Monday, March 01, 2010

When Are We Going To Start Telling White Girls to Date Outside Their Race?

Laurel, Md.: Isn't it funny that almost all of biracial children are beautiful? It's almost like God is trying to tell us something.

Karyn Folan: I agree 100%!

Let me just start by saying that I've been married forever, so I don't have a dog in this fight.  No, let me take that back.  I am the parent of two one-day-to-be black women, so I actually do think about these things.

The Washington Post featured yet another article suggesting that black women have sad and sorry lives that can be made better if we just find ourselves a good white man. Karyn Folan, author of new book about interracial dating (by which she clearly means black women dating white men) offers all sorts of advice and insight from her research in response to reader questions, including the exchange above.  Her responses to questions reminds me a lot of the kind of conversations in interracial romance groups (as I continue my research into contemporary AA romance).  The notion very much seems to be that somehow readers of IR romance are more progressive and open-minded and just plain smarter than readers of AA romance.  Folan seems to think the same thing.  Because she's gone and gotten herself a white husband, she somehow has figured out something the rest of haven't. 

But the thing is, she's not special.  Nor are IR readers.  Snagging a white man doesn't make you smarter than the rest of us.  It just means you snagged a white man.  And counseling interracial dating for black women does nothing to address the systemic problems that lead to discrepancies in the education and economic status of black men and black women, nor does it do anything to address the fact that being single and 30 doesn't make black women special.  Not every "problem" that black people have is a pathology.  Not every problem is an actual problem.