Thursday, June 12, 2008

Black and White People Make Pretty Babies

That is what he said.

We were sitting on his couch, looking through his photo album. In it, I found a series of pics of a blonde haired little boy playing with his son. He told me that blondie is his nephew.

Was that pride in his voice?

"Really? Is your sister white" I said.

"No. She's married to a German guy."

He looks white doesn't he?

I picked up the pic and looked at it closer.

He actually has 'black features. The blonde hair threw me off. Not many black people have cornsilk colored wavy locks. Even his very fair complexion doesn't take him out of the 'black' category.

So, then he commented about how cute the little boy is. I agreed.

Then, he said, 'I've always thought that Black and White people make the prettiest babies.'

I burst out laughing.

He wanted to know what was soo funny.

Surely he had to be joking.

Apparently, he was not.

So, I engaged him.

'Why do you think biracial children are so cute?'

'I know what you're going to say, it's because of the hair and skin color. But, that's not it. I think the mixture of the features is really cute.'


'Yeah! But, you're 'Miss Natural', so you probably won't agree.'

Before responding, I had to replay all of our interactions through my mind's eye. When we first met, he said that he didn't like natural hair on black girls. I explained to him my philosophy about black girls learning to love what they are, without alteration. He knows I'm quite passionate about it.

Eventually, when he saw my hair in its natural state, he said that he liked it...that it wasn't like an afro. Could it be because my hair product mojo was working well that day and my curls weren't frizzy like they are right now? He's also commented many times about how beautiful he thinks I am. Could it be because my nose and lips are narrower than his, the strong reddish hue in my skin or because my eyes have a subtle epicanthal fold. To him, am I just pretty for a brown girl?

I snapped back to the moment.

I told him that he's not alone in his thinking. Mainstream America thinks that a person that is just a little bit black is attractive. That 'je ne sais quoi' is African. He denied that was the case. I reminded him about the black man's obsession with Kim K (who - while Armenian, is still considered white by my company's EEOC department), J. Lo, Vida Guerra and the bevy of other non-black 'models' that have graced the cover of black men's magazines advertising their very African assets.

I'm not hating, pretty is pretty, and I know that there are alot of black men that find black women, that look like them, attractive and desirable. I was just trying to get THIS black man to think about WHY he thought a particular set of physical attributes are more desirable.

Alas, I dropped it. I've learned to pick my battles. I certainly can't get a grown man to see the world differently all in one conversation.

Then, as if to prove he's not whitewashed, he said, 'It's not like I'm caught up on white people. I actually think Asians and Blacks make really cute babies too!'




Anonymous said...

Wow...ignorance is truly bliss.

ogun7 said...

It sad that as self-hating as he is, he really isn't attracted to the Africaness of the mixed people. He like other self-hating Black people are commenting on the dilution of the African phenotype in others.

Penni Brown said...

o7 - that's exactly what its about.

Anonymous said...

that's just nuts. Why can't he just like what he likes? Do we say what an artist creates is ugly just because we don't like the creator?

Oli said...

I detest this ignorance, which is becoming more and more common