Monday, April 05, 2010

Jill Scott on Black women feeling stung by Interracial Relationships: Part 2

In continuation of my response to Jill Scott's commentary on interracial relationships, in part 1 I stated that as bad as it sounds, it's true, the majority of black women feel a 'wince' when seeing a Black man with a White woman. It is not because they dislike interracial relationships as the "wince" does not occur when the situation is reversed. But Jill makes a poignant claim that there is a sense of betrayal and this is where I left off. I believe the issue is an issue of supply and demand.

I understand and share the feeling of betrayal. But I do not think that we as Black women are justified to dwell is such a place. Firstly, betrayal suggests an agreement, bond or contract in which she makes the argument that because of their shared struggle in history such a bond is implied. However, it is clear that any such contract between Black men and Black women whether expressed or implied has been breached. Do you continue to honor a contract when the other party does not? I am in support of strengthening the Black community and improving the relationship dynamics between Black men and women. But I am more in support of the improvement in self-image and self-value of Black women. So yes I believe that dating outside of your race as a Black woman is great.
Relaxing the issue of race, in part 1 I illustrated that I too experienced difficulty with young men with my own cultural background marrying outside our culture. The men did but the women did not though we all were strongly encouraged to. What is important is that there is a residual sentiment of inadequacy that is shared among the women that did not. I have heard young men say that they did not find women with our cultural background attractive and witnessed differential treatment to women who did not share their cultural background. I felt betrayed. There are women who worked hard, earned advanced degrees and never disappointed their parents--save for this one area. Now they feel like failures. How would one respond to that? Date outside your culture. Which I did.

What is most enraging is the "Black Man in America syndrome", symptoms includes difficulty in being exclusive with one Black woman and actually declaring "I'm a hot-commodity". What makes me angry is that it is true. The demand for this "successful Black man" is only because he is scarce and secondly that Black women restrict themselves to Black men.

"Well White men find you attractive" a friend said one day. Trust me they find you attractive too. Not All! Like not all Black men find me attractive. And in all my interracial involvements I found that the person who was most uncomfortable about race was me. I find that restricting ourselves to Black men 1. perpetuates feelings of inadequacy 2. Guarantees a number of Black women to be alone (or sharing a Black man, which is another post all together) because the stats just don't add up. This is more detrimental for the Black community for the Black women and perceptions of their value is something that we pass down to our kids verbally and through cues. And we best love ourselves by allow us to find the kind of love we deserve. Where ever we shall find it.

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