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Last weekend author and music-marketing executive Jacqueline Rhinehart was in LA to promote her book "My Organic Soul: From Plato to Creflo, Emerson to MLK, Jesus to Jay-Z--A Journal to Help You Discover Yourself through Words of Wisdom." Very long title. I interviewed her and for the first time in my career I lost an interview. The brand new tape I used to record the interview was damaged so I only got one-third of our discussion. I will post a book review and what I can salvage from the interview soon.
A few weeks ago Dime Wars.com and AOL Black Voices was buzzing with reactions to comments Rhinehart made about black women dating outside of their race. You can catch Rhinehart's comments in the video above. There was some outrage over her support for crossing color lines. I looked in the comments sections on websites and they referred to her as a sell out, anti-black love and someone who believes that white men are better black men.
Rhinehart's opinion doesn't justify her being called a sell out, anti-black, etc. If that's the case Venus and Serena Williams, Alfre Woodard, Halle Berry, Eve, Iman, Naomi Campbell, Tina Turner, Kim Wayans, Sanaa Lathan and Kerry Washington are sellouts? They are or have dated outside their race.
What about Quincy Jones, Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods daddy, Pres. Obama's daddy, Michelle Obama's brother, Russell Simmons, Seal, Lenny Kravitz, Michael Jordan, Puff Daddy, Terrence Howard, Sidney Poitier, Ice T, Prince, Reggie Bush, Tiki Barber, Kobe Bryant, Taye Diggs, David Allan Grier, a good chunk of the both the NFL and NBA, etc. Are they sellouts?
Rhinehart, like me, probably sees that 70 percent of black women being single is a serious problem. That's waaay to many sistas who aren't getting enough love. And I wonder how many of those women are lonely. As I've said on this site before, just because we have strong black women in our community, that doesn't mean they don't need some lovin'. Are there good black man out there? No doubt. But once you subtract the ones that are either married, gay, in jail, or straight and don't date sistas then the pickings are slim. And just think about how many brothas we are losing to the graveyards because of black-on-black crime. I live in LA where the number of black people is relatively small compared to places like the ATL or Chicago. So the number of available black men is smaller. If there are not enough black men to go around what are sistas to do? Wait until our eggs shrivel up like prunes and be lonely? If a sista finds a good man who treats her good whether he's black or not, why shouldn't she date him?
When I was in graduate school there was one brotha in my class. He was smart, a good writer, and cool to kick it with. He was a great guy. I couldn't date him because he was gay. Nor could the five black women in my class. I have nothing against homosexuality. That's just the truth of the matter--there weren't any available brothas in my program. I expanded my dating pool by going out with men outside my race and dating brothas off campus. Just like any co-ed I had fun. My dating life was better in graduate school, than undergrad. The black female ratio was bad when I was an undergraduate at UC San Diego. A few of my college friends swam in the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico if you know what I mean. But many of my friends, including myself, did not date outside of our race. Guys from other races would flirt with us but we just couldn't go there. For some of us interracial dating was like selling out. For me, I thought I would experience a culture clash if I went out with someone from another race. So we didn't date much at all in college. However, many of the brothas on my campus were dating all kinds of girls--Filipino, Mexican, white, etc.
Which reminds me--I notice when black folks dicsuss interracial dating in our community, people automatically jump to black and white. Interracial dating is not just black/white. Going out with Asians, Latinos, people of Middle Eastern decent, etc. is interracial dating too. But our sexual history makes interracial dating with white people an extra touchy subject in the black community. During slavery and post slavery black women were racialized as being hypersexual and sex kittens. White men used this to justify rape. Many black women, against their will, had children by white men who wouldn't claim them. And black men were stereotyped as brutes on the prowl to rape white women with their huge penises. This justified the murder and lynching of black men. Today SOME people still hold on to these negative beliefs about black sexuality. We as black people understandably can't let this history go. We shouldn't forget this history. However, I don't think all white people feel this way. If I did come across someone of any race that carried these prejudices, I wouldn't date them.
I'm not telling sistas who to love. Too many of my friends, relatives, and colleagues are single. Whether the sista is a cashier at CVS or a producer for CBS, she deserves a good mate. I don't think white men are better than black men. Nor am I against black love. I'm single and I haven't given up on brothas. As I said before I know there are good black men out there. Pres. Obama isn't the only brotha taking care of business with his family. But being open to other men doesn't hurt. It increases your dating pool. I'm not going to settle with just anyone because he's black. I'm in my late 20's. I've traveled and befriended people off various nationalities. All I want is a good man to treat me right. And who knows what Prince Charming God has in store for me. He may be Prince Charming Hernandez. Prince Charming Pakowski or Prince Charming Jenkins. As long as he's good to me, that's all that matters.
Speaking of Prince Charming check out Part 2 of this discussion in the post above.