“I don’t date black girls”. Good to know, I think, as I close my eyes. So I can roll them without him knowing. No need to actually make this tipsy conversation outside of the bar any more awkward than it needs to be. After all, I know exactly what’s coming next, and considering I met this guy all of thirty minutes ago when he asked me for a light, and while we’ve politely chatted about the recent smoking room ban in bars and strip joints, we haven’t gotten to anything so deep and meaningful as a name exchange. Oh, yeah, and my boyfriend is just inside, which he’s well aware of. Since, just after part one of our 30 minute smoking-alarmist discussion, he asked me if I was dating the black guy, who just so happens to be the only black dude, and the only other black person, in the bar. And who also happens to be on the other side of the room from where I’d been standing with my boyfriend while carrying on some vapid conversation on music or some crap that I usually lose interest in after about 35 seconds. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the black dude is a complete stranger I hadn’t even noticed, let alone spoken a word to, on that night or any night previous?
My boyfriend, I point out to him, is the gorgeous Pakistani guy in the black sweater. And yet, even after identifying that my new boyfriend is a close acquaintance of his, I’m POSITIVE I know exactly which inappropriate sentences are about to flow out this dudes mouth.
“Yeah… I’ve only ever slept with white girls”.
Yeah. I guess I brought this upon myself… I should have mentioned thought to mention within our smoking ban conversation that, even when I’m single, I’m not interested in the sexual interests of random men I met five seconds ago. I’m especially not interested, in fact am completely perturbed, by the fact that you’re about to tell me….
“But, I mean… I think you’re really, unbelievably sexy. And I mean this as a compliment but, I would totally sleep with you. I mean, I’m actually really attracted to you. Honestly, I could see myself with you. I mean, like, WITH with you.” *inward groan*
Of course, at this point, I can never help myself. I always have to ask. I’m sorry, it’s the psychologist in me, really.
“Why? What makes me different from other black women you’ve met?”.
Now, depending on the person, I’m usually pretty positive I’m going to get one of a few answers… Or at least, one of a few underlying answers. I’m telling you, this guy thought he was coming to me with something new and original… In reality, I’ve heard this before, many more times than I’d be comfortable remembering.
- The first possible underlying factor is the fact that I have more classically Caucasian facial features: long straight nose, the long oval face, lips that are more mediumish. In fact, in the Facebook app where it gives you your celebrity lookalike, it matches me pretty reliably with Angelina Jolie. Funny because these features are more so from my carib-indian blood. But anyway,
- I also have a slim build, a smaller bum, little waist, and triple D’s. So basically, it’s the equivalent of getting all the white features they are attracted to, while still having the newness and excitement of the black skin tone.
- Speaking of skin tone, mine is in a “safe zone”, because I am lightskinned, so it wouldn’t be this overwhelmingly different shade to adjust to, in public with me they could pretend they were with a really tan white girl. In fact, some white girls tan darker than I am.
OK, so, those are the explanations as to what makes me the “chosen one” that I get that are… Iffy. But fine, I can kinda see where/why this is happening. But then I get some more, um, dubious answers. These doozies usually come from the ones who have actually had some form of deep conversation with me (people like to tell me their problems, and I love my amateur-psychologist role, as it comes in handy, especially to the bar folk who are trying to use a depressant to feel better about their lives). Usually, it is a debate/discussion that I find terribly interesting. Even insightful. And then they go ruin any chance of having a friendship with me by saying something like “you know how most black girls are. All ghetto and loud and annoying. But you’re different”. Or “They all have some weird accent or can’t speak a word of proper English. All that “gangsta” talk. I mean, what would we talk about, the latest issue of Essence Magazine? Eddie Murphy jokes? The Cosby’s”. They are cracking themselves up. I’m not finding it funny. How in comparison to regular black’s I am “so articulate”, or am “actually intelligent”, because apparently to be black is to naturally have a deficiency in intellectual capacity and/or capability. Or how that “weird kinky hair freaks them out”.
On what level is any of this supposed to be flattering? And what kind of self-hating, insecure person would I have to be to think this kind of dialogue would be anything but offensive, not only to me, but to every single black person I know, including my family? And really, does this kind of trash ever actually work? I am absolutely positive I am not some “special” super-breed of black person. I am pretty sure that while I may reflect an upbringing in the ‘burbs with parents and influential family members who valued intelligence and education, anything that makes someone inherently “black” does apply to me.
And although, as with most people of any race, I was raised to not act a fool in public if I can manage it, I have a wicked temper and a fiery tongue that has lanced many-an-idiot who has stumbled across my path….so, sorry, but I guess I’ve got that “black anger” thing going on all up inside me. Oh yeah, and that weird, kinky hair that freaks you out? My relaxer has been very recently touched up..give it another 4-6 weeks, and I can totally provide you with some of that weird kinky hair and we can do some exposure therapy to the freakshow hair so you can work through your irrational phobia! C’monnnnn, it’ll be fun! (Actually, now I’ve grown the perm out of my hair completely, and when straightened out it falls wayyyyyy down my back. But it’s coarse and kinky and a terrible pain in the arse to comb, especially with back and neck problems. Which is only one of the several reasons I am a Weave Queen. You really wanna be freaked out? Come meet my Weave. I call her Anna Banana! *offers Anna for petting purposes*).
People are complex, and individuals from all races have many facets to their personality and character. People walking around behaving as they normally do, on just-another-day do not generally make the headlines, and are not going to become the next viral success on YouTube or World Star Hip Hop. Humans have a tendency to remember and focus on negative things, and to overlook or easily forget the everyday ho-hum things. Something has to make an impact to make it into your long-term memory. Add to that the Fundamental Attribution Error, which is the fact that people are more likely to attribute negative actions and behaviours from others as having more to do with internal factors, such as personality and character, and give less weight or thought to the environmental or situational factors that could be at play.
Put that all together and even if Buddy over there was really trying to be sincere, the fact is that I am not rare, and he has probably observed many black people just like me. He’s probably observed more black people just like me than not. It’s just that he’s either completely forgotten them or, more likely, never even bothered to give them a chance before he wrote them off as being “just another one of THEM” based on nothing more than the colour of their skin.
Maybe the issue is that, deep down inside, he just can’t deal with the fact that he finds black women attractive, and because of so many coalescing factors, admitting he feels some attraction to me isn’t quite so dangerous. Worse comes to worst, he could pretend he thought I was a dark Italian, or could justify the attraction by citing what he feels are my “white qualities”…like I am somehow the best of both worlds, although of course, nothing more than a tawdry experiment. Or, if his peers get really grimy, he could pretend it was more of a “white power, black submissive, you know them gals is only good for ONE thang’ kind of thing.
Whatever the psychology behind it, which I’m positive the superb education I’m receiving will certainly allow me to decipher one day, PLEASE just stop with this mess. I don’t want to hear it.
Have you ever experienced something like this, or heard a similar experience from a friend? Are you “that guy” or “that girl”, who actually said something like this? And if so, how did that one work out for you, did you actually mean it, and in retrospect do you think it’s an absolutely racist thing to say even if you didn’t mean for it to be?
Do you think like THIS GUY???
Anyone see ANYTHING very, VERY wrong with this video? I can name like, 20, in the first minute…which is funny because, on the surface it seems as though on the surface it’s a complimentary piece praising black women. No harm in that, right? Oddly, he manages to make SO much wrong with that. Just. Wow.
Let us be a fly on the wall of your thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Come on, I’ve pitched you a nickel…all I want is your two cents!
Happy Wednesday Y’all!