Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In My 20s Tuesday!!

In My 20s Tuesday is all about things that should matter (maybe) to someone in their 20s. It's about life as we head into real adulthood. It's about laying the groudwork for a life: starting a career, setting up a home, starting a life with someone, etc. It's about things that will affect our lives down the road: politics, current events, pop culture, etc. Well, it's not about all those things at once (that'd be near impossible, lol). But hopefully it will reach someone in their 20s who's looking for someone to feel them and what they're going through. Here goes!

This post is about the moment I decided I wasn't going to be a typical black woman and get offended and upset at the sight/idea of an inter-racial couple, specifically a black man with a white woman.
I think this is important because the generations are supposed to get better. The social differences that made the races so divided when my parents were my age (the mid 70s) should improve with time, I think. And this was inspired because I just spent a few hours reading the entire archive of snafu's blog, and that girl certainly has a love for my brothas.
Possibly-too-much-honesty-warning!! I had a conversation once with the Ex about how inter-racial dating made me sick to my stomach. His last girlfriend before me was white. And the thought of them together literally made me sick to my stomach. I actually told him this, a sign that we were far too comfortable being completely honest with each other. I guess that was a good thing, whatever. I also had a reaction like that while out with Light (another ex who I've mentioned before on my other blog) to a black man and white woman kissing. I really didn't see any problem with my reaction, I was just one of tons of American black women who felt that way. I wasn't particularly upset about it personally because I didn't specifically know any brothas dating a white woman who I wanted for myself, so I never even though to say they were "taking our men from us".
But, the year I started medical school this all changed. I started down in Urbana-Champaign (U of I has a weird process for campuses for med school), the apparent Illinois capital of inter-racial relationships. They were everywhere! I saw all types of combinations of inter-racial couples with blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asians. And they were all ages, teenagers all the way to old as hell. I was confronted with the reason for my bias. It was because I had subconsciously picked up on an explanation for black men's desires to date white women.
This book I love that I can't remember the name of but dealth with race relations in post-riot L.A. One of the black men in the book desired to date black women because of rejection he felt by black women all his life because they found him too dark skinned and ugly throughout his youth. That plus he felt like he was making up for lost time of equality as an African-American male. I think that notion disgusted me more than seeing any inter-racial couple ever could. But I realized that was a fictional character in a book, and hopefully (and likely) not even a small portion of black men who consistently dated white women.
And when confronted with the notion that I wasn't against all inter-racial couples, I felt like a hypocritical asshole. And then I saw this family in Wal-Mart. They were adorable. They seemed like such a loving, happy family. I had such an emotional reaction to them, wishing for my future and the family I wanted to have. Then I noticed something. It was a white woman with her black husband, and three tiny mixed race children. That was an afterthought. "An afterthought!" I felt triumphant that I had inadvertently conquered this ridiculous bigoted notion I was feeling. I had stopped having a physical reaction to couples. I was just able to see them as regular people who had no effect on my life or my stomach.
I have to agree with snafu that there is something so visually appealing about the contrast of skin close together. I'm sort of a mid tone-skinned black woman. My skin looks dark next to a white person or light-skinned black person. But I look lighter when next to a dark-skinned black person. This would explain why I like my white men to look very white, not tan at all (and hopefully with blonde hair and blue/green eyes. And I like my black men to be dark skinned (and hopefully with full lips and soulful eyes).
But the point is that I took a step away from the ignorant inclinations of many black women before me. If this starts spreading, perhaps we can take a step forward in race relations in this country that my parents never dreamed of (because they weren't counting their contribution to it, but I digress). And in times like these, where Arizona is losing it's damn mind, it's good to take steps forward, instead of backwards.

UPDATE: I've seen two other really good posts about what's going on in AZ here and here. And not just the posts, the comments.

4 New Hypotheses:

I'm really glad I read your post all the way through, because in the beginning, I was really nervous. I spent all this time loving up on your other posts and then the beginning of this one started and I was like...oh no, this isn't going to end well. But it did. Thank you for making me continue to love you. :)


Oh My God, I'm glad you feel that way. I was really nervous about posting this because it may be a little too much honesty, you know?

But I'm actually glad I did because it fulfills the purpose of In My 20s Tuesday. If more people were honest with themselves and sussed out their biases and fixed them, this world would soon be a better place.


You can't tell by looking at me (until you really look at my facial structure) but I am the product of mixed race. My father was a Pacific Islander from Guam and my mother is a typical (well, in racial construct at any rate) Midwesterner of German/Irish descent. Luckily, I grew up in a colorblind household. I don't have an racial dating issues even though the majority of women I have dated are white. Beautiful is beautiful and skin tone makes very little if any difference to me.
What gets me is when I see a stunning woman or man for that matter, dating some neanderthal. It's not that I have an issue with the dating part. What gets me is the how she or he ended up with the other.It's a matter of curiosity. I chalk it up to... eh, must be love.


I hear you on the color blind thing. That is something I hope my children can be. It always seems to be a second generation gift. The first generation makes a conscious decision to be colorblind, so the second can may an unconscious decision.

Well, I can't consciously turn off my love of dark skin, It's just so sexy, the way it seems to reflect light, but I digress.

Lol, a neanderthal? I would love to hear what constitutes a neanderthal. That part of your comment makes me think of the movie Hitch. I've dated people that others didn't find attractive enough, but all I need is to be really attracted to a person, I don't need them to be generally attractive.

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