Over the years I have heard many tales of woe from white women who have been treated badly by black men. Cheated on, sometimes beaten but very commonly, robbed or conned. These stories have sat on the periphery of my subconscious until I noticed a trend in conversation with a white girlfriend.
There is the white girl who dates and eventually marries her black male peer. They meet their men in school or professional circles and were it not for the race difference, their romances are rather mundane.
Then there is the white woman with what I have come to think of as a racist agenda. Of course she doesn’t call it this or even think of herself this way. In fact if she were to brand herself, it would be in philanthropic terms – ‘I fell for a poor African and I am lifting him and his family out poverty’ type of thinking. She typically dates the black man who wants to marry ‘up’ but knows that his education and resources are too limited to offer well-to-do black women anything substantial. His ticket is the experimenting and touring white woman, the one in pursuit of her ‘African-experience’. She finds herself in bed with tour guides, gym instructors, the mechanic or a guy who quasi works under the catch-all word ‘model’. You know him; the glorified groupie who hangs out with artists, designers and photographers. He cultivates a ‘look’ so he is occasionally asked to walk a catwalk or pose for pictures.
The reason I call this woman racist is that she gets here and instead of dating as we know it, she takes her ego out for a walk. She finds a guy who needs her financially and starts participating in his economic crisis. Starting businesses, paying medical bills, educating children from previous relationships... you name it, she is paying for it and playing the martyr while she is at it.
What makes me brand her racist is that she does not expect him to perform as a peer, or even other ‘men’ who stereotypically provide and nurture. He is allowed to over-perform sexually and under-perform in all other ‘masculine’ areas like he is in some way incapable. This exception is what strikes me as racist. These able and educated women would not be doing the same thing with their white equals. Oh no, that man would be expected to provide for his family, perform in bed, help take care of his kids and have deep and meaningful conversations with this woman. He would be her peer, if not better than her, in all ways. The bar that they set for our black brothers is however, significantly and glaringly low. Why? Why aren’t they looking for black men that they do not have to provide for? Black men who own and use their passports regularly? Whose opinions they can respect and even solicit?
Nobody wants to think of themselves as a bigot but if you find that you are letting your black lover get away with treating you in a way that you would dump a white man for, perhaps it is time to ask yourself what you motivation truly is.