“Pull out the Vaseline; It’s on now,” was my initial thought upon reading this quote by model Julie Henderson, a.k.a. Russell Simmon’s flavor of the past few months. I know I’m not alone, as this seems to be a knee-jerk reaction that many African American women tend to have when we sense a female of another persuasion trespassing into our territory (read: Black men).
I almost cringed when writing that last sentence, as I have always despised the sense of ownership men seem to think they occupy over us ladies. Alas, it appears as though possessiveness is a natural occurring phenomenon in human nature. This coupled with centuries of mind crippling racism, and the imbalance provided by our extreme capitalist culture makes Julie Henderson’s declaration all the more provocative, and for some, enraging:
Woah. Nothing makes a Black woman more livid than a (pretty) White woman flaunting a rich successful Black man in her face. But when the word “b*tch” is added to the equation, well, it’s highly possible that things are gonna get pretty ugly. But I submit, that this rageful instinct that many of us harbor, is nothing but an albatross around our collective necks.
Who cares if it’s Russell Simmons, or even “Bubba” the check out guy at Wal-Mart likes to date White girls? If a brotha prefers to date someone other than a sista, it’s a waste of energy to concern yourselves with such matters.
Yes, there are some fellas who are bona fide self-haters, while others may just be equal opportunity employers, but at the end of the day, his personal preferences (or deep seated issues) belong to him, and have absolutely nothing to do with us.
If you think there aren’t enough “good” available Black men around, then maybe you’re not looking in the right places. Maybe you should consider a little equal opportunity employment yourselves.
The key is not to trip over this garbage spewed forth by this particular bland and obtuse young lady, or Russell Simmons and his strange taste in women for that matter. Julie may have been aiming for our Achilles Heel, but it’s time we rise above the smug attitudes of such misguided individuals and focus on things that empower and nurture us as Black women.
People often misunderstand our reaction to interracial relationships as jealousy, when deeper issues of double discrimination are at play. From our curves, style, spark, strength, and of course, our luscious lips, Black women are one of the most emulated women on the planet. Judging by her last statement, Julie Henderson lacks the capacity to grasp the difference, and assumed the classic role of ‘the victim’ in response to criticism of her relationship with Mr. Simmons.
In other words, Julie, dear, you were never relevant, and you can keep your elderly “friend,” trust.