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.
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