2009-06-26

"Our" Men & "Our" Women


***Recently, I was given the opportunity to guest blog over at Rippdemup's place. You guys need to check out his blog. It is funny, insightful, and entertaining. This week was interesting because it was "Ladies First" Week, meaning that all the posts this week are from women bloggers. Definitely check him out***

One thing that is said about the black community is that we are not unified. I do sometimes find this to be the case, as we are at times quick to throw someone under the bus, stereotype ourselves, and make it seem as if all things wrong in the world point to black people. At other times, we tend to come together, and acknowledge we are all in it together as well. When Barack Obama was elected to office, it was a victory for "all of us" because for once a black man caught a break and a lot of people (read white) were voting for him based upon merit and put aside his race to elect him President. More people than we expected anyway. Most of us jumped up and down for OJ, even though we knew he was guilty because we for once were able to do something we hadn't done; avoided death row for killing someone white. We weren't happy that he got off, but that the jury saw him as innocent and made the prosecutors attempt to prove his guilt. Sometimes though, we lay claim each other when we shouldn't.

I am married to a white man. A very white man, you can't mistake him as high yellow or anything. He is Irish and German, he doesn't tan, he burns. He even glows in the dark at night he is so white. We have been together for ten years, and in that ten years we have had our encounters with folks who disagree with our relationship. There have been a few knucklehead black men who have told me to "come home" or said something to my husband about "taking what doesn't belong to him". Now prior to me being with my husband the majority of men I dated were white. I know I am a sell out concubine slave negress to the white man, but let's put that aside for a moment. Let's talk about how black men in general didn't normally approach me in my everyday life, and of the few that did, some didn't approach me in a way I was accustomed to. To put it bluntly, didn't no black man really want me.

Maybe it is because I look like Evilene from the Wiz. Maybe it is because like me, the few black guys I were around were so surrounded by whiteness, that all they dated or noticed were white girls. Maybe I didn't give the brothers who did approach me a fair shake. All in all though, it seems simply when I was single, I didn't belong to these black men. They didn't want me. I suddenly belonged to them when I dated a white man, and it didn't matter when I was available they weren't really noticing me, but now I am their property. Why? Why did I have an all or nothing allegiance to these black men I didn't know? Was I supposed to wait for them? Would they really want me? Would I want them? Would Halle Berry have really given these black men a chance if it wasn't for a white man?

Now this is no way excusing me from understanding and identifying with being black, but did me getting with a white man threaten the black community? Did I dwindle the number of eligible black women, making black folks extinct? Where the hell were these men when I was single? Why did I belong to anyone aside from my momma and daddy?

I am not letting the black women off the hook either, I know good and well we have all had that conversation about black men "leaving the race" for non black women, that so many have a "anything but black attitude". I know this is painful, but black men don't belong to black women either. They aren't our men, if they choose to date outside the race so be it, but it doesn't mean that they "left us". In reality, we might not have had a chance with them anyway. I know good and damn well Taye Diggs was not going to call me up and ask me out.

All in all, most black women and black men are marrying each other or at least being baby mommas and daddies to each other. That is another topic to discuss another time. My point is, black love still exists, it might seem harder to find, but it is still there. Of the married couples I know, I am one of the few inter racially married ones. Most of my black girlfriends who are married, married black men. Of the black men I know that are married, the majority of them are married to black women. My husband and I are the oddballs, people white, black, or other are not rushing out to get their swirl on when it comes to settling down, that is just the facts.

Please be rest assured many of us who marry out, are aware of "our history" and racism. We know we are part of the community. People in interracial relationships are able to identify with being black, and we don't all run away from "our roots" simply because we "married out". OK some of us do the Clarence Thomas, but some of us like being black, and we know that even though we are not marrying "our own" that we are still black and proud to be so.