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No, My Blackness Isn’t Determined By Who I Date

Avatar • Jun 24, 2015

By Ashley Reese of TheGloss

dear-white-people-sam

Photo source: Dear White People

Anybody who follows me on social media is probably tired of this story by now, but I’m going to offer the quick version of this story for those who aren’t. I was walking around with my boyfriend this past weekend when a random dude came up behind me, put his hands underneath my skirt, and started slapping my bottom repeatedly. Broad daylight. It was the kind of thing that was so shocking that it took a while to even process what the fuck was going on. I turned around and cursed him out while he ran away. My boyfriend suggested that we try to see if we can find him. We couldn’t.

My impulse was to call 911. The cops came a glorious 20 minutes after the incident, and I reluctantly cooperated with them despite their rudeness. This dude is out there, somewhere, and is probably going to do this to some other women this summer. I’m furious about it.

I took my fury to Twitter, trying to explain what happened in 140 characters or less: Man slapped my ass, had the nerve to do it while I was with my boyfriend, men are scum, blah blah blah. Someone with a huge following on Twitter found my Tweet and, instead of offering condolences or mentioning how fucked up it was that a man did this to me, decided to ask what my boyfriend did about it. Within minutes, my notifications were on fire. People kept asking why my boyfriend didn’t knock the dude out, how could he stand there and do nothing, etc…as if they were here with us when it happened. If they weren’t participating in some machismo dick measuring contest in my mentions, they were asking for details about the size of my butt. Charming.

This harassment progressed to one user actively trying to band some folks together to find my boyfriend’s Twitter account so that they could proceed to harass him, too. Mission accomplished. On top of that, someone decided that it was funny to juxtapose my angry tweet next to a photo of my boyfriend and I, and wrote that everything makes sense now.

Get it? Because haha he’s white and wears glasses haha he couldn’t defend me haha lets continue to mock a sexual assault victim.

Much of the harassment I received centered around the question of how I could possibly date someone — especially a white dude — who can’t defend me. Ultimately, these trolls were for offended by the fact that my boyfriend “let” himself get disrespected after someone messed with his property (me). Charming. I tried to ignore Twitter for a bit and retreated to my personal Tumblr to rant about how stressful social media had been for the past 24 hours. That’s when I got a few darling anonymous messages, likely from the same person:

People are having a go at you because you claim to be a black activist then date the ugliest whitest man ever. And keep bragging about dating an ugly white man like its an achievement. It’s also well known that white men are pussies which is why people were making fun of him because white people can’t defend themselves or anyone else without relying on the police.”

You act all high and mighty then jump on the most mediocre white guy ever and act as if you are being super radical by dating an inbred looking white guy. Then cry when he’s gets shown up as a pussy. Which he is because he couldn’t defend you. You need to stop with the faux radicalness…”

If I ignore the machismo bullshit, the superficial jabs, the fact that I’ve written about how fucked up it is for people to fetishize interracial relationships, and the assumption that my boyfriend called the cops when it was actually me, these messages are pretty much insinuating that my blackness is in question because I’m dating a white dude.

Nah.

I’ve had to deal with people questioning my blackness based on petty shit since I was a kid, but this is next level vile. My activism as a black woman does not hinge upon what kind of man has access to my body, period. And is it just me, or are black women far more susceptible to having their loyalties to The Cause thrown under a microscope when they don’t date black men? That’s not to say that black men dating outside of their race don’t cause controversy or critique from black women, especially since black women face regular derision about how undatable they are compared to non-black women. But at worst, black men who date non-black women are seen as anti-black women, not anti-black in general or self-hating. But black women who date outside of their race? Automatic betrayers against black people period. We’re seen as uppity. And the mere mention of my boyfriend is enough for people to think I’m bragging about how lily white his skin is.

Read the rest here.

Why do you think black women who date outside their race are viewed as anti-black?

Ashley Reese is a writer for TheGloss. Read more articles from her Accidental Virgin series here.

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Chevanne
5 years ago

The only point to consider regarding the above question:

No one is checking for the blackness of a black man dating outside his race.

Misogynoir is rampant in our society and places black women squarely at the bottom of the social totem. We can’t be feminine in basketball shorts and we can’t be black if we’re with white men. LEAVE US ALONE.

ama
ama
5 years ago
Reply to  Chevanne

but people are lol. im not one of them, well I believe in love who you love . but at the same time dont do the most putting up this front like you so pro-black when you with an other. that’s my opinion. I just wouldnt believe it was sincere because there will always be people who prey on their own but talk a good game. trojan horses type ppls. but the person who did that should be havin his hand reattached.

clever_moniker
5 years ago
Reply to  ama

How would you even assume someone is fronting if they have a white spouse? Could it be that their blackness is called into question and all their actions weighted? They don’t need a pass or clearance from anyone. Proving blackness is a tired game.

palmeria
palmeria
5 years ago
Reply to  Chevanne

Thank you. Exactly.

afra
afra
5 years ago

that is bad he didn’t defend you no matter what colour he is!!

R Says
R Says
5 years ago

Mine is.
#BlackOnBlackOnBlack

betrayal
betrayal
5 years ago
Reply to  R Says

right on!

Andrea Lewis
Andrea Lewis
5 years ago

Insecure sociopaths are a trip. They don’t give a damn that you were attacked in public, but they think you should be hopelessly devoted to men, like them, who wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. SMH.

Mishynana
Mishynana
5 years ago

I understand where social media is coming from i honestly wld prefer a boyfriend who would punch the guy in the face. It’s not about property more like u give a crap about me. It’s not about white men its about loyalty and bravery no one gives a crap about ur pussy white boyfriend they care about the fact that he is a pussy as man. Nonetheless it’s a horrible experience but good lord i am not about to date a white man at this and age. I got so much hate and diminutive remarks from the white community that… Read more »

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago

Thank you. I really don’t understand why people think loving their Blackness and having a non-Black S/O are mutually exclusive. You love who you love. Most people are multifaceted, and it’s not impossible to be proud and supportive of Blackness while dating White. Doing so exclusively, well, that’s another story.

Ediyemade.com
Ediyemade.com
5 years ago

I think it’s quite sad that ppl on social media miss the point of a post! I’m so sorry that happened to you. I would go as far as to say thank goodness you weren’t alone when it happened. That type of experience can be depressing and having someone with you partner or friend makes a huge difference. Again sorry about it plus the “help” from the cops.

ama
ama
5 years ago

Also I think there is a huuuge difference between being seen as anti-black and “suspect black activist” and that’s not directed toward the author per say but I’m intrigued by how pro-black and loving white(and i say white because most black people who date others are with whites which is also interesting) meld together. There is a scene from Im Gonna Git You Sucka that comes to mind…

ama
ama
5 years ago

it most definitely is frontin in a sense because if you are, as I said, pro-black, a white partner would be out of the question entirely. And I dont mean proving blackness because you can certainly be black without being pro-black. But when you wanna put on your Fight the Power tshirt and are walking down the street holding a white hand it just rings a little untrue to me. I feel that a lot of black people women and men have psychological scars cuttin with, datin, and marryin white folk aint gon heal. Can you go home everyday and… Read more »

ama
ama
5 years ago

it most definitely is frontin in a sense because if you are, as I said, pro-black, a white partner would be out of the question entirely based on history. And I dont mean proving blackness because you can certainly be black without being pro-black. But when you wanna put on your Fight the Power tshirt and are walking down the street holding a white hand it just rings a little untrue to me. I truly I feel that a lot of black people women and men have psychological scars cuttin with, datin, and marryin white folk aint gon heal. Can… Read more »

clever_moniker
5 years ago
Reply to  ama

“it most definitely is frontin in a sense because if you are, as I said, pro-black, a white partner would be out of the question entirely based on history. ” Says who? There are plenty of black folk who don’t understand the struggle and say we need to make changes and learn how to dodge bullets instead of getting cops to stop firing. I absolutely do go home and speak to my white spouse about systematic racism and while he cannot understand my experience completely, he empathizes and LISTENS. He is an ally. He amplifies my voice and educates others. I… Read more »

fefe
fefe
5 years ago

i am really sorry to hear about what happened to you, its a shame some people go to such extremes to feed their ego, i pray that God protects you and all your loved ones and grants you peace in heart. you know i am an african muslim and i have heard shallow comments throughout about my skin color, at first i became defensive and this switched to being very fanatic about being black, but at the end i realised that when i was a very yound child i was never fanatic about anything, i never identified my self as… Read more »

2wise4u2 .
2wise4u2 .
5 years ago

I too am married to a white man and have been for almost 7 years (been together for 8) and I think that it’s really crappy that people felt the need to attack you and your boyfriend verbally just based on the fact that he’s while. People make assumptions all the time but you know what they say about that. Anyway I’ve had people openly leer, negatively comment and become down right rude to me and my husband when we are out in public and while the first couple of years were difficult I’ve learned to ignore the haters and… Read more »

Yoli
Yoli
5 years ago

I do not know why and certainly do not care. I am very sorry that that happened to you and I hope the guy that violated you is found or finds a fate way worse than what he did to you. That was absolutely disgusting! I would think if I was in that situation I would have beat him senseless but I am certain that I might have been stunned by the event just like you prior to calling the police as well.

Alison
Alison
5 years ago

A messed up situation. However, I would seriously question my partners affection and or care for myself and well being if someone abused me publicly in their sight and they did nothing about it (verbal or otherwise). Sure some are making it a race issue but really it boils down to the fact that YOU were taken advantage of and your partner did nothing. That’s something you’re going to have to deal with/move on from. Who cares what other people think. I think too many people in relationships (interracial or not) need to stop caring what other people are saying… Read more »

Maria Curtis
Maria Curtis
5 years ago

How are people missing this? She said he slapped her buns and then ran away and they chased after him. If anything has ever happened out of the blue before it takes reaction time and by the time they reacted the person had run off. I doubt it was like the bf just stood there (or her for that matter) and let the guy touch her and then they were like OMG. They chased after him and he was gone. Ive seen a video on youtube where this same thing happened and the women were alone and with guys. its… Read more »

Melanie
Melanie
5 years ago

It is VERY unfortunate that this happened to you. I think the only mistake that you made was putting the incident out there on Twitter to begin with. I understand that it’s a way for people to sometimes garner support and vent their frustrations, but other times what’s put out there can have the opposite effect of what you intended. Matters of the kind that you endured shouldn’t be put out there for the world to know, because once they know they’ll feel entitled to have an opinion on EVERYTHING that went down, as is what happened in your case.… Read more »

kelea
kelea
5 years ago

So sorry about that. Something similar happened to me before…a young man followed me and slapped me in the bottom in public, then ran away. It happened in a matter of seconds…so infuriating! Kudos to you for fighting for your rights and calling the police. It always takes courage to talk about any kind of sexual assault from the smallest to the worst since as you’ve just experienced it yourself…it’s always our fault. I am dating a white man and have had a few unpleasant remarks about him. I would be lying to you if I said that it doesn’t hurt.… Read more »

Mighty Afrodite
Mighty Afrodite
5 years ago

So sorry that happened to you. No judgment on your choice of mate or his response. Something similar happened to me in NYC. By the time I was able to respond he was ghost. Both of you responded appropriately. Where is the outrage for the SOB who assaulted you? On the issue of race…love who you love. Race/color shouldn’t matter…what matters most is finding someone who loves, values, and respects you. The world will be a better place when we learn to see the people beyond the stereotypes. Again sis…so sorry that happened to you. No one deserves to be… Read more »

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