Something on Franklin and Marshall's campus, besides the terrible food and unnecessarily loud drunk girls, has been chipping away at my patience. I can't elaborate on it fully enough to track down where my discomfort grew from, but it wouldn't hurt to try.
Dating outside of your race happens as rarely as a solar eclipse. I am not here to call you ignorant based on your personal romantic preferences, but if I do not call attention to this, it will continue to linger in my mind. A close friend of mine made me conscious of a star basketball player stating that he will "never date a black girl". Let's take note of the fact that this same star player and well-known ladies man has had sexual encounters in the dark side of town. Making such a broad statement confused me. Black women are created with different shapes, sizes, personalities, hair textures, eye-color and features overall. Have you seen every single black woman to make such an overgeneralization that lacks substance. Clearly, the societal over-sexualization of women of color knows no race. Some men will rather venture through the warm, wet, waterfalls of the melanin temple behind closed doors over holding that same beautiful woman's hand in public. I have had a white football player spark engaging conversation with me in the darkness of a frat house basement but look right over my head as I passed him on campus.I am five foot eight inches tall so there is no way he missed me. Before you assume I am another angry afro-latina with a shotgun for a pen and an overly-sensitive mentality, consider the last time you have seen a white male openly dating a woman of color. When was the last time you have seen a white man acknowledging a black woman's beauty, intelligence or appeal if it wasn't a drunk confession or a secretive run around. Before I reveal some responses by white men that attend Franklin and Marshall College, I want to remind you that being acknowledged by a white man is of no more value than being acknowledged by a man of any other race. I just find it interesting that we sit around and tolerate these secretive and hidden acts of romanticism by the same men who would proudly take a blue-eyed, blonde-haired woman anywhere in the presence of anyone. So much for seeing people as people right? How liberal are we realistically? Let's see...
I asked a few men " Why do you think white men normally do not date women of color?"
Response 1: " I think a lot of it has to do with relationships they see at home and in their social groups. We tend to conform and seeing that most people date within their race it is no surprise to me that this trend prevails. I think that I myself just have not met and been around enough women of color to go for a woman of color. I am not opposed to the idea at all. I think it has to do a lot with social comfort and being able to step out of that zone of comfort. "
Response 2: " Probably either ignorance from , not themselves, but probably from their parents. Like, don't go outside of what your race is. There has even been adults on the white side of my family that tell me to not date black girls. They are crazy, they're this, they're that. It probably is an attempt to preserve privilege. They want to keep where the financial is safe."
Response 3: " There is less interaction between white men and women of color then there is just white to white. I don't know if that's true for every person's environment but for mine I feel like that was the case."
Response 4: " There are cultural differences. It becomes tougher to relate to different cultures. Having a physical difference puts people off because when you do not know something, you're afraid of it. The fear of the unknown. Also it has to do with your family. You're usually around the same ethnicity, so you are used to that and that becomes comfortable and normal to you. I know it's not that uncommon for a white girl to date a black girl but when it's a white guy, he usually doesn't date a girl of color and I would say that I don't really know why that is."
Response 5: " White men could have a few reasons for that tendency. In some cases, the parents of the white male are adverse to the idea of their child dating a woman of color. While the male may not have any issue with it himself, he may avoid that possibility in order to adhere to his parents wishes. White males may also avoid dating black women because of an underlying level of intimidation he may feel with regards to women of color. Though these reasons are silly in thought, they would be two reasons that I could see as being important in the propagation of that phenomenon.
So this is what I have gathered...
You are afraid to challenge the racism within your family, you are afraid to chip away at your privilege, you do not have the conviction to step outside of your predominately white friend group, women of color are the "unknown" that is bound to be feared and you figure black culture is way too far removed from that of white culture to give it a shot. In my opinion, this sounds like a whole lot of weakness. This sounds like a whole lot of fear. I am going to challenge you to challenge your own ideas.
And for my sisters... If you are offended I don't blame you. Your existence is perfection, even if racism, misogyny, rape culture, sexual objectification and colorism have been constructed to deteriorate your confidence. Know your worth and do not allow this mentality to overwhelm you. White men are simply not ready for the kind of loving we provide just yet.
Love, Peace & Chicken grease
- Keyla Ynoa