By Jordan Forrester
Black women have been tuning in to Terrell Owens new reality show en masse to check out all that occurs in the day to day life of the controversial personality. However, there is only one thing that the sistas have taken from the show: he dates women who aren’t black. There is a backlash large enough for him to comment on it and as sincere as he sounded, I’m sure his words rang hollow for most of the offended ladies. It’s not what he says, but what he does that drives their opinions and what he’s doing according to some, is putting black women on the back burner as he searches for his dream girl.
Interracial dating has been hanging heavy over the heads of black women for years. As they follow the romantic histories of black men who have dismissed them, they see a common story. When he is broke and struggling, black women are good enough to contribute to his climb up the ladder of success. Yet once he gets on, he leaves her ass for a white girl. Blondie isn’t there for the struggle. She doesn’t know the hardship it took to make him the success that he is. Yet, she gets to play beneficiary as his ex picks up the pieces and is told to kick rocks. It’s painfully unfair and black women live vicariously through the lives of the black, rich and famous regularly. However, we also know that this doesn’t just happen in the highest economic brackets. It’s found everywhere on the economic food chain, from the boardroom to the trailer park. When we see a black man still in the throes of economic struggle and his woman is white, do we cry foul then? Honestly ladies. Do we?
Consider this. You are driving down the expressway when you see Tyrone’s cousin Ray Ray walking away from his ‘87 Nova which is smoking like a chimney in the break down lane. By his side, hiking down the shoulder of I-85 is his new girlfriend, Becky (Yes, Becky is white). You don’t stop because Ray Ray owes you money, but are you upset that Becky is the woman he has chosen to take this hike with? Do you secretly wish it was you or some other deserving black female having to do a mile-and-a-half walk in stack sandals to get to the nearest payphone because Ray Ray didn’t re-up on his pay-as-you-play Tracfone? Do you even give a damn?
Probably not. The situation may even elicit a giggle from you. Becky deserves that. She can have Ray Ray because Lord knows you don’t want him. You might feel like he is beneath you or doesn’t have anything to offer you. He’s still black though.
If the concept behind the disdain is that these black men of means should be wifing black women to build the black family, which will lead to re-building the black community, then why isn’t Ray Ray incorporated into your derision of jungle fever? Why isn’t it as important to you that he also date and marry within the race? It’s because this isn’t about the health of our community for some women. It’s about cold hard cash.
Champagne wishes and caviar dreams are powerful. Everyone wants a baller, a shot caller, a man with 20 inch blades on the Impala. It doesn’t happen for most of us. That desire to be a kept lady who lunches is normally snuffed by the reality of the rat race. Then after you work that double shift and come home to a stack of bills that your man may or may not be able to help you with, you turn on the TV and see Becky riding shotgun in some rich black dude’s Phantom. Then it hits you that it will never be you reclining in that heated leather seat and the shit hurts. The pain is understandable, but it’s no worse than the pain Ray Ray feels when you write him off as unworthy.
It’s harsh to hear a black man say, I date white women because black women have driven me to it. Any sentence that begins with “all black women do thus and so” is unfair and should be checked. However, so should the thought process that leads black women into discarding a large portion of the black male population because they can’t give them the life they see Terrell Owens giving his white girl du jour. Ray Ray might not be able to drive you around in a $300,000 car. Hell, he might not be able to drive you around at all until he gets that Nova fixed. However, his participation in the black family is just important as TO’s and that is the point. Isn’t it?
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