Friday, April 9, 2010

Commentary: Jill Scott Talks Interracial Dating -

Over the past few weeks there has been hoopla on the Web about a piece in Essence magazine written by Jill Scott on interracial dating. I read the piece, at the bookstore (I forgot to renew my subscription) and I agreed with the overall message, but a few comments bothered me.

“My new friend is handsome, African-American, intelligent and seemingly wealthy. He is an athlete, loves his momma, and is happily married to a White woman. I admit when I saw his wedding ring, I privately hoped. But something in me just knew he didn't marry a sister. Although my guess hit the mark, when my friend told me his wife was indeed Caucasian, I felt my spirit...wince. I didn't immediately understand it. My face read happy for you. My body showed no reaction to my inner pinch, but the sting was there, quiet like a mosquito under a summer dress.”

“These harsh truths lead to what we really feel when we see a seemingly together brother with a Caucasian woman and their children. That feeling is betrayed.”

First let me make this very clear, I AM NOT AGAINST INTERACIAL DATING. I always say, “I ain’t gonna let NOBODY and NOTHING keep me away from my “good thing.” If the one God made for me happens to look like Channing Tatum and not Lamman Rucker, then so be it. However I am against self hatred and stereotyping. If you’re with someone because you feel, whether you admit it or not, that she is “better” because of her skin color or you think that an entire race of women all share the same character traits, then that is a problem.
It is hard to make a case for someone who used to be with the chocolatiest of chocolate sistas when he was “po, broke, and had no dough” then suddenly after “making it” he joins the No Black Girls Allowed Club. I’m just saying, something about it just doesn’t seem right and something ain’t right about saying all sistas are gold-digging, whores with not education or conversation. Who hurt you bruh?

But anyway back to Jill and her article cause I can go on and on about interracial dating. I admit I do feel something when I see a seemingly together brother with Annie Cream Cheese, but I wouldn’t say betrayed. It really depends on the couple. Sometimes if the couple just matches like they both share the same of love for Star Trek and their eyes just dance when they see each other; you can see real love and I just smile and think “There is someone for everyone.” There are times when I can just tell a brother will end up with a white girl and it’s usually when “He ain’t got no swag.” Yes I said it and I mean it. Some guys are nice guys, but just seem so bland. When lack of confidence or flavor is apparent I feel, eh. Mostly I feel, eh. There may have been a time I felt betrayed, but I now realize that usually I’m not attracted to guys who only date Becky’s or might-as-well-be-Beckys anyway. Real talk, but I understand where Jill is coming from.

My real problem with the article is “While we exert efforts to raise our sons and daughters to appreciate themselves and respect others, most of us end up doing this important work alone, with no fathers or like representatives, limited financial support (often court-enforced) and, on top of everything else, an empty bed. It’s frustrating and it hurts!”

I hate when a black woman has a good argument going then weakens it by airing dirty laundry and/or failing to take responsibility for her own actions. I hate, absolutely H-A-T-E the single black mother argument that may have worked in the 80’s but in 2010, no go sista. First of all I don’t believe that single mothers or the black community in general do enough to ensure that our children learn to value themselves, have respect for other people or know our history which is quite evident by looking at the numbers (i.e. HIV/AIDs, gang violence, unwed mothers, etc.) So the argument of trying to raise kids to appreciate themselves is moot especially if you are a single mother with multiple baby daddies, no real goal and no skill which brings me to my second point.

Too many women are looking for a “Sponsor.” How can you teach your child or children to value themselves and you don’t value yourself? (BTW I think that may be a contributing factor in interracial dating. I just don’t think that young black men respect their mothers, but more on that in another blog post) I believe that being a single mother is a choice and if you make the choice then it’s your sole responsibility to deal with it. You gotta birth the baby, care for the baby, it’s your baby, right? And according to the bible and the law if you are not married you are, SINGLE. You chose to go it alone.

The mention of limited financial support also cooks my grits. If you can’t afford the baby, then don’t have the baby and if you do have the baby then YOU have to make some financial sacrifices. Duh!

Besides all that what does single mother hood and limited funds have to do with interracial dating? I mean in the context of this article I think the point was about how she feels about interracial dating not discuss the consequences of having unprotected sex with someone who is not your husband. Being a struggling, lonely single mother is not an outcome of interracial dating.
What is relevant is the part about an empty bed which is what she should have discussed in more detail. Because she is not a struggling single mother, single mother yes, but struggling to make ends meet, no.

I would like to read more about why it feels frustrating and why it hurts to see a black man with a white woman and not that “because of slavery sentiment” (though it is very real). Real talk. I’d like to read more personal feeling and real life experiences, maybe I’ll blog about it.