Jungle Fever

I’ve got jungle fever, she’s got jungle fever – we’ve got jungle fever, we’re in love.  She’s gone black-boy crazy, I’ve gone white-girl hazy Ain’t no thinking maybe, we’re in love – Jungle Fever, Stevie Wonder

I didn’t care before because love was love.  It had no face and it saw no color.  I’d often seen interracial couples strolling about, hand in hand – clearly in love without a care in the world.  However, something changed yesterday.

I waited patiently behind a young (no older than her late 20’s) blonde haired white woman as as she placed her order at the deli counter.  I didn’t give her any special attention as she was just another patron in the grocery store.  I started to take notice when her shopping companion walked over to her cart to add an item.   A tall, attractive, well built slightly older (late 2o’s to early 30’s) black man.   “Maybe they’re just friends”, I thought to myself.

She smiled at him and tilted her head backwards to gaze into his eyes.  He gazed back at hers then planted a kiss firmly on her lips. I don’t know about you, but I don’t greet my friends like that.   They were definitely more than friends – I was looking at a couple sharing a tender moment right before my unenthused eyes.

Barbie & Ken

I usually I find this spontaneous public display of affection to be sweet, but this particular display made me cringe.  I thought about the countless rants from single black women (and thought they were bitter) and articles I’ve read about the shortage of eligible black bachelors (educated, disease free, heterosexual, loyal, childless, and employed) in which they choose to date women outsude of their race (Asian, Caucasian, etc).  Those articles and rants didn’t matter to me before, but all of a sudden, at that moment each and everyone of them did.

Although I’m seeing someone (its still new) I’m still a free agent and treat my single status accordingly.   I’m open to meeting new people and developing friendships with the prospect of them blossoming into more.

At that moment I felt like that blonde was kissing one of those eligible black bachelors – one that could have been a prospective mate.  “It’s about you, white girls like you.  Creeping up, taking our men.  The whole world ain’t enough, you gotta conquer ours too.” – Save The Last Dance (watch the short clip below or skip to the 1:30 mark)

They stepped aside and I placed my order (Boar’s Head honey turkey & muenster cheese).  I couldn’t help but follow their movements as I waited for my order.  She casually rubbed the small of his back as they rummaged the cheese section (in search of gouda or some shit).    What was it that he saw in this white woman that he didn’t see in a fellow sista (and no, I don’t mean me – I mean brown women that look like me)?  Was she less combative?  Was she more accommodating?  Was she more submissive?  Maybe his ego needed a white woman.  Maybe he’d had bad relationships with black women in the past and didn’t want to be bothered anymore, who knows.

They returned for their order and headed towards the checkout area.  He no longer appeared attractive to me.  He was just a lame dude that went with an easier option.  An option that wouldn’t challenge him, or understand him when he complained about being racially profiled when walking down the street.  An option that wouldn’t understand him when he explained how difficult it was for him to hail a taxi in Manhattan.  She wouldn’t understand him when he discussed how it felt being one of the token black employees at his corporate job.  She wouldn’t understand him when he explained the vicious looks he received from black women.  She wouldn’t understand him just existing.  Why?  Because the black man struggle can only be understood by a black woman – or can it?

My feelings of disdain subsided shortly after that encounter.  Did I agree with their relationship?  Sure, why not?  They seemed happy, they deserved to be in love I suppose.   I just don’t understand it.  My feelings about a white woman dating a black man will not change.  I do not believe that a white woman will ever understand the black man in totality the way a black woman can.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think that interracial dating (between black men and white women) is cool?  Is love just love?


Until next time friends!

~ Pennie Penz




15 thoughts on “Jungle Fever

  1. I’m all for interracial relationships. Any relationship in which both parties are happy seems fine to me. I thinks it’s very silly to assume that a woman of another race will not be able to understand the troubles HER man faces just because he’s black, and she’s not.

    1. Hmmm, I’m not sure if it’s silly (but you’re entitled to your opinion). There are certain things that she cannot understand because she cannot identify with the issues I raised in my post. While I’m sure she can empathize and love the hell out of her man, I do not think she can ever completely understand the plight of the black man the way a black woman can.

  2. I am going to try make this short. (Pray) This is a conversation I have often with a Friend of mine. Interracial Dating itself, does not make me cringe. What makes me cringe are the reasons behind it. Love is a choice. That needs to be clear first. You do not just slip and oopsie, I love you. Despite what the majority tells you. Love is a verb, an action word. It is something that you choose to do. I say that to say, when you say “you love who you love”. I can’t agree with that. What I do agree with is everyone has the right to choose whomever they choose to love. So with that said, my issue comes in when black men don’t ‘choose’ to love black women. (And I’m not speaking all.) When black men specifiy proclaim this message that black women are unloveable for them. For example: the ones that I have heard say, “black girls aren’t attractive”, “I only f*ck black girls, I wouldn’t wife one up”.. Or even in my own backyard: a black man who will say a black girl is too eager/thirsty yet is currently dating a white girl that literally threw herself at him to tie him down. What I dislike is discrimination against your own kind. Choosing to self-hate blackness in the imagery of a woman. And further perpetuating this message that black woman are not the proper choice when choosing love. THAT is my issue. Not interracial dating. Yes, be free to love who you want to love organically and not specific to what color or skin tone they are. But unfortunately, I see the latter and that I do not agree with when it comes to male/female.

    1. Very well stated q17scott. I too find it hard to swallow when black men choose to date outside of their race because they deem black women as too difficult, too demanding, too bitchy, etc. to deal with. I can’t stand that our men are opting date outside of their race because of some ridiculous belief that they will find a woman less “problematic”, thus leaving a lot of eligible black bachelorettes high and dry. I’d love to pick the brain of said black male that falls into this category because I think that their thought process is stemmed in ignorance.

  3. A white woman can never understand that world her black mate is speaking of because she’ll never have to endure it herself. She can try but she’ll always be puzzled by his anger and where it’s stemming from. I don’t mind the interracial dating. My only concern is for the brothas who may feel it’s a come up or forget themselves or their roots…

  4. When I was younger, this used to anger me the same way. But today, I’ve completely changed my point of view. Someone else mentioned this, and that is about the whole limitation in general. I get what you’re saying about the “she won’t understand the struggle because she’s white” but if someone loves you enough, they will understand. They will have empathy for through love no matter what. What used to piss me off when I was younger is that I assumed black men were only dating white women when they did date white.
    Long story short, race should never get into the way of love. If someone says I only date Asian women, I think they lost the meaning of love. If someone is dating a person they were interested in, and they happened to be Asian, that’s the way it should go. If we keep limiting ourselves we will limit our ability to love.
    For instance, these black men saw me displaying public affection to someone who was white, and broke out into laughter and talking about it. Did they know me? No. I date all sorts of races, but to them, I was a trator.
    I understand your feelings. But these feelings can limit our ability to love. But that’s just how I feel. lol

    1. I hear you cupcakequeen. Good points, perhaps I will adapt that same mentality – perhaps I will meet that individual that challenges my mindset and forces me to think that someone from a different race and understand the complexities associated with my race one day.

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  6. I am beyond disappointed in this article. I find it ignorant and very narrow-minded. To be angry at two people who are happy in love simply because it’s interracial is horrible. That in of itself is racist. I find that us black people are “too busy being black” and focus too much on hangups and on what we think we deserve…instead of letting the baggage go and truly being happy. Beauty is beauty no matter the race. I can’t believe this is even an issue in 2014. Take a chill pill…RELAX, love is love. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll find love yourself! No one wants to date an angry, bitter, envious person….#justsaying. Not everything has to be about “the struggle” and “the plight”:/
    In the words of Idina Menzel, LET IT GOOOOOO!!!!!

    1. You are entitled to your opinion Wren. I actually wound up catching myself in the article and stated (I’m paraphrasing here) that I stopped thinking with disdain – realizing that maybe they were happy and that it was basically none of my business. I do however not back down from what I said, I do not think that a White woman can truly understand the plight of the Black man’s struggle the way that Black woman can. Who said I’m bitter, angry, or envious? You have clearly red between lines that weren’t there. Nothing to let go of.

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