going to be the one buying you a new bed, not them." This may seem like an extremely roundabout way to get to my point, but what I'm saying is, if we, as Black Americans are serious about changing our status in the world -socially, economically and otherwise- it will take a team effort. As my favorite R&B crooner, Brandon Hines said, we need we. What better way to build a team, or a strong Black community than to start with the foundation, family.

5. It's Your Preference. The biggest reason to date and/or marry anyone should be because you like them. If you are attracted to Black men. then you should date them. Don't be deterred by the statistics that seem to be posted everywhere. Don't feel embittered by men in your past who have done you wrong, (which often your friends tried to warn you about, and you ignored). Don't worry that your children's resumes will be passed over because their last name is Jenkins. Why? Because at the end of the day, you have to live, share, and fart with this guy. Whenever I see Black women complaining that "Black men ain't shit", I'm tempted to ask them how many non-Blacks have they dated. Usually, this answer is 0. So, really, they have no standard or baseline to compare it to.

It's consistent with most sociological research that most people are most attracted to members of the same race/ethnicity background, same age group, similar interests, etc. It's fine to like someone that looks like you! And if you're open to all races, including your own, that's fine too. But the idea that you have to date outside of your group because of your group's supposed defects and/or negative characteristics is about as tired as the word swag.

A Very Important Notice to the LaShaun Williams and other Black women of the world who can't stop tweeting/chatting/writing/whining about how horrible Black men are:
When you decry the Black man as a financially irresponsible, ignorant, bastard fathering, showy, overly sensitive, child-like being, you are only sending out a PSA that you are probably not capable of being a good partner, friend, and certainly not a good mother. You are telling the world, "Yes I agree with the KKK, my ancestors' slaveowners, the opponents to the Civil Rights Movement, and the Uncle Ruckus' of the world. We stand united in our disgust and hate for Black men. We do not desire to be a part of the solution; we only wish to wallow in the problem."



Sure, there are some Black men out there who don't deserve a chance with Kat Stacks, much less you. However, your denigration of them all, good and bad, doesn't get anyone anywhere. Grow up, summon the inner Claire Huxtable or Michelle Obama in you, and act like a queen, worthy of a king. And rinse your mouth out with a bar of Ivory.
 
(And then read this poem: Phenomenal Brotha)



18 comments:

  1. I agree but I always hate this type of one-sided devotion that black women have toward black men. Where was the black men coming to our aid for the last couple years since everyone wants to harp on why black women can't get or keep a man? I didn't see that many brothers defending us. In fact, they joined in the bashing.

    I, for one, am loyal to no one but those who are in my life. I wish good will for all, but respect and loyalty are things that are earned not given away just because we share a common ancestry.

    The last requirement in our search for a mate should be race. Respect, loyalty, honor, financial security, responsibility, spirituality, etc. all are more important than race. No one is saying abandon your preferences or culture but do not defend or belittle those choices by denigrating love down to a color that won't exist in heaven or hell.

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  2. I agree! I have met some amazing black men in my life, and I have definitely met some of the trashiest white men! (as well as lived with some in my childhood) I believe it is your decision whoever you choose, just pray it is the right one!

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  3. Dear Miss CMG,
    I read your blog and love your mind and soul. And if I weren't adamantly in LOVE with my black man, I would consider dating a BLACK woman as beautiful and eloquent as you. JK, no homo.

    In all seriousness, I agree with you. I think that pointing out every single flaw that has to do with the "black man" is a cop out.
    Instead of using statistics as a scapegoat, perhaps some of these women need to challenge themselves to love a black man?
    Not that it's hard. How delicious and beautiful is one shade of brown on another? One word: YUM!!!

    And here's a novel idea: instead of these women projecting black man/ daddy issues on black men in the dating pool, perhaps they could find a man, (of any color/shade) marry, and raise an intelligent and responsible black son- who will become the amazing black men that they believe could never exist...

    I believe that as as women of color we need to challenge stereotypes. And the best way to challenge them is to not buy into them.

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  4. I feel you anonymous #1!

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  5. Anonymous #1 and #2: I don't support a blind devotion to any demographic, political party, anything. The article that somewhat inspired this one was full out blanket indictment of Black men and a sweeping endorsement of White men (completely disregarding Tommy Lee).

    Also, just like height and hair styles, race is certainly an "allowable" physical preference. Bashing any group of people is never a productive option though.


    And I don't know if I exist in a different universe, but I have been blessed to know lots of great Black men who defend Black women and are 100% behind us. Then again, I think I attract a certain energy because I put it out there.


    Thanks for reading all, especially those who commented, with or without disclosing their identity. :)

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  6. Cuz, I definitely see your point and I think the author of the article did a disservice to the point she was trying to make by making the point so poorly. But I think the topic is definitely worth debating. I think you are lucky that you are surrounded by so many great black men. Sadly this is just not the case for many sisters. I know some of the most wonderful, beautiful black women that cannot find a decent black man. They all prefer black men, but it seems that they do not get that same love. I am going by what I see on a daily basis. Black men married/dating every race but black..Asian, latina, white. I am tired of hearing black men say "I like exotic women". You can't get more exotic than a black women.

    I have noticed more and more sisters in DC dating outside of their race and I think others should follow suit.

    There have been many articles written about successful black women who are unable to find decent black men. And it is sad because most black women are so loyal to our brothers.

    Yes there are great black men out there. There are good black men who would prefer to be with a black women; but I think this is becoming more of the exception. We all cheer when we see an athlete or someone who is famous, who has a sister on his arm. And to drive my point home, we had a guest speaker at our church on Sunday who was commenting how he was so proud that Barack Obama was married to a 'real' sister. I think we all kinda of feel that way.

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  7. First let me comment on "8 Reasons to Date A White Man"

    I laughed at the title when I first saw it. Honestly, it sounds like the rant of a bitter black woman. But, she does have a point with some of her statements. The only problem is, she's attempting make these problems racial inside of problems with men and general. What if you meet a white man that fits the criteria of the black men she talked about? The reason that this article doesn't affect me is because she doesn't speak of me in any of these points (well maybe one).

    1. They Open Wide Instead of Down Low
    I can open wide riht now and tell you that I'm a healthy heterosexual male, and I love women. The best creation that the Lord has ever touched was a black woman (in my opinion) and nothing on this earth is comparable.

    2. Not Looking For Someone To Take Car of Them
    Every man in my family is a work-a-holic and provider. Me ask a woman to take care of me? Won't happen! I would honestly rather be on the street begging for change! Well that's a little extreme but you get me drift.

    3. Attend and Graduate College
    For real though? If you went to an HBCU, you've seen plenty of black men that have graduated from college. Well, if you haven't, I'll be done with my Masters next summer, and working on my Ph.D next fall. How's that for an education.

    4. At Least Attempt To Marry Before Making Babies
    Unless you count all of these god-kids as mine, I don't have any babies and I won't havie any until I get married.

    5. They Don't Glamorize Ignorance
    I don't even go around my old neighborhood often because the attitudes aren't progressive. I know I'm not a "thug" and I've never tried to portray myself as such.

    6. Financial Planning and Stability
    Ask AXA about my financial planning. Ask DCTFCU about my stability. I moved back in with my parents so that I could have 20% of a down payment and not the lowly 3.5% that FHA requires. Oh yeah, check out the new regulations coming to FHA this October.

    7. Have The Ability To Look beyond Your Past
    This just sounds like something a promiscuous woman writes to be accepted after whoring around in a city, then decides that she wants to be taken serious. I won't even entertain this one.

    8. Don't Take Everything As A Challenge To Their Masculinity
    I don't think you can write #2 and then write this one. They conflict. I do take certain things as a challenge to my masculinity. I feel like that's a pride thing though. Some women (not all) feel that they have to aggressively assert themselves to make a point that a mans presence isn't needed. That's fine, but most times that will assure you that you don't need a man.

    I guess 7/8 isn't bad.

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  8. @Stephany: Thanks! Hope all is well with you.

    @Kira K: So... you know it's legal for us to get married in DC right? I'm just putting it out there. :) Anyway, I agree! Let's attack these stereotypes with spirit, discipline, purpose, and pride! (Inside CY Joke)

    @Anonymous #3 aka Adrienne, my favorite cousin in VA: I do think too many women place too much faith in race, and you know how I feel about it. We've had this discussion several times. I know that while race isn't a factor that makes or breaks a potential mate for me, however, I can understand when it does for some people. While I will date a White, Black, Nepalese, whatever, I'm not open to dating men under 5'7. I'm just not. I don't want to tower over someone. I'm also not open to dating an obese man. So, for me to tell someone they need to be "more open-minded" to other races is hypocritical, because there are some physical traits I won't settle for.

    @Jlburgess: You are pretty awesome; you're one of the great men I was talking about. That's why you have a queen! :) Thanks for being an example that we can look to!

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  9. "There are good black men who would prefer to be with a black women; but I think this is becoming more of the exception."

    The exception? Just because black men dating white women is no longer uncommon but still noticeable, does not mean that black men dating black women is becoming the exception.

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  10. Crystal Marie, I understand your apprehensive attitude towards writing a blog with said title, but a response to Ms. Williams' thoughts was indeed necessary. Also, who could pass up the opportunity to tag The Wire?

    There are two issues that bother me about her post and the general theme of the "black woman's dating difficulty."

    First, it's getting an unnecessary amount of attention. I'm sure there are many legitimate reasons as to why it's such a hot topic, but I just think it induces further tension and separation within the black community which is not what we need. It's become a profitable issue for the media to exploit, and I'm also paranoid they may be trying to tear us apart. *Side eye*

    What also humors me is this idea that black women should look outside of their ethnicity in response to "good" black men doing the same. I wrapped "good" around quotes very intentionally, because I think there is a perceived notion that these are all good brothers. I won't generalize or imply that they are not good dudes, I just think it's funny that if his woman is white, he must be aight.

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  11. @Benjamin: You know my love for The Wire runs deep, and you're right. The purpose of #3 was primarily to include a reference to The Wire.

    Agreed on the unnecessary amount of attention. Get over it already. The more anxiety and apprehension we raise around the topic, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Lastly, love that you rhymed in the last line. Perfect ending. Maybe I should make all my articles rhyme.... hmmmm.

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  12. I love this article! And as a lover of poetry...that ending poem sums it all up!

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  13. I haven't read this article, but I've seen it mentioned twice (I clicked over here from BGLH, by the way :-P), though the first time the 8 things from the first article weren't listed. I have to nitpick the first point (of her article): Black men are actually more likely than White or Hispanic men who've engaged in homosexual activity to identify themselves as gay/bisexual. Translation: Black men are more likely to be honest about their sexual habits. (I did a research project on the down low last year.) I would disagree about your point on social responsibility though, because I don't think Black folks should reject being painted as a monolith by non-Black people then turn around and do the same. As a Black female from Chicago, I've seen how different I am from my friend, a Trinidadian Brooklynite, some of the people I go to school with, who are children of immigrants, and even my cousin, an American Black Angeleno. If we want non-Black people to stop lumping Blacks into a big group (criminals, lazy, etc.), then we shouldn't do the same. An individual experience should contribute to the understanding of the collective, rather than the collective dictating the personal choices of the individual.

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  14. There are flawed black women and men who have certain personality traits that are just not compatible to any human being regardless of race. I try not to diagnose people because it has become an enjoyable habit and curse of mine, but I have male and female friends who are just not desirable because their personalities border on Narcissism with anti-social tendencies. These particular types of people who exhibit such dysfunctional behaviors are unlikely to find compatible mates. Therefore, I have concluded that some black women and men are suffering from mental health issues prohibiting them normal social and intimate interaction.

    Personally, I have always preferred dating black men. Before getting married, I always dated black men. Many of the relationships were good and some bad. However, you keep it moving despite the hurt that you encounter through life. After many mistakes, bad behavior on my part and theirs, I finally found a man who was compatible to my personality. He is not perfect, but neither am I. He is such a good man who works hard and takes his role as the head of our household seriously, even though its just us two. Great black men are out there. You may stumble along the way, but thats life sweeties.

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  15. I LOVED THIS ARTICLE !!! I don't care what anybody says, "ain't no man like a black man" lol! Whether there are black men out there who choose to bash sisters or not, I DON'T CARE, because I won't end up with them anyway. I love the essence and swagg of a black man,and I'm not against interacial relationships, by all means to each his/her own, but I am a young black woman with hopes that one day a good black man will come and fine me. I support the black man as a whole. Again, LOVED THE ARTICLE !

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  16. @only1trulady, @Jamese - THANKS! It means the world to me! Please feel to subscribe and read other stuff. :)

    @Jasmin - Thank you for the updated research on homosexual activities! Good to know. Also, I hope that my post didn't lead you to believe that I believe Blacks are a "monolith culture." I specifically point out the exact opposite in this article! ---> http://www.awordorthree.com/2010/08/why-i-chose-hbcu.html .

    I do, however, believe that we share a common plight and common social issues, and a responsibility to each other that is unique.

    @Uplift and Rejoice - I'm glad you're happy in your marriage. I also agree that we face several mental health issues. (As do others... white women have a scarily high rate of eating disorders) We should address these issues, however, instead of pointing the finger!

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  17. Saw this and it made me sad. The facts (and reality) are that black men are way behind in the husband/father race of reaching for excellence. They have been lured by the long history of "the white man owes you something" politics of entitlements.

    When you're waiting around for a handout, instead of going for it yourself, you lose self-respect both for yourself and your male role models. With no self-respect, you have no motivation. That is why you have all your socio-economic problems in Black America.

    So keep the mindset, vote liberal, and wait for your handouts, and blame everybody else, and see if that will ever change anything for you... and in the meantime, try to convince yourself that things are really otherwise. I'm sure it'll help you cope... for awhile.

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  18. @Anonymous: What are you talking about? lol. I'm so lost!

    Who's waiting for a handout? And what does liberal vs conservative have to do with the topic at hand?

    Also, if you are American, than "Black America's" socioeconomic problems influence your life as well. Black America, despite many dogged efforts, isn't confined to a box outside of the mainstream. When Blacks fail, this whole experiment called America fails.

    Thanks for venturing over to this little black blog. :)

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