There is nothing that turns me off more than visiting a Black man’s online profile and seeing “other” or “mixed,” “Middle Eastern” or “Native American” under race.
As a 25-year-old Black woman, I find the choice to conceal or lie about one’s Blackness not only plain stupid but highly offensive. Why would I want to be with a man who is not Black and proud?
Far too frequently, I run into these undercover brothas online. I am absolutely fed up of them! And this isn’t just an online phenomenon.
Often times, I meet Black men who always make it a point to ask me what my ethnic make-up is.
“I am Black,” I respond plainly.
To this response, they typically begin a long discussion about their Cherokee grandmother or the fact that they are actually Spanish. I’m usually ready to walk away at that point. And strangely, they are always caught off guard by the fact that I am not impressed. I am not sure why the hell someone being ashamed of their Blackness, or seeking points for a “mixed race” genetic make-up should be impressive? But then again, perhaps I know far too well why people believe these claims should boost their social status.
Black people do not internalize hate of Blackness or Black deprecation all by themselves. We all know that today’s society diminishes Blackness in so many different–virtually inescapable– ways. Many people of color may not necessarily have had the time (or even the education) necessary to deconstruct these societal messages; begin the process towards accepting/loving themselves and seeing their Black as beautiful. I totally get it. However, it does not make encountering these guys any less annoying or bothersome. One would hope that by the time a man or woman is grown enough to consider dating seriously, they would have taken the time to expose themselves to a learning that allows them to view their Blackness outside of the constraining paradigm that tries to undermine Black worth. Any adult who has yet to begin the difficult journey on that path of self acceptance and self-love as a person of color has yet to become whole.
Now, this does not mean that people of mixed-race descent should not be proud of their heritage. The beauty of “Blackness” is the vast spectrum of shades (and even genetic make-ups) that comprise the label. We should all be proud to celebrate, not only our genetic make-up, but also the varying nationalities that a Black person can be. Nevertheless, it is not this kind of pride that is being called into question. It is the blatant attempt to distance oneself from Blackness that is the problem. And this girl ain’t got no time for that.
I am far too Black and proud to even consider a conversation, let alone a relationship, with a man concerned with creating a chasm between himself and his race. I am looking for a man, both online and offline, who shares that pride.