Either She Homeless, Or She Got Problems

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A couple weeks ago, the Gay Reindeer and I were sitting in my car, people watching and eating applesauce (don’t ask), when a conversation about Pittsburgh neighborhoods segued into gentrification, which then segued into the surreal experience of seeing White joggers trying to navigate past the hordes of people standing outside of liquor stores and check cashing marts, which then finally landed on a point she brought up: Those anonymous people hanging outside of those stores all day long—people who usually are middle-aged, Black, and poor—often serve as the neighborhood’s Shakespearean fools.

Perhaps they don’t seem particularly lucid or observant, and maybe their English isn’t the best, but they’re watching, recording, and assessing everything that’s going on in the surrounding area. And, if you ever have the opportunity to talk to one of them—like, seriously sitdown and talk—they have the tendency to provide plain-spoken insights and witticisms about the community and the people who inhabit it that would make you wonder if they were secretly undercover PhDs doing a years-long anthropological study.

Anyway, I’m bringing this up because this was the first thing I thought of when listening to Charles Ramsey’s entire interview. (Actually, that was the second thing. The first? That’s a really nice white tee he’s wearing. It must have been brand new.) Like a true Shakespearean fool, Ramsey’s appearance and “commoner” sensibilities belied the wit and bravery he so obviously possessed. And, also true to Shakespearean fool form, an off-hand, matter-of-fact statement made towards the end of the interview ended up being the most memorable (and insightful) thing he said.

(Paraphrasing) “If you see a pretty White woman running towards a Black man, either she homeless or she got problems.”

You know, out of all the interracial dating/relationship-related conversations I remember having, I can recall in-depth, nuanced, emotionally charged, and surprisingly sober discussions about…

1. The type of Black man who dates White women

2. The type of Black woman who dates White men

3. The type of White man who dates Black women

…conversations where everything from the way they typically look to the base reasoning behind their choices is examined and assessed with care.

But, there doesn’t seem to be that same level of discourse among us about attractive White women who choose to date Black men, mainly because we have a tendency to dismiss whatever attraction they may have for brothas as some sort of sexual fetish, a way of “getting back” at her family in some way, or a blatant cash grab.

Basically, if she runs to a Black man, either she homeless, or she got problems.

While this line of thinking is usually thought to be an indictment on White women—or, rather, the type of White woman who primarily dates Black men—it actually is a bigger insult to brothas. By believing that White women who choose Black men are effed up in some way, you’re also implying that there’s no reason for a normal, well-adjusted White woman to want to be in a serious relationship with a Black man.

Admittedly, I’ve fallen victim to this line of thinking as well. I’ve joked before about the type of White woman you might find at a predominately Black nightclub (I even have a name for them: “snizzles”—a term that derives from “snowbunnies”), but those jokes were rooted in a very real belief that something had to be wrong with a White chick who was into Black dudes. While I do believe that there has to be something wrong with someone who only dates outside of their race, I make concessions and justifications for Black men, Black women, and White men who do this that I never have with White women, and this lack of interracial dating-based empathy boxes me into a very awkward corner.

“If I believe that there’s something seriously wrong with her if she’s into me, that a decision to date a Black man is a seriously bad one, doesn’t that also suggest that I believe there’s something seriously wrong with me?”

I haven’t answered that question yet. Maybe I just don’t want to hear the answer. And, maybe I’m just not smart enough to be a fool.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

So, She’s Down With The Swirl…And So Is She…And So Is She…And So Is She…And So Is She

Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana Have a Night Out at the Theater

I’m going to assume that the 25 to 40 year old Black people in my sphere of influence probably aren’t that much different than than the type of Black person a typical reader of VSB interacts with regularly. (Basically, the n*ggas I know are exactly like the n*ggas the rest of y’all n*ggas know.)

Why does this matter? Well, the statement I’m about to make is completely unscientific, completely unresearched, and completely dependent on anecdote and observation. You could even argue that I’m pulling it completely out of my ass. But, I doubt you’ll make that argument because, since the n*ggas I know are likely to be pretty much exactly like the n*ggas the rest of y’all n*ggas know, you’ll probably agree. You may not want to agree, but if you’re smart—and, if you’re reading this, you probably are—you will.

While the vast majority of the Black people I know date/marry other Black people, I personally know more Black women my age with White boyfriends/husbands than Black men my age with White girlfriends/wives…and I bet most of you do too. Actually, for me, using “more” is somewhat misleading because, well, I don’t know any. I mean, I know they exist. I occasionally hear about them on NPR, and sometimes I’ll see one or two waiting for jitneys outside of Giant Eagle, but I do not personally know any urban, educated, and employed Black guys—basically, Black guys like me—who date White women. Not one. But, I know at least 10 Black women with those traits who are currently dating or married to White men.

I’m not pointing this out because I think this is a bad thing. Or a good thing. Or an inbetween thing. It’s just a thing I’ve noticed…a thing that basically goes against everything we’ve read, heard, learned, and think we’ve seen, but just a thing nonetheless.

I’m going to leave you all with two questions, one I think I already know the answer to and another that still escapes me somewhat.

1. If you took a quick survey of the Black people you happen to know, could you have made this same observation? 

2. Why do you think this is? (I have my theories, but since I spent all weekend moving, I’ll let you all do the heavy lifting today.)

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

So, She’s With A White Guy, Huh?

***Hello, everyone. S. Nicole Brown is here again to bless the VSB pulpit. This time, though, I decided to add some, um, “notes” in red to her piece. Not certain if she’s going to appreciate that, but, well, it’s my blog and I can do what I want to***

“That’s your woman? That is NOT your woman. You know that ain’t your woman, man.”

The man was around 35, smooth brown face featuring a neatly lined goatee, cap to the back, Pepsi in his right hand resting on his denim shorts. Before inviting himself into our lives, he was just another black man at the park that day.

(This was her first mistake. Dude definitely sounds homeless. I mean, he’s chillin in some random park with a Pepsi and some demin shorts? In 2012? Come on, man! It’s her fault for entertaining homeless men.)

It took us a moment to realize he was indeed directing his doubting statements at us, and although he was correct in his assumption, I turned my head, eyes wide at his audacity. I could only give a bewildered laugh. The man walking next to me, around the same age as him, slightly spiky brown hair, affable blue eyes, and clad in a “Detroit Soul” t-shirt, turned towards the man, his face serious.

“No, this is my wife.” He wrapped his hand around mine casually, and we kept walking.

(Although the wife move was admittedly a smooth transition, technically your wife would also be your woman, and he should have known that homeless Black men don’t appreciate semantic tricks. He’s lucky he didn’t get spleen shanked.)

This response was met with hushed laughter from the men sitting with our new friend, along with his words trailing us: “I don’t see a ring. That ain’t your woman man.”

(See, I know that’s a lie. Aint no group of Black men in Detroit gonna know what a wedding ring even is, let alone know where to check for it. For all they know, a wedding ring is some shit you find at the bottom of a bowl of wedding soup. Why are you making shit up?)

I shook my head but laughed it off, still in awe.

This would prove to be only one of several instances in which a day at an outdoor summer festival with a friend turned into a social experiment for the writer in me. I noticed all the stares, the shoulder taps on friends sitting next to them, and the not-so-subtle pointing. I was amused and embarrassed by the random and startling honking by cars containing black men as they drove past us, their voices carrying things like “Whiiiiite boyyyy! Yeahhh white boy!” over the music blasting from their stereos.

(I’m not doubting that any of this happened. I’m also not a Black woman who has walked through a summer festival in Detroit with a White man. Still, I do find it hard to believe that this experience is the norm instead of the exception. I mean, I’ve seen Black women and White men together before in Black settings, and aside from random cats asking him to cosign on car loans, they were pretty much left alone. They even occasionally get props and nicknames. And yes, it still counts as a nickname if the nickname is just their first name with “White” added to the front of it.)

I was downright shocked and offended by the three black men who stopped us and plainly asked in so many words what I was doing here with him and why I wasn’t with someone of a brown hue, eyes connecting solely with mine, completely disregarding the white man next to me. I was too much of a “beautiful sista” as one man stated as we passed by his perch, to not be with a black man. I looked around, had to keep reminding myself that it was 2011. It was as if we’d walked into neighborhood full of Crips wearing bright red.

Slowly I realized that the general consensus of the men who’d expressed confusion for our assumed pairing was that I was too attractive to date a white man, as if there is only a certain type of black woman that can date outside her race. Even when I told a guy friend about my experience, his initial response was that “they only said something because you’re attractive. They wouldn’t have otherwise.” I don’t understand. I know more than a few black women who date white men. They’re all very pretty women. That couldn’t be it.

(As your pseudo blog mentor and a person who’s very adept at the ancient art of humble bragging, I just want to say that these last couple paragraphs brought a tear to my eye. Good job grasshopper.)

Eric, my friend, a man who is far more Elijah Wood than Eminem, and primarily dates black women, was baffled himself. “Lisa and I used to come down here all the time, and this has never happened. I guess you are so fly.” He joked about the title of my old blog, but I could tell he was genuinely confused as to why so many brothers felt the need to speak their opinion one way or the other about two people whose relationship had nothing to do with them at all.

(Full disclosure: I have seen Ms. S. Nicole Brown before, and she is an attractive woman. And, because she’s tall and has big hair, she can be rather striking. This being the case, I wonder if the attention she received was due to her being with a White guy or if it was just some brothas having a pissing contest because they didn’t feel like her friend was a worthy partner and thought they might be able to put a bug in her ear. I can imagine they would have acted the same way if she happened to be with a “lame” looking brotha, and I also don’t think it’s a leap to suggest that a Don Draper doppelganger wouldn’t have received the same attention.)

The day was interesting to say the least. From a redheaded little boy pointing out my blackness to his parents, to the unexpected running-into Eric’s ex (black) and her man (white) and the confrontation that followed between the two men (two very square white men fighting over two black women in a park full of people. You can imagine the looks), it was definitely a day of firsts for me.

(I’ve never seen two sober White men fight in public. I know that has nothing to do with the story, but I just wanted to put that out there.)

Frankly, I was shocked. As someone who has seen many, many articles and comments surrounding the supposed stigma of black men dating interracially, white women in particular, and reading complaint after complaint, opinion after opinion from those same men on how black women have an enormous problem with this, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of the issue conversely.

(I honestly think that women “against” interracial dating are more against the idea of it than the actual act. I also think that Wendy’s spicy chicken nuggets on a bun with some grape jelly is the best off menu fast-food sandwich you can buy. Whatever you do, though, just don’t try to order it after 9pm.)

I also can’t say I’ve ever witnessed a black woman blatantly confront a black man walking with his blonde-haired, blue-eyed companion, and impose her opinion of their coupledom on them, whether positive or negative. I’ve never seen a black woman say “oh you got you some soul alright” to them as they walked past, minding their own business.

(Of course she wouldn’t confront them in person. That’s what Twitter and blogs are for. Duh!)

I’ve never dated a white man seriously. I’ve gotten approached by my fair share, as the natural hair seems to be a magnet (lol but no, it really is), and had a few dates, but a relationship has just never happened. I love black men and I always will, but I can’t say I’d be opposed to dating outside of that if my feelings led me that way. I for one would not even be here if not for the lovely chocolate-vanilla pairing that was my father’s parents, and my family consists of quite a few mixtures of love, so interracial coupling is quite normal to me.

(This paragraph was sweet and shit. Also, it’s proof that we could never date. Although I’m not particularly racist, I do seem to be attracted to racist Black women. I don’t know exactly why — Maybe I want my kids to be racists? — but I’m beginning to suspect that “racist Black women” just equals “Black women.” Anyway, you’re a bit too post-racial and shit for me.)

If I decided to do so tomorrow though, I am now overwhelmingly aware of the fact that black men will not mind letting me (and my date) know how they feel about it.

(And, by “Black men” you mean “some homeless Black men at a pre-Calicoe concert cookout in Detroit,” right?)

S. Nicole Brown (aka “Muze”) is a writer of fiction, lover of words, and chronic reader happily living the clichéd under-spaced and overpriced life of a NYC writer. You can find her in 140 or less @muzeness or on her blog, Because I’m Write.

***Just wanted to take some time and thank everyone again for the well-wishes and prayers. Like I mentioned yesterday, she just needs all the positive energy she can get. Writing this and reading the responses has definitely helped me, and I hope it’s left me better equipped to help her.***

Beating Dead Horses: An Honest Assessment About Why I Couldn’t Date A White Woman

"Wait, we can't even watch the movie together and you think I'm going to TAKE you down there? Ninja please."

Nearly every time anybody finds out that my mother is white, the conversation veers towards my dating preferences and if I’d ever date a white woman. And my answer is always no. I usually rifle off some statement about not being rejected by all of the beautiful Black women yet, and while that may be true, that really doesn’t speak at all to any sound, valid based god reasoning.

So one day, while eating things white people eat – like arugula and rosemary paremesan bread – I decided to really think about if there was any good reason aside from disappointing the million sistahs that don’t want me already. And that’s when it happened.

What?

I’m finna tell you, be easy.

So that’s when it happened.

Rick James, b*tch. My iTunes media player randomly played one of my favorite songs ever.

And then the floodgates into my mind’s eye opened and the reasons flowed like champagne at a strip club featuring the talents of future Basketball Wives. Allons-y.

1. I couldn’t dedicate nearly any of my favorite songs to her.

“Ebony Eyes”? Out. Once we break up: “Pretty Brown Eyes (Breaking My Heart)”. Gone. While it’s wholly possible that I could date a white chick with brown eyes, with my luck she’d have green eyes and splicing every time Erick Sermon said “the green eyed-bandit” into a dope song is just not a good idea. So many songs about Black love mention a woman’s brown eyes, which must suck for our sistahs with hazel or green or Thriller eyes.

2. I like to go to exhibits about Black history.

Nearly all of these exhibits haarken back to a time of discord between our two races. And while I’d know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it wasn’t my girl’s fault that things went all the way wrong…maybe, just maybe…she ain’t do enough to prevent it!!!!! True story: I went to go see the America I Am Exhibit while it was here in DC and this man came with his white wife. They started out cool, but over the course of the exhibit they must have gotten into some racially charged argument because they kept arguing…HISTORY…while we were there. It’s almost like he was taking it all personal while she was just trying to see the exhibit. Poor white woman.

3. I’m bald.

This means that I don’t have a comb. But I do have a daugher. And I swear fo’ God and three white men that I’d be the most hairdressingest Black man in America before I let somebody who’s hair acumen is effectively “wet and go” do my daughter’s hair. I’ve seen that with my own two eyes before. It was no bueno.

4. I like to watch bad Black movies.

I like sequels to questionable Black movies like Belly 2, Why Did I Get Married To: That Guy Right Three. And movies with Vivica Fox. I’m only gonna explain front weaves once. Or what if we are watching Precious and she thinks its funny. I mean it is…but I’m Black. After laughter comes tears. SHE should want to go volunteer and make a difference after!

5. I could never own or watch Rosewood again.

I remember the first time I watched this movie. At the home of my white mother and my entire white family. And I was enraged for a solid fifteen minutes. At nobody and everybody. I mean…they kilt Aunt Sarah dead. How am I supposed to tell her that I can never watch a movie again without her WANTING to see why? And then we’d have to watch it…and then we’d be done and what then class??

I couldn’t dedicate any songs to her that I love cuz well, “Pretty Brown Eyes” is out remember? See what I did there?

6. I honestly feel like I’d be disappointing my community.

Why? No good reason. Ridiculous logic? Absolutely. Love is and should be bigger than all of that. But I feel how I feel and I hate pepper because it’s Black. Again, I’m a f*cking walking paradox. No I’m not.

7. Most importantly, I’d have to stop using the n-word. And my n*gga, that’s just too much to ask of one man.

Now, don’t take this as me saying nobody should date outside of their race. Frankly, my dear, I couldn’t give a f*ck less who anybody decides to date as long as it’s not some horse or an ocelot. But these are reasons I’d tell my momma…right before she told me I need to have more diverse dating tastes. Oh, parents.

Anyway, folks of the VSBpora, have you ever actually thought about why you could or couldn’t date outside of your race? Like actual reasons? Do share?

Just say, say, say, what you want.

Posse out.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

****DMV RESIDENTIALISTS: Come celebrate Panama’s B-day on Thursday, June 2, a VSB Happy Hour and Game Night at Tap& Parlour at Bohemian Caverns located at 2001 11th Street, NW (corner of 11th and U) from 530-until. Game 2 will be on the TVs, games will be available, and happy hour prices. It’s a win-win-win.****

No rapture means that God wants you to stay on Earth and purchase the paperback or the $9.99 Kindle version of “Your Degrees Wont Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime”

Lastly, we’d like to thank all of you for coming through and nominating us for FIVE Black Weblog Awards. We’re on the final ballot for Best Humor Blog, Best Writing in a Blog, Best Sex & Relationships Blog, Best Group Blog, and Blog of the Year. Please vote for us here.

 

10 Things You Need To Know If You’re a White Woman Who Wants to Date The Type of Black Man Who’s Only Dated Black Women

***Before reading today’s entry, I just wanted to let everyone know that The VSB Files — Episode 006: It’s The Return…Again” — our latest and greatest podcast — is up and ready for mass consumption. Carry on***

From Jezebel’s “This Goldman Sachs Lady Will Teach You How To Date Black Dudes”:

Meet J.C. Davies! She’s a blogger, former investment banker, and the author of a book about inter-racial dating. In it, she addresses questions including, “Are Jewish men really cheap?” and “Are all Indian men well versed in the Kama Sutra?”

I’ll spare you the rest of the article, but I will answer what I’m sure is the most prominent question on everyone’s mind: No, this article wasn’t cross-posted from The Onion. She really does exist (Her book really exists, too) Continue reading