It’s a pretty good way to pass the time from Brooklyn to midtown. I spent my childhood surrounded by black and brown kids, but when I got to high school, suddenly everyone around me was white.
During a bathroom break or a trip to the bar, I’ll check my phone, and almost always there is a news alert telling me Donald Trump is attempting to curtail, or has just succeeded in curtailing, the rights of marginalized people in America.
It’s an odd thing to then go back to my date and continue the performance of “getting to know you.” I fantasize about walking up to him and saying, “Gotta go!
Men of character, wit and charisma, alongside whom I have spent some of the best times of my life. East and South Asians, Persians, Arabs, Native Americans, Polynesians — all options as far as I was concerned. Then came the night my girlfriend jokingly called me a racist after I rejected a list of possible options, including her brilliant and cute brother, because they just were “not my type,” my longtime code for “melanin-deficient.” We laughed about it. I pride myself on being open and accepting people at face value, yet, consciously or not, I was writing off millions of single and potentially interesting American men simply because they were white.
Yet, until recently, I did not consider white men as romantic prospects. Meanwhile, my social circle is full of black women married to or dating white men.
I lived that feeling as the token black girl in my West Texas hometown’s elite circles. I am a woman who grew up with a “Love is Colorblind” figurine in her room, for goodness sake!
The fear of feeling that way within a relationship also blinded me to possibility. When it comes to life experiences and interests, I likely have more in common with white men than black.And too many times, those same white boyfriends decided to sit out being my partner.I lost count of the times my boyfriend in my late 20s would tell me to “just leave” parties or social events when I complained of being the only person of color in his all-white friend group.It is those latter reasons, the ones based on fear vs. When I look at my dating choices in context, my exclusive focus on men of color seems limiting and provisional, and more important, at odds with my truth vs. I learned to two-step at a bonfire at someone’s deer lease back in Texas.The Dead’s “Shakedown Street” is one of my favorite songs.In it, there is an imagined scene where Michelle asks why Barack ended things with his college girlfriend, who was white.