I was taught the story of Emmett Till by my mother at a young age.I don't think she did it as a warning as much as to be like, "This is something you should be aware of." He was 14. He got dragged out of his uncle's house and tortured and killed because he maybe flirted with a white woman. getting off brought a twisted, but understandable feeling of justice. verdict, my dad was now getting enough money to move his wife and three children to a nice house in a Chicago suburb.
Any time a black man walks around with a white woman he's giving off the impression that white women are his specific preference and that he has a problem with women of his own race, and because that applies to some black men who date white women, it becomes a label that all of us are subjected to. I totally get where black women are coming from, too.
It's nothing to walk past a random black woman on the street and get a death glare and maybe even overhear something like, "They're taking all of our men." I was out with my white girlfriend at The Graham in East Williamsburg sometime last year and a black woman came up to me and asked me why was I dating a white girl when she can't even get a man. Truth be told, it's important to me that they also get where I'm coming from and know that I'm not one of these sellouts who views them as undesirable.
A racist jury acquitted his murderers, Roy Bryant and J. Milam, despite overwhelming evidence, and, to rub salt in the wound, both admitted to killing Till in magazine the next year. The shoe was on the other foot for once and so be it if two white people wound up dead. That's harsh, but that's the historical context of black men dating white women that I unfortunately have to consider when doing the same. Even then, I understood that it was racial, but there was a disconnection from my personal reality. Whatever I learned from the trial was tucked away as something that I should know as a black man, but it didn't have a life-altering impact on my own development. For whatever implications the trial had, that shit also had nothing to do with me. My attraction to them was likely a natural response to my environment. Nobody was trying to assimilate with white people, but sometimes that's just the way things go when you want a better home and better schools for your family.
Though those events are something of which I'm always cognizant, I didn't adhere to them as any sort of cautionary tale. The idea was always to live my life however I wanted to live it. But it does have an unforeseen effect on your outlook when you're one of the few black families in town.
But because I know I'm not one of those sellouts, I feel no guilt about dating white women. A lot of white women have been extremely accepting of and loving towards me my entire life and that's all there is to it.
If anything, I just hate that there's such a vast misconception about my intentions from people who don't even know me. Though this very article was written in an attempt to bring context to these consistently misunderstood relationships, I don't have to explain who I date to anyone. I never really think about race while dating unless somebody else makes it an issue or I notice that the way a white woman I'm with looks at something is flawed because of her upbringing. I view it as an opportunity to educate and eradicate even a small amount of ignorance.
Black women have told me it's because I'm a sellout.
The white men who can get past the mental anguish of my black penis tarnishing "their" women think I'm making some latent admission that their race has the most attractive women.
The concept of a black man in a relationship with a white woman is a "thing" that people have an opinion on, and that opinion comes with an entire set of stereotypes, fueled by racist ideology, a complicated past, and sometimes even pop culture.