Today’s Non-News: Man Won’t Date Black Women

A story about a Texas man's tacky expression of his preferences for marriage is a reminder, not a scandal. 

Larry Busby and Halle Berry (YouTube)
Larry Busby and Halle Berry (YouTube)

(The Root) — A story about a Texas man who wants to marry anyone but a black woman is causing a bit of a buzz today. It centers on Austin wedding photographer Larry Busby’s poorly written expression of that position on his website. His words are blunt, bordering on hateful.

I will not date a Black girl. I don’t care if she looks like Halle Berry, I will not ever date a Black girl. However, I will date any other race, Hispanic, Mexican, Spanish, Russian, Italian, French, European, White, whatever, anything except Black.

Most of all, they reinforce the values of a society that privileges whiteness, followed by anything close to whiteness, followed by blackness.

So naturally the story has triggered hurt feelings and frustration — even anger — because we all know that it just absolutely sucks to be judged and dismissed because of your race or any other characteristic you can’t control.

But despite the attention that the “Texas Man Seeks Wife, but Not a Black Wife” story is getting, I’d argue that the reaction is out of proportion.

Would it have been nicer if he’d stated only what he did want and just didn’t mention what he didn’t? Yes. Would it have been more polite if he simply didn’t respond to black women, or said he didn’t find himself attracted to them but wished them the best of luck? Sure. But it would have amounted to the same thing.

The headlines could easily read, just as accurately, “Man Has Racial Preferences for Dating, Joins Majority of Americans.”

That’s not to say I don’t think Busby is racist. His explicit rejection of the infamous Halle Berry exception suggests it’s not just that he’s been socialized to think that black woman can’t be conventionally attractive. It’s that no matter how she looks (and black women look a lot of different ways), and even if she’s been deemed one of the most beautiful woman in the world, he doesn’t want her because of the box she checks on the census and his biases against that box.

Which is dumb.