*I’m getting straight to the point.
Last December (2016), when Serena Williams announced her engagement to a white internet mogul, the tennis pro and habitual “swirler” received a thorough outpouring of support and congratulations from her fans, many of whom are female and African American.
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In the same month, “House of Payne” actor Lance Gross posted a photo to Instagram of himself and a group of his guy friends getting cozy during a holiday retreat with their very attractive, and very fair-skinned (maybe white?) female companions. The outrage and animus sparked by this image was jaw-dropping to say the least, and highly hypocritical in comparison to the positive reaction that Williams’ engagement received. This dichotomy suggests that it’s permissible for black women to find “love” outside of their race, but when black men do the same, it’s perceived as an act of betrayal.
In 2014, actor Omari Hardwick was forced to defend the honor of his Caucasian wife after black women called her ugly all across social media. Earlier last year, Taye Diggs appeared on a daytime talk show and was pressured into defending his decision to marry a white woman. Hell, when Kobe Bryant married his Latin wife, Vanessa, in 2001, he was shunned by the black community and his parents.
In contrast, no one batted an eye when Lupita Nyong’o went public with her relationship to the perpetually-pale actor Jared Leto. When rapper Eve announced her engagement to British entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper in 2013 — yes, that’s his name — the reaction from her fans was gleefully positive. There were no complaints last year when actress Tika Sumpter announced that she was pregnant with a white man’s baby. Oh and let’s not forget, actress Zoe Saldana is married…but not to a black guy. As far as I know, her relationship hasn’t absorbed much, if any, criticism from the public. Clearly, there’s a deeper level of acceptance in society for black women who “swirl” as opposed to the other way around. It’s a gosh darn shame.
|Serena Williams and her fiance, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit.com|
I spend roughly 30 minutes a day wasting time on Facebook — who doesn’t these days — and I always stumble upon a photo showcasing the prototypical black/white couple. These images usually feature a semi-attractive black woman whose lack of real hair has forced her to go “natural” and she almost always has her arms wrapped tight around some pinkish, frumpy-looking white guy — the type who avoids conflict, uses hand-sanitizer after he touches doorknobs and will provide a consistent paycheck every couple weeks. He’s what you call a “safe bet.”
When I see photos like these they usually come with a hyperbolic caption. Under one of the images I observed, the caption said: “After dating all these frogs, I have finally found my prince.” I’m still not sure, but it seems that by using the word “frogs” she was referring to black men. Had she instead used the word “monkeys” to describe her past lovers, I would’ve been able to reach a more definitive conclusion in reference to their ethnicity (I can make this joke because I’m black). I didn’t have a problem with the photo, and to be honest, I wasn’t offended by the caption either. Contrary to popular opinion, I’ve grown since 2013 when my published tirade against interracial dating went viral. I support black/white love now, but only when it’s sincere and not a product of self-hate and revenge.
What bothered me, though, were the dozens of gleeful responses to her photo. One of the women who responded said, “Fuck these niggas girl, go ahead and get your swirl on.” Another person said, “Love doesn’t see color, you two look beautiful.” “If black men don’t know how to treat you, don’t be loyal, get even,” said another.
|Zoe Saldana with husband Marco Perego|
I was flabbergasted — that’s right, I said flabbergasted — by how many sisters were compelled to leave comments on that interracial photo. I was even more surprised by what seemed to be an overwhelming consensus among these women to ditch black men in exchange for other racial groups. I could see love and admiration in the eyes of this woman as she clutched her white knight like he was the last Prada bag at a half off sale. The photo was eye-opening and the reaction it caused was even more enlightening. It all seemed so genuine. I thought to myself, “Wow, maybe black people have become mature enough to date other races without holding a grudge against each other.” But that revelation quickly came to a screeching halt.
The next day, I logged in to Facebook for my daily fix and I happened to come across a photo of a black man proudly embracing his Caucasian fiance (ain’t it interesting that blacks rarely consider romance with other races than White?) Anyway, this couple appeared to be genuinely happy together, much like the previous couple I mentioned. When I scrolled to the comment section, the reaction from observers, particularly black women, was startling. “Why [are] you with her fat ass,” one commenter wrote. “Coon,” said another. “With all these beautiful Nubian queens out here, it hurts that you’re choosing the white bitch”, wrote someone else.
For a second I was stunned. Before that moment, I had never witnessed such blatant examples of hypocrisy in all my life. The debater in me wanted to dive in that sea of disrespectful comments and leave a scathing one of my own. But even I know better than to start an argument with a black woman — it’s a lose-lose situation.