There’s always been a double standard when it comes to the subject of interracial dating among Black men and women. While Black men are habitually challenged to be more woke regarding their dating choices and labeled as being in the sunken place when it comes to their affinity for white women, rarely is the same awareness asked of Black women who are involved with white men. There’s a myriad of reasons why that’s so, but one Black female writer is coming clean about how increasingly difficult it’s become for her to continue to date white men — which she’s done for most of her adult life — now that Donald Trump is our Commander-in-Chief.
In a piece for The Cut, Collier Meyerson writes:
“For most of my adult life, I’ve dated white guys. I spent my childhood surrounded by black and brown kids, but when I got to high school, suddenly everyone around me was white. Like most of the girls in my class, I wanted attention from the boys. But while they chased after blondes and brunettes, I was ignored. And on those rare occasions a white boy kissed me in the copy-machine room at our high school, or when a white boy told me over the phone he had a crush on me, the acknowledgement made me feel chosen. It was addictive. The white boys I grew up with were cool: They rode their skateboards on private property. They smoked weed in their parents’ houses with abandon. I envied and desired their freedom. If they wanted me, I thought, it was because I seemed free like them. Cool like them. At 18, I was fixated on being attractive to them. Since college I’ve had five boyfriends, and all of them have been white. And those affinity moments on the train? They’re with white guys too.
“White men have preoccupied me my whole life, from the schoolyard to the subway, but these days I’m seeing them differently. They’re no longer the object of my affection, a mirror for my self-worth, or an affirmation of my beauty. Right now, they seem altogether alien.”
Meyerson goes on to talk about the loneliness she felt the night Trump was elected and the desire she felt to be comforted by someone who could fully understand her emotional state. And it seems in the months following the election, that desire hasn’t dissipated, with the writer going on to talk about her most recent dates with white men being interrupted by news alerts “telling me Donald Trump is attempting to curtail, or has just succeeded in curtailing, the rights of marginalized people in America” — a subject she feels she can’t broach with her potential suitors. “Even if I did want to talk about how I feel, I’m not sure I’d be able to articulate it, especially to someone with such a different frame of reference from my own, ” she writes. “In those moments, I’ve wished to be sitting in front of someone who could relate. Despite knowing I can feel intimacy with white guys, right now what divides us feels like a chasm.”
Of course, the issues Trump’s administration have raised are not the first time Meyerson has had to tackle the subject of race with one of her white beaus, but, as she explains of her feelings on election night, “I felt overwhelmed at the possibility” of having to hold up a mirror to them every time she has to deal with a circumstance of her Blackness they didn’t understand.
“Communication is necessary for any healthy relationship, and in an interracial relationship it’s paramount. Every white man I’ve dated has, sometimes consciously and sometimes not, asked me to explain to them some aspect of blackness. ‘Can I say the N-word if I’m singing along to a song?’ ‘How do I be a better gentrifier?’ (I don’t know dude, I ask myself the same question every goddamn day.) I know that I shouldn’t feel compelled to always speak for my race, but I can’t expect a white boyfriend to stop asking some of those questions if we’re to come to a mutual understanding. Lately, though, I just don’t feel like answering them.”
Relaying an experiencing catching the eye of a Black man on the train platform and exchanging an understood “Black nod” of acknowledgment, Meyerson says, “What I’m craving right now from a partner — more than feeling beautiful, more than anything — is a ‘Black nod’ version of a relationship.”
Can you relate?
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