What Happens When You Try To Explain America’s Angst About Interracial Relationships To An Alien From Outer Space
So, I have a secret to share.
I’ve had an alien living with me for the last couple of weeks. Not an illegal alien—remember, I live in Pittsburgh, and the population here is 20% Black, 50% White, and 30% Yinzer—but a real, actual alien from outer space. He came down to Earth on Halloween, and landed in my neighborhood, pretending to be a trick or treater. We met after he came past my house, asking for water.
I got it for him, and I knew something was up when he grabbed it with his ear. I straight up asked him “Are you an alien from outer space?” After a couple denials, he eventually fessed up, and admitted that he needed somewhere to crash until he got enough fuel to get back home. I offered him our spare bedroom. But he seems to be more comfortable sleeping in the bathtub.
Anyway, he’s been a pretty good houseguest so far. He makes the best lemonade I’ve ever had, he’s great with the dog, and both my girl and I have inexplicably grown two inches taller since he’s been here. (Strange, right?)
He’s also become very interested in both general and pop culture, and has developed a ravenous appetite for information, frozen cocktail sauce, and Scandal. (He says Huck reminds him of his cousin.) He even visits many of the same websites I do. So, you can imagine his confusion yesterday when finding this from the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen
“People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.”
(Yes, you read that correctly. In 2013, a columnist at one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers said interracial marriage makes people with “conventional” views—read: “normal” people—nauseous.)
As I said before, the alien has learned quite a bit about American culture in his time here, so he’s (somewhat) aware of our country’s star-crossed racial history. Still, our collective angst about interracial romance confuses him. We all look exactly alike to him, so it doesn’t make any sense.
So, yesterday, I tried to explain some things to him. A paraphrased version of our conversation is below. (The alien’s remarks are in bold)
So what’s the deal with you all and interracial relationships? Where does this angst come from?
That’s a very interesting question. I can give you a long answer or a short one. Which do you prefer?
How about an inbetween one?
That’s what she said.
Nevermind. Ok. Well, first I have to make it clear that not everyone feels this angst. Some of us are perfectly fine with interracial relationships. But, those who aren’t tend to be quite vocal. And, their feelings can be summarized rather succinctly.
I like that word.
No. “But.” It makes me laugh every time you say it. But. But. But. But. But. But…
Okaaaaaaay. Anyway, we’ve been here since like 1600 or something, but there have been legal limitations on what we’ve been able to do in this country until like 1964. Basically, we’re all still getting used to this “Black people are completely free after being restricted in some way for 400 or so years” thing, and there are some kinks. One of those kinks is a collective angst about Black and White people sleeping with and procreating with each other.
Black women feel the angst about Black men dating out because Black men choosing to be with White women reinforces the idea that White women are the ideal.
Black men feel the angst about Black women dating out because we kinda, sorta think we kinda own them, and them dating out proves we don’t
White men feel the angst about White women dating out because they kinda, sorta think they kinda own everything, and them dating out proves they don’t.
What about White women? What angst do they feel?
Interestingly enough, no one really cares what they think. Or, at least cares enough to ask them.
So, that gives some context to some of the pieces I’ve read about Scandal. Black men seem to be really upset about that show. I don’t understand why they would be. Kerry is so fierce. Her lips remind me of the moons around my planet.
Well, not all Black men are upset about Scandal. Most aren’t at all. Some don’t even know it exists. Some are even fans of the show. The ones who are upset about it, though, are just very vocal.
I’ll split them into three camps.
A) Men genuinely perplexed by Black women’s embrace of such a flawed character. (This is the smallest camp.)
B) Men feeling a certain way that Black women have collectively embraced such a powerful character who is rendered powerless by a White man’s gaze. (This is also a small camp)
C) Trolls. (This is the largest camp.)
What are trolls?
In this context, they’re people who take antagonistic positions for no other reason than to bother people. In the traditional context, they’re tiny mutants who live inside of trees.
So, trolls are basically just people who are on Twitter?
I guess that’s one way of putting it.
So, why would these Black men troll?
There’s a certain amount of antipathy held by some Black men towards Black women. And vice versa. Again, not all Black men and Black women feel this way. Most don’t, actually. But some do. And those who do take whatever opportunity they can to insult each other.
That kind of reminds me of a conflict on my home planet. The Beervianians and 8-ock 981 have been engaged in a civil war for 200 years. It all started when…
No one gives a fuck about all that.
You’re an asshole.
No I’m not. Just human.
Anyway, why do these Black men and Black women feel this way about each other?
There is a lot of hurt there. Part is slavery residue. Part is a result of the breakdown of the Black family. Part is self-hate. And, part is from us never getting over Frank’s Place getting canceled.
The solution to all of this can apparently be found in the linear notes of Dr. Dre’s Detox. Which is why it keeps getting pushed back by the Illuminati.
(Part 2 coming later.)
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)