So I’ve been catching up on my DVRed shows since I’ve been back and my interested was definitely piqued by this presentation from Nightline.
The conclusion they came to was that RBP males are just kind of okay people and that of color women should lower their expectations and snag themselves a middle of the road mate. The men on the show described black women as “delusional” for wanting men who were, as panelist Sherri Shepard suggested, “ambitious” and who had “a sense of humor.” Men also described women as conniving and petty and said that women should use sex appeal and not reason, logic or passion if they want their men to listen to them.
I, of course, was horrified at this.
They were ignoring the much simpler answer: These ladies should go full Oreo and date white!
They’re obviously headed in the Oreo direction anyway what with their college degrees, bulging bank accounts and not-AIDS. So why not dive the way in??
So many benefits to dating white.
- First of all, if you’re an of color woman and you date an of color dude…how typical can you be? Why not instead, enjoy the pleasantly surprised smiles when you introduce your new beau to your buddies by planting a kiss on the face of a handsome white stranger at happy hour? Folks just won’t see it coming and you become a great conversation piece.
- Two revolves around two words: Good and hair. If you reproduce, think of the money you’ll save on expensive relaxers when your half-white kid has loose locks that respond to your average comb.
- Three: Upward mobility. When you and your non colored partner go to buy that condo or purchase your box seats at the Pantages, think how excited people will be to have a nifty interracial couple sitting next to them. Have two black folks show up with a real estate agent in a neighborhood toying with gentrification and you’re likely to get some uncomfy looks and stares. Spare yourself the awkward welcome to the neighborhood bbq, have a tapas tasting instead and watch your new neighbors grin!
Now, back to the panel itself. Way to go Nightline for choosing the right commentators and solidifying some really important societal tropes. I mean, who better to host a discussion about something as personal as marriage and who ends up with whom and why than comedian Steve Harvey!
Also Nightline, way to remind us that there is in fact a terrifying social problem if women do not get married. This conversation wasn’t centered around people choosing to forgo relationships, it was about women not being able to marry. How dare they.
Like other discussions in the genre, the Nightline special began with the Disney-inspired assumption that marriage is an appropriate and universal goal for women. Any failure to achieve marriage must therefore be pathological. With this starting assumption panelists were encouraged to offer solutions without needing to fully articulate why low marriage rates are troubling.
Writer Melissa Harris-Lacewell outlined the event and shows us how RBP women are really making things difficult for the county and themselves:
In the 1960s, the Moynihan Report blamed black women heads of household for social deterioration in black communities. In the 1980s single black mothers were vilified as welfare cheats responsible for the nation’s economic decline. In the 1990s black women were blamed for birthing a generation of “crack babies” that were predicted to burden the nation’s health and educational systems. The Nightline conversation was suspiciously reminiscent of this prior reasoning. As the nation copes with its anxieties about a black president, a shifting economy and a new global position, black women suddenly reemerge as a problem to be solved.
All this could be solved, ladies if you’d just embrace the Oreo lifestyle. Which yes, includes things like enjoying schooling and employment, but also things like dating the right guys. And by right, we mean, white. Because they’re out there. They can get you into the right clubs. And according to these panelists, RBP men do not want to step up to the plate.
The solution offered most frequently in Wednesday’s conversation was familiar: professional black women need to scale back expectations.
But questionable casting or not, thanks, Nightline for adding to my self loathing. Not only am I an of color woman–the most undesirable of the women according to statistics and you; but I am also but I am an unmarried of color woman-proving your point that we’re hard to place to be correct. Yikes. I’m sorry, me. So very sorry.