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    The White List

    There are certain things that I did as a teenager that I vowed never to do again.  Fortunately, none of my regrets had an impact on either my bank account or liver (those errors weren't made until my 20s), but were more banal lapses.  At 14, while furiously and unsteadily pedaling my bike home with a bloodied lip and bruised ego, I vowed to not ever again scrap with a boy (despite the fact that I had succeeded in getting in a few licks before being knocked.the.fuck out).  At 16, as a sticky viscous fluid oozed down the back of my neck, I promised to never again listen to a hairdresser (this time I had been duped into believing that the Wave Nouveau was the Relaxer's distant cousin rather than the Jerry Curl's identical twin).  And by 18, having already had a number of boyfriends, I swore off white boys.

    It's not as if my 2 episodes of "something new" had been disastrous-just terribly uncomfortable.  Not the sort of of discomfort that portends of certain tragedy (like the trifecta of heart palpitations, sweaty skin and a sense of impending doom), but the sort of unpleasantness that results from wearing jeans 2 sizes too small:  Not only does it not feel right, but permits those who witness this violation against nature (as well as the ferocious struggle between gut and denim) to sit in judgment. 

    And yet, with each mounting disappointment (the man who said he'd call, but didn't...the man who did, but who couldn't take my very unique brand of crazy, or the relationship that soared--then crashed into magnificent flames), I sometimes wonder if my blanket policy should be foot-noted to note that limited exceptions might be made for the exceptional.  For the white boy who I'm not only profoundly attracted to (which admittedly eliminates the vast majority of this subgroup), but who also:


    1.  Is familiar with the uniqueness and variances of a black woman's hair.  A few years back, a close friend was in the throes of a passionate relationship with a white guy.  On the evening of our introduction (after a few vodka cocktails), I asked him what he knew about a black woman's hair.  Expecting him to only laugh at my question, I was stunned when he responded by asking what, specifically, I was referring to:  The value of purchasing an at-home relaxer kit vs. going to the salon, the olfactory wonder of Pink Oil, the inevitable emergence of the silk doo-rag, or the battle of weaves vs. naturals.  I couldn't help but be impressed.  While some may criticize his response by noting its simplicity and failure to give a historical framework, this white guy would have passed my own test with gusto.  After all, while knowing who C.J. Walker is would certainly be nice, I don't ever want to have to explain why, well after the wind's gust has subsided, by bangs still stand at attention.

    2.  Exhibits a demonstrable and pre-existing fondness for "thick" women.  Of course it's possible for a man to fall for a woman who, at first glance, isn't his type-but I'd be uncomfortable if his list of crushes only included women who could serve as body doubles for Cameron Diaz, Heidi Klum or Zoe Saldana.  To me, it would be akin to a person ordering Nigirizushi off the menu rather than Chicken Teriyaki--not because he likes it, but out of a desire to seem a bit more cosmopolitan.  I don't ever want to be anyone's statement piece or treasure at the end of the trail for the elusive brown nipple. (n.1)

    3.  Doesn't make the absurd attempt to obscure his whiteness by (a) trying to "ethnicize" his appearance (i.e. by getting a "ceasar", rocking Ecko Red, or by punctuating his statements with staccatoed gestures); (b) obsessively frequenting spoken word/open mic events to spit pieces about the Revolution; or (c) attempting to become certified in all things black.  Contrary to the view popularized by white back-packers, being black is much more than a state of mind.  (And, despite the desperate attempts of some of Maury Povich's white baby mamas who have birthed black children, bearing such children, getting an asymmetrical hair cut and learning to neck-roll does not magically confer blackness).  While any man that I date should be informed about black history, culture, and commit to The Struggle, this particular fellow must also be able to look his whiteness in the eye.

    4.  Is able to talk smack, fight-or, if all else fails, run with a 160+ pound woman strewn over his shoulder.  Look-the fact of the matter is that the sight of a black woman with a white man is likely to incite more than the occasional disrespectful remark and/or threatening gesture.  While some would prefer to handle the situation by repeating nom myoho renge kyo, I need a man that can tell someone to shut the fuck up and kick some ass (or at least get in at least a few good licks before getting knocked.the.fuck.out.).  


    n.1  A friend once shared that he once worked with a white man who was intrigued by the thought of being with an exotic woman-or, as he phrased it, "a woman with brown nipples." 


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    Reader Comments (5)

    Ironically, this topic goes perfectly with my experience today. A "normal" looking man on the bus stop decided to strike up a conversation about how he had just returned from Italy and how shocked he was how many white men in Italy date black women. He proceeded to tell me that he didn't think he would ever do it, but you never know....and then ask if I was married. We are going out for drinks tomorrow.....NOT. :-/ I'm always amused by people who suggest that our generation of professional, single black women are limiting ourselves by not dating outside of our race. I have no problem with the idea. Unfortunately, in the same way that desirable black men don't seem to be falling out of the sky, neither are white men.

    February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

    I say go for it. Why limit yourself? I think you'd be able to find a white boy who passed all the requirements, except number 1.

    I'm black, was raised in a house full of black women, and am STILL not comfortable with all of the intricacies of a black woman's hair. Even AFTER seeing Chris Rock's documentary.

    February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVondarrien

    Hilarious, hilarious, hilarious!

    Of course "Something New" can be a beautiful thing for a woman...with the right guy. Only naive 20-somethings will put a cap on race when seeking their life partner.

    February 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrkennedy

    love it! a friend and i were just talking about this topic the other day...
    #1 & #3 are a must for me & any potential 'something new'.

    March 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterms.hayes

    "Unfortunately, in the same way that desirable black men don't seem to be falling out of the sky, neither are white men."

    neither are desireable black women, unfortunately.

    July 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdenzel

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