Respect is not something that only applies to the way we treat people, but also the way we react to decisions they have decided to make in their lives. Too often we are quick to jump on others when they tell us about their preferences because we don’t agree with them. The thing is that personal preferences weren’t designed to please others.  Here are some of the preferences that I notice people get attacked about the most:

1. The person one chooses to be in a relationship with

This is by and far one of the biggest preferences that people love to attack. Everyone has a preference when it comes to the criteria used when choosing who they want to be in a relationship with. The one criterion that people always have something to say about is race. I may not like it if a Black man says that his preference is any other race except a Black woman. It may infuriate me and I’ll ask what his reasons are, but at the end of the day it is still his choice. It is what he likes, and though I may not agree, I shouldn’t try to throw him under the bus because of it. If it bothers me that much I can make the choice to not interact with this person, but constant attacks won’t change his mind, so why waste my energy? I wouldn’t want to be judged or ambushed because of my personal preference when it comes to the person I date. But sometimes the preference isn’t race. It can be other physical attributes or behavioral characteristics. The bottom line is that if you don’t want someone to persecute you for the person you decide to be with then you shouldn’t do the same.

2. Parenting

I know this is a sensitive topic for those who are parents because everyone feels that their way is the best way. On the contrary, every person is different, and the way they decide to raise their children may not line up with what you feel is right. I am sure we have all passed by parents on the street screaming at their kids in a manner that makes us just shake our heads, but that isn’t a reason to treat them like the scum of the earth. There is a difference between disagreeing and judging, but many people can’t make this distinction. The way a parent chooses to raise their child is solely up to them. Of course there are things that are just wrong, like any form of mental or physical abuse, but I have heard parents get ridiculed for things such as wanting to homeschool their children instead of putting them in a regular school. Again, you may not agree with this, but you should still respect the decision that a parent makes. There is no book on how to raise the perfect child, therefore others shouldn’t act as if they are experts on the topic.

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  • In reference to my use of the “creamy crack” it is a term that my girlfriends who swear up and down by perms have used to describe how much they love perms and will never go natural. The term was also used in Chris Rock’s movie, “Good Hair” by many of the female celebrities who said they also loved perms and couldn’t imagine going natural. It was not used in a manner to express disdain or something I invented to try to degrade those who prefer to perm their hair instead of going natural.

    Thanks for reading the article!

    • Ocean Blue

      *Relaxers.

  • JWC

    Fab piece!! I’ll remember “respect my preference” especially the next time I have to deal with an intrusive relative, ha!!

  • chinaza

    Respect is not synonymous with hypocrisy. I may respect your right to choose, but…
    I also respect and enact my right to disagree with your choice and actively so if I want to.
    That’s because we don’t live in a vacuum walled by self-indulgence. Many of our choices do affect other people’s lives- such as our style of parenting because our children leave our nest and enter the broader society. If they are dysfunctional because of our poor skills, then we all have to deal with the outcome.
    If you date/marry an abuser, it disrupts an entire family
    And these are not exceptional cases but mainstream reality.

  • Please Believe

    Any negro that says he has a preference around me is going to get a big “ho, sit down”—you cannot talk about the lack of self confidence, the low marriage rates for black women, the breakdown of the black family structure in one breath, and in the next breath say you don’t care who they date. I care, and I kindly inform my friends and family that the next struggle for us as a people is to build strong families, and raise strong men, and empower our women and let them feel beautiful, and that can’t happen if they’re running off chasing some non-black girl because it’s his preference. Not at all. Are we spending money and building up our economy? if the economy sneezes, black people catch a cold. So, this couple, where the guy has a ‘preference’ shares expenses and has a split account–she needs to get her hair done, where’s she going to go? she needs clothes and shoes and household supplies, will she venture into minority neighborhoods and support? Maybe a few will, but most wont. Stop this stupidity. Someone needs to call them out on it–they take the love and support of black women to get to where they need to be, then turn their backs. You’ll get thrown under the bus so fast, you don’t know what hit you.