Just know it's not personal.
What follows make more sense if you take two minutes to listen to the poem first.
This poem covers so much ground, and so honestly. As someone else already said, It is beautiful and sad at the same time. Yet, I also see tragedy if lessons aren't learned.
The older I get though, the more I realize there's just as much "difference" to be overcome just being different by gender as there is to overcome by being different by race.
The defense of Clarence Thomas back in the day, Ray Rice and Bill Cosby lately, have all made this crystal clear. There are so many or our men who are completely unwilling to make an effort to see sexism and root it out of themselves because it simply seems normal-- just like the white people unconscious about white supremacy and racism. The dominance and sexism in the black and white community and the dominant culture racism in the white community, are all passively learned at home, school, church, synagogue, and mosque.
In a white man these problems may be compounded, as he can be totally unconscious about racism and sexism both. Still, to me, love becomes less and less about "how different is he from me" and more about "does this person feel good when I talk to him" and then not too much later on, "how much ground has this person already covered in learning other human beings not like himself" BEFORE he met me.
It truly ought to be easier to be with someone who understands the black experience. But I'm thinking this may not be so. I am beginning to realize that black history books erase black women just like white history books erase black people. I'm thinking this absence of respect for black women leaks out in the day to day in ways not immediately recognizable, not nearly as recognizable as racism-leaks. I think this absence of respect is why so many black women refuse to marry or remain to stay married.
However, it ought to be easier with a black man that's willing to see his privilege just as easily as he sees his oppression. I believe this. I just think this is very hard to find.
If 1.5 million black men are really missing, as that famous NY Times Article says, then that explains the competition between women that I already see. I don't like it, but I understand it. I understand the jealousy between women. I understand one woman ignoring of pain she has caused to another woman by a being with a cheat willing to cheat his girlfriend, his wife, his family.
One and a half million black women missing 1.5 million black men explains the childishly entitled behavior of a black man who consider himself God's gift to you just by having a half way decent job. People who have too many choices behaved as if they are princes, sitting on high, because they have been spoiled.
I keep thinking that spoiled men are just like some of these spoiled stars that marry over and over again. Elizabeth Taylor probably thought in the back of mind, "I'm gorgeous. I'm rich. I don't have to put up with his leaving the toilet seat up over and over. I told him 3 times already. It's time for him to be replaced. NEXT!!!"
In addition to being spoiled by too much attention and too many choices, many black men, just like black women, are affected by what they see in the media every day. There's a certain percentage that see and embrace the white aesthetic. Only a very small percentage of black men is attracted to white women and only white women. I think black marriage stats bear this out. But a much, much larger percentage? They want the next best thing to a white woman if what we see in the media is any indication.
There's a reason Beyonce's paler than she was when she began her career and even maintains her no longer new, long, blond locks in a sea of afros during a Black Panther styled halftime performance. These black girls running up and down the street with waist-length, bone-straight hair may be misguided but they are not insane. They've seen the what the black girls in rap and hip-hop videos look like. They've seen who black athletes wear on their arms like human Rolex-es. They've seen what's presented as the beautiful girl in 3/4 of the black movies they've seen. And all this "seeing" means they know what a sizable chunk of our men really want.
And the natural hair revolution going on in the female side of the black community? This is bringing the "good hair" debate back from decades ago, quiet as it's kept. This form of hair politics is pre-weave and pre-creamy crack. This involves what black men find attractive too.
All of this, together, means that black women need to keep their options open.
And part of what that means is that black women need to realize and accept that there are going to be huge obstacles to be overcome no matter what race the man who catches her eye is.
Black women need to also keep in mind that white men aren't the only alternative.
Men of other races have white supremacy experiences that may not be the same as the black experience of white supremacy. But those that are "woke" enough to reject light supremacy as well as white supremacy can empathize a heck of a lot more easily than a man that is white who has been swimming in white supremacy and male supremacy, both, for decades without even noticing it.
It's okay for women to have preference. And, in my opinion, wanting someone from the same racial culture is a lot more legitimate than having a preference for a specific hair color, body shape, height, or musculature because race/ethnicity is a huge determine-er of life experience in this country.
All preferences, even "the shallow" ones, are fine so long as they remain preferences. Once these physical preferences, these things that please the eye, become "requirements" maybe they stop you from meeting someone whose soul compliments yours perfectly.
And using a race/ethnicity preference with too hard a line and too little flexibility can do the same thing -- stop you from meeting someone whose soul fits yours like you are two pieces of the same puzzle.
updated 4 3 2016