This is a repost – the comment thread of the original post has grown too large for its own good. I still agree with what I wrote:
I have written many posts about relationships between black women and white men in America. It used to be a big topic on this blog. Of all the different things I have written about, it was the first to catch fire and get over 300 comments. At one point it seemed like half my commenters were in such relationships. My views have changed over time, so there is some confusion about where I stand.
My current views: Here is my current thinking. If it is different than something I said in an earlier post, that just means my opinion has changed:
- There is nothing wrong with such relationships, but black women can go into them for the wrong reasons, like internalized racism. The Black Women’s Empowerment movement (BWE), for example, presents white men as saving black women from black men. That is internalized racism straight-up, all the way.
- Black women do not secretly desire white men. Not any more than I secretly desire white women. Some of them might, of course, but probably not most of them. I do not remember ever saying otherwise. There is nothing to support the idea of a common secret desire other than a white racist worldview or black male insecurity. Other than the BWE sorts, I do not hear black women going on and on about how wonderful white men are. Not even close. Even those who are in such relationships seem more defensive than anything else.
- Why there are not many black women with white men in America: because most black women do not want to be with white men. It is women who do the choosing, especially when it comes to race and particularly since most men are dogs. Further, as shown in studies on Chinese American women, most women marry men like those they grew up among. Most black women grow up in black neighbourhoods, so based just on that alone you would expect most black women to be with black men.
- Racialized beauty standards. I have written about this at length. Not just because American beauty standards are at odds with my own, but because it is a part of White American racism, a big subject on this blog. But, yes, in writing about it, black women can come off seeming like they are in a meat market and found wanting, which is demeaning, I agree. I do talk about white men not seeming to want black women, but I do that not to put down black women, but rather to point out the racism of white men. Because black women are, first and foremost, women it seems strange to me for so many white men to seem like they feel no attraction for them – unless, of course, you assume they are looking at the world through a racist lens.
Thanks (I think) to commenter Peanut for suggesting this post.
– Abagond, 2013.