Milk in Their Coffee

By Sowhatiff Jenkins

We’ve all seen it. Some people don’t like to talk about. Others will rant and rave for hours. Many people have mixed feelings about it. Some folks could care less about it. Our next president is a product of such a couple. Yep, that’s right. We are talking about interracial dating folks, a topic that is somewhat taboo in the black community. Your faithful writers here at Three Ways have come to give it to you raw. Pause.

Mixed Feelings

**Sowhatiff note: I am not speaking on behalf of all black women…just the coolest one ever. My intent is not offend, but to share. So back off. 🙂 **

Hi. My name is Sowhatiff and I have mixed feelings about interracial dating. There it is. Feels good to get that off my chest. I’m not sure what it is but, my blood boils a little when I see a black man walking arm in arm with a white woman. Ok, I lied. I do know what it is. Rightly, or wrongly so, it is somewhat of an insult when Tyrone chooses Kaitlin over Tyesha. In a world where spotting eligible black men are as rare spotting a bald eagle in, say…anywhere, it makes one wonder, “Why her and not a black woman,” “Are we not good enough,” or, “What happened.”

Seeing a black woman with a white man though, doesn’t evoke the same feeling. For me, I am more curious than anything else, just because I love a big manly black man. I generally chalk it up to her running out of options, and stepping outside the box. For her, its ok in my book. (Yes, this is a double standard. Sue me.)

Why It Hurts

I love black men. I love the idea of marrying a black man and being by his side. Because I am a semi-professional student, my pickings are quite slim. Single, eligible brothers aren’t lining the halls of my university, or anywhere for that matter. As such, I already know that I face tough odds. So when I go to Starbucks, or a local night spot, and see a fine black man hugged up and dancing off beat with a white woman, it feels like the educated black woman has lost again. That “so many fish in the sea” line doesn’t fly here.

Sometimes, I want to ask him, don’t you like black women? You don’t want a strong black woman? Can you talk to her about your plight? Then I catch myself burning a hole in the back of his head looking at him and shaking my head and say, “She can have him, we probably don’t want him anyway.” Or I chalk it up to him being a punk, and that he can’t handle all of this woman.

Let’s Take It Back

Its no secret that back in the day, it was illegal for a black man to even look at a white woman with a flicker of lust in his eye. At some time in history it seems (or feels) like white women became a trophy. I remember when I found out that Sydney Poitier married a white woman…boy was I shocked. James Earl Jones. Taye Diggs. Seal. (its ok, you can giggle at that one). This list could go on, but I’ll stop here. Why? Just cause.

I do understand that socialization plays a part. The demographics of the community you grow up in influences your development. The music you like, clothes you wear, the way you speak, and possibly, the types of people you are attracted to, can be linked to this socialization process. Thus, if you grow up around a homogeneous group (or a diverse group of people) your tastes in the opposite sex may reflect this. But for the everyday brother, what happened?

I know, I know. Inherent in my asking “what happened” implies that something is wrong with interracial couples. And this is where my struggle comes in. I was once challenged by a professor of mine on this very topic. I expressed my issues with black men dating white women, and she said, “I am the product of a black man and a white woman. If you have an issue with them dating, then in essence you have an issue with me.” Then I stuttered and stumbled and tried to explain how it wasn’t the same, and I couldn’t. Sigh.

So instead of me trying to figure out and resolve my conflicting logic, I’ll just take the easy way out and turn it over to you, the good reader, to hash it out. Go.

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22 responses to “Milk in Their Coffee

  1. I can see your points but being someone who has a lot of bi-racial friends, friends in interracial relationships and has dated outside of my race, I must say it’s sad to see how it affects you. I truly believe that people should be able to love whomever they please regardless of race/religion, etc. It’s really sad that it affects you that much. I can’t help but ask if it bothers you to see black men date any other race besides white? Or, does it bother you to see any other combination of interracial dating? I’ve read studies that show the majority of interracial relationships tend to be asian women with white men. It’s ironic how this subject always tends to lean towards black men and white women. From my own experience on the other side, being white and having black male friends…I’ve experienced many of the mean looks you describe in your earlier blog. I remember my freshmen year of college living on a primarily all black female floor and everyone smiling or saying Hi until the day my classmate/friend started to come around. From then on, there was no more smiles or hellos, just the mean look and the look of disappointment or disgust to my friend Wes. And, we never even were dating! It always made me feel bad. Yet, I do understand why, it’s just too bad.

    That’s just my 2 cents, not trying to offend anyone…just offering my perspective.

  2. Sowhatiff Jenkins

    Steph,

    Thank you very much for your honesty. I admit, my perspective is probably not the most progressive around. Again, my intent is not to offend. I have to be honest though. I do think that everyone should be able to love whoever they want to, yet I still feel the way I do, hence my internal conflict. I’m working on it…

  3. Honestly…I am as open and accepting of interracial dating/mating as I am to homosexual marriage. I whole-heartedly believe that people really can’t help who or what they are truly attracted to. I really think that many people do deny their natural physical attractions in order to gain general social acceptance. The fact that countless interracial liaisons took place during historical times when such acts faced deadly opposition and consequences proves that biological factors of physical attraction have greater influence than the social factors. Now, I’m not talking about acting out on attraction, I’m taking about what people are inherently physically attracted to. Historically, people have faced social ostracism, famiilial disownment, legal conviction, or worse only because they acted out on physical attractions that were extremely socially inacceptable. Why would people put themselves through such torture if it were so simple to resist such fatal attractions? Because true physical attraction is blind of social factors like race, class, or religion. It’s all biological. Socially-Influenced Attraction says, “He’s tall, he’s handsome, strong, but He’s Irish and I’m Jamaican. He’s poor and I’m rich. He’s Catholic and I’m Rastafarian. Alas, we can never be.” Biologically-Influenced Attraction says, ” Who cares? He’s tall, handsome, strong, and we could make healthy babies. Let’s bumb uglies with him, NOW!” A truly attractive person is a truly attractive person who will attract numerous people across races, religions and cultures. It’s social barriers that prevents some people from acting out on less socially tolerable attractions. So, No, I do not wince whenever I see an interracial couple together. It does, however, bother me a little when I hear close-minded, ignorant individuals exclude whole groups of people by saying “I only date this or that because they are more compliant to a man’s needs and they know how to treat a man.” or “I never date these or those because they act all stank and have bad attitudes.” People who live by these “all or nothing” statements are dating according to biased social standards and prejudice. Man, I could write a whole essay on this stuff from a biopsychological perspective, but I’m tired now. G-night.

  4. hmmmm…

    Ok, as minority male i never been one to discriminate on the women that i have dated. My family is pretty much a mix of different cultures through interracial dating. I’m not mad when i see a black woman date a white guy. What bothers me is black women that feel some type of way about us dating outside our race. You said that there is a shortage of good black men out there. The problem is that as some black women progress and become successful. I think they start to feel they have out grown their choices.
    Now i went to college, but a shirt and tie is not for me. So i decided to work a blue collar job, where i make great money and i am happy.

    So i dated a this girl for a few, successful corporate working black woman. She told me the black men that worked with her were too stuffy. So a guy like myself tattoos a little rough around the edges were more appealing to her. So is there really a shortage of black men? A friend of mine told me once “i’m going to have to marry a successful white man because there aren’t any good ones.” Well what about the guy that don’t have a degree? don’t have a baby mother? never been to jail? Yet he is working a good job and able to support himself. If your a educated black woman, is that black man not eligible? She explained “he needs to be on my level, so when i have a job function he can be open his mouth with out embarrassing me.”

    So my best friend is about to have a baby with with a white woman. He told straight up, “like she don’t need me for anything . She is with me because she wants to be with me. ” I’ve dated a white woman before and it was cool. I don’t think what most black women understand. I’ve dated a couple of women who weren’t black that just rocked with me for who i am. I’m not saying all black women won’t do that. That stereo type of black women being angry its old also. Yes i understand the struggle to get ahead. Shoot, i go through every single day a black man. Let go of certain things, you gotta give something to get something. So he may not be on your level, if he is a good guy help him reach that level. Someone else will see that potential, a white woman may not understand my struggle as a black man. Do i really want her too? i mean that struggle is my motivation to make myself better as a man. Honestly i don’t matter who you date as long as that person makes you happy. Just don’t say that there is a shortage when maybe your not opening up what’s out there.

  5. (waiting for rightcoast t0 come through and profess his love for the latina and white women so i can get my daily laugh…)

    raw honesty, deserves some admiration.

  6. Ainz, you make some points similar to what I have coming up in my entry on this topic later today. I may have to re-work some of my points now to freshen then up.lol. eff!

  7. As long as the person is not dissing their own race to date outside of their race I have no problems with interracial relationships. Unfortunately however there are some black men that I know who group ALL black women together and say they only date white women. I love black men but as I’m out here on the dating scene, I’ve contemplated whether I should open up my options as date other men besides black ones.

  8. You know what…as much as I’d like to say I don’t have a problem with interracial dating, I must admit that I do quiver when I see a “brotha wit anotha.” And to Tiff’s point, that feeling doesn’t really present itself when I see a sistah wit a…eh…white guy.

    This may just be me, but when I see a Black woman with a non-Black man, dude usually looks like he can stir up some “hurricane flood waters” (had to borrow that, Slim). So what bothers me most is when a beautiful (or at least presentable) Black man crosses over for a–let’s say–sub-par looking woman of another race. I just feel like, if you gon’ step out, she betta be FINE! That’s not to say that he should date an ugly Black woman instead (that also upsets me), but damn…don’t bring home Ugly Betty, Becky, or Heather.

  9. Seattle Washington

    Is there a reason why Black women haven’t started dating around yet? Black men have been doing it for years and I have to say, most of us wouldn’t mind.

  10. You can’t be mad at someone for not dating someone equally as attractive as you perceive them to be. That’s a whole different blog entry in itself. I only hear women make that point. Never heard a heterosexualdude say “that’s wack B. He ain’t pretty enough for her.” If anything, we wanna know what he did to get her so that we can add it to our repertoire.

  11. Sowhatiff Jenkins

    I dunno Slim…so dudes never say, “Damn, how the hell did he bag her?” When a clearly ug faced man is with a…how do you say…”dime piece”? I find that a little hard to believe.

  12. You just made exactly my point.lol. “How did he bag her?” is different than “that b*tch is ugly. he don’t need to be wit her. he need to try my thang.” OK, so the thang part was extra, but you get my drift.

    I like being challenged. Bring it!

  13. ah, interracial dating….

    to be quite honest, i sorta feel the way you do, sowahtiff. im good seeing a black woman with a white man..i have, in fact been that woman. im just glad to see black women branching out. why pass up an eligible bachelor cuz he’s not the right shade? why wait around for that black man who aint checkin for you, the rest of your life? i, for one, dont plan to be part of that statistic that says like 70% (correct me if im wrong) of black women over age 40 (again, correct me if im wrong) have never been married. and i dont want to see any of my brilliant, beautiful and all around awesome sistas become part of it either…

    on the other hand, i think im just conditioned to not be a fan of the black man/white woman union. ive just heard too many black men talk about their preference for white women because black women are this or that….my rational self knows that not ALL black men with white women feel that way, but i still sorta get that twinge when i first see them. but its momentary…my rational self takes over and then i stop caring until i see them looking at me! more often than not, i will get a look from the black man/white woman and im not sure what thats about…

    i make up that they are assuming that im pissed off about their “love” when in reality, im truly not concerned.

    and i also have an issue with the idea that black women are the only ones with an issue…white men with black women get hated on by black men just as often, in my experience. i wasnt aware of it, but my ex says he was constantly gettin the ice grill with we were out together…

    go figure.

  14. First, saying she aint cute doesn’t translate to “he need to be wit me.” I simply think it’s a shame to waste all that goodness on…well…those with solely internal beauty. Shallow? Sue me. (And yes, I realize all of this is subjective.)

    Second, get outta here! I’ve heard many a dude be like “that ni99a busted”, “why she effin wit him…she too fine for that.” Whether he says it audibly or not, a straight [add cross out to preceding word] dude can tell when another dude is unattractive (or attractive even…no-homo for him).

  15. smile

  16. Is it the same reaction if you see a black man with a Latino or Asian woman?

  17. I see you Slim, also i never questioned why someone was with someone else. I think thats jealousy on someone’s part. I’m the product of a spanish woman and a black man. I know what its like to be looked at funny growing up as a kid.

  18. Seattle Washington

    Daniel, I got you covered b. Stay tuned.

  19. RightCoastLexSteele

    **In my office doing the bachata**

    I would like to use this blog to take the opportunity to profess my love for latina and white women. Oh, how I love them so! I wish I could bottle their essence and carry it around with me until my final day. If we have any latina or white women in the audience today, please know that Mr. Steele loves you all.

    Not that I dont love my sisters. Mr. Steele loves you very much too. But…there is definitely a reason that I had to boycott you all circa 2003. As young black man that was pursuing a degree from a “prestigious” higher institution of learning, I was really getting tired of the whole “Ni99as aint sh*t” mentality my sisters have. Not all of them, but a good majority of them. And they may have had experiences that led them to this conclusion, or maybe they were just jumping on the bandwagon. Who knows, who cares, but I was tired of it, and I’m still tired of it. So you know what, when I see another brother walking down the block arm in arm with his anglo-saxon vixen, I drop whatever is in my hands and give a resounding round of applause. YOU GO BOY! And when I see a black woman hand in hand w/ her Justin Timberlake, once again I must applaud because you really have to admire them for being who they are and following where their hearts lead. And I think the great mystery that everyone is trying to figure out is quite simple…while two people may share different cultures, it doesnt matter. It has been my experience as well that women of other cultures just let you rock. They truly like you for you. And I think that’s where I butt heads with the sisters. Y’all ALWAYS got some shit to say. Never satisfied. Listen shorty, if you met me blowing trees and drinking Jack, then guess what…this is what I do, this is who I am, DEAL WITH IT. We’re not some pre-fabrication of man that you can mold into what you want. And this is just my personal example, but when I talk to my boys about it, it always seems that when you are with a sister, they always like to make little “alterations” to the perfectly fine, no wrap-sheet or baby mama drama having, 100% hetero strapping black man they have. My nubian queens, no one is perfect. So when you actually find a man that loves you, dont nitpick him to death. Everyone has flaws. Roses have thorns, but are they still not roses?

    **back to the bachata**

  20. WithRainbowSprinkles

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…black women should step out of the box too, yes, we should be open-minded and such, but there’s is something to be said and appreciated about black women wanting black men…I really don’t see anything wrong with that except that it seems to be limiting our choices…

    Also, I may be wrong, but I don’t really think white men are as open to approaching black women as black men are to white women. Black women are often viewed as sex symbols and we’ll hear how “hot” we are or how great are bodies are once the white men get some “truth serum,” but otherwise I suppose we’re just admired from a far…the black women dating white men are often in majority white sororities, sports teams, or organizations…what does that mean for the rest of us? Match.com? No thanks, I’m good.

  21. RightCoastLexSteele

    Well think of it this way. Some white men are intimidated by black men. From the outside looking in, some black men are intimidated by black women. So by that logic, they are probably terrified of black women…

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