i know that there are a couple different camps of thinking. there’s the white people all up and through their fee-fees, “BUT ALL WHITE PEOPLE AREN’T LIKE THAT!” camp. and the “BUT IF WE KEEP INTERMIXING, RACISM WILL GO AWAY!” (ie= colorblind/whitewashing) camp. and of course, just by having the audacity to assert power over my body, and heart i’m most likely to be called either 1. racist or 2. reverse racist. neither of which is possible. and if you don’t know why, you should stop reading right now and figure it out before you come back. clearly, i am speaking only from my experience, and and other folks of color who decide to invest in emotional, romantic, intimate relationships with white folks, it’s their business, and has no bearing on my ability to support them, stand with them in solidarity, as long as they don’t project any internalized racism my way. i love all my peeps. and all my peeps can make the best decisions for themselves, their familias and their hearts. i’m just talking about my choice.
contrary to popular belief, i don’t actually buy into the idea that “you just can’t help who you fall in love with” which i sometimes hear when people talking about falling in love, unexpectedly with a white person. i believe, like bell hooks so beautifully writes in all about love, that love is an action, a decision, a verb, and most of all a choice. we are not powerless, and love isn’t a pit we fall into. so, i therefore choose to love myself, and in loving myself, i feel like my partners are a reflection of myself, and the love i have for my (MY) community. our most intimate love grows in concentric circles into our community. of course, people define community for themselves, in different ways. the way i choose to build my community centers on the voices and lives, and protection, and safety of queer people of color. and white folks ain’t never kept me or us safe. and it’s not looking like they are about to start. so we gon’ have to save ourselves. and that may mean we have to do it without our white friends. (i should know. i currently have three white friends). self-preservation and coping is not racism. THIS is why all the black kids sat together in the cafeteria.
a common response i get from people when i say that i don’t date white folks is “but aren’t you limiting yourself/your dating pool”? but i didn’t say i only date one race. non-white folks make up 80% of the world’s population. that’s still a lot of people to fall in love with, or at least do it to before i die. i’ve spent my entire life learning about white folks, reading their books, getting their degrees, sitting at their cafeteria tables. the idea that i could assert autonomy, self-love, self-preservation, and fight against white racism by building loving community with other colored folks enrages them- they don’t like feeling left out.
i think that the reason that this bothers white folks so much is because it means immediately upon meeting me that they don’t have access to the very thing they believe (and that society reinforces) they should have access to. my body. white folks think they run this shit. lemme tell you something. it’s mine. they cain’t have it.
and even the most well meaning white folks are still impacted by power/privilege. and even when they are being actively anti-racist (here’s a cookie, white people), they get in their feelings, they fuck up. i have been so hurt, so let down, so disappointed and so shocked by my most radical white friends’ racism— the kind that sneaks up on you just when you let your guard down. we all fuck up. the difference is, i engage in critical race analysis every day of my life. at the center of the word kyriarchy, are lives like mine. and it’s not theoretical. i work at women’s organizations where i deal with cis white straight women’s “feminism” on the regular. i deal with racism everyday. i would like my house, my bed to be the one place, and probably the only place where i don’t have to deal with white racism. there are enough other dynamics to deal with. like being poly, being poor, queer, being a survivor, being a person with a history of disordered eating and having asthma. whiteness cannot come home with me. i don’t have the energy to dissect whether doggie style is actually a reinforcement of “the man’s” grasp on my economic mobility or feel like nude inspection by my lover has me back on auction blocks. i don’t want to be a fetish, an experiment, a prize. i’m not “brown sugar” spicy, or sassy. (i know, i know, not all white people are like this. k thanks, bye.) but a history of oppression, of racism, of slavery and genocide has very real, very psychic, traumatic impacts so i take care of myself by disengaging with white folks in that way.
it doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, and dear, loved ones. it doesn’t mean that we can’t share secrets, love each other and go for drinks, break bread, go on road trips, and work collaboratively in ending oppression. it just means i don’t want to let white folks in my panties, which is where my heart lives. and their hurt feelings about this do not kill them. however white racism rapes us, kills us, and then makes a mockery of our death by turning our mutilated effigies into cake that white people eat while laughing and smiling.