“These [Chris Matthews & Rachel Maddow] are not people who have Black friends, who know Black people…Oh, sorry, except, you know, Lawrence O’Donnell and Bill Maher, who date Black gals. So they think they’re freedom riders.”
- Ann Coulter discussing White liberals during a Fox & Friends appearance
I had no idea that my white boyfriend was a civil rights activist. Here I was thinking my interracial relationship was like any other: hanging out, watching Netflix, and gaining “I’m in love” weight. Nope, sorry. Apparently, Coulter believes that just like Fight Club, there are very important rules when it comes to a white man/black woman coupling. Like perhaps that the first rule of dating a black woman must be to crash a historical reenactment in Colonial Williamsburg and rub your United Colors of Benetton clad Jungle Fever love in the faces of all these powdered wig wearing White folk. Okay, okay, so maybe she doesn’t believe all that; however, her implying that an interracial couple such as mine is rooted in him singing to me We Shall Overcome every night before we go to bed is not only ludicrous but also reduces our relationship to nothing more than a reaction against racism, and more importantly, a reaction against Whiteness. Look, I understand that she’s in the business of provocation as means of selling books so she she might not care about how her comments come across however, I think it’s time that she heeds the advice every Black mom gives her children when she takes them to the hair salon: “Sit your Black behind down and act like you got some sense.” True, Ms. Coulter isn’t Black, but the sentiment still applies.
Moving beyond her flippant tone and the “This is so going to annoy you” twinkle in her eye when she uttered the aforementioned comment, what truly irked me is that this quote reflects the sentiments held by some people. Yes, all IRCS aka interracial couples have their fair share of foolishness to combat, but none faces quite the same kind of scrutiny as a white man/black woman one does. Not even black male/white woman couplings. Because when a black male is with a white woman, people will think he’s trying to move “up” in the world because her Whiteness makes her this prized possession. Ignorant thoughts, yes. However, WM/BW couples often encounter more than ignorance. Sometimes people will have a blank look on their face like they’re a 2002 Macbook buffering while attempting to load a ten minute cat video. Like “Why are you together? What is the Reason,” which is very different than little, old non-italicized and sans bolding “reason.”
Innocent lowercase reason includes things like chemistry, sharing the same values, and oh, I don’t know, being in love. However, people such as Coulter using capital “r,” italicized, boldface Reason is code for SURELY THERE MUST BE SOME EXPLANATION FOR WHY YOU, WHITE MAN, HAVE NOT FOUND THE WHITE SCOTTIE PIPPEN TO YOUR WHITE JORDAN TO CREATE A PURE AND UNDEFEATED EMPIRE OF WHITENESS. AND YES, I REALIZE I USED BLACK PEOPLE TO ILLUSTRATE MY POINT, BUT YOU HAVE TO ADMIT THAT THEY’RE KIND OF THE PERFECT EXAMPLE. ANYWAY, THE POINT IS, YOU SHOULD BE TRYING TO GET YOUR BACCALAUREATE DEGREE FROM “I HANG WITH WHITE LADIES ALL DAY, E’ERYDAY UNIVERSITY.” In short, to a lot of people, a white man dating a Black woman is a head scratcher.
With the head scratching comes the internal questions/thoughts: Is he rich? Maybe she’s an animal in the sack? Hmm, he wanna be Black. Wonder if he’s trying to get his Robert F. Kennedy on. All of sudden everyone is getting their Angela Lansbury on to try and figure out why any white man would want to be with a Black woman and ignoring the obvious evidence: some white men just like – gasp! – black women. Find them emotionally, intellectually, and sexually attractive. And that’s what this is really about, isn’t it? Black women aren’t considered to be beautiful by the mainstream. Not desirable. Not to be pursued romantically because they’re not prized possessions. Sure, we have the Halle Berrys and the Beyoncés who break through, but for the most part, the mainstream media would like to have people believe that no one in their right mind would find a black woman attractive unless that person is also black. That there’s no way that a white man could appreciate the full lips, the kinky hair, the darker skin of a black woman without there being some ulterior motive.
Well, guess what, Coulter? There isn’t one and and you asserting that there is and specifically that white men are trying to feel like Civil Rights activist is downright foolish and incredibly self-centered. WM/BW aren’t together so the guy can feel like he’s fighting the good fight against racist people. The foundation of those relationships are not based on giving a middle to White America. I mean, when my boyfriend and I started dating, he didn’t say to me, “Hand me that Johnston & Murphy catalog. I need to pick out a pair of wingtip shoes, so we can march down to Washington D.C.” For one thing, he and I aren’t into physical exertion and everyone knows that activism these days begins and ends with a tweet. And for another thing, WM/BW couples aren’t a reaction to White People and racism. So to make that relationship about how white men are rebelling against you, “you” being White People, rather about a human connection shows your inability to see past your Whiteness. Ms. Coulter, please get over yourself because despite what you believe, the world does not end and begin with your Whiteness. Despite what you believe, not everything is defined in relation to your Whiteness. Despite what you believe, WM/BW couples don’t owe you an explanation because this isn’t some lame after school special. This is real life.
In real life, white men aren’t rebelling against white women by sneaking out the house to go find a Black chick. Nor are White men wrestling with White Guilt and hoping that dating someone who looks like me will totally make them feel better about that whole slavery thing. In real life, they are choosing to be with black women because they enjoy them and view them as human beings worthy of love. There doesn’t need to be a Reason why my boyfriend likes me. But if you would like some reasons, I’ll gladly offer those up. We like baked tilapia in a lemon sauce. And laughing at how I can do a pitch perfect 1920s newsboy accent, but that I can’t, for the life of me, attempt a British accent without sounding like I’m drunk on whiskey. And rooting for the Yankees in the cheap seats because even though we could move to Queens and save money to afford the good seats, there ain’t no way you’re going to convince us to uproot from Brooklyn. Simply put, he likes and loves me, then I think there are whole bunch of girls out there looking for their own RFK.