Recently, I read an article and watched an accompanying video regarding black/white gay male relationships.
I was surprised by the vocal and passionate responses of some of the readers. When I began blogging over a year ago, it was in direct response to an article that was filled with stereotypical responses to black and white relations. This brings me back to the previously mentioned video and written responses.
In the video there was some mention of the concept that folks who don’t want to appear racist like to trot out.
“I don’t see color”.
In my experience this is generally whipped out when someone is asked to justify their love and affection of the “other”. What I find amazing about this is both the need folks have to spout this nonsense and the feelings of relief and superiority this seems to engender in well meaning but misguided black folks.
Not seeing color ? How is this possible. I am dark ebony brown, 180 pounds and 5'9" . If you are able to have me stand in front of you for any amount of time and still fail to notice my color, there is a serious problem. Perhaps what is really being stated here is that the viewer is fighting against seeing “only color”.
Could this be an attempt to humanize and make the viewed person a subject and not relegating them to objectification status ?
There are white males who see black and immediately think massive cock, sexual prowess and stud for hire. Many of our black brothers bring the same limiting and dehumanizing gaze to potential friends and lovers. With all the massive attention given to swag, sexiness and just plain deliciousness of black skin, there is little to no attention given to the mind, heart and soul encased within all of this yumminess.
It is almost as if we are required , no matter our race or background ,to give up on reinventing and challenging our limited views on what is possible and attractive .
This is the real problem. I have dated both types of white men. There have been experiences that left me feeling used and unheard and there have been others where the desire for black flesh led the white male I was dating down the path of self reflection, honesty and a thorough examination of long held beliefs. The larger problem is that there is little to no discussion about why we find certain things attractive.
Is it to be assumed that every white male who seeks a black companion is blind to the nature of his own desire and in fact needs to be avoided ?
Is it to be assumed that if I date whites I am a race traitor and filled with self loathing ?
Having witnessed several types of relationships and exchanges, being with someone who looks like me may not be a panacea if I am not beyond self hating. Personally, I have witnessed and been the target of some very vicious attacks by “brothers” who looked like me. While one of my own told me it was his job to "blacken" me up since I didn’t like greens and wanted to travel the world, there was another who loved and then hated me for not falling into the addiction traps and victimization that being black and gay seemingly offers so many.
While this may have been two isolated incidents, there where several experiences were neither me nor my friends were treated very well.
In the same manner, I have witnessed white males endure levels of pure tomfoolery (witihin intimate relations both platonic and sexually intimate) because their lust was so potent and unexamined. In the same fashion, I have had black men both ridicule and judge me for what they assume to be my love for all things "white and male".
Stupidity and idiocy does not discriminate.
We have all done and said some stupid shit regarding men and the types of nonsense we are willing to put up with. If there is no choice (we can always choose) regarding the level of commitment and true intimacy we are willing to create, we run the risk of building our connection on lust and juvenile fanatasy. The inability to think things through and make life enhancing choices for all involved parties is the real issue.
There is a great quote by one of my favorite writers, the brilliant and insightful Toni Morrison that I have fought to use when seeking out companions : He is a friend of my mind.
Is the person you are drawn to a friend of your mind ?
Does he encourage, support, challenge you to become a better human being ? Are you moved and lifted just a little higher from being in his presence ? To indulge in finding mind friends means we must not deny or eliminate color. Instead, we are challenged to recognize it and allow it to draw us in more deeply.
Perhaps the trick is to simply like what you like without qualifying. Know that somebody will not be happy or approve and love unabashedly and fully anyway.
Attraction is not the problem.
Not moving beyond it to know and love the whole person is.