confessions of a naive white woman (who is dating a black man)
I ran across this post in the racism tag. It made my eye twitch a bit. Added my 2 cents but feel free to msg me/reblog with thoughts/commentary.
I was ignorant when we started dating. In a lot of ways, I still am. I’m not claiming to be all-knowing about the intricacies of race in society, or how oppression works, or anything like that.
The adults in my family were not ok with me dating him, but I went ahead and did it. The most I could have lost was my car or college, but education is the most important thing ever to my mother, so that was pretty secure…and I needed a car, living in a different city.
They said some pretty nasty things to try and change my mind, but really it simply encouraged me to go ahead and date him because I was offended…I had very strong feelings for him, after all. How could they so blindly hate someone they’d never even spoken to just because of the pigmentation of his skin? He is such an incredible human being. I mean, everyone, generally, is aware of racism in our society, but until it actually stings you, then white people can just brush it aside and ignore it.
White privilege, folks.
Anyway… whenever the subject came up between us, I would always tell him “I don’t see you as a color. You’re just you.”
In retrospect, that’s total bullshit. I think part of me, the deeply ingrained part, was still coming to terms with the fact that my heart wanted someone so badly that my head kept yelling “This isn’t how you were raised! You shouldn’t be with a black guy!!” So I kept brushing it off by saying that he wasn’t any color. He was himself.
If you want to respect your boyfriend, you need to acknowledge his race and the challenges that he is faced with by existing within a Black body.
Fuck that. My boyfriend has the sexiest cocoa-colored skin ever, and it has become a huge reason that I’m sexually attracted to him. I’ll not get into details, but you understand. BLACK IS SEXY.
Also his hair. I love getting my fingers dug down into that hair.
Ever heard of fetishism? Google it. Cause that’s not even complimentary, that’s uncomfortable as shit.
I’ve actually said, even though I know some people would slap me for being seemingly ignorant about my privileges, that I wish my skin were a darker shade. It’s more natural-looking… trees are brown, earth is brown, leaves turn brown… what is tan? I can’t think of anything off of the top of my head. Sand?
Great. I give you a rash and chafe your crotch once I’m in your pants.
No… Just… No. Stop. Stop. Stop.
He teaches me things, too. Not because it’s a focal point of our relationship or anything, but people can be assholes and they need to be addressed. And it comes up from time to time. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned about why ”nigger” is offensive on a level deeper than it being a “bad word”. I’ve learned why blackface can be offensive to some people. I’ve seen dozens of examples of why we aren’t living in a post-racial society.
If you’re learning so much, next time be thoughtful enough to realize that if you’re going to be typing out the n-word you need to censor it. It’s not yours to use, nor does it do any kind of good to trigger the fuck out of Black people who may stumble across your post/writing.
Our next-door neighbor was kind enough to give us a first-hand example on that one.
I’ve listened to the hardships of the man I love, and humanity’s cruelty brings me to tears when it’s my partner that is experiencing it.
By “Humanity” you mean white people, right? And it only hurts you when your partner experiences racism/harassment? Just your partner, huh?
I’ve fought tooth and nail with my family, who is finally getting to love my brown-skinned lover; my grandmother, the matriarch of the white-superiority mindset in the family, kisses him on the forehead whenever she greets him. She even gave him a beanie baby from her lifetime collection. Even if the gestures aren’t sincere, she is trying her damnedest to make us happy, and she’s going up against 75 years of having learned that she is inherently better than him.
I have a whole life ahead of me of things that are going to come to light. I’m looking forward to it, to be honest. He means a lot to me, and if I’m going to appreciate him for all that he is and who he is going to become over the course of his much-weathered life, I need to hear his side of the story. I need to stand beside him and see what he sees, experience what he goes through.
You need to get over the notion that you’re going to experience what he goes through. You’re not. I promise you, you will NEVER understand what it’s like to live as a Black person (or a Black man to be more correct). What you can do though, is sit down. Listen. Don’t rely on him to educate yourself. Research. Read. Do everything you can to learn about your own white privilege and prejudices.
You have a lot of conditioning to undo, and it’s not something that’s going to disappear overnight. It’s going to be a lifetime of work.
This relationship is bettering me in more ways than just one.
This is the ickiest damned thing. Cocoa skin? Farreal? I just, I need a shower.