Saturday, October 27, 2007

PART 2 - Inter-racial dating and black women

Dating inter-racially has it's hurdles. In fact, there seem to be so many hurdles, that some people make the decision to avoid them completely. One such hurdle that is discussed often is the belief that dating inter-racially is an expression of self-hate. This belief produces feelings of guilt and the idea that one is somehow betraying others.

But is dating out self hate? The word hate is a pretty strong word and is universally understood. But the term - SELF - seems to divide some people. Some people identify very strongly with their race, and consider there -RACE- to be their -SELF-. And while our race is certainly a part of who each and every one of us are, our race is not our self, our race is merely our genes which determine skin tone, hair color and texture, and facial features. One's self does not reside in the genes. One's self resides in the soul. Our "selves" refer to each individual, and each individual alone. While we feel closeness to our parents, our children, perhaps other members of our nationality, or race, or - SELVES- are ours and ours alone.

Hatred of course comes in many forms. Some hatred is directed towards individuals, while other forms are directed towards groups. The only form of individual based hatred that could be considered self-hatred is if you hate, well, yourself, and yourself alone. There are some group forms of hatred that can also be considered self hatred. For example, if you express hatred towards a group of people that you happen to be a member of, that could be considered self-hatred. If I as a man express hatred for humanity, that is a form of self-hatred. But if I is a man express hatred towards women, while being an expression of hatred, it is not actually SELF-hatred.

I've heard it commonly expressed that dating inter-racially is an expression of self hatred based on a couple different ideas. Black men who date inter-racially are often said to express self-hatred when their perceived reason for doing so is because they "hate" black women. Granted, in cases such as these, or when black men date inter-racially while making denigrating remarks towards black women, it IS a form of hatred. But like the above example of a man who expresses hatred for women, a black man that expresses hatred for black women is NOT expressing SELF-hatred, for the group that they are expressing hatred for is not a group in which they belong to. Now, that doesn't make it any better, or more acceptable, it is just making a justification, that black men who express animosity towards black women are not acting out of SELF-hatred, but are acting on common everyday HATRED.

Another reason that is sometimes used to rationalize that black men who date inter-racially are acting on self-hatred is the belief that the black men in question have adopted the ideology of white supremacy. However, one cannot conclude that just because a man sees white WOMEN as ideal, that the man is adopting the ideology of white supremacy. White supremacy is the belief that white PEOPLE are superior to all others. If a black man truly believed in such an ideology, he would not just put white women on a pedestal, but white MEN as well. If this were happening, the black man in question would most likely have white male role-models, listen to white male musicians, be fans of white athletes, idolize white actors, and pursue friendships with white males. In cases such as this, there very well MIGHT be a belief in white supremacy. However, in instances in which the black man in question does NOT put white men on a pedastal (which from my own personal experience includes just about ALL of them), the claim of white supremacy just doesn't add up. What about when black men date white women, yet listen to hip hop? If there is an industry that puts the black male more front and center than hip hop, I have yet to hear of it. What about black men who date white women but only have black male role-models? Many black males who date white women seem to somewhat look DOWN on white men.

The idea that these men are following the ideology of white supremacy does not add up. A more accurate ideology would be the idea that black=male and white=female; or put in another way the belief that the black race is a "masculine" race and the white race is a "feminine" race. This ideology would explain why black men who chase after white women think highly of themselves, but not black women. This would also explain why these men put all things white and "feminine" on a pedestal while looking down on white males. While this notion, that black = male and white = female would most likely be seen as offensive to white males and black females (for obvious reasons), it is not hard to see why some black men might find this mindset appealing. With this mindset, the black man becomes the alpha male and the the envy of all men. As the alpha male, he naturally deserves the alpha female (white woman). In this mindset, it is only NATURAL to the black man in question that he end up with a white female. The fact that black women suffer as a result of this mindset is of course no concern to those who embrace it.

And many black women seem to mistake this philosophy that black= masculine with black=bad. They don't recognize that it with this ideology that it is only black FEMALES that = bad, not black males. As a result of this misinterpretation, some black women vow to date ONLY black men with hopes of re-affirming black beauty, when in reality they are only re-affirming that black= masculine.

While we've covered the topic of hatred, let's touch on the subject of love. It is human nature to look out for and protect the best interest of those whom we love. Keep this in mind when addressing the issue of black men dating out and disrespecting black women. Whose best interest are they looking out for? I think the answer goes without saying. And with this in mind it seems quite obvious to me the one thing that black men and black women have most in common. Black men and black women both love black men.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Inter-racial dating and black women (part one)

The 70% single rate among black american women is probably not news to most of you. I've heard countless discussions regarding this phenomenon and what might be causing it. While the startling number of black males who date inter-racially is acknowledged by most as a primary contributing factor, there are other consequences of black male interracial dating that I have not heard being discussed. What I'm referring to is the relative social value of black men and women and how they are affected by the interracial dating disparity.

By social value I'm referring to how much of a "catch" a person is considered to be, and as a result how many options that person has socially, and how much leverage this person has in relationships with the opposite sex.. Normally, an ideal relationship would consist of a man and a woman with relatively equal social values. In these relationships the couples seem to be the most content, as neither person takes the other for granted and both are happy with their respective partner. Problems tend to occur when one person has much more social value than the other. For example, and attractive man who is a doctor (who would be considered a catch by many women) usually doesn't end up with an unatractive women (who is usually not considered a catch). Likewise, an attractive woman usually doesn't end up with an overweight burger-flipper. In relationships such as these, feelings of inadequacy from the person with lower social value are often the result. Often times the person with lower social value feels "lucky" to be with his or her partner even in situations in which the partner is abusive, neglectful, or has been unfaithful.

You're probably wondering what relative social value has to do with the black community and the 70% single rate among black women. Simply stated, it seems that black men in the U.S are systematically being over-valued while black women are being under-valued. As a result, the average black man is no longer on the same level socially as the average black woman. The average black man is now considered "more of a catch" and thus has higher social value than the black woman. As a result, black men have much more relative power and influence in relationships with black women. Black men can afford to be pickier and choosier, and often feel that they are too good to be tied down to just one woman. Black women as a result have to set their sites lower, and even feel "lucky" when they catch a man who would otherwise be beneath them.

So what has caused this over-valuation of black men and undervaluation of black women? The inter-racial dating disparity between black men and black women is one of the primary reasons for this warped dynamic.

But in order to understand how this is happening, one must first understand the fundamentals of supply and demand. Generally speaking, the demand for something has a direct impact on that something's value, while the supply of something has an inverse impact on that something's value. For example, if the demand for oranges goes up, the value of oranges goes up. If the supply of oranges goes up, the value of oranges goes down.

As applied to the situation of inter-racial dating in the black community, it is easy to see that when black men date inter-racially they are in effect reducing the supply of available black men from the pool of single men, thus increasing their own social value. Furthermore, by dating inter-racially they are perpetuating the already popular belief that black men are "masculine" and African features on men are attractive to women of all races, thus increasing the demand for themselves which also increases their own social value.

On the flip side, when black women refuse to date anyone but a black man, they are increasing their own supply in the pool of single women, thus decreasing their own social value. In addition to this effect of increased supply, they are also perpetuating the belief that black women are not available or attractive to men of other races which decreases the demand for black women which further decreases their own social value.

The results of this warped valuation of black men and women are quite obvious. Black men have everything to gain by maintaining the status quo while black women have everything to lose.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why Aren't There More Black Cheerleaders?

Over the years I've heard many discussions about race and sports. A common observation is the fact that black males are extremely over-represented in many popular sports such as football and basketball. Of all of the observations I've heard voiced and questions asked, there is one aspect of this that I have never heard voiced. Why is there not more black cheerleaders?

If it is commonly accepted that black males excel at sports, then why wouldn't it be safe to assume that black females would excel in cheerleading considering that cheerleading requires some athletic ability and coordination. Why then are there not more black females in cheerleading? Is it because black females are not interested in cheerleading? I find this hard to believe.

In our society, athletes and cheerleaders are often presented as being the cream of the crop. It seems increasingly that at a young age, children are exposed to idea of a "social ladder" and in high schools the top of that ladder is athletes for males and cheerleaders for females. Considering this, it seems far-fetched to assume that black females would not want to be at the top of the ladder.

So why then is this happening? I've been aware of this situation for quite some time and it always seemed to me that there must be some form of discrimination going on. I've never been able to put my finger on exactly how it is occurring though.

Recently I had a conversation with someone that exposed what I always suspected. Apparently it is common practice in schools to allow male students to join the football or basketball team for free, but female students are charged $500-600 to become a cheerleader! Of course the obvious outcome is that for the most part, only white females can afford to join.

I wonder if the black community is aware of this and if so why hasn't anything been done, or at the very least this topic been discussed? Considering that the argument has been made that there are "too many white officials" in sports even though white males are under-represented in the sports themselves would seem to give the impression that the black community is VERY aware of racial representaion in sports if it is dealing with black MEN, but could not be bothered if it is dealing with black WOMEN.

This is unfortunate, because not only are many disadvantaged black females barred from ever even attempting their dreams, the continued under-representation of black females in cheerleading sends the message that black women are not "cream of the crop" material. This trend of black male over-representation in sports and white female over-representation in cheerleading further reinforces the race/gender ideals promoted in Hollywood and further reinforces the stereotype that black= masculine and white = feminine.