I love my people. I really do. So it hurts like hell to see us hurting. Whether that hurt is because of another Black life being lost due to police violence, or because another Black man, woman, or child is suffering in their own home, I hurt too. Half the time, I don’t even know where to channel all that pain.
To get to the heart of the matter, we need to reclaim what is being stripped from us everyday through racism: our right to live as full, intelligent human beings with minds and lives of our own. And this starts with us respecting ourselves and building strong families.
But as long we seek to build up Black families by tearing down interracial ones, we have no hope for achieving anything we say we want. Because we would have lost our most powerful weapon in the fight against racism and in the race to dignity, self-respect, and strong Black homes: the support and pleasure of God.
When supporting the Black family means seeing interracial marriage as a hindrance to strengthening our homes, then we fail to understand what “strength” means. And we tear down the very thing we say we’re trying to build up: each other.
Our Oppressors Are Not Our Teachers
As Black people, because we have suffered so much discrimination, we have the greatest opportunity to lead the world using the principle of justice over “blood loyalty.” That’s how we paradigm shift from white supremacy to “justice supremacy.” White culture’s foundation is “blood loyalty” over justice. Let’s not follow in their footsteps.
When we see interracial marriage as a threat to the Black family, we are internalizing what our oppressors have taught us: that our strength can only come through tearing others down.
If an empire became an empire through oppression, then don’t replicate the behavior. Our job is to discern situations responsibly by running them through the principles of our faith. Historically, black and brown people have only succeeded in this earth by deriving principles of justice from God alone and adhering to them. We don’t do well when trying to copycat what others do to get their power.
So let’s be careful of replicating the behavior-control pathologies of oppressive empires. The last thing you want to do is duplicate the bad habits of those who abused power. This is where faith comes in. Just because white people or Arabs or others do something doesn’t make it right. And it doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily work for us, or even that it should work for us. They are not our teachers.
Interracial Families Are Human Families
Here’s the bottom line: Interracial families exist, and they deserve the same justice and human consideration as others. Should a million biracial children who are considered Black by cultural standards abandon justice towards a white mother or father? Should that child not have the equal right to identify with whatever side of the family they do choose?
Being Black Is an Experience, Not a Behavior Code
The reality is that different Black people think differently, and it is our duty to protect that. What should govern and moderate how we think is fairness and justice. What I want is for as many Black people as possible to have a fulfilling relationship that brings out the best of their individual talents. When that happens, along with justice being the unifying factor, Black people will naturally seek to contribute to their own hurting communities before others. But if stress, abuse, and internal dysfunction occur as a result of being mismatched with someone just because they are Black alone, it’s a lost opportunity.
Because Black people are not a monolith, to expect all of us to think and behave the same way is both unrealistic and unprecedented. Also, it’s unrealistic to derive rules of behavior based on the color of our skin or our shared history of oppression.
The root of our dysfunction is far more related to 400 plus years of harmful programming and psychological warfare. By the time our kids are grown, they already believe what they believe. If they haven’t been raised to love their blackness by parents who’ve gone against the grain, when these kids are grown, they won’t be equipped to love someone else’s blackness. Thus, it makes no sense to expect every Black person to even desire a Black mate, let alone marry one.
The vast majority of Black people don’t educate their children on who they are and why they should love themselves, probably because they themselves don’t know who they are or love what they see in the mirror.
Black Women Suffer Most
In a world where the media already discriminates horrifically against Black women from both a beauty and intellectual standpoint, the last thing Black women need is some man who begrudgingly sees her as sloppy seconds. I would argue that it’s better for a man who has internalized such false ideas as “darker women don’t look good” or “darker women are more argumentative” to just leave Black women alone. It is helping no one to guilt insecure men into marrying a Black woman because we say he should, when he doesn’t value her himself.
Thus, not only will eliminating interracial relationships not help Black people as a whole, it may hurt Black women most. This is why answering extremism with extremism usually begets more extremism. Whatever problems Black people have, we do not need to push the ideology of “you have to marry Black” when this is not even the healthiest option for everyone, especially for those who hate themselves and their women.
If a Black man does not respect or admire the struggle, love, and beauty of black women, then he cannot possibly help the Black family. He will only continue a cycle of dysfunction and self-hate.
I would argue that a Black woman who marries someone who supports and admires her skin color and cultural attributes but is of another ethnicity is far better suited for her emotional and mental well-being. Furthermore, this non-Black man who loves his Black wife is likely more suited to contribute to the Black community than a Black man steeped in self-hate. Not to mention the fact that the interracial couple’s children are still considered Black. Thus, the interracial family becomes part of the Black community by default.
Self-Hate Is Contagious
Self-hate is contagious, especially when it’s in an environment that only incites the self-hate. Thus, pushing the idea that “Black must marry Black” when a person obviously doesn’t love himself or his women doesn’t solve self-hate; it perpetuates it. For those who won’t seek counseling and education or who don’t feel they need help in fixing their self-hate issues, it’s better that they be with someone who is not directly harmed by that self-hate.
Have you ever been in or seen a relationship where one party hated themselves? It almost always results in some type of abuse, whether physical, verbal, or emotional. Relationships are far more complex and delicate than simple political statements and ideological imagery.
It is not without divine wisdom that God gave all human beings individual choice in the relationship aspect of life. When we try to insert our wisdom in front of God’s, we have only bigger problems on our hands.
Fetishizing White Women Hurts Everyone
Usually you hear two extremes about white women with respect to Black men. Either they are “trash” and “the devil,” or they are the ideal and “best.” Both are inaccurate. Just like all members of the human family, white people are diverse, and amongst them are many different personality types and characters.
White women aren’t more or less special than other women. And the moment we as Black people start treating white people like regular people, the less likely Black people will view them as “forbidden fruit” or “trophies.” They’ll simply be who they are: human beings like everyone else. Thus, there would be no need to gravitate toward them more than anyone else.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with desiring any woman from the human family, but when we see white people as people, it helps us see ourselves as people too. Thus, with the proper mindset, when Black men do opt to marry a white woman, it won’t be because of fetishizing.
LISTEN TO KHALIL ISMAIL’S “COLORLINES”
The Measured Approach
If you find that you don’t like Black women because of how they look or how you perceive they act, and you’re fine with this anti-Black attitude, then do us all a favor, and leave Black women alone. Please don’t marry or pursue them, because your hatred will slow her growth and personal peace. And it harms the Black community at large.
If you feel like you’re doing some sort of charity or community service by being with a Black woman, then don’t pursue her, because you will only have a damaging effect. And she’s too valuable for that.
Know that your feelings aren’t healthy, so see them for what they are: weaknesses, not strengths.
If you’ve had a few bad relationships with Black women and subsequently felt better about relationships you’ve had with other ethnicities, then just chalk it up to your personal experience. Only the most foolish and oppressive of narcissists paint a whole group of people with the same brush due to their own limited narrow experiences.
If you struggle with anti-Black feelings but don’t like that you feel this way, then pray for God to heal your heart. Pray that God allows you to incline more towards justice first and foremost. And guide your thoughts and actions. Then seek a counselor who can help pinpoint the origin of these unhealthy feelings, and then seek to educate yourself on the history and struggle of Black women since slavery.
If you meet a Black woman whom you connect with and who wants to take a chance on you, then be honest with her about your feelings. Tell her that you are working to change your thoughts and feelings. This honesty allows her to make an educated decision about whether or not the realtionship is a work-in-progress that she chooses for herself.
Love and Support Despite Differences
More than Blacks needing to marry other Blacks, we need learn to love and support each other despite our differences. This is real Black unity, not a political or superficial ideal that “conscious Black people” make up then push on others. Unity is also loving each other despite heartbreak and even despite the positive or negative outcomes of an actual relationship.
The most optimized contributors to society are those who have a mate who supports their mission even if from the sidelines, as well as those who have others who love and back them through hardships and triumphs. The people with the most unrealized potential are those who have to fight self-hate and inadequacy issues in their own homes. This is because this fight takes away the energy needed to build up their children and strong communities.
However, I do believe that when people are properly educated and exposed to the beauty of self-love, it becomes far more natural and likely for them to marry within their own ethnicity. Even today with all the controversy surrounding Black men marrying white women, 85 percent of Black men marry Black women. Thus, I am far more concerned with combating false ideas such as Black women being inherently more argumentative or light-skinned women looking better than dark-skinned women.
If we focus on the minds and hearts of individuals instead of their personal preferences and relationship choices, we optimize the likelihood of motivating them to help the community at large. This allows us to highlight the reality that our challenges cannot be ignored, instead of getting distracted with arguments that lean more toward behavior control than ultimate community upliftment.
Khalil Ismail hails from Baltimore and is a life-long humanitarian as well as award winning independent music artist and producer & filmmaker. His single, “knocking” charted 3rd on independent hip-hop radio charts. He has made multiple appearances on national television including appearing on discovery channel as the voice of one of it’s flagship shows. Ismail has performed in West and South Africa, UK, Amsterdam, Australia, Germany and around the U.S. He has also completed 2 short films.
He also hosts events and programs that combine entertainment with educational workshops, social upliftment forums, and spiritual consciousness, with a focus on topics that impact humanity on personal and community levels. His mission to empower others through art, humanitarian work, and engaging discussions. Book him at firstname.lastname@example.org