I Dream In Black and White, I Wanna Make Love In Colour

SINCE WHEN DOES who you sleep with make you racist? The answer to that old chestnut is always. If you're white and you only sleep with white guys you're racist. If you're white and you only sleep with Asian guys you're a rice queen. If you're white and you sleep with anyone, regardless of race, you're some colonial queen sampling the Empire's delicacies. Oh, and it works both ways. Those same Asian guys who like it white are labelled snow queens, as are black guys who prefer white guys. And they're hated by other black guys, for whom it is a huge sell-out and the ultimate betrayal of the race. Black guys more than anyone else, because although there's all kinds of racial permutations, none is more controversial than the point where the black/white tectonic plates meet. Metroboi wrote on his blog Lifes Like... last week about a conversation with a friend of his:

"Ok. So I was talking to a friend of mine today (well for most of the day) about life etc etc. And we came to the subject of sexual relations. Oh by the way, he's white and incase you didn't know (or you're colour blind) I'm black. I asked him if he's ever slept with a black man. He said yes, he's slept with many cultures before. Good on him! He then proceeded to ask me if I've slept with white guys. I said yes. In fact, I say I've only ever slept with white guys. Bare with me on this one. My friend then asked me why, and the honest straight forward answer, is because I don't find many black men attractive. I just haven't got a physical preference to all black men. Someway, somehow, my friend decided that I was racist. I laughed at the comment and carried on chatting, but it has kind of disturbed me a bit and got me a little angry. It's not the first time I've heard someone say it to me either. In fact some people have said to me that I'm not racist, I'm hypocritical and not proud of my heritage. Now, I am very proud of my heritage, but sleeping or going out with someone of my colour, does not define me as a person. I do not need to sleep with someone of my colour to prove that pride or to prove myself to anyone. I guess I'm just writing this to get my anger out and to say how much it annoyed me once I had realised what he had said. So, do my thoughts make me a racist? A hypocrite? A bounty? Am I not proud of my heritage and culture? Is it not just down to personal preference and personal observations?? And is the fact that I find the look of black skin against white skin oh so sexy a bad thing??!!!!"
Now let me digress for a quick minute on a technicality - the mistake Metroboi made in articulating his feelings, and it's a mistake most people make when discussing this subject, black or white - is saying that whilst he finds white guys attractive, he doesn't find black guys attractive. Statements like that are defensive rather than purely factual. What he actually means to say is that he's sexually attracted to white guys, and generally not sexually attracted to black guys. I can say that with some authority since Metroboi and I once sat drooling over T.I. as he bounced around a stage with his shirt off. The core issue Metroboi is raising, however, is one of personal preference, and the unwelcome judgements of others on that choice. When discussing this issue, I always refer to a story related to me by another outspoken black youth; let's call him Ziggy. He also has a preference for white men, something a militant clique of black youths who frequent Heaven took exception to. They call themselves the Pretty Boi Cru, and style themselves (supposedly) upon the gangsta hip-hop scene. The effect is more CocoDorm than Tupac Shakur (which isn't a bad thing by any means). According to Ziggy, the Pretty Boi Cru take it upon themselves to bully, threaten, intimidate - and even physically assault - any fresh meat who ventured onto the black gay scene and align themselves to white men in any shape or form. I saw hints of this myself in Heaven when I went there, and Ziggy's account didn't surprise me. I can't comment on the white gay scene, but I imagine there's a similar sort of peer pressure amongst them too. The racial divide - or rather, yawning chasm - is arguably more pronounced amongst gay men, perhaps more than in any other group. Is it because gay men are constantly striving for identity? Is it more superficial than that, more about a rigid set of values underpinned by race? It's ironic really - as gay men we constantly reiterate the mantra "Who I sleep with is no one's business but my own" - yet when it comes to race, it's everyone's business, and it's always a judgement. Elsewhere - Apparently I'm Racist

14 comments:

Akera said...

I absolutely love this one. To be honest it's like that in the States as well. Everyone is supposed to play with their own kind and those that don't want to are left to wander around aimlessly.

It really is quite sad that love is black vs. white sometimes.

mike said...

Dang, one is not a man if you don't drooling over T.I., innit? Also, please Tupac, no Shakur is necessary. Thank you.

But anyway, actually, I'm drawn to your blog for that specific reason: IDENTITY. I know I have identity issues... your sentence..."Is it because gay men are constantly striving for identity?" i'm not sure what to think of it... I'll process it awhile....

but my identity issues DEFINITELY don't stop at race....there's many more: nationality, class, occupation, physical appearance... the list goes on...

ka-os said...

Mike, Mike, Mike, I hear ya. In fact, you could be me: "My identity issues don't stop at race... There's many more: nationality, class, occupation, physical appearance... The list goes on."

Those four issues are absoulutely overriding.

Wonder Man said...

This is such a deep issue. There's so many layers to this subject. I would love to dig into this someday

Robyn said...

racism is an excuse to division.
there are good people in this world irrespective of wat race they are.
so away with racism.Black people(i being one of em)should put the hurt behind them.

Robyn said...

as men thinketh so they are.

Knoxxy said...

I can totally relate. Im not sure why but i find white men more attractive. Im a mixed guy, half white and half asian. Whats does that make me?

Some issues just dont have easy answers? Maybe some dont have any answers at all?

Moanerplicity said...

To be honest, we like who we like, dig who we dig, & love who we love. That's that name of that jig. I do think it's a dangerous thing to not see beauty in one's own aesthetic, because, to me, it signals some kind of inbred self-hatred.

I would never dis someone who dated outside of their race. I would, however, find it problematic to ONLY date someone of another race or culture. There's usually something deeper behind such a choice. It may stem from the onslaught of white-is-right-media-hypnosis that we as a culture have been bombarded by from the time we were tots. It may be that black is often painted as something negative (the black arts = witchcraft, the black plague, etc) which can infiltrate into the psyche and cause one to view any and everything black as something to be feared and hated. That's sad to me. Tragic, in fact.

As I stated, who someone chooses to date or love is completely their right. I truly do believe that Love is Love... and Love is a colorless concept. But when one consistently and forever excludes someone who looks like them, who comes from a similar situation, background, understanding and spirit, methinks the reason for it is a deeper one than even they may know or choose to explore.


One.

ka-os said...

Moanerplicity - there are people with issues of self-hatred, but I don't think there's anything wrong with exclusively dating one race or another. Rather than hating ones own kind, it can actually be all about attraction to another kind. That's a big difference.

No one ever says of white guys who exclusively date black guys that they're full of self hatred - that notion is only applied to black guys, whereas white guys are accused of fetishizing black men. It's different goal posts.

It comes down to ones own precconceptions and issues. Therefore, you as a black man, and particularly as an African-American with a strong sense of indentity, are automatically hostile towards the idea that another black man is more attracted to white men, and seek to negate their choice by calling it self-hatred...

One last thing - I believe that attraction to one race or another is as fundamental and inbuilt as our sexuality. Does being a heterosexual man mean you hate men, or harbour self-hatred? No, it doesn't. And it doesn't mean you hate yourself because you love another race either - it's just other people who put that judgement on it.

Metroboi said...

I'm glad to see that other people agree with what I said. I have a sexual preference. So what? Am I "Agist" because I don;t go out with old men?

Yes I have an identity problem, but it's certainly not with my race. I am proud of my heritage, my race and my culture.

I am sure I'll go into this a lot more at some point.

Moanerplicity said...

Ka-os, I actually think you HIT on the key point I was trying to make. It's about Self-Identity.

Yes, you can be self-actualized and date and love someone of any race. That's exactly what it means to BE self-actualized: you've reached a point of KNOWING Your Self, are aware of who you are, what you want, what you care about, and you can still choose someone of a different race to share your life with, and be happy.

I don't feel I'm 'hostile' at all when it comes to mixed-race relationships. I'm all for LOVE and LOVE is all right. There's no need to exclude anyone from love or from LOVING them... and that umbrella of love includes loving yourself, loving your own, seeing beauty in all people, INCLUDING your own.


The only choice I 'negate' is when a person is not open to all forms and possibilities of Love. When someone who is black says they are not attractive to other blacks (at ALL), something doesn't ring right about that to me.

Are they saying they don't see beauty and worthiness in THEMSELVES or in the race they belong to?

Are they saying if given a choice they'd rather BE white or some other race?

Are they, by choosing ONLY a race outside their own, subconsciously attempting to transcend who and what they are?

These are things that should at least be considered.

And without going into the mentality of people who I don't personally know, perhaps there are reasons why SOME white men dated exclusively only black men as well. Beyond attraction, beyond endowment, and beyond fantasy, there could be SOME who feel the white race has historically rejected, downgraded and abused black men, and they may want to rectify that in their own way by choosing to love them. Perhaps they, as white men, were made to feel like outsiders in society and they relate spiritually to the plight of black men and men of color. There are prolly a million reasons why people do what they do, love who they love and hate who they hate. I would not reduce the appeal to a Mandingo thing as many of my brethren are so quick to do.

No. It doesn't necessarily mean that someone hates their self to date outside of their race, and I never implied that was the end-all be-all answer to this complexity of emotion. It is certainly NOT true in every single case. It does, however, raise a red flag that SOME people (not all!) could be running to something in order to run away from something else entirely.

Lastly, I repeat: we dig who we dig, and we've every right to dig them without the judgment of others. All that I would ask of them is that they are self-actualized enough to look within and KNOW that no hidden agenda and no unchecked pathology (brought on by society) lies at the basis of their choices.

One.

ka-os said...

Moanerplicity - I hear ya, I feel ya, I'm down with all that. I didn't mean to jump all over you. I'm highly strung - what can I say?

And thanks for the perceptive notes - I'll be referring to them in a future article. :)

thegayte-keeper said...

we'll get it right...one day

Anonymous said...

All these years later and we're still doing this to ourselves?

All these years of insisting that orientation isn't a "choice" and we're insisting attraction is a "choice"? Wait... what?

I'm mostly attracted to outside my own race (white). Why? Uh... I dunno. I guess because difference is interesting? Who the hell knows?

Who the hell *cares*?

How did we get here? How did we get from "it's not a choice" to "why are you choosing that?" And how far is it, really, from "why are you choosing to be attracted to race X, Y, or Z" to "why are you CHOOSING to be attracted to your own gender?"

I've always found this undercurrent in gay life disturbing. I always will. As I got older, I'd hoped we'd move past it. Here we are, the 21st century, and it's still going on.

That's... sad.

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