True Love or Trophy?

Tonight my husband and I went to The Grove to catch a movie. I wanted to see Babel. He wanted to see Borat. We ended up settling on The Departed.

I'm still not sure how we arrived at that as a compromise.

No matter, in case you haven't seen it, I won't spoil the plot at all. I'll only say it's long. Violent, too. No, I'd actually say it's very violent. I guess that's what you get when you go see a crooked cop/gangster movie these days. I kept my hands over my eyes quite a bit. Ultimately, though, I left the theatre thinking about another subject even more.

Who is loving black women?

You see, in between purchasing tickets and the show start time, we had a good two hours to stroll around, catch some dinner, be star-struck by Ben Stiller... and observe the dolled-up Angeleno masses. I saw a good number of black women. Beautiful black women. Jaw-droppingly gorgeous black women. A few were with men. But by far, if they were with someone, they were with their parents, their children or a trio of sistah-girlfriends.

Seeing all those black women tonight made me think of guys I knew at college who had one girl on the north side of campus and one on the south side of campus. There were so few black men on campus that although both black women knew about each other, they tolerated the situation because it was apparently better to have some "love" than none at all.

Non-black friends, in their well-meaning naivete, would sometimes ask, "Well, why do you all restrict yourselves? Why not date someone who's not black?"

Um...hello! It's not like we see a ton of non-black guys stepping to black women. If I think about it only from a black-white standpoint, aside from my Irish father marrying my black mother, I rarely see white men with black women. I know Sanaa Lathan had her cute movie called Something New where the white landscaper totally falls for her....but when's the last time you saw this in real life?

You hear those crickets chirping too? I'll admit, it's a sarcastic question on my part because I know that statistically, black women are the least likely to marry of any segment of the American population. On top of that, of all groups of women, if they do marry, black women are also the least likely to marry someone who's not from the same racial background.

My observances also made me think of stories my mom has sometimes shared about the cruel comments some of the black men in her high school made about her dark skin, followed by a "Why would I date you when I can get me a white girl?"

I heard the same comments when I was in high-school, almost thirty years later. Except for me it was, "I don't have to settle for a light-skinned chick like you. I can get me a white girl."

Ooh, that one used to annoy me! But in case you think I'm living in the past, let's fast forward to the present.

What do you think I saw black men doing tonight? Well, they were either:
a) holding hands with their boyfriends (mostly other black men, interestingly enough) or they were
b) walking, eating, sitting, kissing, laughing and talking with... white women.

Don't get me wrong...Even if I've personally known plenty of white girls who, while going through a rebellious phase, messed around with black men, only to later settle down with the socially-acceptable white guy, and even if I've known plenty of black men who were looking for their trophy white woman, I do believe in the inherent purity and beauty of interracial love and marriage.

Indeed, who am I to question whether what I saw tonight was true love or pursuit of the forbidden? Who am I to assume it's pursuit of a trophy?

I wish that everyone fell in love regardless of skin color.

I don't think that's always what I'm seeing around me. I think I see many people living out idle fancies and vain imaginings. Judgemental of me to think this, isn't it? Maybe. Probably.

But, if everyone was choosing their partners on the basis of love, if that was actually happening, we'd see a heck of a lot more black women with men...and they'd be from a diversity of backgrounds.


Sundry said…
I am so very much enjoying reading your take on life, liberty and the pursuit. Glad I skated over here from Noel's site a couple of months ago.

Keep it up. We're listening.

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