The Trouble With Dating Bad Boys

May 3, 2013  |  


From Essence

I can’t imagine, even in this hysteria over the scanty supply of single Black men, that any sister’s best bet for a relationship would be with a dude in prison. I just can’t. Barring him being a hubby or a serious boyfriend prior to his incarceration, there is nothing—not his golden-throated promises, not a miraculous behavioral transformation, not even his physical Idris Elba-esque magnificence—that could make sense of picking up a boo thang serving hard time in the pen.

I’m open to dating someone who’s gotten his act together post-release (and I’m not talking about two weeks after he hits the outside, either), but an inside man? No thanks. That’s just me, though. Because last week, news was electric with stories about Tavon White, the gang leader in a Baltimore jail who had 13 female corrections officers smuggling drugs, cell phones and other contraband in so that he and his cronies could continue to run their enterprise out in the liberated part of the world.

This guy was behind bars pulling in—according to his own braggadocio—$16,000 in a slow month. That’s an insult and a bummer. But the real kicker is that, detained and all, homeboy fathered five children with four of those women. (Yeah, somebody double dipped.) He’s been locked up since 2009. For attempted murder. And four women in positions of professional authority were so swayed by whatever the heck they were so swayed by that they risked their health, safety, careers and reputations—because their names are sure ‘nuff blasted all over the internet—to not only participate in his criminal underdealings but have babies by him.

Two of them even got tattoos of the man’s name, one on her neck. Lord Jesus, there’s a fire. I wring my hands in despair.

At this point, we could argue about better prison controls, the corruption of the corrections system, the misappropriation that allowed an inmate to operate a full-blown criminal enterprise from the discomforts of his danky little cell. But I want to know what kind of psychological superiority this man is outfitted with to make him able to pluck out women just vulnerable enough to go along with the go along and become his willing assistants.


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