Jill Scott Winces At Inter-racial Dating- le sigh…
By Miss Blurbette
Maybe it’s really a complicated thing, that Inter-racial relationships thing.
Yes, I’ve read about Jill Scott’s recent essay in Essence magazine too. In it, Jill tells us that she felt her spirit
wince upon learning her new friend, yet another brotha, has defected from the Land of Us and married a white woman. She goes on to say she isn’t a racist and “wasn’t raised that way” then goes on to recount the days of slavery when we toiled in the fields with our man. Yes, Jill, that was wedded fucking bliss!
Before I go completely off, I have to admit that I understand where Jill is coming from. I, too, have felt something when I see a black man with a white woman. Something that for me, is discernibly different when I see any other inter-racial couplings.
But see I was conditioned to wince when I saw that. I was taught with words, lessons and observations that Black man/White woman couples are a slap in the face of Black women. I witnessed many a man leave high school with Beyonce on his arm (ok, Solange) go to college, get a great job, achieve some ranking in the world and then show up at the family reunion with Becky, ie. your average ordinary white woman. For some reason, I’m supposed to take offense to that and for about nanosecond, I usually do.
I bet he thinks he’s got something now.
What? Black women aren’t good enough for him now?
Your mama’s black, your sisters are black and no matter what you do, your daughters will be too.
I recognize my own ignorance, holding on to my mother’s argument and anger, but not that of the mother before her. My mother wouldn’t even be here had it not been for an inter-racial marriage ( Yes, marriage in the heart of Dixie) creating her father and his siblings, circa 1924. Though, my grandmother IS the product of inter-racial relationships from that original ole dirty bastard, Massa, sneaking into the slave quarters to bed my great, great, great grandmother Winnie Brush Shankle (Look her up; she was a bad (meaning good), bad, BAD woman! ) and grandma ( Mama)) carries her own resentments that she passed along to m mother. My mother’s anger and resentment comes from generations of anger at that Ole Dirty Bastard and some from the not so old, but still Dirty Bastard that was my father after his numerous affairs with white women.
I heard “White bitches” in my home so often when I was a child I thought it was a Crayola color. No shit.
It wasn’t until I got older and shared some tales with friends that I realized ALL women hate the other woman. Her attributes become an allergic and guttural reaction to the scorned. One friend hates blondes, all because her father cheated with one. For me, that’s part of it. Then, there’s more.
You see, there was a time when I was not just a fan of Inter-racial dating, I was not just a member, I was also the club president. I didn’t (and still don’t) have an ethnic preference. I’ve dated black men, white men, Latino men, and even that one Asian guy. I’ve dated a Mormon, a Catholic, a Protestant and an Atheist. I’m part of the Free to be You and Me generation. It’s alright to cry and it’s alright to love whomever you choose. I ended up marrying a white man. White, Republican and Catholic male paired with this Black, Liberal as they come, Agnostic female. We had our challenges over the course of our 14 year marriage, but ethnicity wasn’t one of them. We loved for love’s sake. That’s really all that matters. This could and should end here, but since when have I ever done what I should. Now, about Jill…
Having been married once, engaged only to have that called off and now a single mother, I wonder if her angst isn’t really just lashing out as a way to avoid examining her own relationships, avoid examining her “self”. If a black woman in a happy, well established and successful marriage to a black man made these claims, I would give it more validity, but somehow I doubt Holly Robinson Peete would agree with Jill here.
Warning- about to go personal: When I struggled with infertility, I found it eased my frustrations (in a completely unproductive, projecting, self centered way) to say disparaging things about teen mothers. They fucked like rabbits and had babies they couldn’t care for whereas I went to school, got a good job, met and married with mortgage and a dog and still couldn’t get pregnant. I made those teen moms my enemy because I needed someone other than myself, or my defective body, to be angry with. Jill Scott is doing much the same thing.
Jill, that white woman hasn’t taken a thing from you. Your “friend” was just that, not your man. You need some perspective here. What difference does it make to you WHO dates WHOM? Does their relationship status pay your bills? Does it feed your children? If it doesn’t make you, Sweetie, it cannot break you. Go out and find a man just for you. If he’s even sneak peaking under his shades at another woman, white or whathaveyou, then clearly he isn’t the one for you. Just find the one looking for you and go about your business. It’s really not that deep. It’s 2010, please get off that “Harpo, Who dis woman” bullshit!
So for me, It’s really not a complicated thing, that Inter-racial relationships thing. Race is a social construct so let’s move beyond it. You meet someone, you fall in love, you do your thing. Ethnicity matters about as much as mole count or eye color. In the end, you want someone next to you with shared values, a common life vision, a dental plan, someone who’s good in bed. OK, maybe that’s just me, but isn’t that really the whole point. Just do you and don’t worry what or whom everyone else is doing. You’ll be happier that way.
AND sidenote: For all that we toiled together in the fields, we stood side by side during the Civil Rights Movement thing, who wants a man to be with them out of nothing but a sense of obligation? For the record not me.
AND another sidenote: My great grandparents IR marriage still confuses to me to this day, as the family genealogist. My great grandfather (white) married the woman (black) he loved, who was already widowed with 3 kids but he NEVER went home again. Sadly, I don’t think she did either. All of his family married white and it wasn’t until my uncles and aunts took a bus ( hell, there were 12 of them) to Oberton, Louisiana in the 80s that the sides all met. We’ve come so far…then we haven’t.
AND one more sidenote: My mother’s issues of the past aren’t issues of today. Some of her best friends and at least 2 ex-husbands and an ex-fiance are white….and for the record, ALL of my dad’s other ex-wives are white. But you probably could have guessed that one.