So, if you're a black woman and you have been with, or are currently with a white man, I'm sure these topics have somehow made their way out of your mouth: If you didn't see this coming, then I'm not sure what to tell you.Black hair is an incredibly versatile and amazing topic, but if you weren't brought up around it, it can be confusing.In the past, I’d have sought that comfort out in a white man, but that night I knew it wouldn’t be enough.It’s not that I don’t think white people are anxious; two months into Trump’s presidency, most of the white people in my life are activated.My friend likes black girls, but he doesn’t like them too dark!” Against my better judgment, I assumed that the wingman just wasn’t very good at his job and started talking to his friend anyway.All seem no more or less happy than other couples I know.I had no good reason why white guys were off my romantic radar.
I wanted to be comforted — but I wanted it to be by someone who had an inkling of the anxiety I felt for my family, my loved ones, and for myself. It’s a pretty good way to pass the time from Brooklyn to midtown. I spent my childhood surrounded by black and brown kids, but when I got to high school, suddenly everyone around me was white.And on those rare occasions a white boy kissed me in the copy-machine room at our high school, or when a white boy told me over the phone he had a crush on me, the acknowledgement made me feel chosen. The white boys I grew up with were cool: They rode their skateboards on private property. White men have preoccupied me my whole life, from the schoolyard to the subway, but these days I’m seeing them differently.Whenever I’m standing on a subway platform, I play this game: I hover near a person I think is cute and try to slowly make my way over to him so we get in the same car. Like most of the girls in my class, I wanted attention from the boys.When we do, I look his way every so often to see if he’s staring back, to see if we’ve got what my best friend and I call “the affinity,” a mutual acknowledgement that we one another. But while they chased after blondes and brunettes, I was ignored.Men of character, wit and charisma, alongside whom I have spent some of the best times of my life. East and South Asians, Persians, Arabs, Native Americans, Polynesians — all options as far as I was concerned. Then came the night my girlfriend jokingly called me a racist after I rejected a list of possible options, including her brilliant and cute brother, because they just were “not my type,” my longtime code for “melanin-deficient.” We laughed about it. I pride myself on being open and accepting people at face value, yet, consciously or not, I was writing off millions of single and potentially interesting American men simply because they were white.