Me:  I used to be about 40lbs overweight.  You remember, I showed you a picture once.

Mr. Foreverloyal: You lost weight the year before I met you, right?

Me:  Two years before I met you.

Mr. Foreverloyal:  Good thing.

Advertisements

brianandkenya.jpg

I was going to make some meaty and profound post but I really have to get the laundry done, folded, ironed and put away so I’m going to make this quick.

 I appreciate that there is a shortage of upper-middle class black men, and understand that some black women prefer interracial dating over dating a “lower-class” brother.  I just hope that those black women who are undecided on this issue will do some serious thinking.

Again let me state that I can only speak for myself.  I didn’t marry my wonderful hubby because of any shortage.  I got married pretty much right after college, back then all this “shortage”  talk was quiet if not nonexistent, or at least I don’t remember it.  As to the money thing, everyone has their standards of what is acceptable, desirable, and what is too low to even be considered.  We have them about money, height, (I don’t see to many women expressing a desire for short men or little people), looks, health.  If I had been sixty pounds overweight and on oxygen I am sure my husband would have said, “Next!”  There is not a thing wrong with wanting a man who can provide a certain level of comfort and stability for you and your future children.  Me, I wanted a modest house in a safe neighborhood with the means to stay home with the kids.  Luxury cars and designer handbags, etc. are not my thing so I don’t care about having enough money for that.  If someone else decides she wants more than that, that’s her.  She just may get it.

Some people think that Clare is undercover trying to say “Don’t do it!” Maybe she is.  Some of her points are well-taken and there is certainly nothing wrong with giving them a little consideration.  Like I’ve said before I am real happy over here.  Go over to CreoleInDC’s spot and tell me what she and Robby have isn’t real. (Don’t go trying to post her pics on IR websites though). My mom is married to a black man and she is also very happy.  We all need to examine our own needs and our own standards and go from there.  If you want to widen your pool to white/asian/whatever, fine.  If you don’t, fine. Everything isn’t for everybody.

Some people have never tried Thai food and may have heard from friends that it is yucky, weird, the service in the restaurants is rude and slow, etc.  They may have been put off thai food for this reason.  Then they pass by a restaurant and decide to try it.  Surprise, the food is different but delicious and the service is great.  Or they might try it and decide no, they really DON’T like thai food and rice noodles make them gag.  They may never try it, stick to their favorite steakhouses and italian spots and be perfectly happy.  Whatever.

I’m not about to start wagging my fingers and warning black women that if they don’t date “out” they are doomed to a life of misery and babymammadom.  Such a statement would be offensive and more importantly, false.

 Any woman would do well to heed Clare’s advice to do some serious thinking, but I would add that such advice needs to be applied across the board.  Marriage is not a joke.  Something New isn’t always something good. True. Something Old isn’t always something good. 

If you find yourself single and are ready to be married, make an honest evaluation of yourself first, http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2006/08/how_to_get_and_.html and then do Something.

Jeez.

kenya

Has it been a week already? On to part two.

 I also wonder whether the black women who are raving about white men ever stop to reflect on the reality of having a white partner.  Do they ever consider that their partner will in no way appreciate what it means to be black in this society?  Do they realize that he will never truly understand all the crap they have to go through.  Additionally, the white boyfriend/ husband is very likely to expose his black partner to increased racism (through racist family and friends). 

I can’t address the “raving” bit, since that’s not me.

Does my husband really know what is like to be black in this society?  No.  While he is more well-read on the subject of black history and experience than your average white guy, he will never know what it is like to be black.  I don’t expect him to and for me, this is not a requirement of a good relationship.  I do need him to listen to me when I want or need to talk about my experiences or those of others.   To do so without downplaying what I share. I do need him not to have a polly-anna “racism is in the past and everything is all good now” attitude.  I do need him to acknowledge the more subtle forms of racism and not think that the only racism is expressed in cross-burnings and assault.  He does that.

Everyone will have to decide for themselves the importance of such matters.  I remember when the No Doubt song “Just a Girl” came out and I was singing along to it, obviously into the message.  My brother was all “You like that song?”  He didn’t get the lyrics, didn’t get the feeling.  He’s male.  He will never know what it is like to be a girl or woman in this society. White men will never feel what you feel as a black woman. Black men will never feel what you feel as a black woman, either. To have a romantic partner really get what it’s like to be a black woman, it would have to be, um, a black woman.

I have friends and acquaintances that I can talk to and hang out with who get black womanhood because they are black women.  Then of course there are aunties and my mommy.  I love and appreciate them for that and of course their individual good traits.  Even they, of course, will never really know what it’s like to be ME. Everyone’s life is a unique experience. 

As to dealing with increased racism from a white husband’s family and friends, I don’t really know what that is like either.  My in-laws have always been cool.  When my white nieces and nephews get presents, my kids get presents.  She also sends me notes and thoughtful little gifts masha’allah.  She is the queen of crafty cards and cool presents.  My mother-in-law makes sure all her children and their spouses and children get together for vacations at least once a year.  I’m not going to say there has never been a disagreement, but they have been rare and they have never had anything to do with race.  I don’t claim this is the norm as I don’t really know.  All I’m saying is, you can’t assume that his family and friends are going to disapprove.  Birds of a feather often flock together, so maybe they are the same kind of “bird” as him lol.

Something to consider.

simon3.jpg Clare over at Ruminations of a Racial Realist (see link at right) just put up a thought provoking post on the subject of black women marrying white men.  She asks good questions, important questions.  Questions that a black woman shouldn’t be afraid to consider when pondering this option for herself.  I have excerpted her words and italicized them.  My response follows in plain text.

But in particular, I always wonder whether any of these women ever consider why – in a white supremacist society – would white men choose black women as partners.  Why would people who have historically enslaved another people now want to be in relationships with them?  Why would men who defiled and denigrated black women now consider marrying them? 

I will freely admit that the first question never entered my mind.  Nor the second.  I have, masha’allah, alot of good qualities and it didn’t occur to me to ask any such questions about my FH.  If I had detected something less than savory in his motivations, then certainly the situation would have merited such scrutiny.  As to the third, I don’t believe in assigning blame to people in the present for the actions of those in the past.  What they are doing now is at issue, as that is the only thing over which they have any control.

 I am sorry but I do not buy the “love is colorblind” nonsense.  We live in a color conscious society and the truth is that color does indeed drive interracial relationships – more than the “Something New” brigade are willing to admit.  Indeed, some of the worst racists out there are those who are in relationships with black people!  Take the case of “Janet” (pseudonym), my Black South African acquaintance, whose white English partner (of thirty years) disliked her bringing black friends to their home.  Even more shocking is the autobiographical essay of a mixed race woman who revealed that her white father referred to her mother and siblings as “niggers” when he was angry.  So no, no, no – having a black girlfriend or wife does not make someone a non-racist! 

I hear that.  I only remember “not noticing” someone’s color immediately once in my life.  It took a few months for it to occur to my conscious mind that she was white.  It has never happened again.  I corresponded with my husband via email for awhile before I ever knew what he looked like.  I knew he was american.  When I saw his picture I was like “Oh! He’s white!” (Forgive the surprise but there just aren’t that many white male muslims, and there were even less back then.) 

Why would a white muslim man in a racist society marry a black woman?  It’s an interesting question.  I can only speak, of course, for Mr. Foreverloyal (with apologies to the Outlines blogger for stealing her terminology).  Mr. Foreverloyal is an independent thinker, and an independent doer.  Mr. Foreverloyal will make the major decisions of his life and not care two flips what society or even his family and friends might think about it.  Mr. Foreverloyal does not have a preference for black women, as his previous marital prospects and current objects of his passing admiration indicate.  Mr. Foreverloyal is not looking to lord his whiteness over me nor did he expect me to kiss the ground in gratitude when he proposed.  This is also probably a good time to state that he has never referred to me or our children as the “n-word” in our 10-year plus relationship.

There are white men who choose black women for what I will politely term as “practical” reasons.  Back in the eighties I watched a talk show on interracial dating.  A white man on the show said he decided to date black women because he could get a better looking one than a white woman.  Now, a few comprehension-challenged sistas started whooping and hollering in approval.  I was thinking, “Listen to what he is saying.  He is not saying that black women are better looking.  Just that he can get a better looking woman by dating black.” He was middle-aged, and balding, although he was not overweight and had a perfectly acceptable face.  In the same way that men know they can get a better-looking woman by making more money, some white men figure that they can use their whiteness in much the same way.  Sad to say, they are not always wrong.  Just keeping it real.

Additionally, I imagine some white men figure they’ll marry someone non-white because the (asian, black, latina, whatever) wife will be in awe of their whiteness. Grateful to be married to them, they’ll be less demanding and easier to control.  It could happen.  Can’t say it’s been an issue over here though.  I will also add that color is also a factor in black intraracial relationships as well.  I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate further.  If you’re black color can matter no matter what.  No getting around that.

On to tokenism and being made to give-up a degree of blackness to be married to a white man:

My husband is well aware that he married a black american woman and is perfectly pleased about it.  Most of my friends and associates are black american women–no problem.  I sometimes braid and bead my daughter’s hair in a very black american way–no problem.  I take my children to black cultural events–no problem.  I buy them black books for children–no problem.  He comes with me to visit my family as I go with him to visit his.  He stays white, I stay black, the kids are raised with both of our cultures, and everybody’s happy.

Just as we note that there were white people enslaving black people, we must also admit that there were white people working to free them.  There were white men defiling and abusing black women, and white men who were fighting to marry them (Richard Loving comes to mind).  The past and present has never been completely black and white, if you’ll forgive the pun.

The present isn’t either.

Just as the D.L. Hughley’s and Damon Wayans, Snoop Dogg’s, etc. of the world are complicit or active in the sullying of the image of black womanhood, there are black men like Avery Brooks who portray black women positively in their work.  There are black men beating the hell out of black women and literally stomping on them (Weeks), even killing them.  And there are black men who marry black women and go on to love them and take good care of them.

In summation, Mr. Foreverloyal has never given me reason to question his sincerity.  I am the queen of our little castle, his confidante, the mother of his beloved heirs, his partner in all that this life brings, his best friend, his wife.  Masha’allah.

Part two to follow insha’allah.  In the meantime, you may be interested in some related posts:

https://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/2007/07/18/fear-of-a-borg-life-part-i-disappearing-traits/

https://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/2007/07/25/fear-of-a-borg-life-part-ii-disappearing-heritage/

https://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/2007/08/03/fear-of-a-borg-life-part-iii-what-about-the-community/

https://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/2007/09/09/fear-of-a-borg-life-in-conclusion/

 

Pathetic.

January 2, 2008

gollumI’m all for black women (and anyone, for that matter) being open to the possibility that their soulmate and one true love could be a different “race” than them. Cool.

What I despise is the desperate adulation heaped upon white men who express an attraction to or a preference for black women.  So much so, that if one such man says something out of line, or questionable, they are above reproach.  Any black woman who does say “Hold up.  Can you explain that comment?  Because that could easily be construed as derogatory” is excoriated by the desperate, Gollum-like creature for daring to question him. 

If I was an armchair psychologist I would theorize that such a woman is afraid.  Afraid that anything less than near-worship will turn the man off of black women.  As if, he is a rare commodity that must be preserved at all costs.  As if his attraction to black women is so fragile that it can be squashed by one or two sistas who aren’t jumping up and down and falling on their knees at his mere existence.

Mustn’t upset the precious!