More digging through the crates of my writings. This was also a guest piece for Mirna’s (now dead) blog. It spoke on my frustrations with dating within my own race. I can’t lie, I was hesitant to post this, and although it was written 2 years ago, it’s still eerily relevant. Enjoy.
It’s hard being a Black man, and if you don’t know why already, I’ll remind you: Profiled by law enforcement, profiled by other races, assumed the worst when in a general setting, always asked if we’re athletes, if we have multiple baby mothers/siblings we don’t know about, and so on and so on. It’s rough, but even when the women of your own race can’t even look at you without certain skepticism, it racks your nerves. It’s something that has been a constant issue for me for a long time, and as much as I can get frustrated about it, there are always numerous examples as to why people are so skeptical. A common thing for most Black men is that they date outside of their race a lot (it doesn’t help that I’m of Jamaican decent as well, but we’ll get into that later), and it’s often assumed that that’s the only thing we do. In my case, it’s just been by sheer particular bad luck (it’s my story and I’m sticking to it) that I haven’t dated Black girls, and that has pretty much pushed me towards dating outside my race. I’m not saying it’s a terrible thing, but then the misconception becomes “so, you don’t like Black girls or what?” and that’s where everything goes into a spiral of confusion.
I love the sistas; the most important women in my life are Black women, and the relationships I’ve been in (all interracial) haven’t exactly been good ones, although I’m able to maintain great friendships with Black women that don’t want to date me – what? How does that work? I can’t lie, I’ve had to look at myself a few times in the past and just say “What is it,” and then I began to reflect on the responses I got in the past as to what could lead me to this
- You’re too nice
- You don’t smoke/drink
- You’re not my type
- You’re too skinny
I kid you not, these have actually been said to me, and it made no sense. Maybe it was the girls I was into, maybe their level of maturity wasn’t up to par with mine, but it still made no sense. The messed up thing is that – it continued into adulthood, and that is what was really confusing. A recent visit back to my old hood brought some perspective as to how women of my race view me.
“STiXX, you look like you would marry a white girl”
At the time when I heard that said, I didn’t even know how to respond to that, so I had to really let that sink in. How does someone look like they date a particular race? That makes no sense to me, and it really annoyed me because it came up to me again when someone assumed that every girl I dated was White. I mean I’m a Black, educated, hard-working man, but why can’t someone of my stature date a Black woman? I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me (because I wouldn’t have wrote this), but it feeds into another question that makes me think – what does that say about Black women and how they choose their men?
The beauty (and definitely ugly) of social networking sheds light to some of the hidden thoughts that people reveal to complete strangers without knowing just who’s peering in – it’s quite the sight to behold. I’m not going to list off all of the attributes that I see on an on-going basis, because that’s not the point I want to drive, but it just looks like there are always certain requirements like a grocery store check-off list that must be met in order to date someone in general, not even in your own race. I have no issues with women outside of strictly Black, but I really find it fascinating that I keep getting tossed to the side because I give off a certain vibe. This isn’t a bash, and it isn’t a cry for desperation; it’s rather a man confused and wondering just how these things happen.
I’ll give you a scenario that has been played out in my life all too well: You meet a girl, you talk to the girl, you end up liking the girl, things move forward, things are clicking, and then all of a sudden, when you feel it’s good to take that next step, your foot misses and you end up stumbling down the stairs. It’s astounding, but all I can do is laugh, shake my head, shrug my shoulders, and dust myself off and try again (thanks Aaliyah). It’s the life I’ve had to get adjusted to.
I just hate the Black people who are so quick to hate on other Black people that date outside their race. One example came from my friend Steven, and he told a story in which an older Black man approached him and his girlfriend and started verbally bashing her because she was dating “the enemy”. Pardon my French, but motherfucker, what enemy? You like who you like – last time I checked, my emotions weren’t colour coded, so what the hell makes you so holier than thou that you must say something to intervene with who someone else chooses to date? It’s mind boggling that this thing goes on still in this day in First World Age. The scene from Save the Last Dance pops into my head all of the time when I think of Black women who look down on other women for dating ‘their’ men. No one stole your men away from you if you’re not picking any up, and it’s literally that simple. If you have an issue, that’s between God and your lack of better judgement. Again, you like who you like.
This is not the bitter black man lashing out saying “this is BULLSHIT! I can’t get a Black woman to save my life,” because somewhere down the road, that may change. It’s just the fact that the ones I’ve wanted to date always gave me some bullshit excuses as to why they can’t. Nothing has ever been direct, and maybe that’s just a woman thing – who knows. One bullshit excuse that I’ve seen on numerous occasions is that Black men aren’t “strong enough” to handle a Black woman. I refuse to believe that women out there believe this, but sadly they do. I’ve grown up witnessing interracial relationships firsthand through my father and uncles, so that could be a factor. All I’m saying is that if Black women see me down the line with a woman of another race around my arm, and they feel the need (which some will) to look down at whoever I’m with, just know that you had your chance but let it slip away. It’s not the end of the world that I haven’t dated a Black woman (yet); I love them, I really do, but if it never end up being with one, just know that it was put out there for you to know
Damn, I luh dem sistas… *2 Chainz voice*
That’s My Word & It STiXX