I make Jill Scott wince.

Our love makes Jill Scott uncomfortable.

When I was single and living in Atlanta, I dated Black women. Well, I tried to, anyway. But in the eyes of the Black woman, a guy slingin’ eyeglasses wasn’t “accomplished”. And riding the MARTA to get to and from that job wasn’t “successful”. And the fact that I lived with my parents-well, Don’t Get Her Started. I didn’t get the attention of the Black woman because I wasn’t, in today’s parlance, a “baller”. Hell, you didn’t have to go much further than platinum-selling artists TLC to get to the root of the problem..

If you don’t have a car and you’re walking 
(Oh yes son I’m talking to you)
If you live at home wit’ your momma
(Oh yes son I’m talking to you)
[…]
Wanna get with me with no money
Oh no I don’t want no…

So it was with a raised eyebrow that I read Jill Scott’s commentary on interracial dating from this past Friday. I mean surely, she believes that love is love, and color doesn’t matter, and…

My new friend is handsome, African-American, intelligent and seemingly wealthy. He is an athlete, loves his momma, and is happily married to a White woman. I admit when I saw his wedding ring, I privately hoped. But something in me just knew he didn’t marry a sister. Although my guess hit the mark, when my friend told me his wife was indeed Caucasian, I felt my spirit…wince.

…wazzuh?

Apparently, if you’re a “successful” Black man dating a White woman, you don’t have respect for Black women, you’re betraying our race, and you’re really just living out some deep-seated slave fantasies about getting with “Massa’s” spoiled, angelic White woman that society has put on a pedestal anyway.

I do find it interesting that she directs her complaints primarily to “sucessful”, “accomplished” and “wealthy” Black men. I can only take that to mean that the Black man working a nine-to-five to make ends meet, paying his bills, and generally taking care of business is somehow beneath her. The comments on that commentary bore that out. One woman noted that she didn’t mind if the “thugs” dated White women–”they can HAVE them”–but it really bothered her when she found a Black lawyer with a White wife. Hell, on that very same poorly designed site is a column from a woman who managed to settle for a blue-collar workin’ man, and discovered-GASP-hey, it’s not so bad after all!

All in all, I lucked out, kind of like when you find that perfect dress and you just know it was made for you. I married a man who’s my best friend and perfect balance. I can tell him anything; I really just love him. I know if I kept the focus on his collar I would have missed the most important thing: his heart.

GOSH! Turns out, those blue-collar guys are good people too! And they’re so well-spoken and intelligent! She’s so lucky to find one that so different from the others!

With attitudes like that, is it any wonder Black men look elsewhere? Here’s a hint, ladies: 

Instead of looking for a Black man to take care of you, instead of making eyes at that NBA power forward that will keep you (and his six other girlfriends) dressed in Gucci, instead of staring daggers at that Black man at the club that wants to buy you a drink, but isn’t “making it rain” in VIP, look for a man you want to be your equal. Better yet, stop worrying about the “Black” part of “Black man”, and start focusing on the “Man” part of it.

My fiancé makes more than me, but she doesn’t make a point of it. She supports me unconditionally, and has given me the strength and confidence to follow my dreams.  I may not be “accomplished” yet, but I am accomplishing. Maybe if more Black women looked at Black men who were accomplishing, and working to make themselves better, they’d find someone that will work to make their relationship better. I know I did.

I see that Jill Scott and Maxwell are going to be coming to Seattle in June. It’s a show I’d love to go to, as Maxwell is one of my favorite artists. But alas, I won’t be buying tickets. Wouldn’t want to give Jill the willies. 

Dwight Battle

Studio Battle, 9410 35th Ave SW #A, Seattle, WA 98126, USA

Dwight Battle is an award-winning independent art director specializing in mobile and digital design, branding, and creative direction. Dwight has been an art director and designer for over twelve years, and have worked with a variety of clients in a variety of stages of growth, from Fortune 500 companies to small family businesses, and from established companies to early-stage startups.