Sometimes I am black, other times I am Indian or Latina, or I may be French, or just a white girl who tans a bit too much.
Sometimes I am intimidating or a race-baiting Angry Black Woman, but I can just as easily morph into innocent and approachable.
Over time I’ve found that the easiest way to change my ethnicity – change the way people treat me – is to change my company.
When I choose to date a black man, I inevitably send a message to society about who I am and what I represent.
When I choose to date a black man, I choose to be ignored at bars, barred from clubs, humiliated by groups of drunken white men, or passed over by taxis.
I choose to internalize their experiences of undervaluation, passed over promotions and emasculation.
The black man occupies a unique space in American culture.
He is an aggressive and inherently violent threat to society.
Both insatiable and lazy, he is creator of chaos and maker of his own inevitable demise; he is forever guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As angry and volatile as their female counterparts, black men, by their very presence, give society reason to assume the defensive.He is simultaneously invisible and ever present in the minds and lives of white America. Debased, filthy and unworthy, black men, we are told, are sexual deviants incapable of either desiring or maintaining healthy, meaningful relationships.In fact, at a recent fellowship dinner at Columbia Law School, a wealthy, white businessman told me that the biggest business problem occurring in America is the inability of black women to find [black] husbands.He declared that this travesty is rooted in the black man’s inability to commit, not just to a woman, but also to a job.Upon picking my jaw off the floor, I concluded three important things: (1) my supposedly personal decisions regarding who I choose to fuck or date or marry are very much political, (2) so long as I date black men, I will carry their burden, and (3) while my decision to primarily date black men is a conscious one, it is not necessarily simple.As a racially ambiguous woman, I have the privilege of changing the way society receives me at my discretion.