Comedian Loni Love has been happily boo’d up with her boyfriend James Welsh since 2018. After their relationship went public, “The Real” host received a slew of backlash from haters around his race. Even though it’s been years, it appears the comments and anger aimed towards the 48-year-old and her blossoming romance have not died down.
Loni took to Twitter to express her shock and disappointment that Black women receive so much heat for dating white men, but Black men aren’t met with the same energy.
“Amazed at times at the folks concerned that I am dating a White male but for years Black males have dated White and “Exotic” women and no one questions it,” Loni tweeted,
While it’s not totally true that “no one questions” Black men dating white women (backlash targeting Michael B. Jordan, Taye Diggs and Odell Beckham, comes to mind), I would argue that Black women have learned to let it go because it’s become increasingly more common. According to research from The Pew Institute, “Black men are twice as likely as black women to have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity (24% vs. 12%).”
This phenomenon has been going on since the 80s, with “8% of recently married black men and 3% of their female counterparts were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity,” even back then. Interracial marriage, though still relatively uncommon despite public perception, has trended upward for the past few decades. So Black women have learned to adjust. We are constantly bombarded with images of Black men with non-Black women, so an image that used to elicit sadness or annoyance among Black women has been reduced to non-reaction or, at most, an eye roll over time. On the other hand, Black men aren’t as accustomed to seeing Black women with non-Black men, so the shock factor is still prevalent. Mix that shock in with the politics of patriarchy and misogynoir (and the idea that you are sleeping with Massa) and you have a cocktail for hate.
The vitriol aimed at Black women who date outside their race is most likely rooted in the sense of ownership and belonging placed on our bodies by Black men since the beginning of time. Since it’s still relatively rare for Black women to marry white men, those who dare to walk the unbeaten path are subjected to a range of emotions from other folks from shock to disdain. What’s disheartening about this feedback is that it often comes from men who weren’t checking for the woman prior to her inter-race relationship to begin with.
One Twitter user echoed this sentiment, commenting on Loni’s message saying, “I am invisible until I am on the arm of a white man, then Black men have a problem with it.”
With the rise of Black men choosing to date/partner with women outside of their race, it’s important that Black women keep their options open too. Our loyalty to Black men is commendable, but often to our own detriment, particularly when we don’t receive that same support back. Many Black men make it clear that their preferences are either non-Black women, or racially ambiguous Black women, so if you’re a woman who doesn’t match that aesthetic, it is okay to go where you are loved and appreciated. Black women deserved to be loved fully, unconditionally and within healthy contexts. If this love happens to come from a White man, so be it.
Get into more photos of the couple: