CNN recently posted a story on its website revealing that interracial marriages are at an all-time high. It got me thinking about not only black love, but the white kind as well. Most folks have heard of the expression, “Once you go black, you never go back.” Ask Robert Deniro, George Lucas, Robin Thicke, and David Bowie. They can all raise their right hands high, and sway side to side, with a smiling glow that comes after a night of passionate, “hallelujah” screaming, holy-ghost making sex that comes from a night spent making love to a sista. Each of these wealthy, powerful men, believe and can affirm their addictive affinity toward dark meat. They know the power of having a sista by their side. They’ve all felt the pleasure of having a black queen nurse them back to strength through sexual healing transformed into core, soul love feelings.
It’s no surprise. There’s nothing like brown sugar: strong, sassy, sensual. We are passionate in love. We have fire-filled emotions blazing within our hearts. And if you’re the right man who’s bold and brave enough to power drill down the walls we’ve built to protect our emotional fortresses from the worldly forces focused on dragging down our self-esteem and stealing our pride – then congratulations. You’ll have not only won our souls, but also the respect that we sparingly dole out to men.
But recent panels, blogs, Nightline episodes, and Essence magazine roundtables have been questioning the female and male species, particularly the black ones. Many of these outlets ask why African-American men are marrying outside their race (“a growing number” according to the CNN story). Others wonder why African-American ladies are less prone to stepping outside their chocolate comfort zones to explore the taste of white, yellow and any meat other than the dark kind. I wonder as well.
I’ve dated two Caucasian “bros” in my life. Both treated me like The Queen of the Nile. They regularly gave small, thoughtful gifts. They were delicate with their words, understanding with a tender ear to listen, and honest in a willingness to talk. They were loyal, eager, and quick to please, emitting everlasting vibes of honor and awe over dating a caramel girl with a tendency toward looking like a swarthy, Ethiopian princess during a summer spent tanning on the Jersey shore. But our differing races got in the way. My boyfriend from high school, tall and lanky with East European roots, argued with his family over our relationship (and the purple-blue hickies on his pale neck) when his mother screamed at the dinner table, “This is a white family!” After he confessed the blowup to me, I didn’t realize the effects it would have on my psyche. As a result, during my freshman year at Penn State, the white boy I briefly and secretly dated never got a returned call from me after we finally slept together. I was too ashamed. I couldn’t handle the stares, many from brothas, when my Vanilla Ice looking man and I danced together. I felt like I was letting down my race, even though he could breakdance better than most of the black guys I knew.
Like most sistas, I’d always dreamed of falling in love with a handsome, brown king who I’d make a little black baby with – one with crazy kinky hair that a suburban bred sista like me can’t cornrow (*Racial stereotype sidenote: All black girls don’t know how to braid hair into cornrows – especially the suburban ones. I’ll save that blog for another time.) After my troubled experiences with white guys, I could hear the subconscious scream of “This is a white family” echoing in my ear. I became turned off to dating outside my race. Even though, at the time, white men had treated me better than any brotha I’d ever dated. Even though I still perked up and tried to indiscreetly stare at a tanned, Caucasian cutey in a Brooks Brothers business suit. If I weren’t where I am in life now, my vegetarian appetite would be open to a bite of white meat.
The last sentence surprises many. They look at my dreadlocks and make quick assumptions of me being a rebellious, pro-black, ready for a protest, power to the people, probably-would’ve-been-a-black-panther-in-the-60s type of sista. This is true. But then they mention comments I made on the radio, 6 years ago, about hating black men who date only white women. Those words, and a bad joke about being a racist, got me kicked off Power 105. My comments, and subsequent firing, became a hot topic on radio shows (Howard Stern and Wendy Williams showed support), TV shows (like The View) and in newsrooms nationwide. The drama immediately got me booked as a guest on The Fox News Channel, where Sean Hannity intellectually embarrassed me in front of the world. I deserved it. I wasn’t ready. And I was relieved that he had me back on his show, several times, to redeem myself by speaking on other topics. I was blessed that Hot 97 hired me less than a week after I was let go. But after having this messy stain smudging my past like a dark mark on an otherwise honor roll report record, my perspective has evolved. And I will now say this: I wish I hadn’t been green in my broadcasting career and unfamiliar with the logical radio term, “When in doubt leave it out.” I wish I could’ve made those comments differently. I wish that instead of sharing those thoughts 20 minutes before my show ended, I’d opened up my interracial dating topic earlier in my shift, and created at least a one hour, phone call heavy segment, that would’ve allowed me to expand my views and flush out perspectives. But you live and learn by questioning yourself. Do I get pissed, angered and feel tinges of hate when I hear brothas who consciously don’t date sistas (Rapper Slim Thug comes to mind as I update this post), explain themselves by saying, all “black women have issues?” Yes! Do I hate the white girls, that these “conscious” black men date, who unknowingly get caught up in their man’s Bermuda triangle of missing self-love? Absolutely not! Do I like that panels, TV shows, and articles are showing the world the sad truth that so many brothas aren’t dating sistas, and are instead stepping outside the race to find romance at high statistical rates mentioned in CNN articles? Hell no! I know too many beautiful, single, successful black women who deserve love with anyone – especially the chocolate knight in shining armor that most are still waiting for – bringing me back to the point of this blog.
With the media making African-American ladies look lonely, dismal, and desperate, it’s time that sistas take their cue, open themselves up, and rework dreams to include dating outside the race. Listen girls: You can ignore the 70% single black woman rate, throw your dice, and hope a brotha finds you. Or, you can lift your horizons, deepen the dating pool, and increase your chances of meeting a knight who might happen to wear white armor. Why not be open to the possibility of meeting a man who’ll treat you right regardless of color, image and outside effects? Why not be open to the possibility of giving birth to a fuzzy haired baby Barack? Yes, some folks may stare at you and your multi-cultural boo. You may not have been his family’s first choice. Brothas will do disbelieving double takes. But you’ll have taken a needed risk at the amazing adventure of finding the one, which could lead to a fulfilling love that’s been alluding many for years. You can date outside the race and still keep an eye open for that tall, dark, handsome black man. Because if love is blind, then sistas should date that way as well – by focusing on a man’s heart, mind, actions and intent. And not the beauty lost in a thin depth of skin, based on the body color God sent.