Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another discussion that needs to start happening.

Although this one is not as pressing.

Interracial Dating: Interracial Dating with a Vengeance, by Nadra Kareem at Racialicious.

I liked the comments better that the post, specifically in response to the author's assertion that

. . . there are plenty of Asian women available for Asian men to date and plenty of black men available for black women to date (though black women reportedly have the lowest marriage rate of any other group of women), but the perception is that they are being left behind, and perception influences action.

Where are these "plenty of black men"? I don't see "plenty of black men" anywhere I go.


. . . It’s easy for others to dismiss the pain of those who feel unwanted b/c of their race/gender if you have not gone through it yourself. There is a world of difference between discussing “when” in reference instead of “if.”

If you’re in an environment where few people are interested in someone of your race/gender, it’s a blow to the psyche. Everybody needs love.

If you think this issue has been blown out of proportion, you are likely to not be on the bottom of the race/gender totem pole, and you can view dating/marriage/etc. as something that is a likely possiblity in your future, depending on the state for queer couples.

In the Af-Am commnity, there are “plenty” of single men, but the number disparity still exists b/c of jail/prision/early death. Many men who do have a job and/or education know that they are highly desired by women from many ethnicities, so they don’t have to commit to any woman if they don’t want to. If he does, he can pick a better-looking woman than he would otherwise if the gender disparity did not exist.

Someone in a much earlier thread metioned that many black girls in mixed environments have friends but few dates. For some, this pattern continues into adulthood.

B wrote:

I’m a black woman married to a white man. I don’t think that I was at all influenced by those negative perceptions of black men. Rather, I wasn’t around as many black men, and it was as simple as that. (My husband and I met in a college class together that was in my major and his minor field. While the university was fairly diverse, my major was pretty lily-white, with only a few other black folk.) In general, we find that people are more surprised at our pairing than one of a white woman and black man, but that we haven’t met nearly as much resentment and anger as the latter pairing. Usually, people just don’t believe we’re together, or try to figure out who we possibly could have ended up together. (I tend to think the “where did you meet” line of inquiry is a little suspect when people ask it after they know our occupations and hear us speak; we’re both humanities grad students with distinctly Northeastern accents. I notice that people aren’t as compelled to ask, say, same-race couples where one is an engineer with a southern accent and the other is a ballet dancer with an old-money New England accent where *they* met.) Incidentally, I did date a Chinese-American man in college who had a Chinese-American friend who was also dating a black woman. One night when the 4 of us were hanging out (this might have been when we were still friends/before we dated?), one of the guys joked that it was an ideal situation for all the Asian men and black women that get left out of interracial dating, so it does seem to be an issue that occurs to people, even if it doesn’t seriously factor into who they end up with.

B-T-dubs, I don't currently know that many Asian men (or many men in general, since almost all my friends are women), so that "ideal" situation is a hypothetical one for me.

Ron wrote:

. . . I find it ironic that black men complain about black women who date out considering the ratio is almost 10:1.

B then wrote in response to another comment:

I think that your point is heartening–that this stuff isn’t as big a deal for younger people. I also agree with you–I think people in my parent’s generation got way more flack than interracial couples do now.

That said, I’d push you to think how common those interracial relationships are once you’re out of college, and once folks start getting married and/or taking other steps establishing life-long commitments. I personally dated a few non-black guys that were down with me at school, but weren’t going to take me home to meet their mothers. In both the case of me (black woman) and my husband (white guy), a bunch of our friends of varying races *dated* interracially at one time or another, but none of them have domestic partners or fiances or spouses or live-ins that are of a different race.

Ali wrote:

Well I’m not in a interracial relationship and technically I don’t even really date (this is not necessarily by choice) but this subject is near and dear to my heart so I’d like to offer my two cents. Man, this is an emotional topic, so hopefully I don’t get too rambly. lunanoire, I co-sign your post inside and out! Especially, “If you’re in an environment where few people are interested in someone of your race/gender, it’s a blow to the psyche. Everybody needs love.” SO TRUE. I’m still dealing with a lot of self perception crap that resulted from growing up in a nearly all white suburb. To this day both of my brothers date white women (pretty much exclusively), at first it used to piss me off but when I really thought about it I realized they don’t deserve to be with any woman they couldn’t fully appreciate be she black or otherwise. I strongly disagree that there are plenty of black men around for black women to date. Now, if this is some how true and I am mistaken would someone please kindly point me in the direction of the black man buffet? Even as a preteen I could tell that the black women in my area had to try SO much harder to impress black men. Beautiful black women were passed over (and in some cases flat our ignored) for Latinas and white girls regularly . . .

london wrote:

interracial relationships are the norm over here in london…
my generation - i am 42 and a first gen black briton - have grown up with mixed race kids and known their parents…
it could be that most kids here in london now are mixed.. they are mainly all shades of brown..
i don’t even notice..
couples are couples and kids are kids.. it’s not a perceptible issue…

This comment made me giggle. Despite london's claim, I don't think that the UK's child population is made up of mostly mixed individuals. Even if the children were indeed "mainly all shades of brown", there are many people that are simply born brown because both of their parents are brown. I refer you to the main character of Bend It Like Beckham.

And then there's the crazy. eric daniels wrote:

I don’t want to be mean to all the people involved in IR relationships particularly on this topic but WHO GIVES A DAMN !!!! . . .

. . . B and Rachel, I don’t buy the "lack of eligible Black Men in 2008 no more than I did in the 80’s when professional and stable working- class Black Men run that nonsense by me. In the 80’s I used to say there were no Black Rocker Boho types who would like Black Flag, Duran Duran, and Luther or Al Green so I dated White and Hispanic women for revenge for Black Women supposedly rejecting me. Then some astute Brothas told me you would get the same share of women of any race if you opened your eyes.

And in a way they were right, I have dated Professional, Working Class women of all races since 1987 and I am a working - class Black Male and I can hang in any social circle. I am tired of of hearing the same social pathologies reserved for black men by Black Women, White Men and the Media, This is what the Civil Rights movement was about, securing every opprounity for African- Americans to be able to enjoy the fruits of Ameican Life, economical, politcal and socially and that also means romance.

It just happens in the last 30 years, Black Women have taken the promise of those brave men and women who marched, were lynched, and violently killed for that right so nearly 50years we can talk about Black Women and Asian Men dating or marriage. But those kids will not be black males (they will be biracial) but they will live the father’s lifestyle and have his values which in many cases they will be culturally white, hispanic and asian that’s the way it is st8 no chaser.

Then Treacle wrote in response:

To eric daniels:

"B and Rachel, I don’t buy the “lack of eligible Black Men in 2008 no more than I did in the 80’s when professional and stable working- class Black Men run that nonsense by me."

You’re wrong. This is why we have things like census data.

According to the 2000 US Census, there are only 7 single black men for every 10 single black women and that does not count the 1 out of 15 black men who are incarcerated.

Therefore, there is a shortage of eligible black men.

Then eric daniels wrote:

Treacle, There are 18 million Black Men Living in the U.S.A. 450,000 are in jail the other 500,000 are on probation or legal supervision. Most Black Men are not in jail, on the DL or mentally screwed up. Many Black Men are plumbers, construction workers, barbers, salespeople, small buisnesman or working 2-3 jobs like many other Americans. I would venture to say that the number of Americans holding advanced degrees is about 15-25 % percent of Americans.

Stop watching "Something New" and "Waiting to Inhale" or any Black Feminist track, most black men don’t call black women “bitches and hos” nor are they down at the gay bar picking up a ‘gay thug’ or a ‘drag queen’ nor are we gangbanging and killing each other for property we don’t own, and many of those stats you site generally only count Black Men who either have…

Advanced Degrees
Make a certain amount of money
Own a home, or have assets . . .

Waiting to Inhale? Does this movie involve Angela Bassett burning her trifling husband's clothes, too?



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