All Articles Tagged "white men"
As told to Veronica Wells
After years of working in the corporate world with nothing but White men, I, a young Black woman in my mid thirties, was thrilled to finally be able to follow my passion and begin writing for a small, but very racially diverse newspaper in Pittsburgh. Since my coworkers are mostly people of color, there’s a general level of tolerance and overall “wokeness” at the office and I love it.
After years of swallowing snide, racially tinged comments and listening to conspiracy theories about President Obama’s Islamic roots and plans to take the country to hell, it was nice to be around people who understand what it’s like to be a minority in America. And I existed in my new utopia for about six months before the company hired an ad sales person. Our office is diverse so there are White folks there; but again they’re cool. I assumed that this new guy would be cut from the same cloth.
I was wrong.
From his first month in the office, this man, we’ll call him Shawn, proved he had probably never been around people that much, let alone people of color. He was sweet enough and I genuinely don’t believe he meant anyone any harm, it’s just that his entitlement was showing. From the day Shawn stepped on the scene, he was under the impression that he was someone’s boss. When that was actually never the case. If me and my coworkers were speaking openly, in common spaces, about business, Shawn would almost break his neck, hustling his way over to the conversation that literally had nothing to do with him.
At first I just attributed it to being a bit nosy. I tried to give him a pass, realizing that it’s hard to be the new guy and we all want the tea.
But it wasn’t long before I learned his curiosity was more than just being informed and included. Shawn had something to prove.
As the months passed, and he became more comfortable, his behavior became more and more obnoxious. I learned that I would be working with him and a handful of my other coworkers on a special project. We all met to brainstorm ideas. I noticed that anytime I proposed an idea, minutes later, Shawn would remix it, throw in a few new words and pitch the exact same thing. After two good times, I finally had to call him on it.
“I just said that.”
He stared at me blankly before saying, “I know. I’m just rephrasing it.”
It took every ounce of the Holy Ghost in me not to jump across that table and come for his neck.
Instead, I just told him, sternly, that my words didn’t need to be rephrased. I even made a bit of a show out of it, asking my coworkers if they’d understood my idea. They did.
After that I cut all of my interaction with him to the bare minimum. I don’t want to lose a job I love for checking an annoying White man.
Still, I would hear him interacting with other people. One of my coworkers was warming up her lunch in the kitchen and he leaned over her plate, asking what she’d brought.
“Oh just some grilled shrimp.”
“You have a grill at home?”
“Well, then it’s more like pan fried.”
“Oh, ok thanks.”
Shawn seemed to have all the answers, though no one ever asked for them.
Interestingly enough, when we met with him for him to provide answers about his own job, something he should have been happy to share, he was full of “I don’t knows” and “I’ll get back to yous.”
My favorite Shawn story happened just a few weeks ago, when he was once again, eavesdropping in on another conversation. This one wasn’t about work and so my Black coworkers were speaking Ebonics. Again, it was a private, casual conversation in which one of my coworkers used the word “finna.”
“Finna…I think you mean getting ready to…” He spun around and marched back to his cubicle, shoulders high, as if he had just made the world a better place.
I don’t know what Shawn’s aim is exactly. All I know is that if you’re trying to ingratiate yourself with a new group of people, you don’t go about it by trying to prove that you’re smarter than them, especially when you consistently struggle to prove it.
We’ve already discussed the off the wall and crass things some White guys can say when they’re dating a Black woman for the first time.
Some of them can be quite ridiculous, unimaginable even.
And to illustrate just how absurd some of these comments are, BuzzFeed put together another one of their brilliant videos, flipping the script. The video features Black women saying the same type of stereotypical, distasteful and ignorant things White guys say to Black women they’re attempting to pursue romantically.
Take a look at the video below and let us know if you got a kick out of it.
For some Black women, going on a date with a White man can be extremely nerve-wracking, especially if it’s their first time dating a white man. You might be wondering, “Will we have anything in common?” “What are going to talk about?” and “Will there be any awkward moments?” Well, in this case your best bet is to go into the date thinking that he’s just a normal guy, regardless of his race. Unfortunately, sometimes that plan fails miserably because some of these White men can’t help but keep reminding you that you are Black and they are White. It’s not that they do it on purpose, but it’s just that sometimes make certain comments that can seem annoying or even inappropriate. Making these comments cannot only ruin the date, but turn you off dating White men altogether. Not sure what I mean? Well, here is a list of the most annoying things that White men sometimes say on dates.
Growing up in Northern Kentucky, I got used to being the only Black kid in most of my classes. In high school, there were other Black students, but none of them in my close-knit drama and speech class circles. Because of this, I have dated quite a few White guys, and while there are similarities when dating any man, there are still some small cultural quirks that never go unnoticed when you’re with a White dude. LIke these nine things, for instance.
1. They will never understand the hair thing. It might start with an innocent “did you get a haircut” right after you wash your hair and there is shrinkage–but it does not end…EVER…after that. From moisturizing, to protecting with a satin cap, there is always a new and interesting thing for your guy to discover. Trust me, while it gets easier to explain, it doesn’t ever stop needing to be explained.
2. They don’t want to say the N-word, but they do want to talk about why some people do. Though I date smart enough humans to not ever be asked to be the voice of my entire race, I still get asked how I feel about rappers using the N-word, and who has access to it. This conversation doesn’t have to be uncomfortable if you’re certain of your stance, but if you waiver, they will be forever confused and your weighing-in on the subject can save them from physical harm and embarrassment in the future.
3. They will always be embarrassed about fried chicken. Every damn body loves fried chicken, but now he’s far too aware of the stereotypes associated and will be torn about it every time you pass a KFC.
4. They need help knowing what to tell their friends. As much as we live in a post-racial society <#sarcasm<, their friends may not be as enlightened as they are. Their friends want to know what the differences are, even when none are all that apparent. Give him some ammo. If he says the wrong thing, and you catch wind of it, he knows that’s his ass. Don’t be afraid to give him a script.
5. He’s just as scared to meet your family. While you might be dreading meeting older family members due to 50+ years of internalized racism, he just as much fears that your family wants to retaliate for having to endure ignorance while they were coming up. You will both help each other through this. Talk to your family, and if they don’t want to meet him, sit with that. Figure out what’s important to you. You shouldn’t not see a man just because your family has prejudices, and the same goes for his family.
Read on for more tips when dating a white man at Essence.com
Stubbornness, immaturity, constant arguing, jealousy— they’re all signs of a teenage love. Insert a black girl from Brooklyn and white guy from New Jersey, and you’ve got a young interracial couple struggling to find balance in a society still far from being colorblind.
Growing up in a conventional two parent household in Westwood, New Jersey, Paul, 19, describes his life as stereotypical. His family is upper middle class; he drives a Mercedes-Benz, having only had one girlfriend before his current relationship, often the girls he’s been attracted to he refers to as “stuck-up.”
He believes the biggest obstacle he and his girlfriend, Corrine, 20, face in their relationship of a couple of months is a difference in their upbringings, not race.
“It’s not so much a black [or] white thing, but that we’re from different areas. She’s from an urban area and I’m from a suburban area,” he says, with his arm resting on the couch behind Corrine. The three of us sat in his spaciously furnished living room of the Queens house he rents with nine other guys. A black curtain hanging from the doorway, separating us from the den area one of his housemates turned into bedroom.
Starting out from an upper middle class family in East Flatbush Brooklyn, Corrine briefly dated multiple guys from different ethnicities and cultures— from a dope boy to a future Olympian— she’s interacted with most.
A month after their first encounter in the car of a mutual friend, the two often ran into each other in the athletic study hall of St. John’s University. They quickly entered a relationship, after spending hours a day together doing school work, both not knowing much about the other. She has only had one relationship prior to meeting Paul. Since then, they have constantly clashed over race and culturally sensitive issues. Corrine says she has had to inform him that comments he has made often offended her.
“[He would say] I’ll act ‘ethnic’ or I’ll act ‘black’ or I’ll act like I’m from Brooklyn. Oh, this is my favorite one— ‘you’re acting like a ghetto black girl from Brooklyn,’” she sarcastically says. “It used to make me so mad, until one day I finally had to let him know, he can’t say things like that because it sounds offensive coming from [him].”
Paul interrupted her, “Coming from me? So what if it came from a black a person?”
“It’s still offensive,” she says.
Paul believes such is an example of being from different areas, saying that one night after a Chinese restaurant messed up Corrine’s order; she called the place demanding the rest of her food after failing to soothe her anger.
According to the National Healthy Resource Center, interracial relationships are most common among the middle class, among those with higher education. College increases individuals exposure to other races/ethnicities and the idea of intermarriages.
Unlike Corrine who has been attracted to guys of different ethnicities. Paul didn’t develop an attraction for black women until college. She often worries about being too ethnic, debating one night while dressing if she should get braids because Paul doesn’t like them.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Yesterday we unveiled our new series “I Always Wanted To Ask,” which garnered a lot of mixed reviews. Most people stopped dead in their tracks at the thought of being questioned about being jealous of a white woman but there was a lot of dialogue you missed between Madame Noire and the ladies of The Frisky.
Check out the extended cut of episode 1 in which we talk about interracial dating from the perspective of those who’ve actually had that experience. Watch as we delve into everything from assumed stank eyes, exoticism, and sexual myths about not just Black and White women, but also Black and White men. Enjoy!
KEEP THE DISCUSSION GOING WITH MORE EPISODES OF I ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH!
On Friday, xoJane, the irreverent women’s blog founded by Jane Pratt, posted the latest in its “It Happened to Me” series, first-person confessionals on topics that are sometimes whimsical (“My Toilet Exploded. Again.”), sometimes dark (“This is the First Time I’ve Written About My Rape, and I’m Doing it For You, Todd Akin”), sometimes awkward (“I Tried to Have Sex With My Gay Best Friend”), but nearly always shocking. Shock is what xoJane does best — it is, after all, the publication whose former beauty editor, Cat Marnell, wrote an essay about using Plan B as her preferred form of contraception, and posted regularly about her spiraling drug addiction until the site fired her for refusing rehab.
Shock draws attention. Shock generates pageviews. And this installment, by freelance writer Jenny An, seems poised to blow all of its predecessors out of the water. It’s been tweeted and Facebooked thousands of times and is now the most commented-on “It Happened to Me” story ever. It may yet end up as the most discussed piece in xoJane history; the editors are savvy — they’ve since given the story prime positioning as the main feature on the site’s home page. Which seems odd, given that the story is seemingly about as insider-y an inside-baseball piece as you might possibly imagine: Titled “I’m an Asian Woman and I Refuse to Date an Asian Man,” it’s an extended and somewhat bizarre diatribe in which An outlines the reasons why she finds dating someone of her own race to be anathema, and chooses to date white men instead.
“It has nothing to do with skin color,” the subtitle says. “It has everything to do with patriarchy.” An then goes on to write that she’s “one of those [Asian girls] that date lots and lots of (mostly, but not always) white guys. Why? It’s simple: I’m a racist.”
Now, to proudly out yourself as a “racist” in the second line of a first-person confessional takes a nearly terminal excess of chutzpah, blissful ignorance or both. It also serves as a smoking gun that something was up in the piece’s narrative — that maybe it shouldn’t be taken entirely at face value. Especially when An goes on to state bluntly that her “pale, white-bread boyfriend jokes that I’m one of the whitest people he’s ever met”; that “Dating white men means acceptance into American culture. White culture”; that she’s “drinking the same Kool-Aid as everyone else [of] white supremacy. The idea that white is still tops, SAT scores, corporate jobs and fancy degrees be damned” — all while simultaneously acknowledging that her “thinking is Fawked up.”
For me at least, it triggered the same instinctive reaction I had when I first encountered the now-infamous Wall Street Journal book excerpt, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” by Yale law professor and mother of two Amy Chua, now better known by the sobriquet Tiger Mom: These are ideas and phrases that have been consciously engineered and carefully chosen to generate maximum backlash.
Which is why, when I posted An’s piece to my Facebook circle for comment, I did so with the following message: “Oh, boy. Girlfriend is so totally trolling. But…thoughts? And by thoughts, I mean thoughts that aren’t a long string of expletives. Thank you.”
Trolling is the online term for — we’ll let Wikipedia chime in here — posting “inflammatory, extraneous or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.”
Trolling is often done merely to taunt or prank (especially as a kind of hazing to newcomers to an online community). With the rise of the clicks-for-cash business model in digital media, however, trolls have found a new place in the Internet ecosystem: As highly effective breadwinners for the sites in which they nest.
Though many try to pretend that we live in a colorblind society; for many people of color, racism is a very real issue. Considering we speak to an audience of black women everyday, we thought we’d ask them to share their racist, ridiculous and hurtful experiences with us. Here’s what they had to say.
Artemis: I was 18 in Zurich, learning to speak German. A guy walks up to me with this sneering smile and said, while touching my hair:
“du bist einen schwarzen schlampe.. ja?”
I understood up until the “schlampe” because I had had no reason to know what that meant until then… when I said I didn’t understand it, he just laughed and muttered it again, then got off the tram.
I asked my uncle (who’s white, he married my mom’s sister) what it meant, and watched him get angrier than I’d ever seen him… and told me to punch anyone who ever did it again in the face and get to his office asap.
MN: Did you ever find out what it meant?
Artemis: “You’re a black Slore? yes?” … My uncle told me … Didn’t hurt, but I was pretty pissed off… this guy was nothing like what “tv” in the islands portrayed racists to look like, he looked “normal,” not a monster that will try to rape you. Heck he didn’t even look like he could take me in a fight… meh… I got over it quickly.
Here at Madame Noire we talk a lot about interracial dating. In one of our most popular (and most controversial) articles of all time, our writer listed reasons why black women should look to our fairer skinned brothers when it comes to dating options. We’ve done very popular slideshows about the white men in Hollywood who have a sista on their arm. We’re about keeping our options open when it comes to dating and marriage. That being said, please don’t look to the white man to save you from your brothas.
Yeah, I said it…because it had to be said.
As an editor on this site, it’s so frustrating to see black woman after black woman claim that she’s “done” with black men; that she’ll just go out and get herself a white man, as if they sell them at your local corner store. If you want to date a white man, by all means go right ahead but make sure you’re “swirling” for the right reasons.
It seems that some black women have forgotten that sickening, rejected feeling we get when we hear a wayward brotha talk about how he’s “upgraded” to white women because black women have too much attitude, are nothing but gold diggers and welfare queens. How are these hurtful stereotypes any different from black women saying black men are all cheaters, incarcerated or don’t take care of their children? It isn’t. Just like those stereotypes [hopefully] don’t apply to you, neither do these stereotypes apply to all black men.
I realize, some of us have been so scarred, so emotionally (and sometimes physically) battered by a black man or two, that we can’t recognize and appreciate the good brothas there still are in this world. If you want to cross the color spectrum, more power to you; but assuming that all of your male problems will disappear right along with the melanin, is just ridiculous. Any sane person, whether they’ve dated interracially or not, will tell you that people are people, men are men. Some are shady and some are sweet.
Furthermore, resolving to be with a white man by any means necessary might not be as easy as you think. Just like there are some black women who are not physically attracted to white men, there are some white men who are not physically attracted to black women. You heard John Mayer. Please believe, he’s not the only one who shares such sentiments.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to discourage or dissuade you from dating interracially; but stepping into the game believing that every white man is going to want you because you’re black, is simply unrealistic.
If and when you do find a white man to love you, how do you think he’ll feel knowing that you chose him and his color as a last resort? Just like we don’t want to be someone’s chocolate fantasy, I’m sure white men don’t want to be the milk in your coffee. There’s so much more to people than skin tone and there’s so much more to a successful relationship than the union of two different races. Whatever man you find, whether he’s black, white or leopard print, you better make sure the two of you have more in common than your obsession with each other’s hue.
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It’s not uncommon to hear a lot of inappropriate conversations on public transportation, but when Jim Hardie, a white, eight-year Marine and Iraq war veteran, heard black men throwing around the n-word and the b-word on a bus in Seattle last week, he said he couldn’t tolerate it.
He told King 5 that he said to the young men:
“Given the nature of what we’ve gone through with the word n***** it’s not appropriate to loosely throw that word around or refer to white women as white b***** and I’d appreciate if they stopped that.”
But that confrontation didn’t go over so well. Camera footage shows the three guys first began arguing with Hardie, then hitting him before jumping off of the bus. Although the altercation was three against one, Hardie came out uninjured.
It’s interesting that Hardie said he stood up to the men to protect the other passengers on the bus. Despite the tussle, he said he would do it all over again to stand up for what he believed in. I wonder if his words had any effect on the young men. Judging by their reaction it would seem the answer is no.
What do you think about Jim Hardie confronting the men? Was it the right thing to do?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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