You Can't Always Blow 'Em Off (Reset)

**Reset Alert** I've gone through and deleted the least productive comments.  I will be practicing much stricter comment moderation on these posts from hereon out.

For anyone wondering, this post is an attempt to analyze unhealthy BM/WW relationships from a PARENTAL standpoint.  When you respond, it should be about KIDS and ethnic autophobia, and the variables which lead young black men to pursue white women for all the WRONG reasons.  I'm not talking about black men who marry women like Elayna Monts, or who date women like commenters Joanna and Victoria...I'm talking about black men who marry women like "Girl" from Dude's adventures, or my white "fan."

Granted, we should all be talking about the Georgia Prison Strike, but alas...I can see that's not meant to be.

I want to once more thank "Dude" for sharing his adventures and personal history, as well as the all the knowledge I've gained from the overall experience.  As I mentioned in a previous comment, I think the BM/WW issue in America has become so common that we oversimplify the reason the pairing became so widespread in the first place.  It's easy to throw around terms like "conditioning".  It's easy to pass it off as merely "lust", "fetishism", or even "autophobia."  It's easy to say a word, but saying a word is not dealing with the issue.

When a black man like That Dude describes himself and his experiences, and you, a black woman, blows him off, congrats to you.  You've asserted yourself.  You've shown you're not one of those pathetic women "waiting" for your black prince.  You probably already have a man anyway, a non-black man no less.  You don't need a black man.  So when one is letting you know his thoughts, history, and is talking about white women, you don't have to listen.  You've heard this all before.  He's not your man, so why should you care?  You know he's conditioned; like a total weakling he's succumbed to the media, to his environment, and now things are coming back to bite him.  So you tell him to "leave WoC alone", to keep his dysfunction to himself, and in so doing, you accomplish absolutely nothing.

Not everything pertaining to BM/WW is about strictly about dating.  Just because you've "heard it all" doesn't mean you understand it all; there are areas of life you haven't considered yet because they don't pertain to you - yet.  Many of you who read and comment here are young, either in college or fresh out of it.  You're not raising teenaged boys of color.  A lot of you who comment here and email me personally don't have kids.  This is what I meant about "learning"; you may have learned all you need to know about how to avoid dating black men with white baggage, but you still have to learn how to avoid raising them.

I've met happily married black women who've found themselves raising black sons who only want white women.  And when I meet these women, I've noticed a pattern.  There's the shock; they were caught off guard because they thought they did everything right.  They married a black man who was there for his kids and together, they provided for their family.  They didn't argue in front of the kids.  They surrounded their kids with positive imagery of black people.  There's the hurt; these women feel wounded because they bore their sons, raised and supported their sons, sacrificed for their sons, and now their sons don't want women who look like them.  And then there's the helplessness; when black mothers find themselves in this situation, words like "conditioning", "media",  and "fetish" suddenly mean absolutely nothing to them.  They name the problem, but they do not dissect nor dismantle the problem.

Black women, unless you adopt some white kids, your kids are going to be black, and you don't know which ones are going to be boys.  You're not really sure how they may wind up on on the BM/WW train.  In my post about autophobia, I talked about how this problem is more complex than people think.  When a black man finds himself persistently pursuing a white woman he's not physically attracted to, doesn't find interesting, and thinks is an overall idiot with dormant racist tendencies, it's easy to blow him off when he's just some guy in the bar, or on the net, or at your job.  But what about when he's your son?  Your baby brother?  Your nephew?

What do you do when the black male in question actually matters to you, depends on you in some way, and looks to you for answers?  Do you just blow him off and tell him to leave WoC alone?  Do you abandon him?

Comments

  1. So, what sort of feedback do you believe Dude's posts should have received instead?

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  2. You know, I have actually addressed this issue several times on my blog. It is difficult for me to reconcile my general disdain for BM/WW dating with the fact that I date BM. I always believed that as long as I did not date "white women chasers" (men who only date WW) then I would not end up with men who date me because of my race instead of who I am. I know it sounds hypocritical for me to say "Well, I am generally against it, but in my case it is ok, because I am different" I actually went through a period where I almost decided to stop dating entirely because I felt like I was contributing to negativity between BM and BW. As many times as I tell myself that I am not like those other white chicks, am I just lying to myself so I can continue to pursue my own agenda?? And, I know it sounds strange to someone on the outside looking in, but frankly, I would be highly upset if I had a son who ended up dating white women. If I read what I just wrote from the outside looking in, I would think, "she is so disingenuous", and believe me, I doubt myself all the time, but I know what I think, what I feel and who I am, and I can only be who I am, even if I am judged by others to be a phony.

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  3. The problem appears complex because, as far as Black people are concerned, the blanket term of autophobia encompasses different realities.

    For instance, African born-&-raised men who date white women follow different patterns and motivations than, say, Black French born & raised in France. Also both of them are very different, I suspect, from the African-Americans who date white women. And inside each group, at individual level, there are even more contrasted situations.

    I wouldn’t even file That Dude under the autophobic category. The average self-hater typically feels the need to bash Black men/women to justify her/his dating choices. There is nothing like that neither in That Dude’s convo with that dense chick nor in his subsequent letter or comments.

    I give credit to the “conditioning” explanation (conditioning by the dominant society, not just the media) because it’s the only one that makes sense to me.

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  4. From the original words in question, maybe I took it the wrong way, but I felt like the message to leave WoC alone was that Dude and dudes like Dude who have tried to come out of their overt attractions to WW should just come to grips with the fact that they're not attracted to WoC, and they may never be. I felt like it was a request not to pass that baggage of being unable to come away from the WW attraction on to WoC knowing full well he doesn't WANT to be attracted to WW and he's only vaguely attracted to WoC and merely trying to find the same beauty in them that he sees in WW. I also read the message as being attached to advice that Dude also make peace with his own contradictions. If Dude can do those things, I think he's in a better position of advising his future sons in life. I also agreed with the original comment that it's really difficult to change who one is attracted to.

    During the Black Arts movement Amiri Baraka wrote extensively about race, specifically about blackness. He went to Cuba and found a more militant voice to write in...and then he came home to a white wife and his black children. It wasn't until after the assassination of Malcom X that he left his white wife. He later married and had children with Amina, a BW.

    I thought of Baraka when Dude shared a link to a scene in Don't Be a Menace. The scene does speak to the BM who are attracted to WW for just whiteness, but it also speaks to the irony of male black power activists who date and marry WW. It makes me wonder how common this is, and why. If it's as common as I think it is (based on reading scholarly essays and other stuff for research, not necessarily real numbers) then I believe Dude falls into this area. I think it's an area that hasn't been fully explored. I believe it definitely deals with the conditioning of a societal white standard of beauty, but some of the most self-aware black men who advocate for black love go for WW. If I were to be able to suggest anything to Dude and others who are not dating white just for white, it would be to look into this area.

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  5. Sometimes I think young black men are reacting to the ‘cookie jar syndrome’ when it comes to white women. The more white women are cast in the negative by members of our race- the more attractive they become to black men. White women have been maintained atop the pedestal since this country’s founding. Black men had been explicitly admonished to touch not the white damsel and do her person no harm. Hence the more you place the forbidden object out of his reach the more he will desire it. Naturally the Baller who becomes successful automatically feels he must ‘trade up’ to a Becky when he tastes of fame. Apparent only after his warped sense of value clashes with the American dream. His motivation is based solely on 'status' and not true love.

    I’m the father of four grown children. I’ve taught them as best I could to respect themselves ‘first and foremost,’ but I’ve learned when it comes to matters of attraction it’s out of my hands. My daughters have dated their fair share of thugs and players- and as a result they’ve experienced a fair amount of hurt. My son has had his share of black girlfriends and is none the worse for wear. Considering their experiences why would a white man/woman be any worse?

    I’m 53 and married to the same black woman for 30 yrs. this coming July. In my time I’ve been with white women, Italian women etc., and to me if there was a hidden motive/agenda it was news to me. If I was with a woman it was because we were genuinely and mutually attracted to each other. I’ve never had to school her on the intricacies of race because race was never an issue. To me that would be an automatic deal breaker if a white female interest made ignorant statements about race. I mean how could you possibly be attracted to the woman after that?

    Some of my best friends were older white females; literally like sisters to me in every respect. I’ve broken bread with them, worshiped with them and entertained them in my home. My relationship with them was unique. It never threatened or concerned my wife- and she has told me as much. If there’s a ‘genuine mutual attraction and respect’ then race becomes a non-issue. Should my son or daughter bring home a white mate I wouldn’t protest in the least. There’s simply too much baggage in our history to properly sort anything out; too many variables to make heated judgments about interracial relationships that have gone on in this country since Indentured Servitude. Demanding ‘racial loyalty’ from your children merely increases the likelihood they'll date outside their race. My advice is to raise them as best you can and let the hormones fall where they may.

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  6. Are people not reading the whole post? This about approaching the BM/WW issue from a PARENTAL standpoint. What happened? Did people skip over that part altogether?

    Or are all you telling me that if your 14-year-old black son started showing signs of autophobia, you'd just disown him on the spot and tell him to leave WoC alone if/when he grows up?

    So, what sort of feedback do you believe Dude's posts should have received instead?

    "What were your parents like? Were they heterosexual, and if so, married, living together, or divorced/separated? Are they both black? Who raised you? Which one did you spend the most time with? Did your parents have different attitudes towards romance and sexuality? Did they give you similar or conflicting messages? As an adult, which one do you go to now talk about women? Why did your parents move you to the white suburbs? Who were your male idols growing up and why? What did you think of the black men featured in media during your adolescence? Did you keep a journal during those year? If so, have you gone back and reread your thoughts from that time?"

    And so on and so forth.

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  7. let the hormones fall where they may.

    Except autophobia isn't hormonal.

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  8. Well. I don't have children but from a parental standpoint I don't think there is much that can be done. Like M. Gibson said, you do your best to raise children who love their whole selves and allow the chips to fall where they may. In many instances telling people they should avoid something makes the attraction that much stronger. I have seen this back fire. Mom and Dad can't shut up about white people and the kids marry the whitest people in the world.

    At any rate I do maintain my suggestion. I'd tell Dude to take a break from dating and figure out what he really wants, both mentally and physically.

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  9. But at this point, this isn't about Dude. This is about parenting. This is about problematic thinking being left uncheck to run through generation after generation.

    Letting autophobia persist within our group like a cancer is not an option for us. Like it or not, we have a problem, and telling ourselves we just can't do anything about it, or that "it is what it is" is basically burying our heads in the sand.

    More importantly, when white people behave similarly, they get verbally bitch-slapped. We tell them it's not kosher for them to let racism subtly and not-so-subtly pass on from generation to generation. We blast their parenting, and we hold them accountable for playing ostrich with their problems.

    In other words, we cannot denounce about our black sons, nephews, brothers, and cousins' behavior concerning white women and autophobia, while telling ourselves there's nothing we can do. It's like white people saying, "Well, there's always going to be racism, so why bother fighting it?"

    If we can't accept that type of logic from them, we sure as hell can't accept it from ourselves.

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  10. Once again...I'm not saying "we" need to fix That Dude, or every black man trying to date us. We need to prep for if/when we decide to have kids. And this:

    do your best to raise children who love their whole selves and allow the chips to fall where they may

    is a platitude. It says nothing and helps no one. It's a blanket statement used to shut someone up during a difficult conversation.

    I want to get to the meat, to the blood, to the very beating heart of the issue. I want to see all the skeletons in the closet so I can examine the bare bones of the issue.

    Because black women, we can marry all the white, Asian, and Latino men we want. But when are sons are born and grown, we'll be right back here having this conversation.

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  11. Frankly, I do not know if it is possible for someone in an IR relationship with a white person to instill the idea in their children that they should stay away from dating white people. I know personally, I would prefer that my children date Black men or women, and I would strongly encourage them to do so, but I cannot make that decision for them. I think the only real course of action is to make your child abundantly aware of issues of race, and attempt to instill pride in them as a POC.

    But, it is made more complicated by the fact that they have a white parent. If I have a child with a Black man, my child will be Black. But, I will always be white, and no matter how hard I try to instill the idea into my child that they need to look at white people as racist suspects UNTIL they prove otherwise, they are still going to see me, and think "Well, my mom is a good person, so maybe this next white person should get a pass too". And I suspect it works similarly if the mother is Black and the father is white. I think the most important aspect of it is to have BOTH PARENTS on board.

    Now, that being said, while I would prefer that my children exclusively date Black partners, I could learn to accept the idea of my child dating all races of men/women before I could accept them dating ONLY whites. Because, while I do not believe in the whole colorblind ideology, I think that someone who is open to dating ALL RACES does not have the same "white is right" mentality as someone who expresses a single minded desire for a white partner.

    This is just my opinion, and coming from a white woman, it really may not mean much, because I obviously cannot know what it feels like to be a Black person in this society.

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  12. @jasonburns,

    Eat a hot bowl of dicks.

    @Victoria,

    I'm glad you saw what my "leave WoC alone" statement meant. And it is funny how everyone skipped over the contradictions between desire and ones ideology portion. As I stated, people's desires often run counter to their beliefs, and I stated examples of such in that post. And most folks still go after whom they desire even if it's wrong or politically incorrect according to their personal politics rather than the correct person according to their personal ideology that they do not desire. That's how you get feminists who have unequal, non-liberating relationships with men and Black nationalists partnered with WW, and this was a lot of leaders in both movements doing this. With the latter, it became so common that now it's a stock joke.

    @Ankh,

    Well, I guess you're going to be inconsolable about this then. I don't see how a BW partnered with a non-BM could lecture her kids with some "stick with BP only" message and have ANY credence or authority. And again, there's that "free will" thing. In a "free" society, people are going to do what they want. That includes racist and plain ol' lazy ass WP. We can admonish them to do better from the sidelines, but we can't MAKE them. If we could, slavery would have been over in like a week, and I'd have my replicator, transporter and personal Soong-type android, flying car and personal jet pack by now.

    You can raise a kid to do the right thing, show him all sorts of examples of how to do it, have him see you doing it yourself, but, when they grow up, they're going to have to make their own decisions about life, the universe and everything. That is simple fact, platitude, cliched or not.

    @Joanna,

    I'm with you on how in the world am I as a BW married to a WM supposed to tell my sons and daughters to stay away from them White folks like my parents did. I'd sound hypocritical as hell. And as a former kid with hypocritical as hell parents, I know how that destroys utterly ANY credibility you have with kids.

    I guess one thing I could show my son via my example was that if he wasn't considering BW as viable partners then BW are well within their rights not to consider him as such either and leave him off their lists as well. Why should that want him when he doesn't want them? When it comes to love, I always say, people obviously have a need to bust their own ass in order to learn those lessons.

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  13. I don't see how a BW partnered with a non-BM could lecture her kids with some "stick with BP only" message and have ANY credence or authority.

    Where the fuck are people getting this? Why would I - of all people - even suggest that?

    What is it about this post that people are having trouble comprehending, exactly? Here's what I'm saying, in case people are having difficulty:

    1) Much of the BM/WW trend - because most of it is just that, a trend - stems from black men's ethnic autophobia. Black women, as moms, you can't just tell your sons to "leave WoC alone." You're supposed to be helping raise a child who doesn't need to leave anyone alone. They shouldn't be autophobic in the first place, 'cause black people, if our kids dislike themselves, we accept that to a major extent, it's our fault.

    2) If your child is autophobic, you have deeper issues to deal with, issues which go beyond mere BM/WW dating. Remember: I'm talking about when they're still a child, still young, still fixable, and still your responsibility. At this stage, you may need to make some major life changes. Your child may need a different community altogether (see comments on next post).

    3) This attitude of, "If my kids hate themselves, well there's just nothing I can/should do" is terrifying the hell out of me. When I took a parental approach to this subject, this was not what I expected from people. It's horrifying, and disgusting, and overwhelmingly disappointment. This isn't about hormones, or "preferences."

    4) I'm glad black women have opened themselves up to dating other men, but I'm getting a white woman's my-kids-will-be-biracial-anyway vibe here which I did NOT see coming. Uh...ladies? Your kids will be black. In America. And they'll need more than hugs, kisses, slogans (read: platitudes), church, and compliments to survive.

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  14. Once you leave your parents house, your childhood/your upbringing/your parents are only responsible for so much.

    ONCE AGAIN...I'm talking about when KIDS ARE STILL IN THEIR PARENTS' HOMES. When they're 12, 14, 16, and showing signs of ethnic autophobia THEN.

    WHAT ARE SOME THING PARENTS COULD DO THEN???

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  15. I mean I know WM who were able to throw off that conditioning very early on in life because at some point they decided to be their own person rather than whatever person society thought they should be.

    And maybe the conditioning didn't work because constant contact with WW threw them off their pedestal because they saw them as "individuals belonging to a certain group" rather than ideals to aspire towards just because that was how society and the media presented them. I don't know.

    But again the deciding factor was: the choice that they made.

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  16. I mean I know WM who were able to throw off that conditioning very early on in life because at some point they decided to be their own person rather than whatever person society thought they should be.

    Um...good for them. Their society reinforces their ability/right to choose and gives them an abundance of positive images to boot.

    But ONCE AGAIN, when you're a black parent and society doesn't have your back, and your kid is showing signs of ethnic autophobia from early childhood into adolescence, what do you do then?

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  17. That's what I'm saying. I think we just see the problem differently.My mom always told me to just be my own person. As a parent you can only guidechildren by teaching and showing them and listening to them.

    But everyone forms their own identity, independent of their parents.

    People can't be taught by anyone to think for themselves that's something they have to learn on their own.

    The biggest problem is probably environment which is why I personally am not going to raise children in the US. It's too racist.

    And as we have all noted here at one time or another, the larger world is expanding/has always been beyond that.

    My mom always told me to just be my own person.

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  18. But ONCE AGAIN, when you're a black parent and society doesn't have your back, and your kid is showing signs of ethnic autophobia from early childhood into adolescence, what do you do then?

    Well for starters I'm not raising my kids here, if I have them. This society is fucked up, for reasons we all know. That's why I'm already looking into immigration.But even with that, no society is a utopia, some are just obviously better than others. Everyone is a product of their environment more than they care to admit.

    What do I do? Everything I can obviously. I tell them/show them that the world is bigger than that, give them role models, be the best person I can be, show them how advertising and not to believe the hype.

    But it's not entirely up to me. It's up to the child, too. And that's one of the scariest things about being a parent.

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  19. I'll try to teach them "how to think", not "what to think" from an early age. But that doesn't mean that they will learn that, at least not from me.

    Be honest, didn't you learn things later, that your parents already told you and you were little and you were like "Oh,thats what they were trying to tell me. I see it now."

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  20. To me, this isn't about getting children to avoid dating white people, rather fostering their self esteem so they don't get butthurt when they encounter racist potential dates. If the kids have high racisl self-esteem the need for white approval won't drive them to do things The Dude did.

    Personally I like white men and won't be avoiding the good ones anytime soon. However I won't try to "convert" those who have no interest in knowing what it's like to be black in America. Their approval doesn't mean so much to that I go on dates with crazy ones and look for validation from sub-par men. Their hott but not that hott

    I think that's what Ank is trying to get at. This isn't about interracial really, it's about racial self-esteem.

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  21. Ankh, I hope you are not referring to me, because I stated very clearly that my child will be Black. Maybe I missed some comments, so maybe you are referring to another white woman who was talking about her children, so forgive me if I am misunderstanding, but I said very clearly that my children will be Black, I DO NOT use the term biracial!! Again, if I am misreading your comment, I apologize, I just wanted to make that point very clear.

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  22. Everything I can obviously. I tell them/show them that the world is bigger than that, give them role models, be the best person I can be, show them how advertising and not to believe the hype.

    Now re-entering platitude territory.

    I'll try to teach them "how to think", not "what to think" from an early age. But that doesn't mean that they will learn that, at least not from me.

    And teach them what?

    Be honest, didn't you learn things later, that your parents already told you and you were little and you were like "Oh,thats what they were trying to tell me. I see it now."

    Did I learn complex racial dynamics later in life? Of course. Was I ever autophobic? No.

    I think that's what Ank is trying to get at. This isn't about interracial really, it's about racial self-esteem.

    Ding ding ding ding ding ding!!!

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  23. @ Joanna

    No. When I made the "biracial" comment, I wasn't talking about you. I was referring to a vibe I was getting from my black sistren, which I took me by surprise.

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  24. Oh, OK Ankh thank you for clarifying!

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  25. Again we see this problem differently.

    I don't think people can be "taught" to have any type of esteem, assuming that they neatly belong in a "race" category.

    But okay racial esteem, how is that going to work with a mixed child?

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  26. That's why I'm not raising my kids here. They need to live in a place where they're individuals first.

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  27. I understand what you're saying Ahnk.

    I just don't agree with that.

    I'm black (actually not, both my parents are half native american, in a way that's very obvious, to the point that most people in diverse areas, like NYC, assume that I'm Hispanic(usually Dominican or Puerto Rican) not black because of my skin tone, hair texture, facial features) but the long and short of it is black and I'm proud to be because that's apart of my heritage.

    But first and foremost, and I give a fuck what dumb ass binary American society thinks\, I'm an individual.

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  28. I don't think people can be "taught" to have any type of esteem, assuming that they neatly belong in a "race" category.

    You may not be able to teach self-esteem to a person, but you can teach them things that will help build self-esteem.

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  29. @ Student

    You're under the impression that I'm saying "dictate things to your kids." I am not. I don't even know where people are getting that or why they're so eager to leap to that conclusion.

    What I am noticing, however, is severe avoidance here. I'm asking a direct question (most) people seem to keep answering something else.

    And I think this is the unknown "variable" which I reference in the next post. I also referenced this in a conversation/interview with the Love Isn't Enough blog - POC parents don't always know how to build up their kids' self-esteem in America. Because American society is not giving POC kids an abundance of positive and balanced messages, parents are at a loss of what to do (notice that we're not the only group experiencing this splintering between the sexes).

    You keep saying you're not going to raise kids, Student, but that right there could be considered a suggestion for parents of color in America: send your kids to school abroad, if you don't want to move. Let them go through primary and secondary school in a country of color - depending on where you send them, it might not be that expensive for you. Going to school in Cameroon did wonders for Moi.

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  30. Please forgive me Ankhesen Mié for asking this...
    But do you have any children? And if so, how have you raised yours? How many here have actually raised children to adulthood? For it seems to me when self-hatred eventually raises its ugly head there have been things going on under the skin since the child was 3-5 yrs. of age. The dolls they play with, the home environment- friends, the images/stimuli they’re exposed to. Parents don’t have crystal balls and most of us still struggle with our own issues. These factors influence our children, unbeknownst to us despite the lessons we teach. By the time we see such signs at 8-14 it’s too late, for their minds are already made up. We can sit them down to reinforce values, morals- rights or wrongs; but they’re already talking to themselves about what they’re going to do when they grow up. Just discovered my eldest smokes; now I did my best to teach her against the evils of smoking, (PowerPoint presentations, field trips to cigarette factories- focus groups etc.) but I see it wasn’t enough to deter her from picking up the habit. A decision she made ‘of her own free will’.

    They learn about racial politics from US and come to their own decisions very early in life. Its one thing to have all the answers in theory, but its another thing to put these convictions into practice; when every choice you make (as parent) hits you on a personal level. “Train up a child in the way she/he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” They may not hold onto everything you’ve taught them, for some lessons only manifest themselves later in life as they mature. The fact that you say you did not harbor any self-hatred as a child is commendable, but a lot of black children (from equally good homes) cannot make this claim.

    Black parents are still working through issues and trauma of their own and that baggage seeps through, affecting the child in ways we’re just unaware of. The infamous Clark doll experiment tells me at a very early age black girls have made up their minds about race/esteem and will act accordingly once they’re of age. They know who the pretty doll is, and they know who the good doll is. Raising a child up in the suburbs in a desperate attempt to ‘escape the crime and negativity’ can cause a black child to exhibit racial self-hatred even though the parents had the best intent at heart. Again please forgive me for asking the question, I meant no offense. There is no recipe you can write down in a book that applies to all, for each child/family is different; there is no one size fits all answer.

    How many parents in the inner-city have the resources never-mind the wherewithal to send their children abroad? How do you apply remedies to a segment of people so damaged by their own choices and decisions? Some of us look to charter schools for answers, (with strong father figures in the classroom). For others it simply comes down to the presence of a black man in the home. A 24/7 black father who can nurture and boost esteem; combating negative influences/peer pressure that constantly bombards the black child. Now that's a start, and its what I tried to do with my own children.

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  31. Forgive Moi for asking but, where am I saying there's a recipe for fixing this problem which will apply to everyone? Where am I saying we should dictate things to their kids? And why are readers so eager to say I am?

    To hell with theory - at this point I'm trying to get people to TALK. It's been like pulling teeth. People seem - to me - to want to slap a label on the problem, say it's out of their hands, and move on. They're not even pausing to discuss it. Few want to examine anything, compare notes between black men like Dude, or look the painful issues in the eye.

    It seems like people are more quick to chant slogans, recite platitudes, shrug, and give up. You know...because that's worked so well so far.

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  32. @ M. Gibson
    I know my parents sure as hell didn't have money to send me to school abroad. I was home schooled but that was the best they could do.

    @ Ahnk
    I was actually planning on starting a school for poor children, where they could study abroad.

    But for working class/poor blacks how will they afford that type of education? Especially with how poverty/racism intertwine the US.

    I'm sure it can be done, but not for the majority of them, assuming that they agreed to do that with their kids.

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  33. FWIW... Dude seems to be learning. He seems to be willing to do what it takes to erase the programming that he has received that white is right. I have a friend who is like Dude. The funny thing is, I wrote a post about IR dating, and how so many times I see people in IR relationships for all the wrong reasons (focusing on BM/WW) This man reached out to me, because he said he never heard a white woman talk to frankly about race and about IR dating. He has dated women of all races, but he always seemed to feel like he was idealizing white women. Simply because they were white. And, his actual interactions with white women had always been pretty negative. So, he an I talk often, and a lot of times it is about the stereotypical characteristics that people attach to women of certain races. Interestingly, he thinks Black women are more attactrive AND gets along better with Black women, but yet he finds himself at times chasing that ideal image of a white woman he sees in TV, movies, magazines, etc. So, when we have our conversations, whenever he makes some sort of comment regarding relationships, I try to encourage him to really think about things, and he always ends up coming to the realization that his opinions about white women are based on media images rather than reality. And, he seems to be getting further and further away from that idea that "white is right". I just want to relate my experience with my friend because I do think there is hope for Dude to deprogram his mind and begin to have healthier relationships with women without chasing after some image that has been drilled into his head.

    Another reason I say there is hope for Dude is because a typical "white woman chaser" usually will not even have the conversations he had with this girl, he usually wants to stay as far away from issues of race as possible.

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  34. Oh, sorry I left out the part about how I would want to have the same conversations with my children as I have with my friend IF I see them veering off into the territory of chasing someone simply because they believe in some ideal image of white folks.

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  35. But for working class/poor blacks how will they afford that type of education?

    They won't. But the ones who can would be better off doing so than moving their kids to the suburbs.

    As for the ones who are poor, that would be the point of discussion here. You mentioned being homeschooled. Maybe black people in America could expand on that practice within the community.

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  36. As a child there was no father in my home. My come and go step-dad was an alcoholic and my mother had been abandoned at 14 by her mother. I had never been hugged by a man until I was in my late 20’s. My pastor (who is white by the way and whom I love more than my own father) hugged me after service one day and I had to fight off the urge to put my thumb in my mouth. Such a new sensation for me for up until that point I’ve never been hugged by a man. How many fatherless black children in cities all over this country go without this very basic but needful sensation? Jay-Z said, “We Were Kids without Fathers, So We Found Our Fathers on Wax.”

    Sometimes it seems if all a child gets from the parent is pain and apathy, that’s all they’ll be able to pass down to their own child in turn. You can look at black children (where I live) and notice a hardness about them that speaks volumes about their home environment. They won’t get esteem from a white female teacher in the public school that’s for sure. It has to come from us- it has to come from a communal cooperative that says, even though the child is not mine I will love him/her as such and do my part. For this child is ‘Our’ future.

    Ankhesen Mié said...
    “POC parents don't always know how to build up their kids' self-esteem in America. Because American society is not giving POC kids an abundance of positive and balanced messages, parents are at a loss of what to do…”

    Has anyone seen Tangled? Have you noticed how quickly Disney has fallen back on the old blonde princess formula? Have you noticed how well its been doing at the box-office. I wonder how many black parents have taken their child to see this animated feature. Notice how the blonde protagonist is a princess right from the start. Notice how she has a white hero pining for her, mounted on a white steed. She has deep blue eyes and long shimmering blonde hair. Notice how her tears have the power to heal??

    “Heartbroken, she tearfully tries to sing the incantation as a single tear lands on his cheek and miraculously heals him. The group returns to the castle, where the royal family is reunited at last. In time, Flynn and Rapunzel get married, and live happily ever”

    Every time I see a black female entertainer/talk show hostess with a blond weave and blue contact lenses I wonder if this is a manifestation of what she's been exposed to all of her life. We don’t see enough positive black imagery in popular media to counter the influences of white society. Maybe if more of our talented black directors produced more films with positive stories, rather than Soul Plane for starters. For if we don’t make these movies than who will? Compared to the plethora of white romantic comedies, fantasies and family oriented film, all I’ve seen lately is black pain. We’re still being portrayed as either the tragic mulatto, the angry black female or the dysfunctional over-sexed black buck. Certainly there’s more to us than this.

    Whites don’t wallow in their pain; (if they do the story becomes a heroic epic) they go to the movies to feel good about themselves. Problem is we still rely on white studio heads to green-light our stories and unless it fits into the narrow view these moguls have of us the vehicle never sees the light of day. Stories about black princess should be as commonplace as white ones. Fairy tales just don’t happen to black children; least that’s the impression most black people get.

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  37. They could, but even that takes resources that black people don't have easy access to, like affordable safe childcare, or even the ability to stay home with their kids.

    Homeschooling would only work for parents who had an education themselves, like both my parents did or enough of one that they could teach their children.

    I could see it happening, but not in American society. For one thing people at the poorest levels of society are still extremely dependent on the system. What little there is of it left. They have to be. That's part of the problem.

    Realistically I don't see the more affluent members of the black community reaching out to the poorer ones to help(many do, and I comment their efforts). I realize that many are, but most don't want to confront the poverty in the ghettos. They're off trying to assimilate into white society, like this "DUDE" was at one point.

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  38. A little clarification. Above I said that "there's probably nothing we can do" and "if we tried, we'd be a different kind of oppressor". By that I don't mean that we should give up and do nothing.

    I mean that what we teach our children around issues of race and social dynamics maybe shouldn't be concentrated on their dating preferences, but in a way that allows them to infer how their preferences may play out within the American social dynamic.

    It may seem like a lot to expect of a child, but I think it's not only reasonable, but the best way to go aboutit. And so, my closing suggestion that we challenge the greater society - or at least how our children interact with it.

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  39. I really think that we need to consider that there is so much acting on a person when it comes to sexual desire. It is one thing to be with someone because you love them for who they are and another thing entirely to select them based in race. I think that while the choices of Black men to date inter-racially may hurt Black women we need to recognize it as a symptom of their pain rather than a personal attack. It is not as simple as some Black woman didn't raise her child correctly.

    I have uncles who would never marry a White woman but they went out of their way to marry the most light skinned Black women they could find. Even when Blacks marry intra racially there is still an aspect of racism.

    I think to deal with this issue, one must necessarily tackle the disease itself. We must promote the idea that race is also a very gendered experience and break down continually the way that race effects of WOC. I think raging at these men is kind of pointless in the big picture because the real issue is institutional racism and not specifically these men.

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  40. @Victoria: I just want to say thank you for your comment (about black activists and their tendencies), because that's the kind of conversation I had been looking for after posting my letter. I wasn't looking for solutions, but just more discussion. That black activist-white wife phenomenon is really something that needs to be examined.

    I wonder if it has to do with proximity to academia? While many more black women make it to college than black men, there are still grievously few of them in most schools by comparison to white women. Is it not only about media-spread ideals, but also about the demographics of their environment in which children are raised? Just in the fact that I lived in the suburbs during puberty and beyond, suggests a possible connection.

    Granted, the demographics of the whole country are such that black people are between 10 and 15 percent of the population - and always have been. Peggy McIntosh's now-famous essay "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" says:

    "I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time."

    That's no small thing. I remember my roommate in college being surprised that I liked white women, because he didn't find them attractive at all. I think he grew up in Barbados, which is 90% black, so I imagine his experience was a little different from mine. Just a little.

    Immersion may be one factor, which like television and other media can undermine with their celebration of all things white, but then what about college - where unless they attend an HBCU, they're bound to encounter white people in large numbers?

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  41. Homeschooling would only work for parents who had an education themselves, like both my parents did or enough of one that they could teach their children.

    I should've been more clear. I'm thinking black teachers could "do rounds" and teach black kids at home.

    @ Jasmin

    I brought up the parental angle because Dude briefly mentioned where and how he group up. *shrug* I got curious.

    I wonder why the parental angle is making so many peeps on here jumpy. I'm getting emails from peeps who want to respond but "don't want to get into the middle of it". That's not the kind of blog I want to run.

    So from hereon on out, any more finger-pointing, 'tude-licious comments from anyone will not be published. This convo didn't have to get heated. Peeps could've stayed cool and rational but I'm getting a serious anti-black male vibe up in here. That is not kosher with Moi.

    Again, we're not trying to date guys like "Dude." This doesn't mean everything they say is irrelevant and dismissable. If you really want to, you can always find something to learn from anyone.

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  42. What is going on here? I'm confused, did I miss something? Why did this thread blow up like this?

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  43. Okay I am the parent of a 14 year old and being a parent is not for the weak. We are responsible for raising kids to become productive, responsible and functioning adults that contribute to society. THIS IS HUGE!

    We live in a world (especially in America) that will readily bombard black and non-white children with images that imply that being white is the norm. The only counter our children have is what their parents choose to allow them to absorb at an early age. When kids are very young we CAN control what influences them. It requires us planning their lives inside and outside of the household.

    From the time my daughter was born I surrounded her with people that loved her. I ensured that she was in a racially diverse environment that included a lot of people that looked just like her. Anyone that came into contact with her were required to abide by MY rules for anything that had to do with her.

    When she was little there were no fairy tale books/videos, white dolls or more than 30 minutes of PBS allowed and it remained that way until she was 7. I made sure that I read to her every night and I played games and make believe. It was very important to have a conversation with her everyday about her day. Why??? Because I wanted her to know that she mattered to me and I wanted to be her most important influence and THE person she would come to when she needed guidance.

    As a teenager she deals with moodiness and insecurity just like all teenagers do which is the breeding ground for a f*ck up. She's trying to figure things out and I give her the ability to do that with established boundaries and expectations. Lying is not allowed, academic excellence is required and mutual respect is mandatory!

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  44. YES to no white dolls. My father and his wife thought I was nuts when I told them when I have a child I do not want her to have white dolls.

    Now, after reading the story of the inspiration behind the I Love My Hair video, I am even stronger in my conviction about the no white dolls. A lot of people say that makes no sense because my child will have a white mommy and white aunties, etc. But my child will not be white, and I do not want her absorbing the idea that white is superior. The father who wrote that I Love My Hair song might not have had such a problem if his Black daughter was not playing with white Barbies. That was my first thought when he said his daughter expressed the desire to have hair like her Barbie doll.

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  45. boy, i must say that I am glad I decided to lurk on this thread.

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  46. @ Aiyo...girl...call me Pandora. I'm on the verge of deleting all this shit and closin' this box down. I shudder to think of the blood bath it would've been had this convo occurred in person.

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  47. I certainly wasn't asking you to give a shit about me or people like me. Just that you not be a scathing bitch. But apparently that was asking too much

    @ Ahnk
    ....What? Moi, WTF?

    @ DUDE
    Again, good luck with you relationships with WOC. You've demonstrated no personal accountability and insist on blaming "white supremacy" for your individual choices.

    You may not have "White priviledge" but you've never addressed the question of "male privilege".

    And I'm not being Anti-BM when I say this because you're not a man.

    A man takes responsibility for himself and his actions. So far you've attributed blame to

    a.the media
    b.the white power structure
    c.other black people

    You say that other black people don't go through the same thing.

    I wouldn't call you self hating. You have to have a "self" to hate for that.

    If all of those things influence you to the point that you find yourself having conflicting ideals/affecting your relationships/placing you in uncomfortable aggravating situations.

    You do not have a developed sense of self/character and are not your own person. If society/media/black community/white power structure influences your actions more than you do, then you are not your own person, yet.

    You're not any different from older BM who went with WW in the 1970-90s attribute it to "Oh we're just getting back at the WM for slavery/racism."

    "And also because WW from the sheltered suburbs are loose, and fuck us more easily, and hold us to a lower standard of character than BW."

    At least those men dealt with OVERT RACISM. The kind that puts you in jail/hospital/dead. And the conditioning, auto/ethnophobia was much worse for them.

    Don't believe me? Read some Malcolm X since you're so "race conscious" now.

    You are typical.

    You seem to think you're entitled to some measure of sympathy whenever people reach unfavorable conclusions about your behavior and what it says about you.

    You're just... incredibly deluded and have no character.

    Again, best of luck!

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  48. @ Ankh
    ....What? Moi, WTF?


    Sorry - missed that during the "reset" - sorry!!! It's gone now.

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  49. So far we as women here have put the responsibility on ourselves.

    @ DUDE
    You need to worry about your daughters, not your potential partners in regards to your binary. And how your putting WW on a pedastal will affect how they see themselves.

    Scary thought isn't it?

    What if your daughters follow you in that? Putting up with racist behavior from men because they are too busy chasing some racist ideal to love themselves? How will you feel about yourself?

    You think these issues you have won't affect them?

    Seriously, think about that.

    @Ahnk

    Why are only BW accountable, for how the children turn out?

    What about the latently autophobic BM who are raising little black girl's? Or that have little black nieces,cousins,sisters?

    And if a daughter sees her mother straitening/weaving her hair, whitening herself to please Daddy, won't that affect how she looks at herself and her relationships with men?

    BM in general need to stop throwing the blame on
    a.the system
    b.the media
    c.white supremacy
    for their own self indulgences.

    In short falling back on Male privilege when they cannot justify their actions.

    It's a two way street.

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  50. @ Student

    I never said black women were solely accountable.

    And if a daughter sees her mother straitening/weaving her hair, whitening herself to please Daddy, won't that affect how she looks at herself and her relationships with men?

    Zaire and I addressed this on the next post.

    In short falling back on Male privilege when they cannot justify their actions.

    It's a two way street.


    Well...yeah. Said something to that effect on the next post too.

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  51. Now that we've started this discussion let's continue it.

    These men need to be held accountable too. If we're going to be.

    I'm not saying it's a war.

    But why is it that BM don't get held accountable for how their behavior/indulgences affects their families?

    Why do they get a pass? We hold ourselves to a higher standard so they should be held to one as well.

    But notice when we try, we're the ones who are "scathing bitches" and just plain old mean!

    Maybe that's what this BM/WW thing is all about.

    It's easier for BM to be a self fulfilling prophecy of self hate/contradictions/unreliability.

    I know one damn thing, the biggest problems I had with my self image didn't come from my mothers/aunts/sister.

    It came from my father not being there for me.

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  52. Ank,

    I don't think you should shut this down. Despite the (unnecessary) drama I believe this was insightful. I honestly don't know where this went wrong. People are taking the discussion way too seriously.

    SOTW, I agree with you. Dude should have known he wasn't going to get much sympathy from here. It seemed like he was looking for "support" but it's hard to feel sorry for someone who puts himself in compromising situations and blames the media and everyone else but himself for his predicament. Like I said up thread that's tired and lame. Self examination is the key to ending this cycle. Until then, Dude will find himself in the same position time and time again, and dating WOC will not change anything on that front. They will run from him like the white girls do.

    And I don't write this to be pompous, it's just how I honestly feel about Dude's situation.

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  53. Seriuosly isn't the right word "personally" is better. For whatever reason people are viewing this as an attack on their person rather than an analysis of a phenomenon.

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  54. @ Ahnk

    I do think that teaching will help a great deal, especially traveling abroad, living in a place with POC.

    I just get pessimistic when I look at how shitty the education system is. I'm in it at college level and it sucks, outside of the math/science portion. It's only value to me is that it will give me a means to achieve my goals in life.

    I'm thinking black teachers could "do rounds" and teach black kids at home.

    That's a good idea. That way when they do confront the larger education system in college they will be better prepared for the BS they will inevitably face.

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  55. I know I'm late and if you just want to be done with this thread I understand. I've been thinking about tackling this issue as parents. I don't have any children, but I was an autophobic female child/teenager/young adult. If this exposes me as weak well okay, yeah, I have been and no doubt still am weak. I've had awfully low self-esteem, and I think it does no good to go on about how we should have high self-esteem, the fact is many black people don't and that is not a surprise. Just saying it's up to the kid and whatever happens happens, that is shortsighted and sad.

    My suggestions based on my experience:

    - This American society is very big on reducing black people to a few choice stereotypes and even if you know you're not a stereotype it can be hard not to feel like you lost a little humanity. I know when I was a teenager I doubted whether or not black men could really be loving, tender, and anything but macho posers, shallow. Black love is important, that black people can love is important

    - I think it's important to talk about race and racism from a young age. They really need to know what racism is and how it works, or they'll be constantly surprised and upended. This has to go beyond learning about black history and pride and all that.

    - It's really important for kids to experience all kinds of black people. ThatDude said something about not realizing he could have things in common with black girls since he was into "white boy music" and things like that. Yeah, it should have been obvious that black girls are as diverse in interests as black boys, but I'll confess that I didn't know it either, from the opposite side. I think my next suggestion would help with this.

    - Please don't let your kid be bused to a white school or attend a majority white school at any point. PLEASE. Kids are too vulnerable already to have to put up with that. All of my friends that have had problems with their self-esteem as black people spent their formative years surrounded by white children and teachers.

    Well I still have a ways to go I guess. I am attracted to black men and find them desirable but I don't date and haven't dated in years, and maybe I am too damaged to ever date. But these are the things I'd do for myself the child if I could.

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  56. @ danila

    Thanks for joining us.

    Just saying it's up to the kid and whatever happens happens, that is shortsighted and sad.

    Thank you for writing this. I too was appalled to read suggestions like these from the keyboards of black people. Especially when many of them experienced the ordeals you just described.

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