I Asked 19 People If You Can Be Pro Black AND Date Outside Your Race

I Asked 19 People If You Can Be Pro Black AND Date Outside Your Race

"As a pro-black woman in an interracial marriage, I support the plight of black people."
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A few weeks ago, I noticed a video posted on Facebook,“Can you be pro-black and Date Interracially.’” posted by Jovita A. Lee. The video by Candid Conversations was re-posted by Black British Banter, a Pro Black group based in the UK. The re-post generated over 100,000 views and 10,000 comments. Jovita's re-post gained 100 comments with me included.

The thread started off dismissing the validity of the question. But soon, it grew into a beautiful understanding. A conversation happened, people talked and listen. And in the end, we all gained knowledge and perspective. I wasn’t expecting the thread to be emotional, neither was I expecting our views to be contrastive. The comments geared towards interracial couples who were black and white more than any other racial group.

After my last comment on the post, I messaged Jovita. Lee is a twenty- four- year old political organizer who identifies as a pro-black woman. As we messaged back and forth, she revealed her own struggles. At first, she was against it, but her views shifted. Like me, her brother dated a white woman changing her perspective. We both agreed this question is valid. The family structure is the most vital part of the advancement of the black community. Without it, our community suffers as do the welfare of our people. It is easier for black men to date out then black women.

Because black women carry the burden of being the backbone of our community, our loyalty is for our men. However, Black men are two times more likely to date outside their race than black women. Dating out was key to climbing the social ladder. Whereas, black women are overlooked and we are the least likely group to find a marriage.

Where Lee and I disagreed is the legitimacy of interracial dating, if you are pro-black. Interracial dating is doable. As long as you have "a partner who is compassionate and empathizes with

your plight," color doesn’t matter. Lee continued, "if you are pro-black, NOTHING can alter that fact no matter who you love." I found myself trying to grow as she has done with her assessment, but I haven’t. As a pro-black woman, if I did date out "I think my boldness and unapologetic language would offend my partner." Lee ended and again I agreed.

The subject of interracial dating is a click bait. Interracial dating is growing in popularity among American people. Although the Supreme court legalized interracial marriages in 1967, it is still a taboo subject. Races/cultures tend to marry within the same social construct. But, when black and white date people date everyone pays attention. In America, race matters more than culture. My questions to you reader, is, can you be pro-black and date outside your race? Before you answer, let's define pro-black. Lee explains this perfectly, “pro-black is a lifestyle that encourages the economic growth and development of the black people as a whole. Its sole purpose is to keep uplifting black people in America.”

After our conversation, I went back to the Facebook comments. I wanted to find the answers to this repeated question. I sorted through the comments then I asked nineteen people: Can you be pro-black and date outside your race? Their answers weren’t so black and white.


Black women

1. Jaquetta- age 40, business owner, color stylist

Personally? No. Then there is another question- you can’t control who you fall in love with. What do you mean you can’t control yourself?.... We are the only group that thinks we are better if we go get that race. That’s the only race (white people) that no other race minds if you marry- black people don’t get the same privilege.

2. Amanda, age 35, fitness instructor:

Absolutely! As a "pro-Black woman, we should seek to marry and have a family with the most suitable candidate for marriage and fatherhood to give our kids a better shot at life. If that man happens to be non- black, so be it.

3. Brianna, single, age 23:

You can be pro-black and still date outside your race. It’s all about what is good for you and if that happens to be someone who isn’t black then cool but don’t bash black people.

4. Kayla, single, age 26 -

For me personally, I’m not at a place where interracial dating and pro-black mix. I don’t have the space to be patient with someone who doesn’t understand my culture and heritage: I still need to time to grow.

5. Maya, age 32, single -

That is a tough question… I am all about uplifting my black brothers and sisters. I try as hard as I can to support black businesses and black economic empowerment and raise the social consciousness-However, I am not going to put others down who do it.

"The tides raise all ships and if we are better, then we can put that into our own community."

6. Monica, age 30, married to a white guy-

As a pro-black woman in an interracial marriage, I support the plight of black people. I also understand why some think you can't to date outside if you are pro-black.

One thing though, I believe just because you have a black partner doesn't t give you a pass to assume authority or ownership on the discussion of blackness. Period.

7. Jovita Lee-

I’ve grown... I’ve come to realize that progress in the Black community cannot be solely dependent on “Okay everybody, make sure you marry Black."

8. Lala, African, age 26, single –

As an African woman, we experience the same issues as Black American Women. We share the burden of pro-blackness, we date our men before we consider other races. In my experience, our men date other races before us; they see as it climbing the social ladder.

Black men:

10. My father, age 69, postal worker- father of three -

Nah, you either have to be this way or that way, especially this day and time. We have to go back to our roots. The family black family structure is destroyed, we aren’t strong anymore.

11. Ahmad, age 27, single-

Yes, you can. Pro black is not anti any other race. Many of my people believe to support their culture they have to hate another which is bigotry.

12. Brandon, age 28, single- hip- hop artist-

Yeah, sure. I do think it matters who you date. You can’t generalize all white people; don’t let opinions of a few determine your perception of all.

13. Eric, age 27, single, customer service rep-

My answer is no, that is a double standard.

14. Dre, age 26, dancer, single –

It’s awkward but yes, pro-black doesn’t mean anti-white You can fight for equality and speak out against injustices without hating or attacking white people.

15. Justin, age 32, in a relationship -

I would say yes and no- because ask yourself, what is Pro black? You need to have a full understanding of pro-black. Ask yourself- Can you be pro-vegan and eat meat? You can, but it contradicts what you say you stand for.

16. Robert Lee age 31, married- father of three- (Robert has one bi-racial son)

I’m torn on this subject.

You can be pro-black and still date outside your race… however… the lessons you teach your children will determine which side of the scale you lean towards.

White people: men and women included :

17. Katie, age 20, in a relationship –

I know for a fact I love my man more than anything.

18. Ted Willis, age 37, engaged to black man-

I cannot even begin to understand the plight, but I empathize as a gay man from a different perspective. Love is love is love is love is love. I love my finance because of who he is. I was raised to love and respect everyone.

19. Ashley, age 22, married to Nigerian man -

I come from a mixed family and I get to be a part of two cultures. My husband is Nigerian and his culture is an amazing part of him! It has been a privilege to learn: It is absolutely amazing.

Cover Image Credit: JD Mason

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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