I'm Dating a White Girl. Will Sisters Be Mad?
Ask Demetria: Black women may not be as angry about interracial hookups as you might think.
I've been devoted to dating black women my entire life. However, recently I met a dazzling Italian-Croatian woman with beauty, sex appeal, brains -- the whole nine yards. We hit it off majorly. Now I'm concerned about the backlash from sisters. Should I be? --N.J.
I'll tell you the same thing I tell single black women who are looking for love and happen to find it, or something like it, with someone of another color: Congratulations! It seems you've stumbled upon someone who makes you happy. Surely, you've been dating long enough to know that meeting a person who is "dazzling" is a rare thing. Cherish the feeling and enjoy the moments.
The hype about the backlash among black women to black men dating nonblack women is greatly exaggerated. There's a prevailing notion that if black women spot a "brother" with a nonblack mate, they will fly into some sort of seething rage like Angela Bassett from Waiting to Exhale.
In reality, for those who actually care, the reaction is more like the "wince" that Jill Scott wrote about (and received so much mainstream backlash for) in the April 2010 issue of Essence. Scott wrote, "Our minds do understand that people of all races find genuine love in many places. We dig that the world is full of amazing options. But underneath, there is a bite, no matter the ointment, that has yet to stop burning." That "bite" isn't really about you or your mate but, rather, about all of the things that you two unfairly represent for some people.
With everyone and his mother yelling statistics about the number of black women who don't or won't get married, and the prevailing (and inaccurate) idea that black men of substance will "leave your ass for a white girl," as Kanye West popularly put it, there will be some -- again, some -- black women who won't be happy about your decision.
When it comes to black men, there are some black women who have the "devotion" that you spoke of and don't believe in interracial dating for anyone, including themselves. They tend to feel an ownership of black men because of a shared complexion and struggle against racism, and they expect black men to feel the same.
To those women, it just won't seem fair or right that their beds (or that of a "good black woman" they know who is single and looking) are going cold while you occupy yours with someone not black. When you're out with your lady, yes, in 2012, you may get a side-eye or the occasional negative comment, loud enough to be heard by you and her, about your interracial relationship.