Before my brothers and sisters with white partners (I’m one of them too -shook, I know-) try to come for me
This is more to highlight how I believe the prioritization of whiteness, Eurocentric beauty standards, and anti black behaviors and imagery, effected my preferences. Also how incredibly important it is to really examine your own preferences and biases to identify how we may be internalizing a lot of the things we’ve been exposed to.
Whatchu Talking About Tho…
So I’ve gotten into the habit of asking a lot of my POC (specifically, black people) friends who tend to date white people, if they ever feel badly because of their preference. Because I caught and catch myself prioritizing whiteness. However the answer among the yet developing “woke” community, is, no, but they informed me that it took a bit of work checking themselves and constantly questioning their motives when perusing white partners.
Oh, Word? Thanks Oprah….
For real, y’all, the work is to figure out whether or not you’re out here literally dodging experiences with Black People or are all your white boo thangs just a coincidence/product of circumstance and surroundings.
Basically we can’t be black and out here not dating because we have an inherent issue with black folks. Whether it’s because of appearance, attractiveness, personality, or interests. It doesn’t matter, they’re all shitty reasons because they come from shitty places.
Which Place is that, Iyanla??….
I’m glad you asked, fam, it comes from an internalized, anti black one. And that’s just a more articulate way of saying that we’re products of an extremely white washed world. And it manifests differently in all of us because we have different levels of exposure to that reality. And obviously, I believe, because I have experienced it as well, that how you respond to that is important as fuck.
Being black and indulging in stereotypes, especially negative ones, about black people is dangerous. And more dangerous still because, like, what makes you think your the exception or better than whatever rule it is you believe about black people. You black like us.
A great example of what I mean is, when a black person doesn’t date black person because they think black people are inherently unattractive.
First of all, 😒. Secondly, if you don’t realize that the whole reason you’re even of that opinion in the first place, is because of white supremacy and Eurocentric beauty being the standard of the literal, entire world, it’s time for us to talk, boo.
It’s nearly impossible not to internalize that fuckery. And when we internalize that shit, we begin to inherently devalue experiences and relationships with people who look like us.
Matt, Mind Your God Damn Business
This is real, fam. And it affects a lot of people. We can’t be out here trying to explain to white people that while having racial preferences doesn’t inherently make you a racist; it does mean that your preferences have been shaped by a racist society that favors and normalizes whiteness, othering everyone else. Only to turn around and not realizing that we’re subconsciously subscribing to the same ideas because we’ve been exposed to it too.
I Ain’t Special
Fam, I say all this because I was doing the same for a solid majority of the time I’ve been alive. I literally used to exclaim that I didn’t date black guys because “they’re always on the DL” because I subconsciously thought that would better my chances with white men. And the biggest realization? Realizing that the internalization of that nonsense was so real, I low key believed that shit.
And as I’ve learned more about the constructs of American society with it’s relationship to racism. I realized how wild it is that I believed a stereotype about black people that was invented by white people.
Bring it on Home
Again, I can’t stress enough that as black people, we can literally date whoever we want. Or not date whoever we want. But we for damn sure need to make sure we’re not discarding other black folks because they’re black. It still feels wild even typing that. So imagine how crazy it is living it. Love yourselves fam. Black people are poppin’.