Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Color Coded Consciousness

I do not discriminate – well not really but that’s for another blog or post. I love men (period). Especially, Black Men and of course the darker the sweeter. Don’t get me wrong I do not color code my men but I do have a preference but I can appreciate all men.

At this point in my life I have only ever been dates with 3 others (men that were not black). Two white dudes, one who felt the need to remind that I was black and 1 Hispanic dude in high school that may have been blacker than me so to speak. Either way they were all just dates. Simple dates but nothing more. I am one of those women that loves, embraces and can’t get enough of Black Men. I have to say that I would like to believe that I am open to all men but I wonder if I would be lying.

My boy history is all over the place and I have valid reason why I am kind of conflicted if that is the right word which it’s probably not. But anyhoo back to my history…I grew up in a well to do area in Las Vegas where it was rather common for my sister and I to be the only black kids in our play circles. These circles seem to embrace our family and our home was the place of play. I now know as an adult that Daddy Freckles was just not too keen on his kids elsewhere and figured why not they come here. All understood but none of them minded much. Anyhow my first real crush was on best buddy, Jesse Marshall who lived across the street and use to let me play with his car and even taught me how to skateboard. He was the cutes blue eyed boy ever at 7. Then in the 5th grade I was in like with Nate Vanburen, a cute thick haired Jewish boy from New York who climbed trees and rode bikes with me. He was the first boy that grabbed my hand and held it at school. It was sweet and I think it is one of the reasons why I love hand holding until this day and he use to peck me all the time. Then in the 6th grade I had my first tongue kiss with Marshall Singleton. I thought that he was the cutest big lipped chocolate boy which later became a huge turn-on.

Black/White was not an issue for me growing up but then again that is the innocence of children and being able to be mixed environments. Things seem to change a bit when I was in the 7th grade when we moved to Rockford, IL. It was the first time that I was in a predominantly black neighborhood and among people that I didn’t know. It was hard to adjust when there were black kids referring to the way I spoke and that I was mildly different. Not so much different but were raised different geographically. The school was well balanced and mixed for the most part. The girls were not too fond of me and the boys seemed to into my newness. It was the beginning of my strong bonds with males and what I now know as the beginning of being assumed as that girl. However it was the first time I had noticed the color difference. Most of the black boys dated white girls while most of the black girls dated the left over black boys and majorly taking issue with the swirl. It was very rare that one of the black girls would boyfriend a white guy. They seemed to want to keep things as was but even then it was not an immediate issue. High School took me back to Los Angeles where I attended a predominantly black inner city high school with a small but growing Hispanic population. It was very rare to even see white kids so the majority was what it was. I met a guy the summer before but he attended another high school that would later become the encouragement for my first blog post but my first real boyfriend at the Prep was Juan Todd. A tall, cute chocolate basketball player that mother affectionately referred to as Poindexter as her wore glasses. He introduced me to a lot of people and was one of the best boyfriends ever. Again, another wonderful dark brotha but since he I have varied in complexions and there were a couple of Hispanic brothas that have gotten it had they spoken up. I am just saying… But it was rare that I was approached by any others.

However being from California – you see it all mixed and mingled. All ethnicities and cultures swirling round but still wasn’t much of an issue for me until I moved down south to go to the Illustrious Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. To be frank for a moment, there is something about going to a black college that makes you see face differently. I noticed and learned things that may have warped my point of view. I would still like to see people for who they are and at this point no one is pure anything realistically. It was before any of us were even a thought so really what the big deal? I do see black men differently than I see white men or any others. I understand that they area view differently by society and it’s a struggle that some others may not thoroughly understand. Even though we living 2009, there are still some that cannot appreciate or respect the choice of race or even complexion. There are moments when it’s not just a black/white/brown issue but it’s a dark vs. light issue which all is the same in the big picture.

All of this to say, that I am not completely for interracial dating but I am not completely against either. I see both sides and if I am truly a woman of God then love is for all but in a perfect world this would be ever so evident. However the world is not this way and we were all given the gift of choice. We make choices and in this there is preference. I prefer a taller, darker man with great teeth and keen sense of style and intelligent conversation but there may be a beige brotha that may be a better fit or even a wonderful white man. Who am I to close myself off to a good man no matter what his color or complexion? Especially if he is truly for me and about enhancing the woman that I am and striving to be. What does it matter? One of my girls my high school said “I used to be opposed except 4 dating Latino's but that was just all I knew. Now I'm like "the world is my oyster" why be pigeon holed. Too many black women get caught up in the trap or the 'black hole' so to speak of only dating black men. Why limit your possibilities? A man is a man! Now a good one, regardless of his color is a blessing. Race is ambiguous anyway—who can say that they are really 100% anything?! I think that class/shared background is more crucial to me nowadays. Although physically (doh!) prefer black men” Which I am totally with and understand and feel completely. Then my other side of me that hear /sees men or women that state that their preference as more of an exclusive. SUCH AS: White women that say they only date black men because of this or Black men that say they only date Asians because of that. They shut themselves off for negative without hesitation not even embracing or acknowledging that all make the same mistakes or can be part of the same stereotype. It then is an issue for me which encourages the great debate. A very good male friend hit on this and called it superficial noting that “I don't really care as long as it’s not based on superficial things... white women feeling no one can get down like a men feeling like white women are easier to get along with or they like the way their hair blows in the wind, or wanting to date an Asian woman because their culture grooms them to be more me that's just ignorant but it motivates a lot of the interracial mingling that goes on...Like I said I really don't care, but when it’s because of dumb issues like that then I feel it’s more bigoted than it is being diverse.”

I am sure that this is one of those topics that can go on and on with difference of opinion. I asked my facebook friends and it seemed that most didn’t really have a problem but it all kind of seemed rather cliché. Some were honest by stating what they prefer but may be open while a few said that they simply don’t like it. One friend in particular stated “Personally, interracial dating used to really bother me...well it wasn't so much interracial dating but mainly black men dating outside their race. I live in an area where it seems like the black men don't like black women and as a black woman, I find it discouraging. As I have gotten older, I realize that love has no color, and although I would prefer a black man, I would not be completely opposed to men of other races.” and I really appreciated the conversation and it allowed me to be more open and see different points of view to write my article and this post. I still feel conflicted on the subject and can’t really say that I would never but I also cannot say that I am completely open if the opportunity presented itself. I am just wanted to be honest about my background as it related to my color coded consciousness. On a larger scale it’s a bigger platform but I am just woman freckled face woman dealing my thoughts one blog at a time.


stephanie said...

i was just talking about this today.

thanks for sharing.

Traci Lavette said...

My only problem with the whole inter-racial thing is when people do what you mentioned above, and provide dumb ass excuses for "WHY". The only answer to "why", if someone were to ask should be, "because I love..." and nothing more. But when it comes to "Oh...I only date [race] because of this or because of that. It's completely ignorant.

On the flip side of that, I wouldn't have a problem dating outside my race, I would just tread carefully. I used to have this misplaced loyalty to the Black man and only wanted the Black man. However, after seeing how much they choose on us for the "others", whoever the "others" might be, it became ridiculous for me to hold on to that notion.

My brother (the one you saw on my page), had a preference for white women, and the only Black girl we knew him to date, was of very fair skin. We had many conversations about it and he simply said "it was an attraction...not because she is white". I tend to believe that from him, and maybe because he is my brother. On another occasion, my ex told me of a time where he was playing basketball with some friends and one of them (of course he wouldn't tell me which one), said "man, as soon as I make it BIG, I'm going to get me a white broad...that's top of the line". All I could do was stand there with my mouth open.

Freckles said...

Stephanie - matters of my mind and the curiosity. It made for an interesting conversation.

Traci - I think that is crazy but it is the way that some think. I think that is a mindset and therer are lot of factors involved.

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