So Earnest Baker wrote an article on Gawker about interracial dating last week and proceeded to put his foot all the way in his mouth. See that’s the real reality of dating white women when you’re black: often times you’re going to end up putting your foot in your mouth.
The article started out in the right place. He explained why he found himself dating white women and why he continued throughout his youth even when other options were available. And I think there’s a good point here, people shouldn’t force themselves to date anyone. That’s not what we want to do. The other day I heard a woman say she struggles to find Jewish men on dating sites and doesn’t prefer JDate because those are more traditional Jewish men than she’s used to dating. I felt a certain way about this article because I thought to myself, “Did she really just say she only dates Jewish men? Is there something wrong with everyone else? What gives her the right?” The truth is, yes, she would prefer to only date Jewish men.And no there isn’t anything wrong with everyone else. It’s a preference she’s entitled to have.
The problem Ernest encounters is later in his article he starts to rationalize his preference in relation to other women. He make statements that are offensive in nature and go against the idea that love isn’t built on how someone looks, the color of their skin, their hair color or texture, or anything of that nature. Love is built on the feelings you build with someone on the inside, yours and theirs.
The real reality of conversations about dating white women as a black man is the conversation should be about why you love your woman, not why you don’t love the women you aren’t with. It’s not about why you feel Black women don’t find you attractive. It’s not their fault. The only person responsible for who you date is who you met, fell in love with, and choose to explore companionship with.
Let me tell you another thing about the article that’s troubling, it’s not necessary. I can tell you that the majority of Black women do not care who you date. The overwhelming majority are, frankly, over it. Will you encounter people who inquire why you’re with a white woman instead of a black woman? Yes, but you don’t have to engage in that conversation. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your love life. I can tell you from personal experience, there’s no value in a conversation with someone you are not dating about who you are dating. None.
Another nail in the coffin that was Ernest’s expose was his decision to pick at scabs and wounds that haven’t fully healed. Trust me, America does not need a reminder of O.J. Simpson’s relationship with Nicole Brown. As we celebrated a Black man not being screwed over by the judicial process, we neglected the timing of the relationship and what it meant for interracial dating. It pushed us as a society in ways that we might not have been ready. For as many people who didn’t want a man who was “innocent until priven guilty” to go to prison. I wouldn’t be surprised if some women were thinking, “I really don’t care for the most part because O.J. shouldn’t have been with a white woman.” Whether you feel they have a point or not, it’s just not a wound worth picking at.
Lastly, the point the writer makes about not having to care what people have to say or feel about his relationship is a little too profane. It’s always important to consider someone’s feelings, even when we don’t think they are validated. Ernest neglects the damage that’s been done over the years. There are Black women who are dealing with residual issues from Black men who have chosen to date outside of their race for the wrong reasons. Rather than not giving a f*** about their opinion, the point can be made that you chose to date who you date for the person they are on the inside, not the color of her skin.
Personally, I don’t have any issue with people who date outside their race or people who think that they would only work well with someone inside their race. That’s their personal choice. I do, however, think it’s important people do things for the right reasons. Your relationship is your relationship and you really don’t have to explain that to anyone. If you want to show someone the real reality of dating white women when you’re a black man, let it show in the love and admiration that you have for the woman you are dating. Not some explanation of why you ended up dating white women instead of black women.