I’m a fan of interracial dating. I strongly believe that, for Black women, interracial dating is a must. This insistence of "Only a Black for me," is baffling to me. I don’t get it. I recognize that often we are socialized to date Black men and only Black men. The messages we receive (even if not from family) seem to be that only a Black man will care for us, understand us, respect us, even if their is plenty of evidence to the contrary.
In her post, “Interracial Dating: Grudgingly Heading Toward Acceptance,” Latoya Peterson gives a very thoughtful, non-cliched reason for her having such issues with her best male friend’s dating of only white women. While the article is a must read what caught my attention was one of her comments in response to another commenter on her article:
…I still don’t date white men. To me, that’s the line in the sand that I don’t want to cross. Too much political baggage for me to start unpacking that. I don’t begrudge others, but I think I have a better chance of being in a lesbian relationship than seriously dating a white man.
When I read that, all I could say was: AMEN. I completely agree. I am a card carrying member of the “Anyone but a White Man for Me,” club. There are any number of reasons for this: I like dark skin, I’m not that attracted to White men, I don’t want mixed kids but the main reasons for me fall into the cultural and the political.
Culturally, I am VERY Black. Southern and Black to be exact. I am not the least bit assimilated. I do not worship at the alter of Whiteness nor am I impressed by it. I don’t Shift . I don’t alter my speech patterns, inflections, the way I laugh, anything, when I’m in the presence of White people. It’s part of the reason I won’t work corporate. I don’t wear The Veil well, or at all, and I have little patience (or respect) for people who expect me to.
What does all of this have to do with dating White men? The personal is political for me. White privilege is alive and well, so is the entrenched and institutionalized racism that is a part of this country’s founding. The idea that I will be making love and babies with The Enemy, is a problem for me. One I’m not sure I can get over. Are there any exceptions to this rule? Sure. I’ve known White men who were culturally Black, and no I don’t mean wanna be White boys, I mean guys who, for various reasons, were raised by or around Black people. With them, because there are cultural markers, I can relate and may, may, be able to cross the racial and political barrier.
Now, theses are my issues. But for Black women who can cross the White Line by all means do so. I want people to be happy and loved and wherever you can find it you need to hold onto it and keep it. For me, I will be keeping my options open, he just won’t be White.