Last week, rapper Eve made headlines after she shared that she and her husband, Max Cooper, a White man, were having some uncomfortable conversations in the midst of the uprising currently taking place in this country.
The comments seemed mild to me. But apparently, the rapper turned talk show host caught some flack. People felt that her remarks represented a level of ignorance or perhaps avoidance for both Eve and Max.
She clarified that this is not the first time she and Max have had difficult dialogue.
“We have had many conversations because I’ve been in this relationship for many years. When you enter an interracial relationship, there are conversations you must have — that’s just natural. So this is not the first one. I’ve been having some of the most difficult conversations because we are in one of the most difficult places in our nation, in our world, in this time, so that’s why I said that it was difficult.”
Actress Tika Sumpter, who is also in an interracial relationship, shared a bit of a different stance on people who are in interracial relationships during this historical moment.
In a tweet, Sumpter wrote, “Dear Black interracial couples with a significant other who is white (raises hand), we DO NOT need to protect them. I promise, they will be A. OK. They need to continue to fight for us. If they get offended when you talk about racists, you have a bigger problem on your hands.”
This is exactly it. And I’m happy to hear a Black woman say this.
People who are privileged enough to be born White in America, literally have an advantage from birth. The world has always operated in their favor. And the least they can do in this moment is feel uncomfortable or challenged as Black people fight for the rights and equality they have been denied for so long.
White people who are partnered with Black people—and especially those who have Black children, need to constantly be doing the work of unlearning, with and without the assistance of their Black partner and child. That’s love in action.
We saw this with Serena Williams’ husband, Alexis Ohanian. Ohanian announced that he was stepping down from his position as a board member for the company he co-founded, Reddit, in order for a Black person to replace him.
In an Instagram video, Ohanian said, “I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his Black daughter when she asks, ‘What did you do?’ So I have resigned as a member of the Reddit board. I’ve urged them to fill my seat with a Black candidate and I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the Black community, chiefly to curb racial hate. And I’m starting with a pledge of $1 million to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp. I believe stepping down can actually be an act of leadership for people in power right now. For everyone fighting to fix our broken nation, do not stop.”
Later, Alexis and Serena sat down to discuss his decision and the fact that this was not a decision he made with her urging. It was his idea. During their discussion, she said, “A lot of people might think I told you to do something, or I forced you —He doesn’t listen to me, ever.”
Love to see White partners looking for ways to support the people who look like the people they love. It’s only right.