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Reply to "Black MALE self-HATRED...WAKE UP!!!!!"

It is time black women started dating out. Out as in interracially out. Out as in dating white, Latino, Asian and Native American men out. Here are a few reasons why I think dating interracially isn't only an option, it's a necessity:

Kobe Bryant, Tiger "Cablanasian" Woods, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Jason Williams, Scottie Pippen, Cuba Gooding, Quincy Jones (each of the four times he was married), Clarence Thomas (thank goodness), Taye Diggs. All are married to or dating white women. We can't list the number of brothers in the NBA, the NFL and Major League Baseball who date white women exclusively. There just isn't enough disk space.

Now imagine if I said Oprah, Halle, Vivica, Jada, Vanessa, Erykah, Lauryn, Whitney, Aretha, Venus and Serena were all married or engaged to white men. Or if I said they only date and marry white men and have no time whatsoever for black men. Imagine if it were true. What would be the response of black men? We all get the picture, and it's not a good feeling.

The message these men's dating pattern sends to young black women and black men, as well as the rest of the American public, is that black women are not worthy. They are not beautiful enough; they are not deserving enough.

Interracial dating is all for the good. In the best cases it leads to greater understanding between the races. Let me say this at the outset: I am an interracial dater. My primary criteria are respect, compassion and absolute devotion. The best scenario for humanity is for us to love without regard to race, class or ethnicity.

I have no problem with anyone dating interracially, but what I do consider pathological is the trend wherein many successful black men date and marry only white women. It's as if having a white woman on one's arm is a barometer of success for many black men, like winning a playoff ring.

The dating habits of these black men reflect the corrosive effects of slavery on their thinking: The notion that the white woman, the prime jewel in the white man's crown, is a symbol of status, of achievement, of long-established standards of "beauty."

It is a sad fact of life that people often attach greater value to things that are desired by others. Right now black men are under the mistaken impression that because black women have refrained from dating interracially in significant numbers, especially since the interracial dating boom in the sixties, the only option available to us is black men. They mistakenly believe that no other group of men desires us. And that if they do want us it is only as an after hour, behind-closed-doors booty call. Of course this is far from the case. Other men have always approached black women.

But because of history and the deleterious effects of slavery, discrimination and racism, we have often been skeptical of their reasons for pursuing us. Understandably, when invited out by white men we wondered if they were just trying to see what it was like with a black girl, if they believed the sex was wilder and more primitive, or if they were motivated by a guilt complex.

Further, the myth, perpetuated by slavery and racism, is that white men don't see us. Though untrue, this myth makes it harder for us to trust them. The fact is that during slavery, when black humanity was questioned, white men constantly bedded us. It was rape – the assertion of the powerful over the powerless – I agree, but if they desired us when we were deemed the ˜other,' almost alien, why would they now no longer do so?

It doesn't make sense. Sure, the efforts of the media, by and large, have been to render the black woman's beauty, intelligence and desirability invisible, or to make her an unattractive, ball-busting harpy, with strange hair, strange skin, strange ways. But all of that hasn't stopped white men from wanting us.

In fact, according to US census figures black female-white male marriages have quadrupled in the last decade. There's a simple reason for this, besides our beauty and intellect: the natural attraction that occurs between human beings given exposure and proximity. Black women are graduating from universities and entering the professional workforce at twice the rate of black men. We are working much more closely with white men. This gives the lie to the black male professional's excuse that he can't meet or find black women on his level. More than any other group of women, black female professionals tend to ignore economic disparity when marrying. This also undermines the frequent assertion by black men that black women are more materialistic than white women, and hence unattractive as marrying partners. If we were so materialistic we'd be pursuing and marrying only men on our socio-economic level, frequently white men.

Though the number of black females dating interracially is increasing it is still minimal compared to the number of black men dating and marrying white women. This is because most of us are still suspicious of white men. I say it is time black women stop approaching interracial dating with an inferiority complex; approach it from a position of strength. Believe me, white women do not question why black men desire them. These girls have the ultimate diva complex. We need to take a lesson from them. Believe in our beauty, our intellect and our strength. The same power and instinct we use to weed out the jerks and weirdoes from among black men can be utilized on white, Latino, Asian and Native American men.

Let's face facts: there is a limited pool of black men. White women have been wandering into our section of the pool for a very long time. It is time we wandered into theirs. There's no reason to keep the pool color-coded. Jim Crow is dead in the toilets, at the restaurants, and it's about time it was buried when it comes to dating, sex and marriage.

Until black men see that black women are wanted and desired by other men, until they see that we have options and are not entirely dependent on them for our emotional, spiritual and physical needs, many of them will continue to treat us like second-class citizens, the leftovers at the smorgasbord, the dish that nobody wants.

It is time we black women reasserted our selves. Start dating out. Don't do it out of revenge. Don't do it to teach them a lesson. To do so would only cheapen and debase us. Do date out so we can broaden our options and our horizons. Do date out because the human family is a smorgasbord of possibility. Do date out to strengthen our respect from, and our future with, black men. Let's value ourselves. Let's free ourselves.

Maxine S.