“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.“
Wow what a “nice” man letting us colored folk use his bathroom and all. Does this sound familiar? Any person part of a marginalized group can certainly relate to hearing this type of attitude.
A Justice of the Peace (oh the irony) in Louisiana refuses to issue marriage licenses for interracial couples. Yeah I had to check my calendar as well – cuz I thought I was stuck in some weird time warp back to 1959. Before the Loving v. Virginia ruling. He claims to be concerned about any future offspring of these couples. Well first of all people don’t have to be married to procreate – so before he breaks out into “The Greatest Love Of All” he might want to remember that.
It sounds as if he’s only interested in preserving a racial hierarchy. This definitely reminds me of the refusal of officials to sign and issue licenses to LGBT couples in CA during the height of the Prop 8 war. This is why it’s so important to fight for justice across the board – not just for topics of particular interest to you as an individual. Remember love is a battlefield to some who’d like to deny consenting adults the right to choose who they love. Some laws are designed to protect us from discriminatory practices. This should serve as a reminder how important the enforcement of those laws are.
I had briefly heard of this story in passing but hadn’t realized all of the ramifications involved. Comic Sunda Coonquist has been sued by her mother-in-law for making jokes about the behavior of the family. Much humor is rooted in pain and certain comedians are very skillful at dissecting the actions of others. Sunda is a bi-racial black woman, her husband is white and she converted to Judaism to marry him. At the crux of this case is the story of her husband’s family who have a history of exclusionary antics. The fact that Sunda’s husband is representing her in court has been lauded by some. I think the entire scenario is ridiculous and clearly was escalating for some time.
Croonquist’s act includes jokes about her many encounters with her husband’s family over the years, like her first visit to her mother-in-law’s house. She gave Roker a sample: “I walk in, I say, ‘Thank you so much for having me here, Ruthie.’ She says, ‘The pleasure’s all mine, have a seat.’” Then, in a loud aside, “‘Harriet, put my pocketbook away.’
On a more serious note, Croonquist said that despite her obvious commitment to Judaism, she has suffered through painful incidences of exclusion from her husband’s family. “It’s not been easy,” she told Roker. “I’ve been asked to step out of family photos. I guess I’m just not right for the bar mitzvah picture.”
The comedian said that she has been the brunt of her in-laws’ jokes as well. “They made jokes at my expense. Not on stage, but in temple.”
Here’s an interview with Former Secretary of State William Cohen & Journalist Janet Langhart Cohen being (somewhat annoyingly) interviewed by Matt Lauer. They’re discussing the book about their dating and marriage to each other, Love In Black & White: A Memoir of Race, Religion and Romance. You’ll hear about some of the old familiar arguments from Janet’s dad about “hooking up with the oppressor” nonsense – meanwhile black men have had NO QUALMS WHATSOEVER about dating and mating with white women. That indoctrination tactic runs wide and deep, eh?
I am actually slightly more interested in her earlier memoir From Rage to Reason: My Life In Two Americas, but think both will provide some insight into the skills and perseverance that will benefit all women trying to achieve career success AND a fulfilling personal life.
More stories on interracial dating. This news report is a few years old and covers some of the same stats many of us are already familiar with but I’ll keep putting up signs of encouragement in the hopes the message gets out to the fence-sitters and undecideds. Besides, it’s good to see real-life couples. The proof is in the pudding. I know someone who was still only interested in limiting herself to dating black men (but not dating at all). She now says she’s open to dating a man of any race. Of course caliber, quality and fitting individual needs are vital as always. As Evia says: MATE OUT or DIE OUT!!
I also found this very thoughtful perspective from a man (who happens to be white) on why black women are great relationship choices. Interesting and encouraging!
Thanks to CW, blog host of Black Women Deserve Better linking to Clutch (which I do read) I saw an entry from this blog. I just spent the better part of an hour perusing through photos of black women from around the world gathered by a designer from Sweden. I also notice he posted a photo of himself and he’s quite cute as well! Anyone in Sweden can look him up, lol.
Anyway I think all women need a bit of pampering and a pick me up from time to time and it seems this blog has nothing but admiration for us so I thought I’d give Andreas a shout out from the US. It does remind me of the time I lived in the UK and felt as if I had stepped into another world. I felt a 300lb weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
There were a few things going on so let me give a brief background. As an American I noticed the huge cultural difference between black Britons and African-Americans. We have the soul food, gospel music and specific traditions. There were a lot of interracial pairings but I hadn’t analyzed the makeup of the couples when there were so many other things going on with living in a foreign country. Now I realize domestically there are a majority black male pairings with white women like in the US.
The difference I noticed was the lack of trepidation of black women pairing with non-black men. No drama. No fuss. I also noticed the open admiration that white men have for black women there. Of course attraction is one thing and seeking a man of caliber requires a different set of priorities, but the main impetus I felt was the appreciation for the special qualities that we possess. Irish and Australian men – or at least the ones I met – were especially enthralled.
I felt it took me three months of picking up my jaw off the floor to settle into a comfort zone with meeting white men who’d approach you, buy you drinks, ask you out and tell you how beautiful they thought you were. Like any other woman. No guilt!! Being American also brought out some of the appeal. I really do think so many of us have trepidation about dating interracially that we unnecessarily limit ourselves. Now I had dated men from various backgrounds before but I wonder if the negative propaganda machine has stymied people in the US from relaxing into things. The Free Your Mind events are a good start.
Anyway reading Andreas’ blog brought back some fond memories and I’d like every women to experience being appreciated, admired and accepted just as she is.
Update: Ah how could I forget to add Gorgeous Black Women site as well. It’s on my sidebar and that’s run by a black woman for black women!!!
I had to get away from all computers for a few hours yesterday. So I went for a walk and on a whim decided to see the movie Away We Go. Directed by Sam Mendes it stars Maya Rudolph and John Kransinksi. I admit I was curious to see Maya act in a film and do something apart from her SNL sketches. It was written by a real-life couple Vendela Vida and Dave Eggers hence a lot of detailed couple quirkiness that I found engaging to watch on screen.
Verona and Burt are an unmarried couple in their thirties, who are expecting their first child. They live in Denver close to Burt’s parents, since Verona’s parents had passed away. They thought their life was going great until they found out that Burt’s parents were leaving the country for two years and would not be there for the birth of their grandchild. Verona and Burt decide to go on a road trip and travel around the U.S. and Canada to find the perfect place to live to call home and bring up their child. They travel to Phoenix, Tucson, Madison, Montreal, and Miami where they either have relatives or friends living. Along the way, they are also looking for the perfect family as a role model for them to follow in raising their daughter. As with all new families, they discover their own way. via IMDB.com
So why am I talking about this film? I think for many of us who grew up listening to Minnie Riperton are always going to be curious about her daughter who inherited her mom’s good looks. Part of the plot of her character surviving the death of a parent must have resonated with the actress on a personal level. At least it did with me because I was wondering if she’d used some of that to breathe life into her character. Note: I have to give some of the plot away in order to get into this but it won’t be so much that you still won’t be able to enjoy the film.
Verona starts off a bit detached whereas Burt is always open to her emotionally. Since I’ve been writing so much about black women and girls breaking free of invalid emotional contracts within the “black community” construct and seeking out potential mates of high caliber I looked at her relationship with scrutiny. I was trying to evaluate whether they were really compatible and what message was being sent. Her character is black (they don’t specifically indicate she’s bi-racial) in an inter-racial relationship and she isn’t married. I thought the timing was interesting given the conversations here the past week.
In the film Burt has in fact asked Verona to marry him but she refuses in part due to the death of her parents. I wonder how we allow traumas to color our perspective and how much they change us and how we relate to others. They had discussed sharing a life together and eventually having children but as is the case with many of us kids, sometimes we decide our time to join the world may be ahead of the schedule of our creators.
The relationship isn’t glamorized as they share a moment where they ask each other if they’ve messed up their lives by making poor choices. They’re not wealthy but they’re not exactly poor either. Due to a move to Belgium Burt’s parents won’t be around and they don’t want to have to care for their child without other family or friends nearby so they visit those closest to them to see where they might fit best. I liked the fact that they knew they shouldn’t even attempt to be an island unto themselves. I also think it was probably better the future grandparents did leave. They needed to have their own separate life.
They go visit Verona’s former boss who is crazy. I’ll let you see why when you see the film. She’s funny…but um no I would not want this woman anywhere my kid. Then they go visit Verona’s sister. We finally get to see some of her inner workings. You know you’re watching a movie that’s been well put-together when you notice little details, like how they tried to match similar textures and hair colors between the on-screen sisters. I really liked the chemistry between Maya and Carmen Ejogo who plays her younger sibling. You also start to see why she and Burt work well together.
He’s very easy-going and always emotionally available to her. He does want to provide and protect her. There’s an ongoing joke about things he does to get her heart rate elevated because they don’t argue with each other. He’s very mild-mannered so to see him try to act against type is funny to watch. It also shows how willing he is to give her everything she needs. If I was evaluating Burt as a potential mate he’d definitely pass.
Then they go visit a long-time family friend of Burt’s. Let’s just say the woman lives an alternative lifestyle but the payoff was the fact it was acknowledged in the film with a confrontation scene. They figure out quickly there are some things they are not willing to do with their children. It was hilarious but true. You can be too rigid or too free.
They proceed to visit some friends from college who are married and have several adopted children. Burt and Verona exclaim they want a family just like their friends. The couple does work well together and the kids are adorable….except things are more complicated than what they seem. It just goes to show that we all have problems but we have to make the most with what we have. Life isn’t perfect.
Burt’s brother calls and beckons them to Miami where he’s dealing with the loss of his wife. She left the marriage and he’s beside himself worrying about what it will do to his daughter and her self-esteem to be missing a mother at this stage in her development. I really liked the way this dad’s sole concern was the well-being of his child and how he recognized that she needed both parents and there was no adequate substitute for that. He mentioned that he didn’t want her walking around with unkempt hair and the wrong backpack or shoes and be socially ostracized.
Burt is then concerned about the future of his relationship with Verona. He doesn’t want her leaving him or abandoning their child, especially considering she’d refused to marry him. Finally Verona opens her heart and they share their own personal vows with each other. She assures Burt that she’ll never leave him.
So the emotional payoff comes at the end of the movie. Verona’s family home is in Florida and neither she nor her sister had been there since their parents died. She tells Burt a story about her parents which is her way of finally letting go. All of her travels and searching has led her back home. They’re shown driving up to a beautiful old house by the water. I admit I got as teary eyed as her character did because I felt it was a completion of one part of a very important journey to rediscovering who she was.
Their future hadn’t yet been written but it would be together. So that’s why I had to write this review and see the movie as one that’s very encouraging for all women, but it was especially nice to see it told with a woman of color for a change.
I received this email alert from website All Hip Hop. I may not listen to most of it but I do like to know what’s going on.
Hip-Hop star Ice Cube has been cast as a rogue cop in a new action comedy set to be produced titled Ride Along…Cube plays a rogue cop in the comedy, who attempts to sabotage his sister’smarriage to a white psychiatrist by taking him for a ride during his work day.
I saw this and immediately thought this movie is going to be a hot mess! I wondered if it was the studio’s idea to make it into another black/white comedy. You know how much Hollywood loves those films. I also wondered if the movie ends up with a predominantly Black cast how chock full of stereotypes it will have. You know what I’m talking about! Plus do we really need to making light of the action of rogue cops?
The thing that really raised my ire though was the blurb about the character meddling in his sister’s interracial marriage. It doesn’t indicate the white husband has done anything wrong, but that Cube’s character doesn’t like the fact his sister is married to one. Now Black men exercise their rights to date whomever they like so where is this attempt at controlling the mating choices of Black women coming from?
Could it be that it’s in the best interest of the bottom-feeders and those that would take advantage of Black women feeling desperate by limiting their choices? Or getting them to believe their choices are limited? So many of us already believe we are not worthy of being protected, cherished and provided for that all sorts of pathologies have emerged. It’s time to expose that for the lie that it is!!
If the situation was reversed and it was a white actor playing a rogue cop out to scare his sister’s Black husband, the NAACP would be holding a press conference decrying such a racist script. So why not the reverse? Don’t Black men have enough problems to continue perpetuating this type of behavior?
As it is I won’t be seeing this film and if it gets completed I heartily support a straight to DVD release. Yet again I am shaking my head at the short-sightedness of those in positions to know better who choose to rub themselves in filth for a buck. I do hope in some twisted way that seeing the interracial couple together will still seep in the message there are plenty of good men available for us and to be open to finding a man of a different race/ethnicity/religion.
Women who are famous are not so different that we can’t relate to certain universal truths or find commonalities. They may have certain career pressures as well as access to unique circumstances. Sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side. What lessons can we glean with regards to the men some famous Black women and Women of Color chose to partner with or marry?
I saw this posted over at Black Girls Rock blog and immediately had to have a drink with ice cubes. If these two aren’t dating in real life I suspect their reel life might lend to a modification with a quickness! The guy is hot, haut, haute and he is certainly enjoying his ‘acting’ assignment. This is why the right kind of erotica is such a visual stimulator and so satisfying!