People feel strongly about the relationship between Jeannie Mai and rapper Jeezy. Either folks appreciate the love the two have for one another or they feel the twinge of pain associated with Black men dating non-Black women—often publicly showering them with more love, attention and thought than the Black women they’ve dated in the past.
Not to mention, folks will never let Jeannie Mai live down her thoughts on Black men—in which she said:
“I love Black guys. For me, dark meat on the side; white keeps me mean and lean. That’s why I married white. That’s what I like.”
Later, when her co-hosts expressed their confusion over the comments, Mai explained,
“What I meant is like, I used to date Black men. I think they’re attractive. But what I decided to stick to because it just kept me happiest is my man Freddy, who just happens to be white.”
Still, the explanation is not always quoted. Dark meat is much more salacious. Mai has apologized for the comments since then, explaining how it was a real “foot in mouth moment,” captured on national television.
But you know how the internet is and she would be far from the first non-Black woman to express a solely sexual attraction to Black men.
So that’s the narrative.
Personally, I believed Jeannie’s explanation. Not to say that means her attraction to Black men is void of fetishization. Sometimes we are conditioned in ways we don’t understand. Still, I believe she loves him. She speaks highly of him, in all facets of his personality—from the books he reads, his romantic gestures, and her desire to submit to him as the head of their household.
If there is an example of one party fetishizing the other, I’d point the finger more directly at Jeezy.
In his recently released single, “Back,” Jeezy gives Jeannie Mai a bit of a shout out.
“Damn, bald head, Pac sh*t
Plus my main thing like to eat with chopsticks (Damn)”
That certainly is a simplification. Not to mention, it’s not the only time Jeezy has referenced Asian culture in stereotypical terms. In his 2008 song, “Amazin,” he rapped,
“Cause b*tch I’m amazin’
Look what I’m blazin’
Eyes so low
Yea I look like an Asian.”
Personally, if I were marrying a man outside of my race, I wouldn’t want to be referenced by my traditionally Black physical features or my eating habits. But I can’t imagine that Jeannie Mai didn’t hear the lyrics before they were released. And perhaps she just didn’t have a problem with them.
Knowing what we know about many Black men and their colorist preferences, I can see this as a Black man bragging about the fact that his woman is not Black—or foreign and exotic. And honestly, in the list of things he could say about Jeannie Mai, this is incredibly reductive.
But in reality, I only have so much for this. It’s not my battle to fight. Jeezy is far from the only Black man to celebrate non-Black women in stereotypical ways. And apparently, Jeannie doesn’t mind. At the very best, these two like to play like this when it comes to issues of race and it’s totally fine for the both of them. And at the very worst, the fetish is mutual.
Either way, as a Black woman—there are other things to which I can devote my attention. Still, this serves as an example of the reasons why Black women question Black men in interracial relationships. Is it love? Is it anti-Blackness? Is it the belief that non-Black women represent a status symbol? Those are questions we likely won’t be able to answer in this relationship or many others; but lyrics like this certainly don’t suggest otherwise.