In “The Reality of Dating White Women When You’re Black”, black writer Ernest Baker is a quintessential example of the confused logic that is endemic to… well… writers like him:
Why do I date white women? Black women have told me it’s because I’m a sellout. The white men who can get past the mental anguish of my black penis tarnishing “their” women think I’m making some latent admission that their race has the most attractive women. White women range from those so intrigued by black men that it veers into fetish to those so reluctant to date black men that it feels more racist than preference-driven. These are generalizations, of course, but they are attitudes that I’ve personally encountered. Skepticism towards black men/white women relationships is a longstanding and well-documented part of our cultural fabric in America…
Most people have it wrong. I’m not a “black man” who “dates white women.” I’m a person. I have my own unique experiences and some of them include having dated women who are white, but because interracial dating is such a historically tense and loaded subject, it’s hardly ever looked at with any understanding or compassion for the people personally involved. The concept of a black man in a relationship with a white woman is a “thing” that people have an opinion on, and that opinion comes with an entire set of stereotypes, fueled by racist ideology, a complicated past, and sometimes even pop culture. Kanye West once rapped about how successful black men will “leave your ass for a white girl,” and then put himself into that box by marrying a white woman, furthering the pervasiveness of flawed, generic ideas about interracial relationships.
Here’s one of the best howlers I’ve read in a long time:
The most visible criminal trial of the 20th century centered around a blonde white woman who was presumably murdered at the hands of her black husband, O.J. Simpson. White reaction to The Verdict may have been one of shock and rage, but it’s also largely oblivious to the history of disenfranchisement, partially as it relates to interracial relationships, of blacks in this country.
Baker explains the polarized racial reactions to the O.J. verdict not as an instance of black solidarity trumping objective empirical evidence, but rather as… black solidarity against disenfranchisement.
In Baker’s angry and perverted mind, the O.J. verdict sorta ‘cancels out’ the Emmett Till case:
I was taught the story of Emmett Till by my mother at a young age. I don’t think she did it as a warning as much as to be like, “This is something you should be aware of.” He was 14. It was 1955. He got dragged out of his uncle’s house and tortured and killed because he maybe flirted with a white woman. A racist jury acquitted his murderers, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, despite overwhelming evidence, and, to rub salt in the wound, both admitted to killing Till in Look magazine the next year. O.J. getting off brought a twisted, but understandable feeling of justice. The shoe was on the other foot for once and so be it if two white people wound up dead. We’d lost many more. That’s harsh, but that’s the historical context of black men dating white women that I unfortunately have to consider when doing the same.
So, now that Till & Simpson have, carnage-wise, cancelled each other out, I guess that means we’ll never hear Emmett Till cited again, right?
What will it take to ‘cancel out’ the L.A. riots in 1991, after the Rodney King-related incident?
And I don’t even know where to begin with this passage, so filled with cognitive dissonance it’s thesis-worthy:
There are self-hating black men who date white women for contrived and pathetic reasons and I hate them. They’re so upfront about their exclusive attraction to white women and they’ll give you a list of reasons why. It is deliberate for them. They smugly go out of their way to put down black women based on stereotypical notions about their attitude, or hair, or something equally stupid and it’s corny and disgusting. That’s one of the issues with interracial dating. Any time a black man walks around with a white woman he’s giving off the impression that white women are his specific preference and that he has a problem with women of his own race, and because that applies to some black men who date white women, it becomes a label that all of us are subjected to. It’s nothing to walk past a random black woman on the street and get a death glare and maybe even overhear something like, “They’re taking all of our men.” I was out with my white girlfriend at The Graham in East Williamsburg sometime last year and a black woman came up to me and asked me why was I dating a white girl when she can’t even get a man. Shit is crazy out here. I promise.
I totally get where black women are coming from, too. Truth be told, it’s important to me that they also get where I’m coming from and know that I’m not one of these sellouts who views them as undesirable. But because I know I’m not one of those sellouts, I feel no guilt about dating white women. If anything, I just hate that there’s such a vast misconception about my intentions from people who don’t even know me. I’ve been with many black women. But I don’t feel obligated to be with them. A lot of white women have been extremely accepting of and loving towards me my entire life and that’s all there is to it. Though this very article was written in an attempt to bring context to these consistently misunderstood relationships, I don’t have to explain who I date to anyone. The reason why I do anything is because I want to.
I never really think about race while dating unless somebody else makes it an issue or I notice that the way a white woman I’m with looks at something is flawed because of her upbringing. But that’s not a dealbreaker. I view it as an opportunity to educate and eradicate even a small amount of ignorance.