She was definitely my kind of girl.
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And as it turned out, I was her kind of guy. One of the first things she told me was how attractive she finds black men. As I mentioned, we were in a gay bar. She had absolutely no ulterior motive and no shot with me. She was just making conversation, and she was doing most of the heavy lifting, so I let her flex her stuff.
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Actually, I find them more attractive than white people. I also like white men. I find them beautiful, too. But I just find black people to be better looking.
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The men are just hotter. She must have read my mind when she made the disclaimer about finding white men attractive, too. I hate any kind of exclusive or discriminatory thinking when it comes to race and sex, even when it works in my favor. I have no problem with racial preferences. But in reality as well as on TV and in movies, the highest-profile interracial couples have been white women with black men. I have a theory about white women and black men, and it goes a little something like this.
However, once their curiosity is satisfied, their long-term behavior is probably less likely to be racially motivated.
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And I realize there are always exceptions. One can probably say the same thing about gay black men who date white men. Again, this is not a blanket theory. I once presented this idea to a friend a white guy who dates black men exclusively , and he had an intriguing response.
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He said it probably has to do with the male emphasis on the physical. The message I heard over and over was "not white, not right. White girls in school never cared how I felt. So forgive black mothers like me who find it hard to be totally comfortable that my former classmates' daughters now marry our sons in record numbers. Too bad many people who so willingly explore interracial dating have almost no friends among different races.
I'd like to see my son date any girl he chooses because he finds her compatible - not because he's bombarded with messages that her race can open doors.
When my shrewd son dated a girl of mixed parentage who could almost pass for white, he jokingly threw my words back at me, "Well, Mom, she is lighter than you, but technically, she's black. Being with the wrong person of any color can hurt enough without the added stress of a different race, which still gets a lot of negative attention in these supposedly colorblind days. If Americans are honest, none of us is colorblind. A black man with a white woman - especially an attractive one - is still the catalyst for unspoken stereotypes.
Images of black male prowess kick in.
One rarely thinks of how compatible the couple might be. Today, I've grown beyond some old-school racial boundaries. Instead of telling my son not to come home with "anything lighter than me," I simply advise him to avoid racial profiling in relationships. I don't want his beautiful black skin to serve as a magnet for exploitation.
Nor do I want to see any mother's daughter stripped of her dignity because she mistakenly defines a man by the myths that surround him. Unsure what type of woman my son will fall in love with or marry, I must set the standard for what a real woman, black or white, is made of. A stranger on the car radio reminded me of that recently. Stuck in thick traffic, I heard a minister's passionate discourse: The boy Destiny looked for that day is no longer in middle school. But I'm not the same person either, as life lessons shape me into the kind of woman with whom he can find true happiness.
Joyce King is a veteran journalist and mother of two sons.
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