I have a significant issue with African-American women who publicly issue the following loaded statement, “there are no good Black men left.” So I am certain that you can imagine that my blood pressure gradually rose to stroke level as I watched a recent episode of the Steve Harvey show dedicated to interracial dating.
Now let me attempt to be forthright and clear in my position regarding interracial dating, if you happen to meet a person, regardless of their race/ethnicity, and cupid’s arrow strikes the both of you, please go and be happy while enjoying in the voluminous possibilities, twists-and-turns that life has for you and your significant other.
I have lived long enough to realize that loving someone who wildly loves you as well is one of the best reasons to live. Love is an intangible substance that is a rare and precious gem that must be continually re-energized or it will flicker out and disappear; so if you find someone who is willing to help you keep that tenuous flame going, by all means pursue it.
Unfortunately for Black women, this does not appear to be the type of Love that they are experiencing when they make the conscious decision to ‘open up their options’ and engage in inter-racial relationships; the very fact that they are ‘opening up their options’ reeks of desperate women who are willing to ‘settle’ for any man who meet their minimum standards.
I am quite certain that you know the tired, raggedy, and distasteful tale that seems to be the standard verse of disenchanted African-American women who by their mid-thirties and beyond look up and find themselves extremely successful in every area of their lives except finding, developing, and maintaining a healthy relationship with an African-American man. However, I do not think that this is totally their fault; in fact, I know that the genesis of this issue does not begin with them.
The sister who appeared on the Steve Harvey show was in a word ‘stereotypical’ in that she was educated, beautiful, driven in her professional career, and desperately seeking or should I use a more contemporary term such as “thirsty” for Love.
When Steve Harvey inquired how was it possible that she did could not find a single African-American male to date and cultivate a relationship with, predictably, this sister went into a familiar script that lamented African-American men were, and this is her term not mine, ‘baby men’. This gorgeous sister let loose with a litany against these ‘baby men’ who needed constant validation, companionship, affection, and too much attention. Failure to dole out these things often led to them seeking it in the arms, and bed, of another woman.
The crux of the show pivoted around the idea that this sister had tired of dealing with ‘baby men’ and was now willing to ‘open up’ her pool of possible suitors. The Steve Harvey show decided to help this sister out and arranged two dates for her — one with a Greek male and the other with a Korean male.
I intently watched this sister’s interaction with these two men and found her to particularly engaging, vivacious, and eager to interact with them. Put simply, there was an optimism and exuberance that under girded this sister’s interaction with these men. I honestly found absolutely no fault in her behavior during the date. I honestly could not think of a single African-American male who would have not only enjoyed this sister’s company, but also been honored to call her his woman.
I thought this illogical as there was most certainly something horribly amiss. And then it dawned upon me like an ominous cloud appearing over the head of the affable cartoon character Charlie Brown.
There is a factor that is often omitted when discussing Black Male and Black Female interactions. However, this factor must be considered if one truly desires to understand why we so often fail to develop ‘chemistry’. The factor that I am alluding to greatly affects Black women, a population that has historically displayed a nearly unconscionable loyalty to the race in myriad ways including a fervent desire to meet, date, and wed an African-American male. Put simply, the sisters have tired of Black Male foolishness that has repeatedly left them spiritually broken, financially destitute, and embarrassed in their social circles.
One has to wonder, how many disappointments are necessary before disappointment becomes the expected outcome to any and all romantic interactions that Black Women have with Black Men. If brothers were to pay close attention, they would be able to see the emotional wear-and-tear that repeated disappointments have had upon African-American women. The alluded to ‘wear-and-tear is expressed in myriad ways, sisters refusing to acknowledge ‘brothers’ as they pass, immersing themselves in activities with their girlfriends, or finding other activities (reading, theater, etc.) that all but guarantee that they will never cross paths with Black Men.
Sadly, the absence of optimism during a date, let alone during a relationship, is a major turn-off for anyone regardless of race as it reeks of that stink perfume known as sullenness.
So if a sister such as the one mentioned above were to find the ‘perfect’ African-American male (gainfully employed, handsome, monogamous, mentally sane, educated, and financially stable) her inability to engage him, because of prior failed interactions with other Black Men, serves as the supreme deterrent to the development of chemistry. Ironically, this inability to engage a Black Man is directly attributable to much of the foolishness that Black Men have put sisters through for largely immoral and/or inexplicable reasons.
If I could, I would encourage sisters to remain open to the idea of ‘Black Love’ and enter into their dates with the optimism and energy that they are giving men of other races.
I also wish that I could guarantee sisters that it would cause the majority of Black Men to view them differently and treat them honorably; however, I am not a liar and doubt that even an increase of the trust quotient or optimism would alter the behavior of the vast majority of ‘brothers’, sad, but most definitely true.
James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016