It’s a tangled web of -isms made all the more sickening by its false veneer of innocence and “celebration.”
These accounts are not new, and like many other things on the internet, it’s usually easy to scroll on by and not get sucked into something infuriating. But this past weekend and even as I write this, I’m watching in disgust as the hashtag #WhiteGods is being retweeted onto my Twitter timeline with alarming frequency.
#WhiteGods was started by a few young black men (according to their profiles and Twitter timelines), and it is allegedly in praise of interracial encounters with white women. The earliest tweets with the tag are just under a year old, but this weekend saw a huge surge in their activity. On my timeline, people were sharing these posts not as an endorsement, (I wouldn’t follow anyone who would sincerely subscribe to this mess), but as an example of the level these people have sunk to and how pervasive it is.
First of all, I say “encounters” because searching the tag brings up far more references to sex and hooking up than anything resembling a “relationship.” Hey, no shame there, I just want to be specific.
Secondly, I too am exhausted by the strict racial binary code with which interracial relationships are often discussed. We humans come in a great many more shades than just black or white; in any discussion of race I don’t like to make it seem as though I think otherwise, and yet I’m aware that it happens when combating those who behave as if they do.
I read hundreds of tweets on this hashtag (so you don’t have to), and the enthusiasts are young black boys/men and young white girls/women. Their frequent responses to people they call “haters,” wherein they repeatedly say it’s about “celebrating interracial relationships,” are betrayed by the rampant commodification of people as “chocolate,” and “snow bunnies.”
“Snow bunny” was, once upon a time, a colloquialism for an attractive female skier or lady on the slopes. It has become a thing certain black men call white women, or a thing white women who exclusively enjoy black men call themselves. More on that in a moment, though — here’s a quick history break:
Historically, black bodies have been commodified, hyper-sexualized, and fetishized in ways that white bodies simply have not on a massive, systemic level. If that statement seems overly divisive, I’m now going to double-down and drop the S-bomb: Slavery.
However, looking at the realities of institutionalized sexism and also applying an intersectional lens, this is by no means a cut-and-dry race issue. It’s a tangled web of -isms made all the more sickening by its false veneer of innocence and “celebration.”
We are all free to be “down with the swirl,” but so many of these people fail to see when they cross the line into racism. Many claim they could never be racist because of their preference, to which I say (again) that marrying, dating, sleeping with, or being attracted to people of another race does not mean that you cannot also hold racist beliefs.
The Mandingo fantasy is nothing new. Interracial porn has been a booming subset of the porn industry since forever. These people are not exactly breaking new ground in their ideology, but the methodology is what has me speaking out. Social media allows these images to spread like the burning wildfire that they are, with heinous repercussions.
For example; I’m not the type of person who has a strict racial preference, so I would never do this, but I wouldn’t automatically see the declarations of these young ladies here on the tag as dangerous or threatening:
Now let’s hear from one of the fellas: