jacque-reid-11The topic of interracial dating is a touchy one in the Black community, particularly because of the historical references and the stigma associated with the idea that you have to find love outside of your race because “your own kind” won’t suffice.

It can be a political statement and it can be a way to garner unwanted attention and unfair judgment. This perhaps why New York Live co-host Jacque Reid decided to back out of a challenge proposed by an online dating service. Reid who is also a correspondent for the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” and editor of SingleandLivingFab.com, has always been vocal about being content with her single status – “I’m not desperate to get married”. “I’m happy being single”.

Be that as it may, Reid who is clearly beautiful, well-educated and successful represents a huge number of Black women who fit that description and still have a challenging time finding their ideal partner.

Finding love has evolved into a numbers game – thanks to the popularity of online dating. You can literally find your match after just a few clicks within the comfort of your own home. It is also a convenient way to sift through options until you find the one that works. Some people are open about their online dating activity while others prefer to explore under the radar. In Reid’s case, the adventure would be on a public platform.

InterracialDatingCentral.com commissioned Reid to allow them to set up on dates with available men. She had to be willing to go out with men of other races, which makes sense since their services are immersed in that lifestyle. Reid initially agreed and was looking forward to the experience. “I’m excited about the Web-based matchup service. “It will be fun – and I’ll get some dates”.

But two days later, Reid abruptly backed out of the deal and the reason according to a WNBC spokeswoman was that she was simply “busy”.

Considering her hectic schedule, it is quite possible that she is too “busy” to submit herself to random dates for the pleasure of a curious audience but is it also possible that she got cold feet? Reid admitted that aside from a white guy she dated briefly, she has pretty much only been with black guys.

Christelyn Karazin, 41, who co-authors the book Swirling:How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture and Creed and serves as brand ambassador for InterracialDatingCentral.com. was looking forward to working with Reid. She understands the pressures that come with dating outside your race, she happens to be married to a white man with whom she has three kids, and her decision has exposed her to hurtful criticism. Most of the push back comes from Black men even though they are known to notoriously date women of other races. “Black men date or marry interracially at more than double the level women do”. “They are given a pass. They can date anyone they want to – Black women, white women”

Karazin explains that she wanted to use Reid to prove that women of her caliber can have healthy options when it comes to dating. Black women tend to be hesitant about dating interracially not just because of the backlash, but also the sense of loyalty they have for their men. But ultimately this mentality is crippling and significantly reduces their chances of finding love, which might be the reason why so many remain single. Reid most likely didn’t feel comfortable with concept of dating outside her race for fear of what people might say or how it would affect her public persona.

But Karazin thinks its time for Black women to step outside their boundaries and stop allowing race to limit their choices. Black men are 50 percent less likely to graduate from high school or attend college when compared to Black women. Not to mention that the rate of incarceration is more than double for Black men than it is for their white counterparts.

These statistics make it clear that black women need to be open to the idea of settling down with a guy who meets their needs – regardless of color. It may be cliché to think this – but love has been known to break through barriers.

Hopefully Jacque Reid will re-consider her decision and give it another try.

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