Somewhere along the way, MadameNoire got the reputation of being the Black Women’s website that promotes interracial dating and marriage and all that. Perhaps it was because of articles like this one. Whatever the case, I feel the need to say that while we believe you should keep your options open when it comes to finding love, you shouldn’t begin your quest with skin tone or racial and ethnic modifiers. And personally, I, Veronica, believe that while black men are flawed like all men, you’ll never catch me out here denouncing all of them. There are enough people outside of our race who do that already. I would think the universal truth that characteristics that make a good partner are not predicated by race and ethnicity is understood by all. But apparently, it’s really not because Dr. Nazaree Hines-Starr, a full time pharmacist and author, recently published a book called Why Every Black Woman Should Marry A Jewish Man.
Yes ya’ll, every black woman. Before I even begin to dissect the problematic nature of such a premise, let me just share a bit of Hines-Starr’s background and the reasoning she shares for dating and marrying a Jewish man.
All throughout college, graduate school and all of her twenties Hines-Starr, a black woman, dated only black men who shared her religious background. And after that all she had to show for it were a group of men she placed in what she calls the “Scumbag Files.” But Hines-Starr did not give up on love. Instead, she went to the internet and joined an interracial dating site called AfroRomance.com. Let’s pause right here for a minute. I can understand, perhaps, why a black woman would be drawn to a site called Afro Romance but I’m a little perplexed as to why people of other ethnicities would go there unless they’re trying to fulfill some type of chocolate fantasy. But that’s just me. Admittedly, I’m a bit paranoid about such things.
Anyway, looking at the site, I’m guessing Hines-Starr selected “white” for her preferred race and it wasn’t long before she met “Michael, a professional, never-married Jewish man who was two years her junior.”
And apparently, Hines-Starr believes you can do the same. In fact, the way the world is set up right now, you might not even have a choice. She provides the following statistics: “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 1.8 million more black women than black men in 2000, and that number has not improved since then. That means that if every black man in America married a black woman today, many women hoping to marry a black man would not make it down the aisle.”
And then, according to a press release Hines-Starr lists reasons why Jewish men are the new hotness for black women.
– They are the perfect Alpha Male.
– Many African American men and non-Jewish men fall short in the romance department
-Jewish men open wide instead of down low (Is that a sexual innuendo I failed to grasp?)
– Jewish men are not looking for someone to take care of them
– Jewish men attend and graduate college
– Jewish men at least attempt to marry before making babies
-Jewish men are great with financial planning and stability
– Jewish men don’t take everything as a challenge to their masculinity
-Jewish men are often raised with traditional gender roles where the men seek to take care of the women.
That’s enough. Do you see the problems here? Hines-Starr successfully manages to stereotype two groups simultaneously. On the one hand she dogs out black men, calling them unromantic, uneducated, uncommitted and unstable all while lauding not only her Jewish man but all Jewish men above the rest. I think somewhere along the way, people lost sight of the fact that just because a stereotype is positive, it’s still a stereotype. When you reduce people down to a few characteristics, it robs them of their humanity, which is complex.
I wonder if it ever occurred to Hines-Starr that while there are certain culture attitudes that are passed down from generation to generation, the emphasis on education, family and financial security are not just things the Jewish community cares about.
I wonder if in regard to her own dating history if she ever considered the fact that it wasn’t that the men she dated were scumbags because they were all black but because they were just scumbags. And furthermore, since this synopsis seems to present her as blameless in her own dating history, I wonder if she ever stopped to ask herself why she kept attracting and then tolerating scumbags?
I know that since there are far too many, black men berating and degrading black women, some of you will argue that she’s just looking out for numero uno, giving them a taste of their own medicine, trying not to be left behind as she pledges allegiance to black men and black men alone. And I get that. I’m not saying limit your options. If you can, of course you should be open to love regardless of the package it comes in. I just hope black people, men and women alike, haven’t reduced the phenomenon of finding love into some type of calculated trip to the market where you pass up the brand you’ve known and grown up with in favor of something new and exotic.