A Gentleman's Guide

MAY | 2019

APRIL | 2019 | LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

VERSUS: THE WHITE BEAUX

APRIL LR 3.jpeg

Listen Beauxs, we try to stay away from subjects that piss people off, but we’ve avoided this topic for way too long. If you’ve been following us since our January 2018 launch, you may have noticed that we’ve spent the bulk of our time sharing our thoughts on subjects we feel will reinforce the positive vibes we work so hard to maintain. However, our Versus issue is about conflict, and there’s almost nothing that causes more conflict within the community than the topic of interracial relationships with a focus on the white Beaux!

Some find themselves beyond bothered at the very notion of dating someone who’s melanin doesn’t match their own, while others couldn’t care less about their lover's complexion. Those who aren’t bothered are more concerned with finding someone who treats them the way they feel they need to be treated. Some of our contributors argued about why dating black matters and about why it's so important. Meanwhile, others bravely stood their ground with their “love knows no color” defense. It was actually pretty exhausting, and a few of us may or may not have gotten our feelings hurt along the way. Our Versus issue was off to a good start, to say the least! In the end, we settled ourselves and are excited that we're able to offer you all something that’s worth the read!

Dating outside of one's race is something that’s often discouraged from childhood. Parents deter their children with not so subtle warnings of who they “better not” bring home. These threats serve as a child's first impression about how “wrong” interracial dating is. The prejudice we endure as a result of being of color from the white community makes it hard for some of us to understand why we’d look for love from someone who matches the physical description of our oppressors. Yeah, we’ve got a lot of baggage, but it is important to note that we didn’t pack these bags ourselves.

Interracial dating is a hot button issue for a multitude of reasons. The first of these reasons is that (some of) those against it feel betrayed because they assume that men of color with white partners don’t appreciate their blackness or of colorness. Too many times we’ve either seen or heard about the subsects of black and brown men who exclusively date white men, and how they've left those who’ve they rejected feeling inadequate. This gives them plenty of room to make assumptions about why they, their blackness, or of colorness, aren’t “good enough” or deserving.

RBX BANNER 1.png

Some have concluded that interracial dating comes as a result of being a part of failed relationships with people existing within black and brown communities, where one deduces that since his last three relationships with men of color failed that he’s probably better off searching for love elsewhere. The assumption here is that he has become bitter and has given up on dating within his race. Another assumption is that black and brown Beauxs who exclusively date and enter into relationships with white men do so elevate their status.  

The deeper issue is connected to the effect that white supremacy has had on us, as same gender loving men of color, and on the country as a whole. This belief holds that whites are superior to those of other races, especially African Americans. We see this belief actualized in standards of beauty, policy, and in access to resources and power. If we keep this view in mind, then we might better understand why some black and brown Beauxs consciously and consistently date white men, to combat internalized feelings of insecurity, and to elevate their status.

There exists a blood feud, of sorts within many black and brown communities as they both recognize and feel the effects of white supremacy. White men are monolithically viewed as "the oppressor" and are assumed to be less sensitive to the pain and suffering endured by people of color. Whites, as a collective, lean towards the belief that black and brown people are less likely to be innocent when accused of a crime and no matter how hard we try, we just can’t forgive them for slavery, Jim Crow and segregation. Keeping this in mind makes it hard for some to understand how one could find love within a Beaux who doesn’t understand the challenges they endure as they do their best to navigate life without “matching the description”, being assumed to be violent or up to no good, or without having to worry about Jennifer Schulte calling the police on them for minding their own damn business.

Those who are opposed to dating white men might feel the way they feel because they have questions that haven't been answered, and because, let’s face it, some people are just afraid.  They rest in their opposition and fear so comfortably that they don't understand the notion of love being colorblind or without condition. Unconditional love doesn’t explain how a white man can relate to racism, because racism wasn’t designed for him, but by those who don’t look him. It doesn’t explain how one simply overlooks the inability of white men to understand le struggle when people who look like him actively propagate le struggle. How does he comfort his black or brown partner after he experiences an instance of racism, or after he’s been treated differently because of his color? Again, some will say that this is nobody’s business, but the answers to questions like these might provide some enlightenment and help to extinguish stigma.

APRIL LR 1.jpeg

Another reason people are divided over the subject is that they fear being fetishized. Many of us know the rage that follows being approached by white men who express their interests in BBCs. Skeptics of interracial relationships find themselves uncertain of whether they're being pursued because there's a general interest or if they’re being viewed as some sort of sexual conquest. Do they see our humanity first or do they see our BBCs? Are they interested in actually getting to know us or are they just looking to score a thug? There are also concerns about the potential of a nigger slippage...because let’s be real. We don’t have time to get into that topic, but we can sum it up as some of us say it but none of "them" can. And that’s just what it is. But what protocol do we follow when if our white partners (or their friends or family members) say it?  Will they defend us at the peril of being ostracized?

A large part of who we are is based not only on what we experience but how we interpret and respond to those experiences. This brings us to the experiences some of us have had with the “I only date white guys” gays, who seem to forget (if they ever knew) that they are not white. These are the tokens. They can be spotted a mile away as they exclusively brunch with the white gays and have solidified their place as the “black friend”. The problem with guys like this isn’t that they exclusively date white men, but the way they scoff when men of color express interest in them. Interactions with these horrific creatures are what lead many to conclude that they represent the “I only date white guys” delegation. This delegation is filled with men who actually possess some of the bitterness towards black and brown men as a result of being rejected by them. The result is that they desperately run into the arms of the nearest accepting white man where they hide from their self-hate, feelings of inferiority and internalized racism.

APRIL BG 2.jpeg

The answer to why people support and engage in interracial relationships is quite simple. Bigger nets yield higher returns. The general answer is that interracial dating gives both parties the opportunity to experience new cultures, and despite the fact that we ripped each other to shreds debating this topic prior to putting this piece together, none of us could find a concrete example of what white culture is. Maybe because we’re all black. But please feel free to tweet us some examples of white culture. Interracial relationships do provide their participants with opportunities to not only step outside of their comfort zone but the chance to become stronger by learning how to accept (yet another type of) disapproval while training themselves to put their own happiness first. Being part of an interracial relationship might help black and brown Beauxs realize how unaware they are of the close-minded ideals of the people around them- and to see some of their friends and family members for who they truly are.

We’ve got to be real careful in assuming that men of color who exclusively date white men don’t appreciate their blackness. Yes, there are those who are guilty of this but to assume that the sum totality of black and brown Beauxs who exclusively date white men don’t love the skin they’re in would be asinine. The Beaux who dates white men can still take pride in his culture and give positive meaning and association to it. His choice in partners doesn’t mean he’s rushing to lighten his skin to appeal to mainstream beauty standards or serve as evidence that he’s plagued with self-hate or self-esteem issues. All it means is that he’s found someone to love that doesn’t look like him.

RBX BANNER 2.png

Conclusions about interracial dating coming as a result of failed dating attempts within one’s race might not be too far off base. Einstein is credited as defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over with the expectation of a different result. Such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that someone might want to try something a little different after months, years or even decades of dating people who look like them. Can we really blame or shame them for that? And if so, then how much longer should they wait for their black or brown Beaux before we're satisfied? How much more patience should we require them to demonstrate?!?

We can’t deny the seemingly inherent oppressive existences of white men. We know all too well the measures they take to keep us down and in our “place”. We’re wouldn’t dare suggest “getting over it” as an option. One does not simply get over hundreds of years of oppression in the name of love. What one does do, however, is to ensure that they stay woke. Love can be love all it wants, but we’ve got to be really cautious that our white partners aren’t secretly harboring fantasies about our thug appeal or our big nigger cocks. This requires those of us who chose to date white men to remain vigilant because there its not a matter of “if” our white partners say or do something against the culture, but “when”.  This is perhaps the greatest burden of dating a white man because he won’t know the culture, will only have an outsider’s view of our struggles and is sure to take a misstep or two. He’s not going to know what it feels like to “match the description”, to have the police called on him for sitting in a Starbucks without making a purchase, or what it feels like to hear the automatic locks of an occupied car triggered as he walks by. So, yeah, be prepared to teach.

AdobeStock_220314960.jpeg

While we’re on the subject of teaching, those who date interracially are going to occupy the uncomfortable position of having to do so. We can say we don’t care about what others think all we’d like, but the truth is we want our friends and family to be comfortable with our Beaux. We strongly encourage answering as many questions as possible within reason. Don’t get it twisted, because the expectation isn’t and shouldn’t ever be that those in interracial relationships owe anyone anything, but there’s never any harm in opening someone’s eyes to the things they don’t understand. These conversations present the perfect opportunity to alleviate fear, dismantle stigma and to destroy a stereotype or two. You all know we love "love", and we won't ever take a position against any of its forms. At the end of the day, it's nobody's business who we date or why, but the conversation is always an interesting one to have. Interracial love is nothing to be ashamed of as long as it's pure, is not being used as a front for self-hate and serves to aid in the growth and improvement of all parties involved.

Jeremy Carter