It’s been that said that once you go black, you don’t go back (until your family finds out and threatens to disown you). But it can also be said, as I’ve learned during the course of my marriage, that once you go white…you’re in for a lifetime fight—against stereotypes and assumptions and just plain ol’ crazy talk. Here’s an abbreviated list of off the chain statements I’ve heard from family and friends since taking #TeamSwirl nuptials
White Women Are Docile & Do Whatever Their Man(dingo) Says
I’m in a Facebook group with other black professionals who like to argue online and laugh at memes during working hours. A topic that comes up at least every month is that white women are docile and only attract black men who can’t “handle” a black woman. The underlying notion being that black men who date white women are weak. I’m often tagged in such posts and asked to provide insight as the default white woman whisperer. My response is usually some variation of the following:
I’m aware of the stereotype, but it hasn’t been my experience, or the experience of anyone else I’ve known who’s embraced Caucasity. White women (like black women) come with various attitudes. I’ve been checked by both…Anyhow, that docile stereotype is just as silly as the angry black woman stereotype.
I often go on to say that docility is a turn off and I prefer my woman have thoughts and opinions and a big ass, which is completely unrelated, but still…Anyhow, like a “white people be like, black people be like” joke on Comic View, the docile stereotype just keeps popping up. Hell, maybe I’m the docile one for even entertaining the idea.
There’d Be A Lot Less Trouble Without All This Interracial Marriage
A white family member posted a picture of a white woman surrounded by three thirsty men of Action Jackson’s hue. Superimposed over the image was an anti-refugee statement. The meme looked like something from Birth of a Nation, not the black remix, but the original racist one from 1915. The underlying message of the image was that black men are sexually dangerous, and if we live up to American ideals, as written on the Statue of Liberty–give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses–black men who immigrate here will end up sexing white women, whether it be consensual, as seen in the hit film Pinktoe Meets Eggplant Volume 68 And I Owe You One, or assaultive, as seen in Kobe Bryant’s hotel room.
But along those same lines, a sista friend posted a preview of the movie Get Out. It’s a to-be-released horror film about a black man dating a white woman whose family lives in a town where brothas go missing. Some would assume they’re hiding out to avoid child support, but apparently, The Man is doing something sinister.
The friend introduced the film preview with a warning: “If you don’t go (white), you don’t have to Get Out!” Damn. To be fair, my mom said something similar when O.J. was in court pretending like he was having trouble putting on leather gloves. (“That’s what his ass get for messing with them white girls…”) But that was way back in ‘95, long before race mixin’ and lightskin-ded babies who result from such miscegenation were in style.
I didn’t respond to either of the posts–I’ve made a commitment to not argue with friends on Facebook, unless it’s to defend the policies of Barack Da Gawd or the honor of Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama. And, to look on the bright side, it was refreshing to see racism come from diverse places. No need for white folks to own EVERYTHING.
My White Woman Take Care Of Me!
As I explained in an earlier post, I have not held a “real” job since 2010, though I have remained mysteriously employed. Black friends say I remind them of the Tommy from Martin, while non-black friends say I remind of them of a character from Friends, whose name I can’t recall because I’ve never watched the show. (Maybe Friends was actually funny, but from what I heard of the show’s demographics and setting, it seemed more like science fiction.)
I made light of my employment situation on a Facebook post, where I said something like, “I ain’t got no job. My white woman take care of me!” I’ll admit it was not a hilarious joke, and definitely not my best work, but you’ll snicker if you read it to yourself in Katt Williams’ voice.
Anyway, someone from my wife’s side of the family was silently lurking on Facebook. This man, of Caucasoid descent, read the comment and thought I was being serious, which tells me he may have already held a lazy black man stereotype.
I wanted to brush the nonsense off my bony shoulders, but the word had spread among family. And then I thought more about it: Ol’ dude was actually disrespecting my wife, his blood, by suggesting that she would be naïve (or docile!) enough to take care of a sorry ass man.
So, with the spirit of el hajj Malik el-Shabazz running through my veins, I eloquently lit his ass up via email. And now I look forward to years of awkward family gatherings.
Becky’s Stealing All The Black Men
“They’re taking all our men,” often followed up with “they can have their sorry asses,” is the black equivalent of white folks yelling “I want my country back.”
A friend recently posted a meme of black actors who are married to white women. The focus of the picture was Mike Colter, who plays superhero Luke Cage in the Netflix series. The comments were atrocious but pretty damn funny, if that’s possible. I had no energy to go back and forth and explain how Luke Cage’s interracial marriage does not indicate self-hate or rejection of black women. He, more than likely, just fell in love with that particular (white) woman. So I played along: “This Neeegro is immune to bullets but not white women!” The irony was lost.
But I get where the feeling comes from. Just days later, washed up rapper Trick Daddy posted a video on Instagram where he told black women to “tighten up” before white and Spanish women render them “useless.”
Now, people should not be surprised that a man named Trick Daddy, founder of the Eat The Booty Gang, does not have an uplifting or factually accurate message, but that doesn’t mean his words don’t offend or hurt, more so when you’re a member of a group that’s been degraded more than any other. And Mr. Trick’s sentiment is not uncommon; I’ve heard other men say similar things, though I’m thinking these wouldn’t be high too high on most women’s “to date” list.
Here’s The Part Where I Try To Give Folks The Benefit of the Doubt Cause I’m Kind of Nice
Do I believe every person who’s made a racially questionable statement is racist? No. And even if they were, most don’t have the power to implement their beliefs via discrimination. So the hell with ‘em.
But I do believe there’s a continuum of racism. Example: On the left of the continuum, Big Oprah, who loves and empathizes with everyone. Far to the right and acting as doorman for entry into Club White Supremacy, Donald Trump, who has a documented history of discrimination.
Most of us are somewhere between those two, assigning characteristics to entire groups of people based on interactions with only few members of that group, or worse, basing our thoughts on the worst-of-the-worst that we see on the internet. (Thanks, Worldstar!)
Being in an interracial marriage has allowed me to see this from multiple perspectives, and despite their flaws and my own, I’m still glad to have friends and family who occasionally remind me that racism still exists.