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)