Love In The Mix - transcript

Brittany: Blher Podcast takes on the world one social issue at a time highlighting the perspectives of two young black professional women. We cover everything from politics, law, religion, pop culture, and the day to day we faced through storytelling and discussion featuring Kelly, Janine and myself, Brittany and today's episode we are discussing interracial dating from the lens of black womanhood. This topic obviously has a crazy amount of nuance and context and we recognize you may not get to it all, but here's our best attempt

Kelly Jeanine: So I first wanted to just paint the picture with some data because despite what people say, I feel like your online data is essentially showing us who you are when you think no one is watching. Oh God. So, um, Okcupid did an infamous study in 2009 and then they did it again in 2014 and both of those studies showed that most men on the site, right black woman is less attractive than other women from any other race or ethnicity. Um, in the same vein, Asian men are at the bottom of preference for all women of all ethnicities. Um, there was another story or I guess Facebook had an app called are you interested? Um, and Asian women saw the highest number of response rates. Um, and at the bottom of course was black women. Um, a lot of times there is a stereotype that black women are very maybe like against interracial dating or like not as, um, not trying as hard to date.

Kelly Jeanine: But with the data shows is that although black women do respond most positively towards black men in general, um, they are sending the most replies out of any category online, um, to the most amount of people from all areas. Um, but no one is replying to them, including black men. Um, so although women are responding positively to towards black men, even that demographic, they're more likely to message another ethnicity online. Um, and again, this doesn't compass in person dating. This is just online statistics. Um, but I, I do think that's very interesting. Um, so what do you think these f these statistics say about just how society has internalized white ideals or maybe fetishes of some sort for different ethnicities? Um,

Brittany: honestly, I don't really know because to me it's even like weird to hear these things because in truth, um, the, the reality that I know is so contrary to like what I'm hearing, if that makes sense. Like, I don't know very many black men who date women that are not black or, um, I don't know that many interracial couples in general. So hearing that, um, that, you know, the online data is kind of like contradictory to that on these sites. It's weird for me. Um, I mean I think that generally speaking as our, I mean our country is already like really diverse, but like as, um, as barriers are broken down and hopefully, you know, as cultural start to kind of like intermingle more and things like that. You look at places like New York of course, like La, um, I think that that's, I mean we've seen the air archi and those places when it comes to like, you know, men choosing, um, the type of women and things that they are physically attracted to. But, um, I don't know. In the same vein, I don't necessarily,

Brittany: In the women who are like the, the, uh, the receiver of this kind of as Jen,

Kelly Jeanine: you do get some creepy messages.

Brittany: Well I don't even use that. I'm like, I feel like Asian women a lot of times are fetishized in a way that is appropriate and um, it, they're viewed in some ways to be like, it's like everyone is like, oh I like, I like this type of woman cause she's not as blank as black women or she's not like fill in those blanks for whatever it is. And I don't think that that's better than either.

Kelly Jeanine: No, I agree. Well it's interesting you just to hear your perspective while I'm in California cause when I'm in La, um, it is very rare. I will just say the majority of the time when I see complete strangers walking down the street with their significant other, um, the black guy is always with like an Asian or a Hispanic woman. Um, so it, it's interesting. I think both of those realities definitely exist, but I just know in California, I probably definitely see those statistics play out a little more closely to what the online data showing out

Brittany: that I'm in the area that I live. I don't live in a predominantly black area either. And the couples that I have seen outside of the people who I know are usually interracial as well. And I would say that they fall in line like what you're saying and I'm like

Brittany: I'm in the DMV but not in the predominantly black parts of that area.

Kelly Jeanine: so I think what the data is really pointing to is essentially an uneven, uneven playing field when it comes to dating and interracial dating. Um, like the statistics show within an online dating sphere that black men, sorry, black women and Asian men are basically getting zero play. Um, and like you said, I think those negative stereotypes for both those groups really fall into that. Um, so I thought it'd also be interesting to just paint the picture for what love is looking like for black women, which we already know it's going to be depressing.

Brittany: Is it depressing? I don't want to make it depressing cause I don't,

Kelly Jeanine: well that will, we'll wrap. We'll wrap it up in the end positively. But according for, according to new research from Yale University, highly educated, black women are twice as likely to have never been married by white women in the exact same boat with the same education. Um, in 2015, 24% of recently married black men were inter-racially married and only 12% of newly married black women are, um,

Brittany: wait, wait, wait, pause. There's still, there's an uptake in that rest or a, a shimmer of light, I guess because 24% is still the minority.

Kelly Jeanine: You're true. That's very true. But let me keep reading. There is another, um, different factor that also afflict affects the black community. Um, so the number of black females out, number, the number of black males by the time they're age 16. Um, and a lot of this historically has to do with, um, mass incarceration. Um, but I also think the more you start to get into, um, college age and education age, that's also where that gaps starts to happen as far as like who is in your sphere in, in on a daily basis. Um, so the educational pool also adds a layer in that socioeconomic pool also adds a layer, um, to where the people that black women may be around in a dating pool are less and less likely to be black men in the same boat as them. Um, which can also lead to a term, I don't remember what the term was, but it was essentially that, um, when a black woman marries a black man, statistically it's more likely to be economically disadvantage as it is. And that just has to do with the wealth gap.

Brittany: Right. Um, and, and see that, that kind of perspective of that statistic I think actually makes more sense to me because when we have these conversations on interracial dating and black men don't date black women or women of other race or preferred for black men. And things like that. I think those conversations can be, so they make it seem black and white for lack of a better terminology when in reality I'm like, I, we don't really talk about it from the perspective of black men being incarcerated at really high rates, um, black men not having opportunities to, um, excel academically, um, in comparison to other races and how that leverages them when it comes to dating black women who have been steadily rising as an educated. So group of our population. And um, this study that you were talking about actually came out last year in 2018 the Brookings Institute published a paper, I think, um, on an issue that relates to this or that you kind of touched into, which is the name of the article that they have for it is the inheritance of black poverty.

Brittany: It's all about the men, which essentially highlighted the fact that like black women who married black men had less of a chance of, of rising out of poverty. And it, it, it highlights a lot of the socioeconomic boundaries or obstacles I'd say that black men are confronted with. Um, in comparison to other, um, subgroups of the population. Um, so that being said, all of those other socioeconomic factors that I think black people are like confronted with on a day to day basis in this country been trickled down into this conversation about, um, having opportunities to date within your race or interracial dating.

Kelly Jeanine: I 110% agree with you. Um, but at the same time I also still have to pair it with those online dating statistics to say both problems are existing. Um, yes, systemic racism has negatively impacted the legacy of marriage within our dating, within the black community. Um, but at the same time, societal standards of beauty and all of those nuances still play into dating pools that exist. Um, they may not end up getting married. It may not be a serious relationship, but like the, the fact that black women are just seen as less desirable statistically in an online setting, even within black men, I still feel like we just can't totally erase that, but we should also pair it with everything you're talking about. So basically I feel like both problems exist in both feed into a very complicated mix of things that we see play out.

Brittany: I Dunno, I'd like to see like numbers on like the percentage of black people that use these sites in general, um, where the data is being accumulated or whatever and like how that works out.

Kelly Jeanine: Oh, thank you. That does have, I, we can maybe tweet it out. I know Okcupid did have all of the parameters pretty defined. Um, and I know the study involved 25 million people. Um, so you're right, I keep saying online because I know it is an online setting, um, which is different than in-person dating. Um, but if online dating is also on a rise, I think it's worth noting these trends, even if it's an emerging population of people.

Brittany: Right. But is it on a rise amongst all population groups or is it on a rag with a specific group? Like, that's what I want to know because I don't, I'm not saying that it's not true because you know, obviously the numbers are there and they lead to something or they point to something. But I, I just feel like for me it's not, so it's not so cut and dry as is what's happening. And that's what's that because, and I mean, again, this is, this is a problem and that's not what I was saying

Kelly Jeanine: saying it's all interwoven.

Brittany: Yeah, I know. But what I was going to say is that it's like, if this is the problem, I guess when you have personal experiences that are contrary to like what the numbers show, like accepting the fact that maybe your personal experience is an exception and not a rule versus it being a rule and not an in an exception.

Kelly Jeanine: Another thing that all of this topic kind of leads to as well is whether or not having a dating preference is racist. And so I think that kind of plays into the interracial dating topic a lot. Um, where a lot of people will say, like, I never swipe right on black women and I'm not being racist. I'm just like, my preference is redheads, white redheads or something like that. Um, do you think of dating preferences? Racist are rooted in that?

Brittany: No, I, but I think it also depends because I think that, I think generally not racist to be attracted to what resembles you or people who raise you. I think that's normal. Like if I'm a white person and I'm attracted to white people, I don't think that that's racist. I'm a black person and I'm attracted to black people. I don't think that that's racist. I think racism or discrimination, discrimination in sense I guess comes into play when you start seeing or when you start to heal that you can't or you don't want to be attracted to a certain group of people because you feel they're inferior to you.

Kelly Jeanine: Uh Huh. And I don't think a lot of people really, at least they'll say like, that's not what I believe. You know? I don't think anyone internalizes. I don't think anyone has enough self reflection to probably admit those kind of things. I Dunno. I kinda think I fall on the other end. It can be ignorant. I think I fall on the other end of it. I think a little bit from you. I think a large part of that plays into representation. And most of the society hasn't grown up seeing, um, all types of women, uh, cast in Hollywood or in movies or TV as being like desirable. Um, and I think that's changing a little bit with the casting that we see. But I definitely feel like that representation plays into like who our icons are, the first celebrity crushes. Um, but I do kind of, I don't know, I do kind of feel bad if someone says if someone seems closed off to being attracted to a certain type of person or saying like, Oh, I'm not attracted to this race. Or I'm like, well, you haven't met every single person in this race so there could be someone that you find attractive. Um, I'm just very skeptical when anyone is writing off. Like you said, an entire group of people. Yeah.

Brittany: And I mean that, that's fair I guess. But like in the same vein, like, do you feel about way if it, if that, if the person who is writing them off as a minority, like for example, if you hear a black man say, I'm not attracted to white women, does that come off as to you?

Kelly Jeanine: Because it does not to me. No. But I also feel like that's a bit of a reverse racism question. Um, yeah,

Brittany: but I get what you're getting at. Where is it? Where's it John? Is he can be like, you know, I don't, I don't, I'm not attracted to white women, not because I think white women are inferior or because of whatever. Um, I'm just, that's not who I'm attracted to.

Kelly Jeanine: There was a term, uh, sexual racism, which, um, a professor Charles Herbert's timbre defined in 1970 which is the sexual re rejection of a racial minority or the conscious attempt on the part of the majority to prevent interracial cohabitation with that group. Um, so I think when I think about it, I probably am thinking from the lens of whatever group we're talking about is usually in the minority. Yeah. I don't know.

Brittany: Uh, I mean, I, I th I get it. Like, you know, I feel like every

Brittany: black, this is, I'm going to say this is specific for black women because I feel like black men have been sexualized in a way where they are found desirable by a lot of, uh, different racial groups. And so I'm not saying that this doesn't impact them, but I think it probably impacts them less than it does black women. Um, and I will say that there's been like any black woman who has been in a setting or an a predominantly non-black space, um, and has found herself attracted to someone who is not black, has gone through that, that, um, that check was in their head like, oh, this person's cool, they look good, or whatever. I wonder if he's in the black girls. [inaudible] like it's just like the next question. Yes. Always. It's always kind of a gamble. Um,

Kelly Jeanine: and then like, I wonder what their family would think comes close.

Brittany: Yeah. Or like, is that even really possible? Is that a thing? You know, I don't know because I mean, black women. Yeah, I get it. It, it sucks and it's a reality, but I think a lot of us, but, um, I guess for me like when it's switched on like the other end where it's like

Brittany: I dunno, a minority is not necessarily attracted to a majority person. I don't, I'm not as like, yeah, I agree as Dean are you, I'm just kinda like, alright,

Kelly Jeanine: because I also feel like there's probably historical reasons for us to be generally distressful.

Brittany: Well, I think generally speaking, people are attracted to like what they know almost in a sense. Like you have white people who grew up in black areas and they're attracted to black women. You have, you know, vice versa. But I feel like for black women, you just learn at a very young age that like probably not going to happen for you in that space.

Kelly Jeanine: Oh my gosh, that's so true

Brittany: for, I mean, I hate, I know, but I feel like it happens at a fairly young age. I remember the first time I went to, um, to a school and it wasn't just black people, it was like, you know, a mixed school and there was a white kid who I was like, oh, he's, he's cute. You know, I think he's really cute. But then I like ran the checklist in my head and I was like, yeah, probably not. Probably won't happen. So that's that. You're just kind of like chuck it up and walk off if you have the chance to walk away.

Kelly Jeanine: No, I feel that, um, another layer to this conversation is black love. So I truly think there is beauty and a need for black love. And then if you're on Twitter or Instagram or anything, you'll see that there is like definitely a huge community of posts just celebrating, um, black couples and enjoying life and finding love together. Um, and I know for me, like when I, when I see those pictures, I'm always like, wow, this is, this is like the ultimate goal. Like that. They look so happy, they look so beautiful, they look so successful. Um, and I think that in a lot of ways that black love movement has really uplifted us. And in a world where we're not always seen as desirable or even when we're constantly told that like, um, we're constantly fed the image of like black mothers, um, having to do it all by themselves and the black man not being there and things like that. I feel like this is a powerful antidote to that.

Brittany: Yeah. I also think, um, according to my hotel Bible at least, I think it's like there has been such an attack on the black nuclear family or the black family in, in any capacity or of any, uh, sexual orientation that, um, when you see black people who are making it work or who are thriving in their romantic relationships with other black people, it's kind of inspiring because hotep chapter one, verse 50, they always attack the black family. I feel like you're more

Kelly Jeanine: then you lead on probably. So there's an interesting thing I've seen and I actually have a friend who is, we've talked very in depth about this. Um, and there is an idea within, it's kind of, I'll say it's adjacent to this movement cause it's not always within it in that way. But um, there is a lot of times when the pro black love movement, um, will call out interracial dating as being a, that people that people have sold out. Um, or that someone cannot be pro-black and fighting for black issues while dating a non black person have. How do you feel about those or thoughts?

Brittany: I disagree with that wholeheartedly. I really do. Um, and you know what, I don't even care at this point. Like I don't agree with that. If I meet with Mark Johnson, I don't care. Like don't bring up his name in this space, but like I don't, I think that like when it comes to like romantic relationships, there's like an overarching theme or an overarching thing that goes deeper than race that goes deep with an ethnicity that goes deeper than culture, which is love. And I believe that that is very powerful. And am I going to say to someone because you fell in love with this person who doesn't look like you, who comes from a different racial background than you, even though you have exhibited in every other aspect of your life, that you are pro, uh, the progress of your people. Now all of a sudden dating this person means that you're not, I don't think that that's necessarily true.

Brittany: I think that like, and my thing in general is that like, I'm comfortable or I'm, I'm fine with people dating whoever they want, who, whatever race they may be, whatever culture they may be. But I feel as though, um, the motives behind dating that person or behind wanting to pursue that person. Um, they have to go beyond the have better, uh, fetish fetishization or a love for an ethnicity or, or a race or a culture that is not your own. And that happens way more often than we think that it does. But sometimes you just meet people, you vibe with them. You're not thinking twice about who they are, what they are. It's like far as their racial or ethnic background. And then you just fall into things. And I think that that's way more common than people think it is, especially in a quote unquote like post segregation world. Right? So I don't think that, um, I don't think that who you date is necessarily an indicator of, um, your, your, your commitment or loyalty to the movement. But I think the motives behind, um, who you date or why you date a specific person can be an indicator, but they aren't always.

Kelly Jeanine: No, I totally agree with that. Um, I, I do agree with the argument that in a lot of ways, when you're a person of color, when you're black, specifically dating and love and your home life in some ways do have political overtones to them are affected more deeply by, um, some of the political and social issues that happen. So, so finding a partner who can support you through those nuances is very, is very key. Um, but I agree with you. Life's funny. You never know. So speaking of someone who dove into that perspective probably a little bit more uniquely than you did. Isa Ray wrote a book, the misadventures of the awkward black girl. [inaudible] I kind of just like, I know she like the way she writes is I, people just got mad, but [inaudible]

Brittany: comedy if that's like the type of

Kelly Jeanine: right. I was like, I was like, let's just calm down. But she said, um, basically she's talking about a lot of those same statistics that we were, um, and she was saying, this is why I propose black women and Asian men join forces in love, marriage, procreation. And she's saying, educated black woman, what better intellectual match for you than an Asian man? Um, and then she said some other like, I'm not talking about Filipinos, they're like the blacks of Asians. I'm talking Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, et Cetera. I probably could have done without that line about the Filipinos. But other than that, I dunno. I remember when this passage came out there, I saw people up in arms on both sides of things. Like, yeah, black women need to open up and start interracially dating more. And then a lot of people as well that might be in the hole. I call them like the breakfast club types.

Brittany: Hey, have you mean, who are you talking about? Who did you call the breakfast club types?

Kelly Jeanine: It's like there's just a certain group of people on Twitter. They just all watched the breakfast club. Oh Nice. Can't, I can't, we can't be friends or his podcast saying that he is, he's had some moments that were not

Brittany: so Charlemagne I can't with him. Yeah. He's not the only one on the show. They have, they've had some pretty good interviews. Yeah.

Kelly Jeanine: Um, but there was a lot of people that were basically saying that she was attacking black love and

Brittany: you know, well I think they didn't read the whole, they didn't read the book or know what type of book that it was. And I mean, Isa is actually an example of black love. Her fiance is a black man. Right. But, um, I mean I think when I like hear this passage, I think it's just kinda like in just like talking about issues that kind of hardy exist or that we are aware of and just kinda like, Hey, this is a joke. Essentially people don't want you black women people, uh, people don't want you Asian men. Y'All need to just join forces and like procreate and she put she, she was the last line or that the, and I'm not talking about Filipinos, I was Kinda like, Eh, on that one too. But it's also kind of like an underlying reality or joke or kind of like, you know, nudge, nudge type thing where I feel like in the Asian community, Filipinos are darker skin. A lot of them have our needs to be darker skin and a lot of people do refer to them as like the black people.

Kelly Jeanine: Of the Asian community. I agree with you and I, and I do think it's worth noting. We're definitely talking about the lens of black womanhood. Um, but I have heard some really unfair statements about Asian men that I do think we should stop. And I'm saying we as a society, not, um, but so I also do appreciate the fact that she's shown a spotlight on that because I think that's a group that has also really negatively, um, has really seen the negative impacts about certain stereotypes. Uh, definitely. Yeah. So do you think that in your group or in your interactions that you have, um, do you feel like black women are more open to interracial dating than the statistics give us credit for? Or do you feel like that's something that we could be better at or more open to? [inaudible]

Brittany: I'm going to say in my friend group, like not, not, I mean, I think some black women are of course like whack one or not a monolith. But as far as like my own group of friends, um, I don't know very many of them who are open to dating outside of their race. It's not to say that they wouldn't, but it would have to be like a very, very, very perfectly timed godsend. Stumble. They're not, I don't know very many women who are necessarily look for that black women.

Kelly Jeanine: Yeah, I see both worlds. Um, my family has a lot of interracial uh, love. So it's something that I'm used to. Um, but at the same time I do have some of my closest friends that are just like very much like no, like they won't even take the conversation further. There's no saying no. Um, so yeah, it's interesting

Brittany: I think like even within the blood dice for, and you can like somebody out there, correct me if I'm wrong, but like my observations have been even within the diaspora that like

Kelly Jeanine: black folks who struggle to date outside of their culture, black,

Brittany: let alone going outside of that. So I don't know if we're taking too many leaps, like too quickly, not to say that it's whatever, but um, that's just been like an observation of my own.

Kelly Jeanine: How do you think someone should date in a way that speaks to their values, including the value of racial justice?

Brittany: I do feel as though like for minority groups, we don't necessarily have the privilege that I feel like the majority has. Um, in ignoring bigotry in our romantic relationships. Like I've seen like, uh, Caucasians being relationships with other Caucasians and one of them is a Trump supporter or a, a bigger in other areas or clearly like racially inept and the other one is not. And that kind of dynamic can exist because in many ways the lives of white people, black people that, you know, people, Asian people, et Cetera, are still very segregated, um, from the lives of the majority of that makes sense. So you can have your friend who's kind of a racist or your, your partner who is kind of a racist and carry on about dating that person and they live your life happily and existing because you're never going to be the subject of, uh, of their ignorance.

Brittany: Black people on the other hand or just like, I feel like other minority groups that's not really a luxury that we can afford and I think sustain a healthy mental space for really even, um, because it's like you're always going to be in some ways, uh, the subject of their ignorance unless they have a serious coming to Jesus moment and decided to change every way that they think. Um, and then that, that that's also, you know, playing into like whether or not you're fetish. Um, [inaudible] I have seen in like immigration cases, um, people fall in love with people, um, who are Americans and then, um, after they're married, they become the, the subject of racial brutality to be quite frank, um, and ignorance and bigotry within their own marriage. And while I have not experienced that, I will tell you from having conversations with people who have experienced it, it is a personal hell. So I don't think that that's something that like we can necessarily ignore. So I say all that to say, when you're looking to find love in a way that speaks here values including values of racial justice, it's really quite simple. Just don't date people who hate people who look like you

Kelly Jeanine: as date and someone who's open to learning. Um, hopefully that learning takes place before you're dating them and you don't have to be the teacher. Um, cause I, you don't want that burden. But, and I, and I actually say that on more than just the racial front too. Like for me, I'd want someone who's open to learning about, um, issues impacting sexism as well or things like that. How can black women approach dating in a way that has confidence in maintaining self love when sometimes the messaging is that we're not desirable or that we're the huge unmarried population.

Brittany: I think you have to start listening to Lizzo. Yes. And you just need to know that you're 100% that woman period. Um, but generally, honestly, I want women in general, black woman, orange women, green women, whatever in general said place to place less than less of their value on who they're dating. And whether or not they're married then on like the quality of their character and their souls because I think that that is so much more important. I know like society has kind of like, and I'm going to go on a tangent like worked us into believing that like our value is really tied up in whether or not we have a man or a partner or a significant other or whatever by our side. But I promise you it's not and that's really such a small component of who you are and what you have to offer this world. So, um, I will say that like you can date with confidence and maintain self love when you have found reasons to exist outside of another person and going into that, that's just, that's just my opinion.

Kelly Jeanine: I also think to take that a step further for us as a community of women to, to support one another and finding that character outside of being in a relationship I think is really easy when we're hanging out or catching up and stuff to like gravitate towards the dating side of things or like gossip about the dating side of things and who's dating who. But then we're going just kind of perpetuating the thing that culture of that's what's important. Um, so to also hold your friends up and celebrate the parts of their life that have nothing to do with who they're dating or who they're not dating. Exactly. All right, well we definitely did not get into all of the nuances of dating as a black woman, but yeah.

Brittany: And can we even honestly,

Kelly Jeanine: no. And who are we kidding? We're not experts. Um, but I think Brittany said it best. You know, just be open to love and all of that. Love yourself for as usual. You can find this on Blair podcast on Twitter and Instagram. You can find us online at [inaudible] dot com we'd love it if you would rate and review us and help us get our number of reviews up. We'd love that and we look forward to talking to you next week.

Brittany: That's right. But don't review it. If you have something bad to say, Oh yes, five stars. Bye.

Blher Podcast