Waiter! There’s A Black Person In My Aloo Gol Matol!

Category: , , , , By Glamour Diva & galaxyMafia
So I’m doing the Internet dating thing and it has been way more miss than hit. Many women bemoan the fact that they can’t find any good men then when you push then they unfurl their list of Everest high expectations and you can’t help but think, “No damn wonder you’re sitting at home, alone on a Saturday night!”

Well I thought I was different. I don’t have a lot of stringent must-haves such as height above six feet, a bank account to rival that of Bill Gates or a penis so big as to be absolutely useless. No I’ve always thought I was pretty low maintenance. Well as it turns out I’m no different from any other woman. Actually I am, I’m a black woman.

His name is Jimmy (That's him in the gray suit) and he contacted me over one of the dating sites I use. My first thought was that he was probably way too ghetto for me as his screen name is JIGGAWHO and also because he peppered his messages and phone calls to me with slang like “boo”, “yo”, “whatitdo” and the like. He didn’t have a picture on his profile so I asked him if he’d email me one. He did and imagine my surprise when I opened the picture and saw that he was Asian (I never paid attention to the ethnicity portion of his profile). I’d been getting a lot of attention from Asian men lately but it was still odd. Weren’t Asian men averse to dating anyone who wasn’t Asian or white? But I decided to give it a whirl and not be so prejudiced. MISTAKE! I like to flirt and I even like to add a little ribaldry to my flirting but the last few messages he sent me made me want to rethink my stance on not being a bigoted goober!

June 12th
Jimmy The Idiot: im free today u feel like getting freaky in the car?

Me: Uh...NO! I don't get freaky in cars. Sorry sexy...

June 17th
Jimmy The Idiot: can me and my boy come by?

Me: Both of you? For sex? Normally I would say yes but it's raining hard now and besides, I dont know you well enough for a threesome yet! LOL

Jimmy The Idiot: Nothing like that... ill fuck u ... then he will. we can run train on u ... tommorow[sic]?

Me: Really? So what was it about my profile that led you to believe that I'd let you or anyone "run train" on me? Do you think because I'm fat that I'd be desperate for any attention no matter how foul? Or is this some sort of weird Indian or Pakistani thing where you think black women are only good enough to be treated like whores? I'm not a prude but I'm not that easy or depraved either! There are plenty of black women out there who have no self-respect and would love to have you treat them like sluts but unfortunately for you I am not one of them. And yes, if you haven’t already guessed it, now that I know you're serious I am very insulted!

Thanks for playing. Good-bye.

I was so pissed off Dear Readers I could hardly see straight! Is this what we’ve become? Has the spread of Hip Hop culture to the four corners of the earth only served to make the whole world disrespect black women as much as black men do? Is there no one left on this earth that finds the black woman worthy of love and respect? It’s really scary to find yourself on a date with someone and fifteen minutes into the conversation they ask you if you know how to make your booty clap! Sad to say, I expect this sort of nonsense from a black man but when it comes from some one you think should be free from all those preconceived notions it’s a whole different slap in the face.

Which leads me to the point of this tirade: What’s up with the Asians disliking black people anyway? Have they swallowed the lies white people have feed them about us? Or are we ourselves to blame? It’s no secret that there is mistrust on both sides but where does it come from? Nowhere is this mistrust more evident then in London right now. The rumors of a sexual assault on a young black woman lead to race riots which lead to the murder of a young black man and the eventual conviction of his Asian killers. But the community where it happened and the nation are still reeling and wondering how to turn things around.

When I read the story I couldn’t help thinking about how, not too long ago, my city faced similar problems. There was a large influx of Asians (in our case, predominately Vietnamese and Korean) who lived and opened businesses in almost exclusively black or Latino neighborhoods. Tensions ran high as cultures clashed, mostly nonviolently but there were many violent exceptions. The blacks and Latinos thought the Asians were disrespectful and suspected all of them of being criminals while the Asians thought blacks and Latinos didn’t like them simple because they were Asian and wanted them out.

We had plenty of conversations about the stressful climate of our city in my home at the time. I remember my parents being very upset about things but still understanding of both perspectives. My father had served in Korea and came back with a very strong respect for Asian culture. He was a teacher and many of his students were Asian so he had daily contact with them and their parents. My mother also worked in the schools and her attitude was much the same as my father’s – you treat me with the respect I deserve as a human being and I will do the same for you. But would this live and let live attitude translate to dating?

"Basically there was a racial hierarchy. The first choice for marriage is someone in your own community, then after that, white is the next best thing. And after white, any other race in the world but black." - The Last Taboo, BBC Radio 4

When I listened to the BBC’s radio show, The Last Taboo, I couldn’t help but think about my own family. While it was never expressly forbidden, we always knew that our parents preferred we dated and married other blacks. We understood their feelings about the stares and comments from strangers we might recieve, the threats of violence and the less talked about but just as important sexual politics. Still it never crossed my mind that my parents would disown me if I brought home a man that wasn’t black so I can understand the trepidation that an Asian young person must feel when they find themselves in such a situation.

As for me I always make it a point to ask one question before I date a man of another culture:

Have you ever dated a black woman before?

If the answer is no I then ask why he made the exception for me. The answer is usually that he’s always wanted to date a woman of color but couldn’t because of social constraints or lack of availability. The next question is why are WOCs so intriguing? The answer to this question is where we start to see sexual politics rear its ugly head. If a man pulls out his little book of stereotypes and clichés and mentions body types or how “strong” black women are then I know it’s time to leave (I will not be someone’s chocolate fantasy!). On the other hand if he mentions growing up in a racially mixed neighborhood or working/living in an area of town or in a profession that is mixed I stay.

The same questions apply if he says yes but if he has a history of dating outside his race then I’m more apt to believe he’s doing it because it comes natural to him and not because he’s looking for something exotic or to prove a point.

So what’s the answer? Is it possible for all of us to just get along? No. As long as we, minorities…non-whites, continue to measure ourselves by our oppressor’s idea of what we are then nothing will change. As long as we celebrate the worst aspects of our characters and worse still, project those ideas around the world then nothing will ever change.

Last Thursday I was in my local Indian video store to pick up a few movies for the weekend when I struck up a conversation with the owners and their small children (Ya know Ms. GD love the kids!). I asked them to translate one of the titles I’d rented, Dil Pardesi Ho Gayaa. The father faltered for a moment, thinking how to translate the words in a way that would make since to me. It finally came to him and he gave me a loosely translated titled, “My heart is a stranger”. The word “Pardesi” stood out to me and I asked him if it was related to the word “ Desi ”. He was a little shocked but also, I think, pleased that I knew the word. So began a long conversation about upcoming movies, family and Indian culture. After trying and failing to pronounce some words I remarked to the wife that even though I couldn’t pronounce the words correctly I was in fact learning. The husband smiled and said very earnestly that they were also learning. He said the more they were asked to translate the more it forced them to better understand English. We chatted a little more and then I left. Ever since then I keep thinking how nice that was to have a conversation like that without suspicion but also how sad it was because I realized that the one thing we all need to do is the one thing most of us will never do – talk. If more people took the time to have real discussions then maybe the world wouldn’t be in the state it’s in today. And maybe I wouldn’t have to defend my honor every time I went out on a date with someone who doesn’t look like me. – GD

5 comments so far.

  1. blkmtn1 11:06 PM, June 19, 2006
    "Has the spread of Hip Hop culture to the four corners of the earth only served to make the whole world disrespect black women as much as black men do? Is there no one left on this earth that finds the black woman worthy of love and respect? It’s really scary to find yourself on a date with someone and fifteen minutes into the conversation they ask you if you know how to make your booty clap! Sad to say, I expect this sort of nonsense from a black man but when it comes from some one you think should be free from all those preconceived notions it’s a whole different slap in the face."
    I think this entire comment is very sad, as an educated black man I’m offended by your comments. True indeed rap music is often disrespectful to women, and more specifically black women, but that is know excuse for one of our own to brand all black men as being booty crazed savages that have know intellectual prowess. I personally don’t care for “rap” but I love hip hop, there is a big difference. Your lack of self love has confused you into thinking that a black man must be a thug or a gangsta. You are promoting the same stereotypes that keep us down as a community. I am all for people dating who they want, but self hate is a problem my sister. And very counter productive.
  2. Sex and the Sushi 12:12 AM, June 20, 2006
    Thanks for the comment but there is no self hate here. I figured I'd get at least one comment from the "black man" or "black woman" saying how wrong I am for branding all black men as thugs (Notice I never used that word, you did.). Once again the "black man" has proven my point. This post was not about you but about how one community sees another community and how that effects ME! See, totally not about you and your issues. Had you bothered to continue reading and not focused on a few sentences you would have noticed that. But because you are an educated black man I'll post a comment I made on another blog that states my feelings on dating black men. If after reading it you still think I'm drowning in self hate then oh well...:

    At this point in my life I date, almost exclusively, outside my race and I am constantly accused of not liking black men. This couldn’t be further from the truth as what I dislike are the black men I come in contact with, not the “blackness” itself. For me it’s more a matter of class and personal taste than skin color or race. Will this black man belittle me if I say I love the music of AC/DC? Will he even know who AC/DC is? If I want to go to a fancy French restaurant will he balk at accompanying me because he’s never tasted French food or because all the silverware intimidates him? Will he throw up his hands in frustration if I say I’d rather watch the latest foreign film from Iran instead of the latest Will Smith movie? Will he stare at me in disbelief if I say that I while I admire Mr. Smith for his accomplishments I refuse to watch his movies because his acting gives me hives?

Too many times I’ve been criticized by black men for not being black enough, not being down enough, not understanding enough, not demure enough. I’ve been told that my feelings about shared interests are petty; what really matters is that we are both black together and are fighting off whitey together. And though I know because 10 black men have said it that doesn’t mean ALL men think it, but quit honestly that shizzle gets old! My Parents always told me that if you have to compromise too much of yourself in a relationship then it’s foolish to continue with it because it’s doomed from the start. The only thing you have to look forward to is resentment in a situation like that. The whole idea that there are “black things” and “white things” is what keeps me away from many of the black men I meet. As far as we’ve come we still have these very dated ideas of what is appropriate for us to do and be. Are we “keepin’ it real” is what I here most often. It’s like we hold ourselves back from these experiences then turn around and blame white people for keeping it from us. Why can’t I identify as black and still experience all the world has to offer in the manner I see fit? And why shouldn’t I have a partner that feels the same way? I’m not one of those people that think racism doesn’t exist. I just think it’s a waste of a perfectly good life to dwell on it so deeply and have that be the reason why one ever leaves their comfort zone. So in the mean time I will continue to date whomever I see fit and pray that God sends that special MAN to me, regardless of race. - Glamour Diva, http://blackademic.blogspot.com/2006/06/interracial-relationships-my-2-cents.html
  3. beautyinbaltimore 12:22 AM, June 21, 2006
    Hello sushi,
    I came across your blog by way of blackademic. I have to say I like this post very much. The tention between African-Americans and Asian-Americans is very rarely discussed in contrast to tenions involving blacks& whites . I have to say that I think one of the reasons Asians seek to distance themselves from blacks in this country is because of the negative reputation that black people have which is not helped by the negative images that many black rappers portray. These guys make videos for MTV and BET bragging about commiting genoccide. Other people beg the UN for help when they are under such dire circunstances, unlike many rappers who believe if you do not live this way you are not "keeping it real".
    You can compare the position of black people in this country with the situation of Arabs living in France. The two are very simlar in that they are at the bottom of the totem pole and other groups seek to distance themselves from them.
    If you have time come check out my blog beautyinbaltimore@blogspot.com
  4. Trope 10:12 AM, June 21, 2006
    Hey Glamour Diva,
    I'm just dropping by from blac(k)ademic and really enjoyed this post. I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment on the topic of interracial dating, since I spent my dating career in a very segregated area and had to come to the big city to find any kind of diversity (let alone good Indian food). It saddens me to hear you say, "I expect this sort of nonsense from a black man"... I haven't really thought about men of one ethnic group or another being more crass or sexually aggressive (among men that I've actually met). Our culture is so good at pitting boys against girls, however, that it shouldn't surprise me to hear that misogyny would trump any kind of loyalty from shared experience on the men's part.
    Anyway, I'll just be lurking for a while and enjoying the pictures posted. Thanks!
  5. Sex and the Sushi 1:35 AM, June 25, 2006
    To Channel and Trope: Thank you so much for leaving your comments on our blog! Many people have been reading this post, we know because we have Site Meter, but the two of you and the first gentleman are, of course, the only ones to leave comments. This is a very serious topic and one not often spoken about. Would it be considered too egotistical to say I hope I got the ball rolling? LOL Thanks again!

    Glamour Diva

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