Black women make me laugh when they trot out the ol’ ‘I have a preference for black men’. How come then black men don’t share indeed show any evidence of this same strong, vocalized preference for black women and you can quite easily observe they don’t. Indeed if your ‘preference’ is something real and hardwired and innate, as some of you like to protest it is (this whole black just want to be with black etc etc) then everyone/every group would share similar patterns of ‘preferring’ those who prefer them, or else one group would risk becoming extinct, if it’s strong preference is not returned.
All in all, the term preference suggests a comparison has been made. If I prefer potatoes to any other ‘root’ food, then it suggests that I have had occasions to taste a variety of these other foods e.g. yams, swedes, sweet potatoes etc etc and over time realized that really my taste buds favour potatoes.
So all these women who haven’t even shared a cup of coffee with a white man, deciding they have a preference for only black men are just confused about what they are saying really. Remember folks, to have a preference for one thing, you must have had a chance to try/taste other things in its category more than once hopefully before you come out with that definite conclusion.
Something else is really afoot when black women answer with the usual knee-jerk ‘I have a preference for black men’. In my view there is a dynamic at play here that really isn’t about preference. They are not really answering the direct question, ‘who do you prefer’ (which if you note is never really asked they just offer the information about their preference unprompted). What they are actually doing is responding to the ‘subtext’ of the discussion or debate at hand, which they have processed and immediately heard that distinct call to stick up for their race. When black women answer in this manner, they have heard in the debate or conversation something that requires them to come out swinging for their race, they hear a call to show how ‘wonderful’ their race is and how black people are not 'all up into' white skin and all that other stuff that we as black women are always trying to guard against being or doing. This is about hyper vigilance for race.
I call this particular reaction, ‘responding to the subtext discussion’ which is about defending the race/race totems, sometimes resulting in black women making a whole issue out to be something it isn’t about. You see a clear example of how this ‘making an issue about what it is not’, happens on the programme Oprah Winfrey did about the high rates of singleness among black women. If you find a copy of that program on Youtube etc, you will see how that as soon as Oprah said the opening words about 70% singleness, one black woman in the audience immediately got her hand up and started going on about how black men are good and this and that. This was before Oprah even mentioned anything about black men!
The woman came out fighting because she heard the subtext negative suggestion about black men (real or imagined), and immediately a discussion about black women and dating suddenly required a ‘coming to the defence of black men’ .
Other ways black women make a discussion about something it is not
- Finding personal love and happiness becomes an issue about saving black community
- Protecting our young black girls from DBR predators side tracks into an issue of how not to send a brother to jail
- Finding a good man to love becomes an issue of never giving up on ‘brotas’
When black women hear any discussion, they start scanning it for any underling implication that their black race is being demeaned, and quite often as is the case when one is hyper vigilant the alarm gets set off and they hear, ‘this is that situation you were warned to be prepared to say something in favour of your people.’ They come out swinging hard for the race.
Outsiders hear ‘protestations’ of undying love for black men and claims of strong preference and read it as proof of how black women have this amazing ‘attachment’ to black men rather than see this as black women responding to a call to ‘defend’ their race.
‘I have a preference for black men’ then can be translated ‘I have to show you/the world that we are sooooo enamoured with our race and we love it so much as to not be really interested in others’. It is showing the world that 'we are not self haters', 'we love our race' (symbolically through being totally enamoured with black man), 'we are not looking to run away from our blackness', 'are not looking to be white' etc etc.
Any wonder then that the more black men ‘display’ a non-preference for black women the louder the protestations of ‘black male preference’ grows. It all makes sense in the context of black women trying hard to counter the suggestions that their race is not good enough etc as being reinforced by black men’s actions.
Black Women you can gain insight into the relationship reality facing black women today, and find out more about the Interracial Option, read the IR E-book
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