He Doesn’t Get It Because He Doesn’t Live It: Discussing Race In My Interracial Relationship

October 23, 2012  |  

Source: Shutterstock.com

Sometimes, people ask me what it’s like to be married to someone of a different race – especially when it comes to racial issues. My experience is obviously not universal and I don’t speak for every Black woman married to a White man, but in some instances, it’s clear that race is a big thing to not have in common.

While my husband and I were dating and getting to know each other, I noticed some differences in our experiences — mainly the fact that he doesn’t have to think about his race (or his gender) ever. While my “Black Card” could probably be revoked on multiple occasions in a single day, I am a Black woman who is definitely aware of the effect my race and gender have on my daily experiences. He, on the other hand, as a heterosexual, Christian, able-bodied, relatively young, conventionally attractive, White, middle-class, male is basically the standard and therefore possesses every privilege that comes with that – including the privilege of not acknowledging said privileges even whilst benefiting.

Still, our racial difference hasn’t been as big a deal for us as some would imagine. It may sound weird but sometimes I forget that we’re in an interracial relationship. This is probably because I’m not always interpreting everything through that fact. I’m not constantly analyzing our relationship and wondering if something is normal or if it’s unique to being in an interracial marriage. However, there are definitely times when I’m reminded just how different our thinking can be as a result of our skin color.  This is especially true when race invariably comes up in our conversations.

Just the other day we were talking about Sheila Johnson’s criticisms of BET (which I think are ridiculous considering BET has never exactly been known for its quality programming) when he mentioned that he couldn’t understand why BET was even necessary. From there we launched into an entire discussion about the whether or not Hollywood all but completely ignores black actors, actresses, artists, producers, writers, and directors, and if it weren’t for BET or other all-Black-everything media outlets, would Black people even be represented in the media at all. Of course that led into a discussion about why it’s important for Black people to be properly represented in the media and whether or not the media really shapes people’s perceptions of minorities. Our take in this discussion was different and I openly chalked it up to the fact that he doesn’t understand because he doesn’t have to understand because everyone he sees on television looks just like him. He doesn’t get it because he doesn’t live it.

To be clear, this conversation — as well as others similar in nature — are conversations and not arguments. When race is the topic of discussion, we sometimes disagree but he speaks his thoughts and I speak mine without one of us condescending or disregarding the other. When I’m talking about how race plays into something in my life or even someone else’s (like the Trayvon Martin story for example), we disagree but he’s never once accused me of being oversensitive or ridiculous. Though he can’t empathize, I don’t hesitate to express my thoughts and he at least makes an effort to see where I’m coming from. For instance, recently, I’ve become convinced that a news director in a town near ours refuses to hire me for an on-air position only because I’m Black. After explaining why I believed it to be so, my husband agreed with me. Of course, that wasn’t his first thought, because he doesn’t have to think about things that way, but he saw where I was coming from and didn’t wave me off like I was being silly.  Some interracial couples may choose to never talk about race so as not to start a conflict, but I wouldn’t be married to someone I can’t talk to, so I’m not shy about talking about my experience or my theories about particular situations.

Fortunately, my husband and I aren’t having all of these deep conversations about race all of the time. In fact, if even a significant portion of our conversations were about race, I’d be exhausted. We have way more conversations about the things of God or even last week’s episode of The Mindy Kaling project than we have about the experience of Black people versus the experience of White people.

Is being married to a White man different than being married to a Black man? Probably. I’m sure some conversations would never even happen in regards to race because those things would be understood. However, I am also not under any delusions that life is better or worse solely depending on the race of the man you marry. There are a whole host of important things you can have in common or not have in common with someone no matter what their skin color.

Ultimately, what’s important to me and the things that I heavily considered before agreeing to marry my husband were that facts that I can trust him, that he loves me, that he respects me, that he is kind to me and to others, that we’re both Christians, that he puts God first and me a solid second with the rest of his life a distant third. It’s important to me that we get along and have fun together and that he’s just as supportive of my career goals that I am of his.

Does our race (and 12-year age difference) create a gap in understanding? Sometimes. Once, I gushed about seeing Andre 3000 when I was in New York to which he replied, “Is that a movie?” Clearly, our race and age difference (as well as my obsession with celebrities and his extreme nonchalance toward celebs) sometimes combine to put us on two different planets, but I don’t mind the conversations necessary to put us back on the same page.

What do you think? How do you handle race discussions in your interracial relationships?

Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink or check out her blog This Cannot Be My Life

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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  • queenbee9

    You better read up. IN the 1600s white males were actually marrying African women and gifting land and estates to their offspring. White women were up in arms and demanded that laws be passed prohibiting the marrying or association of whites with blacks they said it was to protect the white race–it was also white women who insisted the one drop rules be passed so that even biracial babies could not be claimed by white men and they could not leave land to them. Don’t try to revise history–this is a FACT and not one many black men want to acknowledge as they pursue white women.

    • JustBreathe

      Really? I’ve never heard of this. Do you have a link or anything where I can read about this? I searched online but couldn’t find anything on this.

  • Of course, every interracial couple has problems just like a couple of the same race does.

    If a couple of two or more different races have a strong connection, then they should be together.

    People who are against interracial dating/marriage are ignorant. They do not know the kind of relationship an interracial couple has. Like the Bible says, people focus and care more about race and appearance of someone but God is concerned more about the heart of that person.

  • Ivan B. Cohen

    The first question which came to my mind reading this article, okay Alissa is that the photo which illustrates it of you and your husband or was it posed by models? Has it dawned on you Alissa that the reason your husband does not have to think about his race or gender could be due to fact that plenty of white males were around as he grew up. So he did not develop any “self-esteem” issues. The problem with white males like your husband (and he might be an exception) but generally with white males they are not open to other points of view from another ethnic group. They seek to make other groups in their image and likeness, even to the point of giving them their “values.” Stories like Alissa’s are going to appear time and time because we supposedly live in a so-called “post racial society.” They say turn-a-about is fair play. Black men, who choose interracial relationships felt this need to flaunt their “trophy white women” so Alissa is doing the same thing with her “trophy white man.”

  • dylan

    One of the things I don’t agree with is “He doesn’t get it because he doesn’t live it.” He doesn’t get it because he chooses not to try and understand. Absolving him of the responsibility to at least TRY “get it” is allowing him to continue with his privilege.

    I personally think that white folks should one way or another be forced to think about race, the dynamics, experiences, etc. Especially those who choose to be in a relationship with someone of a different race.

    Also, “the fact that he doesn’t have to think about his race (or his gender) ever.” This may be true, that he doesn’t HAVE to, but he should. Again, he should be forced to. Women have to think about their gender and face that reality every day. People of color have to think about their race and face that reality every day. Force the white man to do the same, especially if he is in close relationship.

  • Grey

    Ignoring all of the rude comments: thank you for writing this article. My boyfriend and I are in the first 3 months of our relationship, and I find that every once in a while, race will come up and he’ll just be completely clueless! I (being extremely aggressive and head strong) just end up getting so frustrated, to the point where I don’t want to even talk to him! But reading your article, I realize it isn’t fair to not sit with him, have a humane conversation and attempt to get his perspective, and allow him to listen to mine. And hopefully we’ll be able to come to some type of agreement.
    And I was going to the gentleman who posted some of the rude comments online. Where are you getting your data from? You wrote that 9 times out of 10, women will adopt their partners philosophies and beliefs. Looking art the way proportions work, I’m going to think of 10 women who I know are within relationships, and see if they changed because of their partner. Look art that! That figure is wrong! So maybe you should say instead, women who are not confident in themselves, women who do not have a strong belief system, women who have not come to an understanding of who they are adopt their partners ideologies. And all of your other contests aren’t even worth commenting on. Enjoy your life.

  • pepjrp

    The starting comments by Alissa about how she somes up her husbands, perceived advantages is so ignorant and racist on here part, that it defies description. If she only lived some of my life. Some of the most erroneous racial statements about European Americans and their experiences in her daily life that ever were spoken. She should have lived in my neighborhood.

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  • Adrian Khan (The Soca Warrior)

    My there sure are alot of insecure and self hating black females responding on here.

  • Adrian Khan (The Soca Warrior)

    The only person having a problem with it is you…You obviously are not with that white man for the right reasons,and probably only got with him to see how your kid would look..

  • SuDawn

    No doubt when a white man dates/marries a black woman he’s more aware of the fact he’s in an IR. Duh! But I’m telling ya, with me, a white woman, white men would let there guard down and say the most racist things, oftentimes without even realizing they’re being racist, and even more disturbing – not caring to understand the black experience. Of course these white men I talked to or dated weren’t consciously entering an IR relationship by being with me. But my kids are a big part of me, so therefore they were dating an IR family!

  • SuDawn

    I am a white woman with four black children from my 20-year marriage. Sometime when I refer to my children as black I am corrected, invariably by white persons, who point out that my kids are bi-racial. In recent years my comeback for that has been “How often do you here Barack Obama referred to as our first bi-racial President?” I believe when push comes to shove my kids are black. Period.

    After my marriage ended I considered dating white men, but I found it VERY hard to find a white man who understands the black experience. This was a major criteria for me because when something is going down with my kids where race is a factor I don’t want to be arguing with my man about the role race is playing into the situation. While married to a black man for 20 years I saw my husband subjected to things which my dad and bother and white male friends NEVER had happen to them.

    Perhaps when a white man marries a black

  • Torontochick

    Race was an issue with my ex who had views that bordered on white nationalist. (And no, he didn’t seem to see the irony that he was dating a black woman while harbouring said views. In his mind, they were simply “realistic” or “patriotic” or “concern for culture,” NOT racist, even when he was making fun of certain ethnic groups).

    It’s not a heated issue with my current SO, who is also white. And it’s probably not a coincidence that my current squeeze and I are a lot more likeminded in general and have similar temperaments and approaches. There are macro-level groups, sure, but there are huge variations among the INDIVIDUALS within every one.

  • maggie

    Why do black people who date interracially pull this innocent ‘I couldn’t believe I had to explain this’ act? I don’t know whether to empathize or shake my head at the foolish delusion.

  • NoScrunchie

    I live in Europe and I do wonder if black America is diff 5erent from black rest of the world. I do not have to think about my race and I do not know if that’s because I was raised in Africa and everyone was black or bse Europe seems to be less racially fired up. Maybe just London though as I would never pull the race card here.This may also be why I Don’t get the point of BET either. Life sounds much harder over there.

  • Gye Nyame

    Not another one of these articles…why do black people need whites to validate them and their feelings in order to feel relevant? I look at the comments and its sad, BM and BW tearing each other apart over white people that systematically oppress blacks, and for the most part, don’t want to be around you. Slavery has done a complete mind f*ck on us…smh.

  • Anonymous

    I don’ date interracial,I don’t agree with dating interracial,I don’t condone dating interracial,and I would NEVER date interracial. I prefer to stay within my race and that’s to date African American men. My Black Is Beautiful.

    • Why would you think anyone is looking for you to agree with or condone what they do in their own lives?

      You just keep right on segregating yourself… but don’t complain about it. It was your choice.

      • Anonymous

        @facebook-1072832396:disqus People are broadcasted that they’re in interracial relationships like we’re supposed to care. Like I stated in my previous comment,I DON’T date outside of my race and never will. My husband and children will be by an African American man 😉

  • Bianca

    I like this article. My boyfriend is white and I often forget that fact. The relationship is no different to me. Sometimes he doesn’t understand or even know about things that happen in the black community so we hardly ever discuss stuff like that. The same goes for me.

  • TheBigPayback

    Simple solution: do not date outside of your race. So many women and men date outside of their race and then complain of the trials and tribulations of being with someone who isn’t (insert their race). Well, you chose to date someone who is not of your kind. You put yourself in that situation. As a black woman, I don’t think it’s a good idea to date outside of my race. I live in New York City, a “liberal” (ha!) city, but I still refuse to lay down with someone who is not black.

    • “Your kind”? we all belong to the same kind. It’s called mankind ( humans). No relationship is without issues. Dating someone of the same race as your own doesn’t make you some how immune to problems. Many black women date loser black guys and then complain about it so what’s the difference? Stop being so judgmental.

      • blacksuperhero

        If what you say is true — and we all belong to the same kind — then what exactly is the point of a website catering to “black people”? If we are all human, how would “black people” exist? You are a hypocrite or an idiot, I can’t tell which.

        • You may not be able to tell what i am, but i can clearly tell that you’re an idiot.”If we are all human, how would “black people” exist?” Obviously we are all humans. However we belong to different races. Why is this a foreign concept? We don’t live in a perfect world, racism, sexism and inequality does exist. Hence the need for websites such as this one that’s meant to give a voice to those that are disenfranchised.

  • Lemonade

    It’s true. One does not have to think about how other things affect others. For many, their day-to-day doesn’t involve anyone other than those who look like them. For others, though, it is purely intentional. When your visual world (that has always looked mostly like you) starts looking more like others and more often, one can wonder what is happening and if you should be alarmed.

  • Sue

    When or if you have sons make sure he is the one to explain to them how to behave in interactions with law enforcement. If that doesn’t give him a clue into his priviledge nothing will.

  • Blackhawk

    I visit this site from time to time to have discussions and casual conversation with my sistas, but d@mn it seems most of you’ll are obsessed with white people. Maybe i’ve been living in a black bubble by going to a black university and living in a black city, but i seriously cannot relate to the ladies on this site. I have a honest question, do white blogs or sites have articles about dating and marrying black people? It’s gotten to the point where i’m turned off by a black woman who even dated a white dude.

    • Me

      No need to worry because in most cases (not all) when BW are dating a White dude they’re turned off by Black Men anyway.

      • Blackhawk

        My point exactly.. i’m proud of my race, so its a turn off when i meet a black women who isn’t. Can u please answer my question? Do white websites talk about dating black people like this site do? I’m just curious..

        • Me

          I really don’t go to many white websites so you’ll have to do your own investigation.

      • i disagree. i was never turned off by black men. i’ve never known many black men and therefore only dated a few. i’m married to white man, and i don’t believe that means that i’m not “proud of my race”. i think it’s offensive to say so.

    • NoScrunchie

      No they don’t this site has an agenda.

      • Blackhawk

        Everyone knows that they don’t.. yet there’s people on this site who fall all over themselves trying to convince everyone how great it is dating white people . Its a total embarrassment..

        • NoScrunchie

          I think we misunderstood each other. I have nothing against dating people of any color. I have something against it being a constant topic of conversation. There is nothing to it.

  • Celeste

    Actually, Hollywood all but completely ignores Latino and Indigenous actors, actresses, artists, producers, writers, and directors. This was brought to light during an argument with a Mexican actor-friend. He asked me to name one “A list” actor… and besides Olmos I couldn’t.

  • Gaaltero

    Never seen a whiteboy who ever understood racism. OK, maybe 2 or 3 in my lifetime. I don’t see how sistas do it, unless they forget alot of who they are and what their people have been through.

    • Uhmm, and does this also apply to black men dating or married to white women?

    • Me

      Same way the brothas do it…Why don’t you ask them?

    • queenbee9

      Who raises white boys to be racist? Why… white women….LOL

  • therelleword

    Your marriage sounds just like my own. I am a Black woman who has been married to my White husband for 5 years. Race is not a major part of our relationship, but it obviously cannot go undiscussed. My husband initially could not understand where I was coming from as a woman and then as a black woman at that, but as we have grown together he is able to understand and empathize with my position.

    I will say marrying someone so different from myself in respect to race has enriched my marriage and life. I love our differences and honestly race is the smallest difference, as our backgrounds are really where things are opposing. I grew up a lower middle class household in Southeastern VA. My father was in the Navy and my mom was a stay at home mom. Conversely, my husband came from an upper middle class household from the Bay Area in CA.

  • Dawnn

    People can date whoever they want. I do think the issue of race should be discussed at some point. But white people can say you can’t look at race, but race will always play a role. They will never understand the daily challenges of being black. The fail to understand how whites have all these priviledges, double standards in some situations, and black don’t. They think they know about blacks, they don’t anything about blacks. I don’t care how many PhD degrees they got from 100 ivy leagues schools. They will never know. Even though they say they never see any color involved, color is involved. always.

  • I chose to be in an interracial relationship that I hope my partner
    would be someone who is familiar with the black experience wether
    they’ve dated black women exclusively before, oI
    am beautiful woman and I love good man…..inter racial romance is my dream… so I
    joined —blackwhitePlanet.С0M—–it’s where to- connect with
    beautiful and excellent people! r someone who just
    simply appreciates black culture/history because I can’t deal with white
    people who choose to live in a bubble.

  • Bosede

    My husband is an Arab and I am Nigerian American and although he is Muslim and I am Traditional Yoruba (Ifa), we STRONGLY believe in God, and we know God has blessed our union so nothing else matters to us, surely not race. We discuss race as it comes up, we don’t avoid it but we don’t dwell on it either, it is what it is, we were all create by One Almighty making us all one. We talk about him snoring at night (like most men regardless of color) more than about race because that is an issue, not our skin, lol.

  • the last time i dated inter-racially, i was single and in another country. so i had the pleasure of not worrying about my race or his race or what anyone else thought about it, because no one cared. got back home to the states and to our neighborhood and color is always the topic of the day.

  • FromUR2UB

    I find it so interesting when whites wonder why people of other races should want to see themselves reflected in the society in which they live. “Why is there a need for BET or black magazines?”, I’ve heard some ask, many times. They’ve made themselves the center of attention for so long, that many of them can’t even conceive of other people thinking well enough of themselves, that they’d like “it” to be about them sometimes. Perhaps whites should think of it this way: just as parents believe their own children are special and may dote on them , there shouldn’t be the expectation that other people should have the same affection for someone else’s children. White people have the right to believe they are special, but so do others. To believe that the rest of the world shouldn’t mind being relegated only to supporting roles and extras in their existence, is not only delusional, but the height of narcissism.

    • I am a white woman but I do understand the need/desire for BET etc. What I hate to see are programs or videos that have women in general reducing themselves to a sex object or being portrayed in negative stereotypical ways. It does more harm than good. I don’t like seeing the racists’ dream stereotypes being played out for them to say “I told you so.” I’m not talking about something like “The Help”, because that was an honest historical type of movie and that is simply the way things were then. The women were strong and amazing.

  • Tempest Davis

    have it was a good experience, men are men I don’t believe in
    distinctions among their species, I used to think that way , but now
    that I have a good black man that has traits that are usually associated
    with White men I know that it depends on what you attract. The bottom
    line is love is love if a good man has purple skin with yellow stripes,
    you thank God for that good man and go about your merry way…

  • Julia Gotardo

    12 years more, white and male?
    I am sorry but what you two share in common?

  • Machelle Kwan

    I could never be married to a white man. The fact is her man doesn’t get it and never will. The racial differences DO matter and will complicate things over time. I just don’t see myself feeling truly connected to a man that isn’t black.

    • queenbee9

      21 years , 5 kids and counting… I love being with my husband–I can be as smart as I naturally am without my husband feeling threatened and feeling a need to “put me in my place” I have woke up every morning for all these years with this man holding and kissing me and telling me how much he loves me–not saying that a black man could not have given me the same–but in the prior 14 years of dating before my European husband, I never had a relationship like this one, though the 8 years with my husband who died came close (also not a black man) my one marriage to a black man was hell on earth and it all began with my degree and the fact my husband repeatedly told me that I was “too smart for my own good, and that I thought I was better than him so he was going to have to school me”

      The state of many a black male and black female relationship? NO thank you.

  • Joules

    My hubby and I are not only different races but different religions with different political views and we were raised in different parts of the country. I think the only thing we have in common is an aversion to Kraft mac’n’cheese, the food of choice for all poor children born in the 80’s. He only very recently realized that hate crimes do still exist and that was only after I spent months trying to convince him, which did nothing, but then some old bat in his best friend’s church made a comment about “only killing the colored ones that went against the tide.” He’s literally scared of the things I do to my hair, it’s natural, doesn’t understand the need for moisturizer and we spent two weeks, two!, talking about how “thunder thighs” is not a compliment.

    Trust me, I know where you’re coming from.

    • How can you not love Kraft mac & cheese? 😉

      • Anonymous

        @facebook-1072832396:disqus What the hell are you talking about? Kraft ” mac&cheese” is NOT real mac&cheese because it’s NOT made from scratch. In my house(an African American household)we DON’T eat that.

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  • Miss D

    My boyfriend and I are very open when it comes to discussing race (I’m black, he’s white). He is well-versed in African and African-American history and if there’s something he doesn’t know, he will always ask, rather than assume something about black people. He has had to set many of his not-so-open-minded family members straight because of how little they know about other cultures.

    I’m similar to the writer in that I don’t look at my relationship as some sort of novelty because we’re inter-racial. We’re just two people who love each other, simple as that.

    • Bianca

      You said it perfectly!

  • E

    What I want to know is where are all these same race black couples where the man seeks to understand the woman’s unique experience? In most intraracial black couples, any talk of ‘the struggle’ is about the man’s. ‘get real’ betrays himself by referring to black women’s white male partners as their ‘daddies’. Sick much? Ew

  • I am happy to have experienced interracial dating and relationships and thus be able to speak to the issues she wrote about from a position of experience and not as a person on the outside looking in and not really knowing but basing my opinion on assumptions. Ultimately, this gap of understanding is what led me to find someone who looked like me and could relate to how the topic of race is experienced when one is not white. I would never say that there are NO white people who don’t understand anything, not saying this at all. But I am saying that many of the non-black persons that I’ve dated simply didn’t have a clue on these types of issues and unless they were to suddenly become dedicated social activists, they probably never would “get it”. As race is something that is lived everyday even when it doesn’t seem apparent and obvious, not being with a person who could relate simply wasn’t an option. Not to say IRs can’t work, I personally just didn’t want the hassle.

    • Is it their view that is to narrow or yours?

    • Gaaltero

      That’s the experience on most Black people in IRs. One has to understand oppression to understand the issues we face on a daily or weekly or monthly basis. Some WW can understand but very few WM understand. Whenever you hear them talk say they don’t care if someone if white, Black, purple, orange, or blue, you know you’re talking to someone who has never thought deeply about the real issues Black people face. There is no such thing as purple, orange, or blue people, so to bring such fictitious creatures into the discussion merely shows how little they understand about the history of being Black or it’s legacy in America. It can be difficult at the end of a hard experience for a Black person who has to struggle against this white supremacist to come home and have to try to make their case to a “defensive” or “dismissive” or “clueless” spouse and have to live the same emotions all over again.

  • Linda

    Interracial relationships that involve a Black woman and white man (vs black man and white woman) last longer because they talk about race. I’ve been with my (white) husband for 10 years now and I would have to say open discussions about any topic have kept us together.

    • Bishop

      Ok but thats what the article is about. Lets stay on topic.

    • Gaaltero

      I doubt that it’s because they talk about race. You would have to study those IRs on that point. Fom my observation, the BW/WM IRs have a higher average socioeconomic level, therefore, have all the other things that help relationships stay together. You see alot more BM/WW relationship of a lower socioeconomic level. That said, I would bet if you controlled for socioeconomics, the picture would be different.

      • Me

        If that’s the case then why do so many high profile BM get divorces from their nb spouses?
        How can you comment on anything regarding BW/WM relationships when you are neither?
        Are you saying only wealthy WM/BW couples exist?
        What do relationships between WM/BW have to do with you?

    • I am in an interracial relationship and we talk openly about race issues often. We are both very interested in politics and race figures in quite a bit. Where do you see a difference? We have been together for almost 5 years.

      • You’re the exception not the rule. Furthermore when or if you make it past the “seven year hitch” then you’ll have something to brag about.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know how folks date outside of their race. I prefer a tall,handsome,articulate black male 😉

  • Pivyque

    It also depends on how you were raised. I have never understood this whole “black experience” thing. My husband and I are both black and have separate views on quite a few things (even race) because we were raised in different environments. Sure race can make a difference in a relationship, but so can religious views, political views and basic morals. IR relationships are no different from regular relationships.

    • queenbee9

      Not true and you say this because as you state you are not in an IR relationship. They can differ on many levels. I have been in an IR for over 20 years, it is very different than when I was with a black man but surprisingly there is a lot less contention and the idea from the man that he needs to “bring me back to earth and put me in my place”

  • Plumbline

    If Christ is first in both peoples lives, the color of your spouse makes no difference. Spiritual union in a marriage is more important than ones color or nationality…….
    1 Corinthians 6:17………
    But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

    • Gigi

      Exactly! The importance of their faith in their marriage stood out to me the most. I want a man that puts God first and knows that everyone/thing else will be taken care of. This alone can make race or ethnicity (almost) irrelevant for me.

      • Plumbline

        Well Said……..God Bless

  • Alexa

    I’ve always said that if I chose to be in an interracial relationship that I hope my partner would be someone who is familiar with the black experience wether they’ve dated black women exclusively before, or someone who just simply appreciates black culture/history because I can’t deal with white people who choose to live in a bubble. Sure BET is garbage now, but the initial startup of BET was driven by the lack of black representation on television ( which still exist) and I can’t for the life of me understand how white people don’t get that.It’s not brain surgery. Good article though Alissa.

    • get real

      I’ve always said that if I chose to be in an interracial relationship that I hope my partner would be someone who is familiar with the black experience wether they’ve dated black women exclusively before, or someone who just simply appreciates black culture/history because I can’t deal with white people who choose to live in a bubble.
      This is all I’m saying and got called bitter for it. Lol. Smart sister right here.

      • Adrian Khan (The Soca Warrior)

        That makes no sense.No matter how many black people a non black person dates,they will never know how it feels to be black.The black experience is for blacks only.You don’t want black you want white,because you hate being black.

    • Adrina

      The best way to go is probably dating a non blk guy who grew up around black ppl or had a lot of blk friends bc a lot of them will live in the bubble…wm and ww

      • Bishop

        @Adrina….Then just date a black guy or are you saying the color of his skin makes him more special.

        • Adrina

          I’m saying most wm who are conscious about the black EXPERIENCE (not what they heard from other white ppl or stereotypes), probably grew up around blk ppl, dated bw or close have close friends. So if a bw choose to date a bw and don’t want him living in that bubble she spoke of, that type of white guy may be the way to go bc he’s had the experience rather believing a stereotype, for example.

          • Bianca

            What exactly is the black experience? All people experience racism in some form.

            • queenbee9

              But the racism is different–all people can experience racism in some form (true) but only white people cannot experience institutional racism it is what whites inflict on others –racism that makes a police dept not even bother to investigate the killing of a young black –because as a black the child did not count–that is not something anyone other than blacks and perhaps hispanics ever have experienced in the past 60 years.

      • Bianca

        Often when a white person has lived around blacks their whole life they tend to act the way those blacks act. I might as well date a black man. I chose the white man I’m dating now because he is the “whitest” guy I know. He thinks differently and I like that.

    • realadulttalk

      I’ve found that to be the best way. I’ve dated white men who were not and it was a mess–I spent more time explaining things than enjoying the person.

    • Bianca

      My boyfriend sort of lives in a bubble because he is from a small town with few blacks. He tries though.

    • Adrian Khan (The Soca Warrior)

      I wonder if black men dated midgets,and not white girls only would black women follow suit with the “If black men can do it,why cant we”?

  • I like the idea of being in an IR but i know it would never work. I’m way too passionate when it comes to racial issues.

  • Negress

    I just can’t. After working all day, driving while black, and being followed around the store on the way home I wouldn’t have time. The only store it doesn’t happen in is the grocery store because no one just browses there.

    • I had to school my bf on being followed around. it just never occured to him that a person would do something like that to ANYBODY, and esp. b/c of color.

  • lucygoosey

    this is the same argument my mom has for Obama

  • IllyPhilly

    This can be said in just about every “odd” relationship. Marry an immigrant and see their views on this society.

    • Juana Senorita

      I totally agree with your statement. I would marry a white man before marrying a black immigrant. Their negative view of black Americans are worse than that of whites. They forgot who fought for their right to be in this country.

      • Bishop

        Huh? So White immigrants connect better with you than black ones? Thats a big fat false generalization….Wow just ignorant.

        • Des

          I think she was saying that Black immigrants have bigger misconceptions of Black Americans than White Americans do.

          • some ‘black’ immigrants, wont even consider themselves as black they think such less of us. not everyone is like that of course.

      • get real

        Guess who’s largely responsible for the views that black immigrants have of African Americans? I’ve had Africans tell me tht when coming over they were told to “watch them because they will rob you”.

      • KamJos

        You might be surprised at who was fighting along with you.

  • victoria

    This article sounds like my life. Not only is my husband white, he is also European. Mainly, our discussions resolve around culture and the differences between our countries. For example, we often watch the Nat Geo prison shows and he asked me why are so many black men incarcerated? Why is OOW births in America so high? Having different cultures makes our relationship interesting. I now live in Europe. Now Im asking all of the questions.

    • my UK friends can’t understand the segregation among neighborhoods.

      • beaut

        yeah I live in London and my friends feel the same way, but I always ask them since everybody is so integrated, why don’t black people have a show on tv or their own culture.

      • queenbee9

        LOL. Funny–I was born in England, there is segregation in black and ethnic neighborhoods in London…

    • Gaaltero

      In my conversations, euro WMs are more understanding and less vicious than american WMs. Usually, the former speaks from ignorance if they offend, the latter does so from self-interest and a hidden agenda. When I see sistas with Euro men (both are typically well-educated and the sista is usually very conscious), I don’t have any or much concern…with a white american man, much different.

      • TheBigPayback

        It honestly does not matter if they are American or European; dating a white man as a black woman is asking for trouble.

        • get real


        • Bianca

          Well bring on the trouble I’m ready to fight.

      • Amy

        True. I’m dating a Euro guy now and there’s a big difference between them and the white American.

      • queenbee9

        I agree. I have been married to a white male for over 20 years and we have 5 children–he is from Europe, I have been pursued for years by white American males, but since they cannot ever even own up to or admit to the need to reparate for slavery or even present social injustice, I cannot let them near me no matter what they pretend to believe in order to get my affections–I see an American white male I see a product of an inequitable and evil system –one which those who benefit will be inured to the damage it causes.

  • get real

    See what I mean when I say black women find the worst white boys to date? According to him BET isn’t necessary. Next he will be telling her black history month and Affrimative action needs to be an after thought. Alot of blk woman take on these crazy white boys idealogies and start disowning everything blk. Blk women when you interracially date find white dudes who are liberal and understands white supremacy. A white dude who can look at all of this racial nonsense about Obama and these voting laws and tell you why it means and why whites are doing it. Fell me? Don’t just be so happy to have one that you date uninformed white dudes like this author.

    • StuckInDaMatrix

      Same applies to black men/white women relationships.

      • get real

        No. Women in general take on their mans idealogy regardless of race(9 times out of 10). So when white women date blk men they take on his views. So when blk women get white boys, they get the one’s like the dude in this article. Watch this. Has any woman here white daddy ever called out another white person for anything racial? How does white daddy feel about Trayvon? “oh that wasn’t racial Trayvon could’ve been up to no good” huh? See that’s what white daddy will tell you and you start believing it when you know good and well that boy was gunned down simply because he was black. When blk men date white women we (meaning black men) stay black.

        • Me

          You are very insecure and jealous and it’s shining thru….you disgusting Black male hypocrites are a joke, you try to down BW for being with WM and act like WW can’t be racist but we all know you’re a liar. How does your White Mommy feel about Trayvon? Terrance Howard’s ex called him every racial name under the sun…I wonder how she feels about Trayvon? You BM are so pathetic and delusional..you want the world to think all WW love you and are so liberal but the fact remains they are just as racist as the WM you complain about…they all come from the same household..same parents…churches…schools and idealogy so your White mommy feels exactly as the WM you complain and try to shame BW about…take off your blinders! Like I said earlier..Go Away and stop slithering around butting in and worrying about BW’s relationships.. you pathetic troll!

          • get real

            YYAAWWNN. To hell with white mommy, my girl is black. I’m just calling blk folk out like you who think whites are saviors. That’s what I mean by white daddy. A lot of blks want to be saved by white daddy. Not me. I grew up around them so I knew at an early age that they weren’t special. Now get up off your knees and stop worshipping them and praying for one to come along and save you from your miserable, lonely, existence.

            • Me

              Yeah go to sleep you jealous miserable troll, you insecure Black males are just going to have to get used to the fact more BW are coupling up with White and other race Men and all your advice jealousy predictions and insecurities will have to be put on hold. Bitter Black Men are very unnattractive and people laugh at you because you are showing your weakness by weeping after Women. Your future is staring you in the face troll!

            • realadulttalk

              Ah, I get it now–you grew up in the burbs and are trying really hard to promote your blackness. You were the kid that urban blacks laughed at and called white boy–so now you must try really, really hard to show that you are blacker than the blackest black.

              • get real

                Uh no we grew up in hood and burbs. My moma took care of business but my grandma still resides in Orange Mound (the first black community in the USA. Memphis Tn) I was back and fourth. But u say you grew in the burbs, so if you did then u know white folks aren’t special. Are you just lying trying to make a failed point?

          • Gaaltero

            You’re the one who sounds insecure and defensive. He made a valid point. WW by their history would understand oppression more than WM who are basically the architects. If you can’t get that basic point, then you really are more concerned about some fantasy “romance”than the greater question.

            • Me

              Their history didn’t stop them from having Black Men lynched did it?
              You sound like the one that’s living a fantasy by trying to dismiss the fact White Women have had just as much to do with racism in this country as White Men…WW enjoyed the fruits of slavery, jim crowism and yelled rape that got many many Black Men killed. I know that Black Men want to hide this fact but it’s right there and always will be..they want to throw history in our face and try to use guilt to keep Black Women from White Men but both share the same lineage and you can’t separate the two.

            • realadulttalk

              White women understand oppression?? Really??? There are hundreds of black men dead b/c of the words of a white women. Believe that stupidity if you want.

              • queenbee9

                White women instigated the laws of miscegenation which made it illegal to marry or have babies or sex by a person of a different race. Circa 1698.

            • queenbee9

              Actually, I can’t think of any race/gender more racist than white females–it was white females who demanded the laws of miscegenation (that led to the one drop rule and denied interracial relationships could exist) it was white women who demand that white males NOT bring home or date a black women and who maintain that black women are the lowest of the low. It is white women who claim to despise black females then spend all of their time getting lip and butt silicone jobs and watching youtube videos to try to learn to dance and sing like black women .

              White women often love to date or marry or have babies by black men but due to their make up–often detest and work hard to discredit and dislike black women–white men try to accommodate their natural honey pots–that is a fact. When I was growing up several white men wanted to date me but feared their mothers would go ballistic–they then tried to date me in college, when the answer was an emphatic “No, I don’t cross color lines”

              But we are all still in the same place and you will not find as virulent a hatred of blacks as you will with a white woman, especially when speaking on either black crime or black women.

        • StuckInDaMatrix

          Your opinion is subjective and non relevant to what I was presented. It seems like you were trying to justify this to yourself more than anything. Fact is, human experiences are subjective and thus does not apply to all. Hence why I said the same standard get real mentioned applies to black men/white women relationships as well as black women/white men relationships.

        • Machelle Kwan

          That’s real truth right there. I couldn’t cope with this kind of relationship because I know all too well about racism. I don’t see how she can look at him and not see “the enemy”. I couldn’t do it. It just feels wrong to be with white men.

          • You can say something like that and complain about racism? really?

          • You sound more racist than any white person could ever be.

            • get real

              What was racist about what Machelle said? She basically said she don’t want a white man

              • Calling white men “the enemy” pretty much alludes to that.

            • queenbee9

              No they don’t sound more racist than any white person could ever be–you must have never heard whites discussing what they would like to do to blacks if they could get away with it. I have.

          • Gaaltero

            Look at how contorted the BW who defended WM/BW relationships became and how viciously she attacks BM. It’s a window into the rationalization and assimilation she has undergone.

          • Shouldn’t you base your opinion of a person on the way they actually treat you instead of the color of their skin?

            That is racism. ????

            • samanthaclemons

              No it’s not. It’s prejudice. Her statement is in no way a part of a larger system of discrimination that infringes on the rights of white people. That doesn’t exist.

              What she said was, indeed, ignorant, unbecoming and destructive to our continued fight for social justice but it was not racist.

          • queenbee9

            but ok to for black men to be with white women? When they raise black babies (adopted from other countries and the US) white women often denigrate and teach the children to self hate or make their lives a living hell–I have met the product of some of these homes and the adopted black kids tell horror stories about what they were brought up to think of blacks and really, of themselves. So much for “white mommy”

        • realadulttalk

          You sound so disgustingly racist that I am sickened.

        • Daddy? I don’t call my man daddy. I also don’t “take on his views.” I am a grown woman and I have my own views and sometimes they agree with his, sometimes they don’t. By the way, Zimmerman is guilty and most of my white male friends agree.

      • Gaaltero

        Not the same because WM and WW are very different. One is the oppressed of the other so understands it better.

        • queenbee9

          LOL. Women are never as oppressed as you may think, it is a double edged sword, women wield power differently—behind white racism is an entire kingdom manipulated and engineered by white females–look up how and why the laws of miscegenation were passed and then get back to us.

    • IllyPhilly

      Nope, don’t fell you at all.

    • victoria

      Yet, most likely our marriage will out last yours.

      • Bishop

        Yet we don’t care…LOL.

        • Me

          But your here commenting on this subject….typical defense but clearly a lie!

    • Me

      You sound like the typical bitter Black Man….go away!

      • get real

        I’m far from bitter and you sound like the typical blk woman that takes on your white daddy’s twisted dumb idealogy. Bascially all i said is to date liberal minded white dudes because most liberal minded white folks understand the race hustle and I got called bitter for that. Lol. Your reply to me lets me know that you align yourself with white supremacy. I mean hey, anything to let white daddy know that your down with him huh?

        • thegoodluckpig

          I can’t; from the grammar to the continuous references to “white daddy,” you sir, are doing the most. I would never call you a “typical bitter white man” and have no idea what that even means. What I do know, is that your assertion that women simply take on the same ideological viewpoints as their spouse/partner is ridiculous.

        • Me

          My daddy is Black but i know a nosy bitter Black Man when i see one and you fit the profile …do us all a favor and take your stupid racist insecure comments to all the BM married to WW …they need you more than we do!

          • get real

            Trust me, the blk dudes who think white women are saviors get called out by me as well. Slavery has done a number on our black behinds. Wouldn’t a bed wench such as yourself agree? If people don’t know what a bed wench is, google it. This woman has a severe case of the bed wench mentality.

            • Me

              Actually all you have to do is look at your mother, google not needed!

              • get real

                Lol. How old are you kid? Moma jokes? Really? I guarantee you are overweightchubby andor dark skinned. That demographic of blk women are the modern day bed wenches. You have inferiority complexes about your skin and hair now you want white daddy (an asian or hispanic will do. Whichever will give you the time of day) to give you light skinned “good hair” kids. So they won’t grow up with the same ugly dark skin and nappy hair huh? I got the militant feminist and bed wench mentality down packed don’t I?

                • Me

                  I guarantee you’re an ugly fat dark skinned unemployed BM that hates BW/WM couples because you can’t get a date with Any type of Woman but you’re especially angry that BW don’t want you, so you scour the net and find any type of BW/WM site, discussion etc to make hateful stupid remarks…typical useless criminally inclined BM that roam the cities and that usually end up in prison where so many of you are at anyway. You’re not even worth the air you breathe.

                • queenbee9

                  LOL–sounds like you are talking about dark skinned, ugly black males, actually..

        • Adrina

          I see what you’re saying but your presentation is not so good. women have their own minds and do not automatically take on the ideology of their men (come back to modern times). and for bw who know the race struggle, we’re not going to believe that there shouldn’t be aa our bh month. I mean really? oth, I see what u mean, be should date a wm who understand aa struggle bc otherwise that wm shouldn’t date outside their race if they make commentslike tht

        • Seriously dude?

          When people can stop name-calling, and making assumptions about other races as a whole, and start realizing a race is comprised of individual people who have different thoughts, ideas and beliefs, then we can actually make SOLID progress in our ‘race’, which is the HUMAN race.

          And regardless of whether or not a ‘white dude’ is liberal or conservative, their political choices don’t dictate who they are as a whole person. I’m a young black liberal woman dating a young white conservative male, and he was HORRIFIED at the Trayvon Martin case.

          As are his white parents, and the rest of his family.

          People seem to forget that every race is COMPOSED OF INDIVIDUALS, capable of their OWN thoughts, ways of loving someone, and beliefs.

          Why would you generalize an entire race into acting a certain way, just because of their political choice?

          Where do your facts like ‘most liberal minded white folks understand the race hustle’ even come from? Have you actually researched this idea, or again, are you just making general assumptions based on YOUR life experience?

          -sigh- I’m seriously hoping you weren’t just trolling with your comment. Stop name calling (‘white daddy’), and making assumptions about people you’ve never even met (‘typical blk woman’) because definitely reads as bitter. Especially to people reading your comments.

          • get real

            @ Chasadie Alexis. My gosh you folks are the biggest defender of white boys I’ve ever seen in my life. I wish you blk women plz stop this corny “your bitter” nonsense. Ask your boyfriend if he thinks Affirmative Action should done with. Ask him what does he think of his party calling the President the “foodstamp and welfare president”. Ask him how does he feel about his party calling Obama ‘angry” (the good ole angry blk man nonsense)and saying “we can vote him back to Africa” etc. Liberals whites are standing with blk folks and vice versa. White liberals are liberals for a reason. They disagree with conservatives not only polictically and more so SOCIALLY. Now why is your boy conservative? Reply back and I will continue to school you . young one.

            • Me

              You are bitter…Jealous and ignorant…why else would you be on a site primarily aimed at BW’s concern’s arguing about who we date and marry?
              basically you’re pathetic..and the hilarious thing is that there’s not one single thing you can do about this…tee hee hee..

            • queenbee9

              Liberal whites (many of them) acted racist as hell when it was Obama vs Hilary–I would not be so quick to assume liberal means anything more than free with other people’s money and stop thinking it means they will either defend or save blacks–they won’t–they have not, they don’t plan to and the sooner blacks realize that and stop giving their votes automatically to one or the other, the better off they will be

        • I agree that a liberal white man will understand racial issues more because they care to learn, while a conservative is exactly that, conservative. All it takes is a quick trip to the dictionary to understand the difference.

          I think you are making too many generalizations about these relationships though. People are individuals.

    • Darcampb

      Feel you 100%

    • ieshapatterson

      lol you might be talking about some of the black women YOY know.but that’s not the case for all BW&WM relationships.besides,bet is a MESS.whoever takes up for that needs to be slapped.

    • samanthaclemons

      I take issue with this. I HAPPENED to marry a white man, who is fairly uninformed on racial issues… but I didn’t go hunting for one, as you imply. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware that he was so uninformed, as race isn’t something that naturally comes up in conversation all that often. It’s really difficult, explaining to him that, no, you probably didn’t earn everything you have; most likely, some things were given to you simply because you are the mirror-image of this system’s creators. It’s even more difficult now that he thinks we should raise our son in some la-la land where his race doesn’t matter, where there’s no reason to talk to him about the Trayvon Martins and Tamir Rices and teach him that he needs to walk through the world differently, or that living in his small hometown outside of St. Louis where no one will look like our son or his mother is unacceptable. Trivializing these struggles by insinuating that somehow we’re out fishing for white men, scraping the bottom of the societal pool is offensive. These aren’t the worst white men. They are most white men; they are the ones that we require on our side if anything is going to change. And how are we to teach them about the system they have the luxury of ignoring if you and others like you seem to think we should be holding interviews to ensure we date and/or marry the right ones?

  • StuckInDaMatrix

    Oh god not another IR article! Talk about beating a dead horse. Here’s an idea writers, write about the discrimination IR couples face from their families and societies. Write about IR couples that don’t work. These couples can have some of the same issues same race couples have but please diversify!

    • STARO

      Good article by Ms. Henry. Good points raised for sure, but . . .
      I’ve definitely come to the conclusion this site agressively pushes an IR agenda. Between pieces on colorism, the endless number of “Lists” (“How Not To . . .,” How To Tell . . .,” etc), Reality Show recaps and the black woman marriage obession (When will you, Why aren’t you, etc.) . . . I’m starting believe the lives are Black women are thought of in fairly narrow terms as reflected in the editorial offerings. Hmmmmm . . .

    • On_Point

      I agree, i am so tired of this shet.