While perusing the black-oriented website, “AfroPunk,” I came across an article that caught my eye. It was titled, Black Women are not Uncoachable, they are Unprotected. As a black woman myself, I took great interest in the topic. For it was one that needed to be addressed.
The article began with a question, “Why do Black athletes marry white women?” (The Race Card). This question was asked via Twitter by Redskins team member, Lyndon Antonio Trail. Upon first reading it, my heart instantly dropped into my stomach. Too many times I have seen this question and too many times I have seen the same answer. As I ran a sweaty finger down the mouse wheel, the response- “the answer”- was revealed. Before me were the words of Miami Dolphins team member, Masaratti Rick, who said, “’The answer is simple, brother,’ he begins. ‘Most of the sisters were raised in broken homes and they don’t have proper guidance to how they should treat a man, so they mess up a lot in relationships. The biggest difference is that a white woman knows her position and accepts her role as a woman and lets her man lead. You can never get better at anything unless you can admit your fears and your mistakes. How would I be a better football player, if I’m not coachable? Black women are not coachable. Let’s put it that way” (The Race Card). As I read these words, a mix of sadness and anger washed over me. I could feel the heat in my face and the pounding of my heart. But at the same time, I wasn’t surprised. Too often have I seen this mentality from not only black sportsmen but black men in general. There are many remarks from black men who too think black women “mess up a lot in relationships” and see white women as an ideal woman. The type of woman that accepts “her role as a woman and lets her man lead.” But is it truly about dominance?
It’s an ubiquitous knowledge that color has been an undealt-with American problem. From slavery to segregation to modern day institutionalized racism, it has been made apparent that whiteness is desired over blackness. From billboards to dolls to businesses to TV and so on and so on, white people are advertised all throughout the country. The straight blonde hair and the sparkling blue eyes have captivated American beauty. In a 2016 CNN article, it is said that The Fashion Spot dissected “racial diversity on the runways. Over New York, London, Paris and Milan 77.6% of the time models on the runway were white” (Pursley). It is no wonder that black people cleave to white “culture.” What else are they capable of seeing when 77.6% of the time they see white? Over the accumulated years of a homogenous media, blacks understand that they are not beautiful. They develop a self-hatred and see their blackness as a sickness. Thus, they try to remedy this “sickness” by washing themselves clean through whiteness. They dye their hair, they change the way they walk and talk, they associate themselves with white “culture,” they bleach their skin, and so forth. All of which are meant to try and “blend in,” to “survive.” And this fight for “survival,” requires black people to unify with whiteness but also a segregate from blackness. It’s a betrayal that creates wars within the black community. Wars such as light skin vs. dark skin as well as black men vs. black women.
Society has set up social constructs. And one of those constructs was creating the perfect woman: submissive, quiet, appeals to the man, gentle, white, etc. These characteristics are of an ideal woman and anything outside of that understanding is unattractive. An unattractiveness that has poisoned mankind against black women. Too many times, in both past and present, there have been many instances where my fellow black girls are portrayed as stubborn, sassy, dominant, and loud, with derogatory labels such as “ratchet,” “bougie,” and -in the words of Masaratti Rick- “uncoachable” are applied to them. The divide between black men and black women has become apparent over the years. From celebrities to average, every day black men, this fetishism of white women is common. Kanye West in his song, Gold Digger, threatens to leave a black woman’s “*ss for a white girl.” Another rapper, Kodak Black, makes it apparent that he doesn’t date black women. When asked whether he found black actress and singer Keke Palmer attractive, Black says he is not into black girls and would rather date Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez. Black further states that he doesn’t “want no Black b***h / I'm already Black / Don't need no Black b***h" (Meara). I also find this self-hatred in my own brother. He surrounds himself with white women and thinks all black people are on welfare. Black males are looking for an escape. And through the constant advertisement of white women as symbols of goodness, purity, wealth, and success, black men seek refuge. It is their one-way ticket out of “the hood” that is American, racial oppression An oppression that divides them from black women.
Men like Masaratti Rick try to pass this self-hatred off in terms of dominance and that a white woman apparently “knows her position and accepts her role as a woman and lets her man lead” (The Race Card). But the real root lies in self-hatred. Isn’t security and promotion from a woman found in all colors? Are black women not capable of evoking positivity just like white women? If all Rick wanted was positive encouragement and docile behavior, he would be searching for a specific personality rather than a specific race.
In all honesty, Rick’s statements about black women don’t surprise me. I’ve seen it time and time again, and I am tired of it. As a proud, black woman, I am angered and saddened by the fact that a “brother” does not appreciate his own community, seeing white women as the only woman capable of properly taking care of a man. Any woman, whether they be black, white, Asian, etc. are all capable of having a relationship (if they so will it). The point of a relationship is the coming together of two people as one through love. And through that love they grow. Of course, people have their preferences. Preferences that have some part in how one dates. Some people are attracted to black women, some are attracted to white men. All my life I have been attracted to white men. I thought my first love would be a white man, my first boyfriend would be a white man, even my husband to be a white man. But it turns out my first relationship and heart were found in a black man. What men like Rick must understand is that what he seeks is not found any specific race but in all. Black women are capable of relationships and are not broken products of the hood. They are more than the loud, sassy women advertised next to the porcelain angels beside them. Black women are beautiful and capable of being in a relationship in the same way that white women are. It really is a shame, Mr. Masaratti Rick, that you can’t see that.