WHY BLACKS MARRY WHITE AND WHO CARES?

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For her Winter Solstice gift, December 22, 2016, Serena Williams,  the 22-time grand-slam winner announced on Reddit her intentions to wed Alexis Ohanian, the 33-year-old co-founder and executive chairman of Reddit, who is a White man.

Of course the internet began buzzing and tweeting with positive and negative sentiments. Some folks even argued whether Serena can continue representing real Black women while marrying a White man.  Serena qualified all responses by noting that “when she dates someone she never sees color as she dates who she has chemistry with”. She also noted that Alexis has treated her better than any Black man she had dated and we know Serena has dated a slew of Black men including rappers Drake and Common as well as former NFL linebacker Lamar Arrington and basketball star Amare Stoudemire. Who feels it knows it. Then again, who cares?

Without defending Serena’s interracial preference, we must be cognizant of the fact that more Black men marry White women than do Black women marry White men.  Truth to be told, there are great catches, oops, great prospects, in every race on earth. In Jamaica we say, ” every hoe has its stick a bush”, meaning that everything has its fit.

It does seem as if Love, beauty, care, protection and compassion are not skin or race restricted. Neither are bigotry, delinquency, ugliness and poor parent hood restricted to race, class or creed. Indeed, the only person incapable of love is either dead or severely mentally disturbed.

HOW MANY BLACKS MARRY WHITE

According to http://blackdemographics.com/households/marriage-in-black-america/ in 2014, 14% percent of Black men were married to non-Black women which is up from 11% in 2010. Only half (7%) of those non-Black women were White. Similarly, the Pew Research Center released a report finding that 25% of Black male newlyweds in 2013 married non-Black women compared to 12% of Black women who “married out”.  However Asian women and Native Americans still have higher rates of interracial marriage. Black women were the least likely to marry non-Black men at only 6% in 2014, and only 4/% were married to White men.

2014 Marriage Chart

WHY THE MYTH THAT MORE SUCCESSFUL BLACK MEN MARRY BLACK WOMEN THAN WHITE WOMEN?

It does seem as if most successful Black men are being stereo typed as prone to marrying White women based on the conspicuous behaviour of plenty rap stars, athletes and musicians choosing to date or marry interracially when they achieve fame. Fact is that the same is not true for the bulk of successful Black men. By analyzing census data, Toldson and Marks found that 83 percent of married black men who earned at least $100,000 annually got hitched to Black women. The same is the case for educated Black men of all incomes. Eighty-five percent of Black male college graduates married Black women. Generally, 88 percent of married Black men (no matter their income or educational background) have Black wives.

On a sexual note, https://www.18karatreggae.com/2016/01/29/6736/, a study from Rutgers University in New Rochelle, NJ, has concluded that approximately 87 percent of American White women have had or fantasize about having sexual relations with African American males.  Interestingly enough, the same study says only 13% of white women said they would would marry and raise a family with a Black man.

CHANGING FACE OF BLACK WHITE MARRIAGES

Why are more people having favourable attitudes towards interracial marriage even if they would not do it  themselves? The major contributing factors would include legality, morality  and shift in attitude due to  change in values and the millennial kids now maturing.

Legality

The simply reason why more Blacks date and marry Whites is because it is now legal. Indeed, we are indebted to Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who were thrown in jail in Virginia for violating the state’s rules against multicultural marriages fifty years ago. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled miscegenation laws—or laws preventing people of different races and ethnicities from getting married—unconstitutional. (By the way Loving is their real surname..lol). Please read this better than Mills & Boon real life love story at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia.

Now, Decades later, naturally, interracial marriage is now the highest it has ever been in the United States, up 14 percent compared with what it was in 1967 when the courts ruled in favor of Richard and Mildred Loving.

Morality

Genesis 2 vs 24 suggests a “man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” but  (Deuteronomy 7:3–4did not encourage the inter marriage of the Israelite with other peoples.  However, the reason for this command was not due to skin color but rather religious. It seemed God felt that people of other races were worshippers of false gods and the Israelite would be led astray from God if they intermarried with idol worshippers. Self preservation?

More intense, Hitler and his followers will let you know that race should not mixed as some races are inferior and will water down the real “master” race. (The verdict is still out. Science has not shown racial supremacy and The Old Testament writers can’t be subpoenaed).

Attitude change to Black-White Marriage

Americans’ attitudes about interracial marriage have changed dramatically over the past 55 years, moving from the point in the late 1950s when disapproval was well over 90%, to the point today when approval is approaching 90%.

Approval of black-white marriage is higher among younger Americans especially the millennial kids (18 – 34), and lowest among those 65 and older.  Yes, the millennial generation has grown up and now they are parents. Their attitudes, behaviors and perceptions are different from that of their conservative elderly parents and fore parents. Colour and race taboo have been significantly downplayed by them and even replace d by diversity, liberalism and alternative lifestyles.

However, Census data indicated that black-white marriages in reality remain fairly rare — although they have increased from 167,000 in 1980 to 558,000 in 2010, they still represented less than 1% of all married couples.

 

Ebony plays with Ivory.

Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney seem to believe that it takes ebony and ivory to make music on a piano. Well, music played on a piano uses two colour keys: black and white. The white keys are more than the black keys yet music require both colours. Although a poor analogy, it is possible for some people to make music and possible find love doing inter racial.

THE CONTRIVED SUPERIORITY OF BLACKS VS WHITES

Fortunately or unfortunately, even the blind can see that since the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 in the Caribbean and the Pilgrims on the Mayflower  in 1620 in the USA, Whites are “superior” to Blacks in status quo and power. The church, the school and the civic organizations all reinforced this false notion in an attempt to prolong the evils of slavery. In primary school we were subtly taught ” “If you are white, it is all right and if you are brown you may stick around but if you are black you better get to the back”. Peter Tosh defiantly added  “or get on the attack”.

Needless to say, apart from melanin and its accompanying nuances, Whites are the same as Blacks. They all have two eyes, ears, hands and feet. They both go to the bathroom, have sex, get kids, and are treated unfairly by narcissistic and chauvinistic males and females. Beauty abounds in all races and for proof, the World Beauty Pageant winners have not been restricted to Black and White women.

THE ENDANGERED BLACK MAN & WOMAN

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Folks usually joke that the USA is such a land of opportunity that it can afford even a poor Black boy to grow up to be a rich White woman. Rudely, Micheal Jackson was used as the ideal example of this. However, many Black women in the USA and the Caribbean have also fallen victims to this “plastic” version of success and beauty. Indeed, Black women are spending millions of dollars each year to look WHITE and “enhance their beauty”. Many have processed their hair to get it straight as if they are ashamed of their so called kinky hair. Some have gone further by bleaching their skins to look white as well.

Understandably, we can be sympathetic with these black brothers and sisters who strive to be “white” and denied their charcoal skin. After all, as mentioned, for centuries Blacks have suffered the indignity of physical rape, robbing, kidnapping and killing mainly by the hands of Europeans under Slavery. They have been stripped not only of their garbs but also of their soul and mind and identity. Despite Emancipation in 1838 in the Caribbean and 1864 in the USA, the black psyche has been warped so badly that many Blacks have found it easier to look and behave like their former white slave owners than to struggle to be free mentally. There is little comfort in reminding them that the ancient Greeks also had slaves who were not Negroes but white men who had been taken captive in war.

A friend of mine sarcastically call these type of Blacks, “Oreo cookies” or “roasted breadfruit”: Dark skin on the outside but white beneath. His claim is that if a Black brother wants a Black sister, he has little choice as the sisters look like White women. He jokingly asked, “What does it benefit the black brother to choose a “black” white woman over a white woman. Is it better to have a real woman who is white than a confused woman who is black?” Quite a dilemma.

However, thanks to Marcus Garvey (1887 – 1940), his rally call for Black consciousness has not fallen on deaf ears and there are a few brothers and sisters have developed a sense of black pride that is creating a glimmer of hope.

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An excerpt from Albert Einstein’s Essay on Racial Bias supports Marcus Garvey’s cry for Blacks to “emancipate ourselves from mental slavery as none but ourselves can free our minds” in his 1946 essay on racial bias against the Blacks in USA.  https://onbeing.org/blog/albert-einsteins-essay-on-racial-bias-in-1946/

“A large part of our attitude toward things is conditioned by opinions and emotions which we unconsciously absorb as children from our environment. In other words, it is tradition — besides inherited aptitudes and qualities — which makes us what we are. We but rarely reflect how relatively small as compared with the powerful influence of tradition is the influence of our conscious thought upon our conduct and convictions.
“It would be foolish to despise tradition. But with our growing self-consciousness and increasing intelligence we must begin to control tradition and assume a critical attitude toward it, if human relations are ever to change for the better. We must try to recognize what in our accepted tradition is damaging to our fate and dignity — and shape our lives accordingly.
“I believe that whoever tries to think things through honestly will soon recognize how unworthy and even fatal is the traditional bias against Negroes.
“What, however, can the man of good will do to combat this deeply rooted prejudice? He must have the courage to set an example by word and deed, and must watch lest his children become influenced by this racial bias”.

CONCLUSION

I am still not sure if inter racial marriage is cool especially for the children of the union who find themselves mid stream, neither black nor white.  Yet, today’s society is wreaking such havoc on the institution of marriage that if a man or woman chooses to marry he or she should be commended because the current level of liberalism, alternative lifestyles and patterns of broken marriages can easily deter people from marrying.

The choice of to whom to marry should be each person’s prerogative since value and love lie in the eyes of the beholder. At the end of the day what is important is the extent to which the brotherhood of man can be pursued and attained. Of course, malicious self interest is misguided and Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, begged us to ditch racism, class, and bigotry and get hitched with understanding, tolerance and  goodwill, In short, philanthropy vs misanthropy. Bob Marley put Selassie’s words of wisdom to music and came up with the thought provoking reggae hit, “War”. Then again, who cares.

Clifton Neil is a university lecturer in marketing and a lover of history and literature. Contact – cneil@wordfoodmusic.com. Twitter. @cliftongneil

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BATTLE OF THE SEXES: MALE OR FEMALE GOD?

 

THE BATTLE FOR GOD: MALE VS FEMALE

Some years ago, a very good female friend of mine tried to convince me that the creation story, as we know it, was fabricated. She claimed that in the beginning God had actually created woman before man but because man was expected to be proud, arrogant, controlling and maybe narcissistic, it was thought prudent to tell him that he was created first. My friend also noted that God told Eve that this idea that male was created before female was to be a secret between God and Eve, woman to woman.

Stop a minute. Hold it right there! Let’s absorb this thought. In the beginning, not only was woman created before man but God was also a woman. A feminine god?  Now, every good Christian knows that it is heretical, blasphemous, insane, presumptuous, and unpardonable to imagine God with any other gender but male.  Fortunately, this is the 21st century so instead of burning my friend at the stakes, we simple write off  her views as being feminist and poppycock. In defence, she was however quick to point out that the same merit for a masculine god is just as poppycock as the idea of a feminine god.

Hmmmm. Thinking. Thinking. Not thinking. Hold the horses. The idea of a gender for God apart from masculine was very difficult for me as I grew up as a Baptist. Indeed, as a child I could recite the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He leadeth me…” as well as the Lord’s prayer as stated by Jesus Christ in Matthew 6 vs 9: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name……”

Now, every good Baptist “knows” that Jesus spoke with “authority” and on behalf of “God” so if Jesus say God is father, then God is father. Argument done. Male sexism has won.

Suffice to say, it is a beautiful comforting idea having a father-god who is both caring and nurturing while being protective and strong. Maybe if you take away this belief of a father- god from me, I might become distraught. Yeah, change can make the comforted become uncomfortable and the uncomfortable become comforted. It is a real dilemma: childlike simplicity vs adult complexity.

Seriously now,  does it matter if the creator is male or female? Do we have to get God involved in the battle of the sexes. The simple answer is a profound yes, it matters profoundly: a male god will create a male world and a male world is a dangerous world for both males and females. Testosterone is a mighty thing.

Most likely if you are a woman you might have suffered immensely from this seemingly inequity, sexist and chauvinistic approach to running society, countries, villages and families where the male gets preference.Image result for male or female god

For example, despite the fact that a woman spends nine months nurturing the fetus until birth, the child upon birth, whether it be a male or female, is given the father’s surname. This is “naturally” so even if the father is a bum. Similarly, birthright and even royalty are passed on with first choice to the male even if he is the last born in the family of otherwise all girls. In some cases, women cannot become heads of church, state, organizations or even the home, even if the male is a bum.

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if it was not a patriarchal, male dominated world? Have you ever imagined a world where women and men are equals with same pay and recognition for same type jobs? Have you ever wondered what it would be like without glass ceilings where equal opportunities for advancement in the corporate world exist?

These are real and troubling thoughts but most people, including I, would normally avoid them, pointing them out as revolutionary in nature or simply as idle and careless. Similarly, we would write off as fantasy or nonsensical to imagine what it would be like if god was not masculine. Poppycock? Definitely not. Dreams? Maybe. After All, some religions already view the creator of the earth as being feminine and have goddesses such as Isis, Ishtar, Venus etc.

THE BEGINNING OF A MALE GOD

Even before the Old Testament times, virtually every culture in the entire world was patriarchal in structure. The real justification for this tendency and status of history depends on the religion and the political constructs. In our Judaeo -Christian environment, the justification is found in the Genesis story, especially Genesis 1 vs 26 – 27.

“And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So god created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”.

Let us naively look at this part of the creation story. First thing we noticed is that God doesn’t seem to be alone when he was making man. “Let US make man in OUR image and likeness”. This begs the questions: who are us and ours? Are they plural, discrete and separate in nature? Do they represent male and or female gender? (This is a blong in itself)

The seImage result for male or female godcond thing of note is “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”. Of interest here is that, for the first time, God is now HIS and HE, which is a masculine and singular entity. Why is this assumption? (This is a blong in itself but see below)..

The next thing to note is that man was made in God’s image and likeness. Does this mean physical features (hands, head, eyes, mouth and brain) or is it image in terms of intellectual creative traits?

Physical features such as limbs, one head, two eyes, one mouth and a brain are not unique or special to man as most living things, including monkeys which were made before man, have them. If physical features were in God’s image then monkeys would have first claim to being in God’s image as they were made before man. Then again, even the monkey would not have first claim as fish and birds all have one head, two eyes, one mouth and a brain and they were made before monkeys and would also be in God’s image if it was a physical thing..

Maybe a more noble and fitting idea of God’s image would be man’s ability to think, create and make moral decisions. This high level of intelligence is what separates man from other creatures. Intellect vs intuition.

The final thing to note in that verse is that “in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”. This could be construed that male and female are made in God’s image (intellectual) and that man or mankind refers to both man and woman rather than as simply a male human.

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THE REAL GENDER OF GOD

Gen. 1 vs 1 – 3 gives us the nature of God before and at the beginning.  “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said let there be light: and there was light”.

Common sense, although uncommon, suggests that before creation, the Creator did exist but time, space and matter did not exist.  It follows that the Creator is spiritual in nature and does not need or possess any form of physical human characteristic to exist. Indeed, try and imagine a god that has feet, hands and a mouth to feed trying to live in nothing:  an earth without form, and void. 

Image result for god is spiritJob 33:4 “The Holy Spirit is God the creator” is blaring and it is strongly supported by John 4:24, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” Of course, it is hard to worship a spirit or creator one cannot 
see and many religions have created physical gods and or use  figurative language to assign human characteristics to God.

This Anthropomorphism, simply putting human characteristic to a non-human element, can be accommodating as it allows us to personalize our relationship with an inanimate  or invisible thing. It can however result in a level of enslavement and dogma if the figurative idea is repeatedly taught and justified as literal and is used to control mankind activities. After-all, even lies if told repeatedly become “truth”.

Controversial philosophers such as Engel and Marx even believed that “In the beginning man created god in his own image and likeness”. They believed that man created god as a male and used the precept to develop a patriarchal society which put males as superior over females, family, private property and the state. This male dominated status quo is today’s product of a dangerous world littered with war, poverty and injustice.

Of course there is no guarantee that the notion of a feminine-god would provide a peaceful and poverty free world. Women can be very temperamental with dispositions that at times make men look like saints. The popular saying “There is no fury in hell like that of a woman scorned” was coined because of this awareness.  

Albert Einstein sums up the god and gender issue neatly in the following excerpts from his writings circa 1941:

“During the youthful period of mankind’s spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man’s own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favour by means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religionImage result for in the beginning man created god in his own images taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes.
Nobody, certainly, will deny that the idea of the existence of an omnipotent, just, and omni beneficent personal God is able to accord man solace, help, and guidance; also, by virtue of its simplicity it is accessible to the most undeveloped mind. But, on the other hand, there are decisive weaknesses attached to this idea in itself, which have been painfully felt since the beginning of history”.

Einstein continued, “God is a mystery. But a comprehensible mystery. I have nothing but awe when I observe the laws of nature. There are not laws without a lawgiver, but how does this lawgiver look? Certainly not like a man magnified.” He added with a smile, “some centuries ago I would have been burned or hanged. Nonetheless, I would have been in good company.”

Chances are I would be in Einstein’s company although today they don’t burn you at the stakes or hang you at the gallows, they simply call you crazy.  Nonetheless, crazy or not, an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscience creator would not need a physical form much less gender and testosterone to exist. Indeed, a   male god concept and patriarchal society have resulted in the creation of a dangerous world filled with wars, poverty   and the exploitation of women and other less fortunate creatures.  On the other hand, a female god may not do much better as estrogen would affect her behaviour.

Maybe we should not “get into God’s business” by including it in the battle of the sexes but the reality is that if we accept the notion of a male god, not only are we in God’s business but we are putting God on the side of males. Indeed, the battle of the sexes  for God is one war if won by either side will be fatal to society. We could play it safe and provide for our childlike craving for a fatherly figure and yearning for a motherly figure by having a god with both genders. However, throwing safety to the winds and for the fun of it, we could envision a gender-less god where the battle of sexes doesn’t arise and happiness lies in bringing out the “Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself”, in spite of and despite your gender.