op-ed: why i don’t ignore racist micro-aggressions: tales of putting motherf*ckers in their place
October 20, 2016
From ages eleven and onwards, ninety-two percent of my relationships have been interracial and with mostly white and asian men.
When meeting family and friends for the first time, I always insist my partner inform their inner circle of my being Black prior to meeting, and be sure to pay the respect back in regards to them meeting my own.
From being asked by a curious little (fifteen-year-old) brother if there’s any truth behind Black Women having purple vaginas, to random family members lining up to feel the texture of my hair, I’ve heard and experienced it all.
Something I no longer do, however, is passively act as if I’m unbothered by the ignorant, offensive, and downright insulting remarks, questions, or jokes made under the assumption of my being “cool like that”. I don’t sit there and laugh, smile, or agree for the sake of “keeping the peace”.
Refusing to speak up only leads to the assumption that it’s perfectly acceptable for this type of behavior to continue, and can put immeasurable strain in the relationship due to compartmentalizing all negative (albeit true and valid) feelings of which subconsciously (and eventually will) rise to the surface.
By Jacqueline-Elizabeth, AFROPUNK Contributor*
These days, as opposed to venting my outrage to a significant other over his Grandpa Methuselah calling me a “pretty darkie” in the hopes that he’ll broach the subject for me– (which should be done regardless)– I instead take it directly to whomever it was that upset me (i.e., Grandpa); while taking care to address it as respectfully as I can (unless it’s in the event of being called a “nigger”, in which case, I’m under zero obligation to spit on Grandpa should his oxygen tank choose that moment to conveniently combust into flames).
As much as Black Women want the family and friends of our non-Black significant other to both respect and like us, there is never a reason to compromise and curb our self-respect in order to garner favor from your inner circle, or to “keep the peace” (a completely harmful juxtaposition in of itself).
Regardless of your race, gender, sexuality, and, whether you’re interested in/dating/engaged/married (to) a Black Woman (or, if you know someone who is) here are a few helpful pearls of wisdom to keep in mind when dating a Black Woman that can make a tremendous difference in the long run–
For starters, don’t be afraid to approach her. It’s been my experience that non-Black men who have been interested in me at some point and time usually disclose they had been leery of approaching me at all because I looked “intimidating”.
The widespread belief that Black Women are intimidating was definitely started by a non-Black someone who was far too insecure to acknowledge their complete inability to be worthy of the indomitable strength resonating from within the souls of all Black Women.
And so, that very same non-Black someone used their own, petty inadequacies to justify the envy and cowardice felt every time they stood awed before the presence of Black Women forevermore.
Don’t let stereotypes or assumptions about the Black Woman you are interested in cloud your judgement.
It may also help your chances if you don’t start off by referring to her as “(Your) Ebony/Nubian/Chocolate/Dark Elf goddess, queen, empress”, and so on.
We’re Black Women; of course we’re Goddesses, and we proudly own our Goddess/Empress/Queenship. But we certainly aren’t “yours”.
If you approach a Black Woman straightway with some sort of mention to how your loins begin to froth like a white girl’s Pumpkin Spice latte while casually alluding to having always wanted to “try” a Black Girl in the hopes that she will be that Black Girl, then I’d say brace for a totally high chance of being kicked in said frothing loins.
And just so we’re clear: right now, I am addressing specifically those non-Black people who only see Black Women as nothing more than than some taboo, “exotic” entity to be sexually experimented with just to satiate a longstanding “curiosity”, or who seek to use us as a weapon of rebellion against mommy and daddy (even if you’re sixty years old).
On that note–and I’m now addressing all men–if you do approach a Black Girl, and you guys hit it off, and it leads (straightaway or eventually) to the bedroom, do yourself a gargantuan favor:
Than. whomever she might have been with prior. Save yourself the humiliation of comparing the size of your penis to men of different races she may have been with in the past. You’re just asking to get your feelings hurt.
(I’ll simply say that certain sexual stereotypes are true and untrue and leave it at that.)
By the way: it’s imperative to understand that knowing, dating, and/or sleeping with a Black Woman does not mean you aren’t racist.
If you don’t think it makes you a racist, then congratulations; the Denial Detector test has just determined that you are a racist. Now, run offstage shriek-weeping and cope with it.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married to her for eighty years, and have biracial children who have had children; loving a Black Woman (or any Woman of Color) will never mean you aren’t racist, so let that self-righteous delusion go with the wind.
It takes a fathomless depth of understanding to love a Black Woman; however, it does not make you “woke”, “hip”, “edgy”, “not-racist”, or “Black-By-Association”.
(And to the white girls reading this, some of you have that “Black-By-Association” nonsense particularly bad when it comes to having Black boyfriends/fiances/husbands, children, friends, relatives, and associates. Please believe I will be coming back to this subject in a later article.)
Back on topic, and this last piece of advice to keep in mind when dating Black Women is vital:
Do not, under any circumstances, deny, invalidate, or disregard her Blackness.
This goes doubly for Black Men and Black Women who deny other Black Women of their Blackness just because she is on the arm of a non-Black person, or doesn’t conform to your own definition of what it means to be a Black Woman over something as asinine as not being built like Amber Rose (or liking hockey).
Regardless of your race, you have no right (and are absolutely ignorant) for telling her that she isn’t Black for speaking “proper” English, as opposed to “urban” slang, or due to the tone of inflection of which she speaks with.
Don’t tell her you “don’t see color”, or “race doesn’t matter”; these words deny her essence, trivialize her essence and existence, and only serve to show how little you care.
Don’t tell her she’s overthinking her concern of being (or having a loved one) murdered by the police. Don’t ignore her feelings on the topic of race, period. Make an effort to understand; don’t patronize her. Be supportive.
And above all, stand up for the Black Woman on your arm. If anyone (be they a random stranger, your childhood buddy, or a vapid family member) makes a flippant allusion to her race (or in general), just don’t stand there and giggle, or act like it doesn’t bother her when it does.
Don’t pacify and invalidate her concerns by assuring her that your friends and family “aren’t like that”.
Remember that lovely Easter Dinner you spent with your Black significant other at your family’s house, and how radiant she looked smiling all throughout Uncle Blake’s explanation of how he “wasn’t racist” by voting for Trump, and backs this up by regaling you and everyone at the table about the one time he slept with a Black Woman back during his time in ‘Nam?
That wasn’t the smile of a woman listening contently or agreeing; that was the smile of a woman calling Jesus to lay hands on Uncle Blake before she did.
Be proud to be seen with her on your arm; don’t wear her as a walking accessory serving no purpose outside of proving you’re not a racist.
Don’t get it twisted: it’s not you bestowing upon her the honor of being seen on your arm–
It is she of whom is bestowing you the honor of be deemed worthy enough to be allowed on hers.
She’s a Queen; respect, cherish, and love her with every fiber of your being.
*Chicago-born and raised Androgynous AltModel and Pokemon Master, Jacqueline-Elizabeth (AKA Kurosune Suicide / JaxJax Attaxx of the SuicideGirls, and Cosplay Deviants) developed a lifelong love of reading and writing at ages two and three, scored her first big writing gig as Nerdy But Flirty’s first, Black writer, and was later recruited by the Jace Hall Show (now TwinGalaxiesLive!) as also not only their first Black writer, but their first female one as well.
Her interests include watching anime, cosplaying, modeling, reading manga, gaming, 420 shenanigans, surfing, increasing her number of tattoos, rainy days in bed journaling, and writing about anime, manga, and hentai for Jamie Broadnax’s site, BlackGirlNerds.com
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