Ralph Richard Banks

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Previously, I alluded to the topic of interracial dating in an earlier post titled “Milk in My Tea,” and “All My Single Ladies”  but recently a former classmate  brought to my attention an article by The Economist entitled, “Unmarried Black Women: Down or Out” This article summarizes Ralph Richard Banks, a Stanford Professor’s view on dating and marriage for black women.

Banks, an African American professor of family law suggests that due to the daunting statistic of black men’s imprisonment, lack of education, etc that many sista’s should think outside of the box and date and potentially marry people from another race. I suggest you read the article yourself because it provides some interesting statistics/perspectives about his stance.

This is not the first time I have heard about Banks and his book: “Is Marriage for White People? How the AfricanAmericanMarriage Decline Affects Everyone”. In fact, Demetria L. Lucas, the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE has written several posts about this which I have read. (I’ll provide the links to hers in the end of this as well.)

Now, before you all grab your pickets, put on your black panther outfit and begin rioting, let me note that Banks is married to a black women, so no this is not some black man who hates his own race and only finds beauty in other ethnic backgrounds.

I thought of many ways to discuss this issue:

Should I discuss colorism and the effect that it has on dating, especially in America

Should I discuss the black men who only date non-black women for a plethora (some superficial) reasons?

Should I discuss black women dating outside of their race?

With all of that said, here are MY thoughts on the subject.

Men and women, date who you want. Love your God, Love yourself, Love other people.  

I do not have any qualms about interracial dating. For me,  it’s the reasons that people decide to do it that make the difference. Dating outside of your race because you think mixed babies are “prettier” or any superficial reason similar to that is trifling. I’ve heard men and women state they want to date outside of their race because they want to see what kind of babies they would make or because they think the offspring would have “good hair” or a “nice complexion” (yes, I have heard that as a reason. smh).

Date outside of your race because of the same reason you would date anyone else. Do so because you are interested in the person. Not because of some stereotypical roles that you have heard that certain women or men play.  Do so because you want to get to know him or her, not because of the color of their skin or the texture of their hair. Specifically, when any person male or female not only desires to date other races but also rejects his or her own race by stating, “I don’t date… I only date… or I will not date… to me that is very narrow-minded and baffling.  Let me be clear here: I have met white men who only date black women  and I felt the same way as I would if I met a black man who only dated white women. What I’m saying is White isn’t better. Black isn’t better. Nor is anything in between any better. We’re all the same race: human.

Yes, there are some cases where men prefer women based off of race first, then personality latter, but I am not convinced this is as prevalent as media/society would lead us to believe. Yes, I know of this happening. I have met black men who only date non-black women for superficial reasons. I have met black men who discussed how my complexion may make it hard for me to find a successful  black man since they go for lighter blacks. But these are individual situations; these are NOT truths. Yeah, this happens. People experience it. But this is not an absolute truth.  I don’t care what the statistics show. Your relationship could be the anomaly.

There is no better person based on skin color.  No, we can’t ignore cultural differences nor the history of race relations in America and how it may affect various cultures opinion on interracial dating; however,  for me,  too much is going on in the world on a bigger scale for me to worry about why this black man dates and marries this non-black woman. And if sista’s were honest with themselves, they would note how a lot of the black men that get married to non-black women, you didn’t want anyway. lol With all the men in the world, you can’t date them all. So don’t hate, appreciate the fact that they found their happiness and look for your own.

Look deeper than the outside of a person. Decide what type of character your potential mate would have. Then go after that. After all, love comes in all colors. You could be overlooking your Mr. or Mrs. Right because you’re focused on the wrong things.

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

If you like this post, feel free to retweet it or share/like it on Facebook, etc.

To read my earlier posts about dating and interracial dating, read here:

https://mosmalls.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/all-my-single-ladies/

https://mosmalls.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/milk-in-my-tea/

To read The Economist article I discussed, read here:

http://www.economist.com/node/21532296

To read Demetria L. Lucas’ posts on Professor Banks, read here:

http://www.essence.com/2011/08/09/real-talk-are-white-men-the-answer/

http://www.essence.com/2011/09/27/real-talk-are-you-willing-to-date-a-non-black-man/

 http://www.essence.com/2011/08/15/real-talk-are-you-giving-up-on-black-love/

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