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Confronting My Preferential Prejudice

Last year, my father told me he would have no problem if I married a man from Pakistan. He is all game and it would be cool. Back then, I laughed at his desperation to see his 30-year-old daughter and first child get married. Lately, I have revisited his words and concluded, it is easier said than done because there are factors to take into account – what would it be like to cross culture, country and continent? It would be far from home and an entirely different world.  I have to be honest and say I have no knowledge of a Pakistani man married to an African woman and vice versa.  It would be different and a few heads would turn to look at them but after a while people have no choice but to accept that love is colourless and has no race or ethnic background.

The idea of dating a caucasian man or marrying one is something I have often toyed with and joked about with a few friends. It has been surprising to hear and watch the resistance with which some responded. I remember one friend said: “White man, kie!” The other was more direct, “I won’t marry a white man because I want to keep my heritage and I want my children to know where they come from.” And the one that had me in stitches a few weeks ago was when my friend, she is my sister too said: “B, I didn’t know you were interested in white men?” And I said yes, I have been for a while. I even told her some likes and dislikes about what a relationship with a white guy involved? She said: “Wow, you have even researched the market? ” To which I responded yes 🙂

race and loveThis has left me baffled on some level and on another, obsessed as to why some of us Black and African sisters are not willing to go outside our race. In light of the statistics out there…for frigging sake, between 42 per cent of African American Women have never been married in the US. While I don’t know what the true statistics are for the UK, all you need do is take a frigging look at your local church, and then tell me how different that is to what you hear about your sisters in America? And of course, let’s take into account that some Black men are so easily boxed up into broken, secretly gay, no job, students ( there is nothing wrong with being a student), got criminal record and so on…The Good ones, well, the good ones have been taken and you cannot have them because they are married or in a relationship. It would be downright ugly for you to take another woman’s man anyway.  A girlfriend recently said this about my local church, ‘I look around and I see nothing. Absolutely nothing.’ I thought to myself, I hear you. In addition to thaat…you can count the number of white brothers or other race in a predominantly black church. This once again, goes to show how divided we are on sunday mornings.

I have also noticed people have different reasons and complaints why they will not do it. The one that makes me smile sheepishly is the one about some white men not being circumcised. Allow me do some plain speaking/writing, as far as I am concerned, if he can bone, we can work on the circumcision bit. I would like to know if is there a law that says a man must be circumcised for you to have a loving relationship with him? I read an article sometime ago in The Voice Newspaper, where a black girl stated, she was dating a white man but when it came to the sex aspect, his penis was just not right. While a college friend of mine said a white man’s penis reminded her of pork meat. Let’s say when you get so bloody cold and you body is speaking its own language, you will not remember pork meat but the fact that you have a need to be loved like a woman. The tongue has different functionalities, I hope some of you are still able to kiss your married friends after this but I learnt from a group discussion that some African men and Black men refuse outright to perform cunnilingus on their women because of cultural beliefs. In the same vain, marriage is not all about sex. It has different definitions for different people. Do figure yours out.

halle berryFor crying out loud, there are people in inter-racial marriages and relationships. Halle Berry, whose mother is white, if I may add, Gelila Assefa, an Ethiopian bag designer married to  Wolfgang Puck, Alfre Woodard and Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon. Fair to say these are faces we see on the screen and so we will admire them from afar but when it comes to us as individuals, what do we think and say to ourselves before we walk away from the person who could be our dream because he is white.

something newThe film, Something New with Sanaa Lathan deals with this subject and while it is fiction, fiction does mirror life. Race might not mean you are interested in the same things or want the same things. However, you will never know if you are too afraid to try because of what others might say. I remember when Kenya, Lathan’s character first met Brian, Simon Baker’s character in he coffee shop, she was so self conscious that she started saying hello to people she did not know. But that was history when brother threw her down after she had not been boned for ages. He introduced her to things she had no business with and what do you know, she likes it. Kenya forgot what living life outside work was about and that was something Brian gave her though they were from opposite ends of the world. I must add, she confronted her preferential prejudice too.

I am not saying there are no good Black or African men but I do think we need to get past the race thing and broaden our horizons. The way I see it, you best get over whether or not he is circumcised in that department and think: (A) Is he impotent? If the answer is no, then that is good because if he is, that would be worse than you not liking the colour of his weapon. (B) Can he bone? Hell, you cannot be single for that long, only to get married and the man don’t know how to direct his own personal movie.  Think about it, why be single for years and the furthest he or she can go is five minutes, and it feels flat like a flat key in a song composition that no one in the choir can get right?

Truth is, Black British or African, it is becoming challenging for some of us to find ‘that joy’ in the type of relationship we desire. Hence, if A is not working for you and B does, you have a decision to make. It should not be a colour thing but a heart thing if it works for you. I thought that’s what life is supposed to be about…doing what works for you. I know there is a history of African American and Black British men dating white women when they have made it. I have no idea why they do so and cannot judge them. I have however noticed that if it does not go well and ends in divorce, someone usually takes the other to the drycleaners and it is not the man. I will not mention names but I am sure you all have ideas of a few such cases.

While I don’t know if there are queues of white men waiting to date Black British or African women, if you do not envision yourself spending the rest of your life alone, then you will have to expand your circle of friends and broaden your horizon and be open to possibilities. Besides, meeting interesting people and doing interesting things, makes you interesting. (Excuse the pun on words, I could not help it.) One thing, don’t settle for anything just because it is better than nothing. Instead stay single and save yourself heartache for that can truly drive you crazy.

The world is getting smaller and cultures are mixing in ways that was not thought possible before. I believe in preserving and keeping one’s culture and heritage. I also believe in celebrating it but when you see things from other people’s culture that you like. Don’t be afraid to share with them or embrace it. This is a subject that will have us talking for years and we may never find a solution but if like me, marriage is something that you desire, then do go out of your Black and African zone and explore life without negotiating away your non-negotiables. Forget what others will say…embrace what you want and live your life.

Personally, I find Caucasians, African-American, Latinos and South American men attractive. Does this mean I would not marry an African man? No! It just means I am now open to ideas and I chose to keep my options open.  I have been attracted to a few Africans over the years and nothing has become of it. So, I chose to spread my wings. There is no need boxing all your hopes in one basket and pinning it on one race or one man because what if it does not happen that way, you end up losing out.

loveI am fully aware that you can name it and claim it but in naming and claiming it, believing against all hope that your Black or African Adonis is on the way, you need to be ready for the possibility that the man or woman who is going to love you the way you want to be loved might not be from your race. If that happens to be the case, you will have to adjust and deal with certain issues to make sure all parties are comfortable. The same way you would when you have an inter-tribal marriage. You may have to listen more carefully to hear what he is saying, do not speak your language violently when he or she is with you and your family, and your lover is left wondering why you are all fighting with words when you are merely having a conversation.

If love is colourless and has no race or cultural tag, then why can’t we live with the thought of marrying outside our race? When you take on anyone to love and to hold, for good and for bad, do ask how bad? In sickness and in health, do ask, mental or physical? Okay, I am teasing with that. I guess what I am trying to say is, when you take on a man, you take everything that comes with him including his uncircumcised penis if he is caucasian.


Do let me know what you think about this subject though. It sure is an interesting debate.

Images: Hale Berry and Beau – Essence Online

Something New Film Cover – Amazon

For more related topics, do follow these links.

Black Women: Why You Shouldn’t Limit Yourself to Black Men

‘Dating Out’: Single Black Females & Interracial Dating

Commentary: The Black Men Shortage

The Single Black Female And Interracial Marriage

What’s Keeping Us From Dating Outside Our Race


12 Responses to “Confronting My Preferential Prejudice”

  1. Evan says:

    I found this article very interesting. First, as a white man who will be going under the knife for his Ghanaian fiance, I will say that I *wish* circumcision were the only thing standing between black or African women, and white men! At least it’s a problem with a clear solution, and it’s something I’m all too happy to do, because it’s so meaningful to her and by extension to our relationship.

    I have no idea how to improve the situation in general, but one thing that troubles me is that you never see articles written by white/Asian/Hispanic men about how few of them are dating black women. Perhaps they’re afraid of being perceived as patronizing? And as we know, the media rarely depicts interracial relationships, with the exception perhaps of white man/Asian woman. It’s a shame, because I think those stereotypes can affect us subconsciously in harmful ways – I know several white men who think black women are *gorgeous*, but are afraid to approach them, because they assume they’re only interested in black men. And that’s ridiculous! For all they know, those women are sitting there wondering why that white guy keeps eyeing them but not coming over and introducing himself. Ultimately I guess the only thing we can do as individuals is try to improve things from the bottom-up, by being open to new experience and considering everyone as an individual, rather than as a member of a group.

  2. Belinda Otas says:

    Interesting take Evan. I hope the procedure is as pain free as possible.

  3. Edris Asbell says:

    Hello,I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.

  4. Ogochukwu says:

    Belinda, Belinda….this is a serious something o….

    I enjoyed reading it sha…and ur metaphors got me in stitches…”Can he bone? Hell, you cannot be single for that long, only to get married and the man don’t know how to direct his own personal movie.” and “…Think about it, why be single for years and the furthest he or she can go is five minutes, and it feels flat like a flat key in a song composition that no one in the choir can get right?”

    I’ll be back to drop a real comment.

  5. Belinda Otas says:

    Thanks Ogo, do come back and leave a real comment.

  6. Temitayo says:

    Belinda…Pakistani ke? Hehehe…before we go talk race, we go still talk ethnic group. Race na long thing o! All the stereotypes still exist…even among educated folks, they still give you the usual ‘Ibos love money’ ‘Extremely mouthy Yorubas love life too much’ blablabla and I am like it’s the person and much more than the ethnic group. People no dey wan understand o. Looks like for Nigerians outside the country, love isn’t coloured by ethnicity, is it? To every man his/her own bias…because they always have reasons (no matter how silly!)

    “If love is colourless and has no race or cultural tag, then why can’t we live with the thought of marrying outside our race?” What’s the colour of love sef? Red they say…who’s really coloured red, fiery red? lol. I enjoyed reading this…

  7. Belinda Otas says:

    @ Temi, thanks hun. Glad t6o hear you enjoyed reading it. maybe you will also enjoy, Fighting For the Attention of The Black Man by His Black Sisters.

  8. Hans Schippers says:

    I guess people can come up with many reasons why they feel it would be more sensible to marry someone of their same culture.

    However, little is ever said about people who feel the opposite, like myself. I’m a white Belgian male, but find it very unlikely (although not impossible) to ever get married to a white Belgian female. Not because she’s white, but rather because, in general, I do not like the materialistic and individualistic attitude of “those like me”.
    So for me, it is much more sensible to marry outside my own culture, as I might feel more “at home” in different value systems.

    In a way, marrying within your own culture could be regarded as “conformist”, in the sense that you will get less resistance from your surroundings, and will be considered to be doing “the normal thing”. Many people would consider this convenient and reassuring.
    However, as I don’t agree with the “common sense” of the society that I live in, I would find it suspicious for people to be approving of me, and thus not find it reassuring at all.

    Addmittedly slightly tongue in cheek, but I do wonder: Could the desire to be (non-)conformist be a factor?

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