My, my, my…yet again the state of Black dating has hit the media circuits. Usually I prefer to avoid commenting on the media frenzy surrounding Black women and the epidemic facing them in finding potential mates, but I figure I’d speak my opinion. For those of you who may not read a lot of blogs written by Black women, then perhaps you are unaware of the controversial new book by Ralph Richard Banks called Is Marriage for White People?: How the African-American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone.
First off, that title is way too long. I’m sure he could have easily shortened it to “Ebony Needs Ivory,” since his book is blaming the state of singleness on Black women and their lack of desire to date outside of their race. Now I must confess and say I haven’t read the book at all, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading the heated arguments made by Black women on other sites and blogs. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion on this situation that goes beyond his book. This issue has been around for quite some time, so it’s worth discussing. But I do intend on reading his book, it sounds interesting. A lot of women are upset that he would write a book and seemingly place blame on Black women for being single. He believes that many Black women are close-minded in their dating choices and need to date outside their race in order to find men that are of the same socioeconomic status.
I can understand why a lot of Black women are upset, but I also understand somewhat what this Dr. Bank’s guy is trying to say. Let’s just get one thing straight, I’m Black, but I’m not the “stereotypical” Black woman that is usually depicted. I’ve written blog posts in the past how many people within the Black community I have met have classified me as “uppity,” “acting white,” or simply “weird.” Some, but not all, of the Black men I have encountered usually end up being intimidated by my success and my level of education. Let’s pause there and discuss that briefly. I haven’t even graduated college yet, but to be 20 yrs old and a senior in college seems to scare off a lot of Black men I’ve met that may not be on the same socioeconomic level as me. You’d think it wouldn’t be a big deal, but a lot them are just shocked I’m doing so much with my life at a young age. What do they expect me to do? Be a stereotypical ghetto Black girl with baby daddy drama and no education? Nah, I think I’ll pass on that.
I’m not knocking anyone who does come from that lifestyle track, but that isn’t who I am. I’m extremely well educated, always have been and always will be. I don’t have kids, I haven’t seen all the “Black films” I’m apparently supposed to watch, and I’d rather listen to soulful house music instead of hip-hop. My past experiences in life have deemed me not a “catch” by a good amount of non-college educated Black men I meet, which is why I’ve never limited myself to just Black men. I actually can see where this Dr. Banks guy is coming from, but it doesn’t mean the way he phrased everything is right. Whenever anybody discusses they Black dating “crisis,” they must truly take into account the reality within the Black community.
A lot of Black men end up in prison, dead, or having a criminal past and not being able to be equally competitive in certain career tracks. It’s true we live in a society that is still subject to racial disparity, but some Black men really just need to stop playing the blame game and get it together. I know it’s difficult and Black men have always been a threat to White men in the workforce, but there are a lot of Black men that do have their stuff together and are legit. They hold distinguished degrees and are in positions of power in their respective fields. But usually the guys that are doing so well don’t have time for the negative attitude that some Black women portray, and these men tend not to be the most swag literate.
I personally prefer the intellectual, often geeky guy, over the swag literate guy who most likely can’t captivate my attention. One thing I detest the most is a high level of ignorance in a man. I absolutely am turned off by the guys that may be extremely attractive, but their conversation is ignorant. That goes beyond color for me. Any man of any race can be ignorant, so I’m not one to sit here and say all Black men are ignorant. But the major “crisis” in the Black dating pool comes when we start playing a major blame game and forget to take into account that some people or on different socioeconomic levels than others. Instead of bashing a man because he may not be able to hold an intellectual conversation or not well-educated, simply just shut-up and go mingle with men that are on your level.
I used to be one to complain about all the ignorant guys who would find me sexy and have this desire to know me, but the moment I actually began speaking about more than comedy and looks, they would lose interest and never call me again. It doesn’t too much bother me, because I also cut off men that are ignorant and just not worth my time. There is nothing wrong with realizing someone just isn’t on the same mental level as you and you guys don’t click. But so many Black men and women began bashing each other and playing the blame game, when in reality they need to just not trip over it and take people as they come if they want to. It’s ignorant to just limit yourself to one type of person based upon race, when in actuality it should be based upon personality and even ambition. When it comes to dating and the type of man I like, I don’t base it upon their skin color. I love all types of men as long as they are well-educated, culturally diverse, and fun to be around.
Anytime I’ve ever tried to get with someone from a different lifestyle experience, it never works out. I’ve had plenty of men tell me that the fact I’m well-educated and so successful at a young age is intimidating; they just can’t handle me and everything I’m doing. But that’s quite alright. I know that even in the midst of this Black dating “crisis,” they are still Black men and men of other races out there that are on the same intellectual and socioeconomic level as me. So instead of playing the blame game and complaining about the problem, I’d rather just enjoy being single and keep hope alive that things will change once I graduate and have a whole new network of interactions working in D.C. around working professionals. If you throw yourself in an environment immersed with a diverse amount of people that are on the same intellectual and socioeconomic level then you, then the dating “crisis” wouldn’t be an issue.
In the right environment and the right mindset, a lot of Black women would just be another beautiful Black woman with a Masters degree, not a threat to just “Black men.” Don’t limit yourself to one type of man, but don’t discount Black men either. There are a lot of “good” Black men out there that are well-educated, they just probably aren’t in the club jamming to Lil Wayne and Gucci. Black people are still getting married, they just aren’t in the mainstream stereotypical depictions of Blacks in the media. You will probably find the well-educated Black men in the engineering department or at a bar with their White friends being the token. Instead of chasing after the “thuggish” Black guy who you obviously know isn’t on your level, for that geeky token Black guy. Those guys are some of the coolest Black men out there, trust me, they are pretty awesome. Be calm and love a “geek” that is on your level, instead of going for a guy that you realistically have nothing in common with.
©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com