It must be national get-yourself-a-white-man day. Or year. Or decade. Earlier today, I read a review of the co-written interracial relationship manual Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race Culture, and Creed, which confirmed what I already knew: I won’t be adding that to my Goodreads queue. And now, over at Ebony.com, relationship expert Sil Lai Abrams has weighed in on why dating white men isn’t a cure-all (or even a sound, logical, temporary solution for single black women who are actively desirous of a partner).
It would seem that the myth of the White Knight is alive and well. Relationships “experts” have been weighing in on why a larger number of black women should consider dating outside their race for quite some time now. In and of itself, this notion isn’t entirely terrible, although it does assume that a majority of black women are resistant to the idea of interracial dating (which isn’t necessarily the case). But when the advice is tied to mythical ideas about the superior morality, dating practices, and values of white men, it’s highly problematic.
Noncommittal, emotionally detached, unfaithful men come in all colors. And there’s no valid, non-anecdotal evidence that supports the idea that a white man who dates or marries a black woman is predisposed to treat her better than a black man would. As Abrams states in her Ebony.com piece:
Yes, the rules in the dating market have changed for black people over the past several decades, but they’ve shifted for everyone. But to say that the answer for black women desperately seeking wedlock is to marry a white man is unrealistic and overly simplistic. According to a 2011 Pew Research Study, marriage rates are declining amongst all races. Fifty-one percent of American women are unmarried, yet, I don’t know of any white, Asian, Hispanic or Inuit professors standing up and telling their women that the answer to the decline in marriage in their community is to marry someone outside their race.
Romantic relationships are individuated. Each one comes with its own set of strengths and struggles. But even if you’ve only dated men of one race — be it black, white, or other — your experiences with them are not representative of their whole race or even a discernible majority of their race. It’s always off when anyone decides they know what’s best for an entire group based solely on what worked for her.
With all the writing going around about interracial dating as a panacea for single black women, we’re wondering just how widespread this idea is. Is the “I’m-a go get me a white man” thing an actual discussion you and your girlfriends are having these days? What do you think of the Myth of the White Knight?