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Thursday, November 09, 2006

AS A BLACK WOMAN, I DO KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT

My Rant with my "family" over at the Pesky Fly. Just in case it disappears from that site.

The following is my response to your expressed skepticism from the Booker Rising post. Read it, dissect it, and be ready for constructive discussion, please.

This is the one subject that few African-Americans will speak up on; interracial dating.

I have girlfriends whose sons married white women, and their worry was about how their sons would be treated by society (read lynching or beatings).

One of my best girlfriends, a staunch Christian, in the "Love Thy Neighbor" mold, actually confessed to me that she didn't like the idea of her son marrying a white woman. Only prayer got her to the point of acceptance, as well as unconditional love of her son to the point she would rather welcome the white woman, than risk alienating him.

The reality is, when Black women (especially mothers) see their sons grow up and marrying white women, they start questioning themselves, because it's considered a reflection as to whether or not Black women (and by succession, themselves as mothers) are good enough for their sons. But if their sons are happy, they soon progress to acceptance, because I've seen it in my own family. I have two first cousins married to white women, both of them for more than 30 years.

Their mothers disowned their ass. One actually died, never talking to her son, or seeing her beautiful grandchildren, ever.

My mother, the surrogate mom to both cousins, did something way ahead of her time.

She asked the question point blank: "Why couldn't you find a good Black woman to marry?"

My cousins response - one had tried marriage twice to Black women and they were nut cases (especially the second one. She was so jealous that he remarried; she managed to alienate him from their daughter - and told us horrible lies about him molesting their daughter. Only a court appearance where he sued for slander, was she forced to publicly apologize and said she was lying.) The other one had numerous relationships with Black women, one financially ripped him off, and with such heartache, he was looking to spend the rest of his life alone, when his wife's parents actually introduced him to their daughter, because they got tired of her bringing home loser white men who abused her.

After hearing their explanations, she embraced these women into the family, and set the example for my brothers and me to do likewise.

It is not about not wanting people to find love wherever and with whomever they find it. It's about the message a Black man sends to Black women when he achieves success, celebrity and material wealth, that a Black woman is not worthy enough to share that success with - and a white woman is.

Tiger Woods dated Tyra Banks when they both attended Stanford University. Tyra was not a stupid woman - she had to seriously hit the books to get in to that University. She's also proven herself to be a very savvy business woman and is very wealthy.

Tiger goes and marries the blond nanny to other golfers' kids. So was he is saying that an undereducated nanny is more worthy to share in his success than Tyra Banks was? Or any Black Woman?

This underscores part of the theory as to why Harold Ford lost the election for the U. S. Senate. It's not like he couldn't find a quality, educated sista; in fact, five years ago, he was engaged to one; a corporate attorney for AOL here in DC. My speculation is that he probably expected girlfriend to give up her $350,000 a year job and follow him around as a dutiful politician's wife.

Jennifer Baltimore said she'd take a pass on marrying with that type of expectation.

I may hate Harold's politics, but as a woman, I say he should be able to date who he wants, if he's going to become a private citizen. But since he's an ambitious politician, my advice to him, as was Shay's, was not to hand Bob Corker and the ReThugs ammunition to shoot him with.

Barney Frank got elected, and keeps getting re-elected, as an openly gay man. I'm not saying it couldn't work in Tennessee, it's just that more work has to be done in the area of tolerance and acceptance.

Barack Obama stated in his autobiography that he had his heart broken by white women as well as sistas. Yet, to do the mission he was to do, he knew that only a woman who knows what he faces and what he fears as a Black Man, was going to be the mate he needed. Michelle Robinson Obama is an accomplished sista; she is an attorney and a Director of a Community Development Center in Chicago. Obama didn't ask her to give all that up; in fact, he encourages it, so that Michelle is not just known as "Obama's wife." That takes complete acceptance of yourself as a man, and confidence in your woman to the point you don't need to control her.

When the theories shake out, maybe dating white women isn't what cost Harold Ford the election. But it sure had a hell of an influence on the outcome.

You gents advertise yourselves as being progressive in your thinking. So why are you so quick to dismiss this theory out of hand, saying you need poll numbers before you will accept that a sista knows what she's talking about? Right now, I'm thinking that because I'm speaking pretty bluntly on this issue, you'd rather dismiss it because it's in keeping with your concept of color-blindness, rather than engage in a discussion which actually takes into account the perspective of an African-American female. Tell the truth, and don't sugar-coat it, please, because I'm a big girl and I know how to disect an argument before I scream race.

I was born during the Civil Rights Movement at it's peak (so I just gave you a hint about my age, LOL)with parents who were more activist than Condoleeza Rice's parents never were. I have various family members who were dog-bit, water-hosed by Bull Connor's thugs, jailed and yes, lynched, just because they got called "Nigger" one too many times before they snapped under the weight of their dignity being trashed, and swung a right hook knocking out some teeth of the white guy who spewed it. So don't you dare try to tell me or any other Black woman that their theory is in left field, because you're not a Black woman.

I will accept your apologies or clarifications with gift certificates to Starbucks, thank you.

6 Comments:

Blogger Blinders Off said...

I did not see this at TFT. You do know how to keep it real.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who says Tyra wanted to marry Tiger? Why are we assuming that she's just marry him and not that she dumped him?

I agree with what you're saying. When a successful Black man marries a white woman, we assume it's a status thing or because he thinks he's too good for a Black woman or she's not worthy.

But that perception isn't always reality. Maybe Tiger married the nanny because they just clicked. The decision to get married is really personal. You can't get married in theory because you think it will make someone else happy. You can't live a message for everybody else you don't even know when you have to deal with your life every day.

Obviously, just because someone is attractive and successful and intelligent, that doesn't mean you should just marry him or her. If that were the case, we could all just get married randomly or use matchmakers. It doesn't work like that. Just because someone is amazing doesn't mean you'll be happy with him if you don't feel it.

My brother is married to a white woman. And no, it's not because he went looking for a white woman because he had problems with Black women, or bad relationships. I can understand having a problem with that. He married her because he has a particular personality and temprament and interests, he's weird, and she is pretty much the same. She's the one woman out of a million who could live with him and put up with his weirdness and be weird right back. :)

And she gets judged, and he gets judged. He's looking for status. She's not pretty enough, and a Black man who marries white women always get the ugly ones, he's doing it because he's so white identified that even an ugly white woman is superior to a sista in his eyes. I hear the whispers.

I don't want anyone to dismiss your perspective. I think it needs to be discussed and examined and engaged with. It's just that, there really isn't any answer. I understand where everybody is coming from, and nothing's fair, everybody on every side is right to feel angry. I just don't know.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Keya said...

If a black man is happy with a white woman, whether she is educated or not is on him. It is time for us sista's to stop sweating them and move on to men of other races.A WHITE MAN, is just as good as a BLACK MAN.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Chatón said...

Marriage is a personal decision that should be based on love and your own personal values. However, you cannot overlook reality. Black women want to get married. But often that longing goes unfulfilled. So, it is natural to feel rejected when a successful Black man chooses a White woman as his bride, even if you don’t know him. It seems as if he overlooked all Black women in order to find a white one. While it may be natural for Black women to feel that way, it oversimplifies the issue and these thoughts work against us.

It may be true that some of these Black men simply categorically rejected Black women, but it is also true that some married for the right reasons. By making categorical statements that these men should have married Black women, we are asking that they value appearances over love.

As Black women, we know better than anyone the high price that is paid when you do anything other than live an authentic life. I pray that we learn to give everyone the freedom to make personal relationship choices so that we may have the freedom to do the same.

That being said, true love is about a higher plane and politics is about reality. The marriage choices of politicians have political significance. If they choose to marry simply for love, they cannot object if their careers are thwarted because of it.

Check out the article listed below that discusses Halle Berry's recent love interest.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Love-Without-Apology---Halle-Berrys-Relationship-With-Gabriel-Aubrey&id=724067

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