Friday, December 16, 2011

It's a Black and White Thing

I have something to share with you all, something you might be shocked to hear, but I have to get it off my chest.

Here goes...

My husband

...and I am...white! gets worse. We have children! *gasps*

Oh, and even worse yet...I am completely, 100% unapologetic about it.

I am going to be uncharacteristically controversial for a moment, and that's sarcasm, just in case you're just now tuning in.

Because I refuse to continue to argue with a woman on facebook as to why it shouldn't matter that Tyler Perry might be engaged to a black woman, and why, in any relationship, it shouldn't matter what color the skin, I'm choosing to write about it instead, and let the creative, irritated juices flow.

I have heard enough hate tonight to last me a while, so before I begin, please beware, that hateful comments will be deleted, no questions asked.

Now to give you a little background, I saw a comment tonight on an article about Tyler Perry's possible engagement, that stated how happy the commenter (a black woman) was that he was marrying a "sister" because "you know how people get when they get money." I very nicely stated that I meant no disrespect, but as a white woman married to a black man I can say that it is not money or color (or lack there of) that joins us, but our faith in God, and that whether they are pink, red, green, or blue I pray that their faith in God keeps their relationship strong. I even ended the comment with a ":)". I was not offended by what the woman said. She stated her opinion, and then I shared mine. But as usual, my opinion was misconstrued. I was verbally attacked by several other black women, one of which said if this made me uncomfortable and edgy then I should stick to my own race.

Hold the phone. Isn't this the exact kind of hatred and racism that black people have been trying to overcome for centuries?

You might be surprised (or you might not) to know that this is not the first of this hatred I have encountered. You also might be surprised (or not) to know that this kind of bitterness toward our relationship has never (to my knowledge) come from white people. I don't really talk about it, because I take it with a grain of salt, and because I don't want to offend anyone or give them the wrong impression, but the glares, the rude comments and behavior toward us, or rather me, have only come from black women. I cannot speak on Jelani's behalf, but that is what I have experienced. Everyone tends to look at us because it's hard to miss my ghostly white skin contrasted against his dark chocolate skin, but I have only gotten attitude from a very small demographic.

I am aware that a high percentage of black women are single, and I am also aware that a high percentage of black men are dating or married to white women. I don't claim to know why that is, but I think it is unfair to assume that black men with money and/or status purposely "turn their backs on black women." I don't think anyone of any color should have to apologize for or explain their love in their relationship. Contrary to what some might believe, I did not stealthily steal Jelani away from a black woman's grasp. We were both single at the time that we met, and we fell in love. It has nothing to do with money, education, status, or color. It has everything to do with us, and our relationship with Christ and with each other, and I shouldn't even have to explain that. 

You might rightly say that I will never understand a black woman, or her feelings about this. Correct. But I do understand that no one likes to be stereotyped. When you make comments like that about black men with white women, you are lumping them into a stereotype. Even more so, by stating that black men go after white women when they come into money or fame, you are lumping your own men into a status seeking, money loving, heartless category, and that. is. not. fair.

Lastly, and the part that irritated me most tonight: to the woman who told me that I should try to understand because one day my "black daughter will feel the same way," do not  tell me how my daughter is going to feel, and do not speak that kind of bitterness and resentment on her. Because, if we're being honest, that's what it comes down to.

1. my daughter is not black. she is both black AND white.
2. my daughter is beautiful and smart no matter what shade her skin is.
3. my daughter will be raised to know that the color of skin isn't what makes a person, and to have respect for people and their relationships.
4. my daughter will be raised with the love of Jesus, and to be confident in that, and to be comfortable with herself and her relationship with Him so that she will understand whether dating, married, or single, that His will for her life is what matters; His love for her is what matters, and, therefore know not to tear others down for what they have.

You can talk at me in circles all night about this just "being your opinion," but that doesn't change the hypocrisy of it, one iota, so here is a tip: Love your Lord, love yourself, and speak blessings; not curses.

I wouldn't normally add a disclaimer, but this is necessary: none of this is to say, in any way, that all black women feel this way. In fact, everyone in our lives, black and white, has been nothing but loving and supportive, and that is what matters. I LOVE the people in our lives.

Lastly, the only racial tension that has ever been in this relationship has been our very opinionated debates about James Brown and Celine Dion, and those are entertaining at their worst, so that's the way it's going to stay. Your bitter "opinions" aren't welcome here, but thanks for stopping by and keeping me inspired, and here's another ":)" for good measure.


  1. I wrote this blog a while back and think you might like it...

    Be you and be happy. Hugs...

  2. I positively admire you and your words. I will be a regular and avid reader of your blog from here on out. I think you masterfully explained yourself and I couldn't have said it better myself if I were to ever have been in that sort of position. I know not your situation, but in my eyes, skin is only the outter shell of what really matters. One's soul. One's heart. One's mind. Those are what people fall in love with, not skin tone. If they are shallow enough to assume skin color defines a person and their attributes, then I truly pity and pray for them. It will be a long and lonely life with that mind set for them. Hopefully, one day, they will wake up and smell the coffee and let such hatred go. That isn't healthy for anyone, especially themself. Thank you for writing this, even if it was inspired by other's negativity.

  3. Well said, Erin. Well said.

    Someday, perhaps people will learn that it is not the color of one's skin, but instead the content of one's character, that really matters.

  4. It hurts my heart that you have to deal with such hatred and negativity. I know your faith will keep you strong. You really have a talent with words and know how to express how you feel so elegantly.