Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Like Michael Jackson Said, "It Doesn't Matter If You're Black Or White!"

Dear Tazi:

I am white and my girlfriend is black. Although all of my friends seem cool with this, her friends have given her a lot of attitude about dating a white guy. We were at a party the other night when she finally had enough of her girlfriends calling her a sell-out and asking her what's wrong with the black men she knows and she went off on them.

"Shawnice" told her friends that too many of the black men she knows have been locked up for doing drugs or selling them, have dropped out of school or not gone to college, or have fathered children by "way too many baby mamas" for her liking. She went on to say that "all of the good brothers, the ones with education and a future" are dating white women, so why shouldn't she go after a white woman's man if one wants her? Tazi, this little speech shut her friends up but left me with a lot of questions.

I asked Shawnice if she was only with me because she couldn't find a black man who met her standards and was interested in dating her. She rolled her eyes at me and told me to let it go, that she is with me because she loves me, but I can't let it go. I am seriously wondering if she will leave me if a college educated black man were to come along and sweep her off of her feet. Should I just let sleeping dogs lie or should I push this issue? She really has me feeling insecure.

The Vanilla One

Dear The Vanilla One:

Here in America a lot of people are hung up on race. I am a black cat and a lot of people don't like me because they think I am bad luck, but under my fur I am as white as snow! What "race" does this make me? Am I any more lovable because my skin is white or because my fur is black? Do you love Shawnice any more or less than any past girlfriends because of the color of her skin? (If you do, your issues go much deeper than can be resolved with a letter to me!).

You have told Shawnice how hurt you were by her "little speech" to her friends, and she let you know that you have nothing to worry about; that she loves you for what you are on the inside (figuratively speaking) not the outside. Would she leave you if a college educated man with deep brown colored skin were to sweep her off of her feet? I don't know. What if his skin were lighter brown, or reddish brown, or coal black or burnt umber?

I hear once you go burnt sienna you never leave...

Being with someone for their looks - and skin color is a part of someone's looks - gets old very quickly. While being Black (as opposed to black) represents a culture of which you are a part, this does not mean that Shawnice wants a man who shares everything about her culture. My Mommie is Polish-American and my Daddy is from the Azores (Portuguese) but that is a part of what keeps things interesting for them - together they are constantly experiencing new things that they would never have discovered without the other. Together they have created their own traditions - just like you and your girlfriend can do, if you get over your concern that your worlds are strictly black and white (pun intended). Let things blend and find the beautiful shades of grey that can be created.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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