It must be national get-yourself-a-white-man day. Or year. Or decade. Earlier today, I read a review of the co-written interracial relationship manual Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race Culture, and Creed, which confirmed what I already knew: I won’t be adding that to my Goodreads queue. And now, over at Ebony.com, relationship expert Sil Lai Abrams has weighed in on why dating white men isn’t a cure-all (or even a sound, logical, temporary solution for single black women who are actively desirous of a partner).

It would seem that the myth of the White Knight is alive and well. Relationships “experts” have been weighing in on why a larger number of black women should consider dating outside their race for quite some time now. In and of itself, this notion isn’t entirely terrible, although it does assume that a majority of black women are resistant to the idea of interracial dating (which isn’t necessarily the case). But when the advice is tied to mythical ideas about the superior morality, dating practices, and values of white men, it’s highly problematic.

Noncommittal, emotionally detached, unfaithful men come in all colors. And there’s no valid, non-anecdotal evidence that supports the idea that a white man who dates or marries a black woman is predisposed to treat her better than a black man would. As Abrams states in her Ebony.com piece:

 Yes, the rules in the dating market have changed for black people over the past several decades, but they’ve shifted for everyone.  But to say that the answer for black women desperately seeking wedlock is to marry a white man is unrealistic and overly simplistic. According to a 2011 Pew Research Study, marriage rates are declining amongst all races. Fifty-one percent of American women are unmarried, yet, I don’t know of any white, Asian, Hispanic or Inuit professors standing up and telling their women that the answer to the decline in marriage in their community is to marry someone outside their race.

Romantic relationships are individuated. Each one comes with its own set of strengths and struggles. But even if you’ve only dated men of one race — be it black, white, or other — your experiences with them are not representative of their whole race or even a discernible majority of their race. It’s always off when anyone decides they know what’s best for an entire group based solely on what worked for her.

With all the writing going around about interracial dating as a panacea for single black women, we’re wondering just how widespread this idea is. Is the “I’m-a go get me a white man” thing an actual discussion you and your girlfriends are having these days? What do you think of the Myth of the White Knight?

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  • WhatIThink

    Actually I believe that these sorts of articles are misrepresenting the whole issue completely. First off lets put things into context. White males are the top of the social and economic ladder in the American system by design. They are supposed to be the BMOC (big men on campus) getting girls from all races, creeds and cultures to flock to them because of their power and wealth. The whole system was built explicitly for this. And make no mistake, there has never been a time in American history when white men did not have their pick of the black litter when it comes to females. I believe some of us are simply playing this game of make pretend as if there is something “new” to this game when in reality it is the same old game.

    Also let us not forget that white women are on a similar position in the social and economic system that is America along with white men. And of course they are supposed to be seen as the epitome of beauty, intelligence, grace and so forth. Black women and men have always been stereotyped as the following: sambo thug(imitating white folks), dupe, buffoon, clown, jezebel, big mammy, loose floozy and exotic temptress. And likewise, the truth is that since civil rights and integration, assimilation and intermarriage has been promoted and pushed by mainstream white culture. This is no accident and is no mistake. Just as they did with the tragic mulattoes and creoles of years ago, they are simply creating more folks who are loyal to whites and the white way of life (ie. white culture is good and wholesome/black culture is defective and deviant).

    Honestly there has always been a group of black men and women who no matter what, couldn’t wait to get in the bed with someone of the other race. There was nothing that a black woman or man could do to promote this as it was already there. It is as if some of these folks have been so mentally brainwashed that they could not see themselves doing anything else. This goes all the way back to slave times.

    So bottom line, stop pretending this is a new concept. This is America and it has always been a “melting pot”. And there has always been pressure in one way or another to “melt” black folks into the larger population and culture.

    Once you put it in that perspective then you can begin to deal with the real issues which are how black men and women are breaking out of the stereotypical roles created for them by white society and actually moving ahead in building their own social and economic foundation to use in pursuing the advancement of black people as a whole.

  • amourelle

    So the writer decided to base her opinion on the book from a review and not by reading the actual book. Really. come on didn’t you go to school for writing and should know better. Her message isn’t “i’m going to get me a white man” Its more opening yourself up to men from all cultures which can increase your chances of finding someone worth while. Not just white you moronic writer.