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Natural or Fatal Attraction?

Few things in America still generate looks of disgust quicker than the sight of a black man with a white woman. Even the most liberal among us have to search our tolerance levels at times to resist the urge to frown upon or condemn couples that don't "match." While we tell ourselves that true love knows no color and respects no ethnic boundaries, there's a little voice in us that invariably asks the question," but what about the children?"

Is the attraction of one to the other based purely on an individual's preference? Or is it, as some would call, "the fever?" If it is an individual choice based on the merits, needs, and desires of the two people involved, no real harm done. But if it is a decision rooted in myth, novelty, or the forbidden fruit complex, there are destined to be psychological casualties. Given the history of race relations in America, it is difficult at best, to view former slave and former slave master arm-in-arm without some type of gut reaction.

Some would try to explain the attraction based on the supposed reasoning that opposites attracts. In the real world though, like attracts like, birds of a feather do indeed flock together, and eagles don't get invited to the hen house for tea. Many would argue that humans operate on a higher thought process than do eagles and chickens. That would depend on who you ask. After all, what is so elevated about the thought process of a man like Jack Johnson who exacerbated racial tensions by displaying a definite fondness for women not resembling his mother.

Is this a natural or fatal attraction? Although no official records have been kept tracking the number of black men killed in the pursuit of or in the company of white women, we feel it safe to say that there have been more than a few. So yes it can be a fatal attraction in that sense. As to the naturalness of it all, let us not confuse what is natural with what is normal. Natural is what you would do left to your own devices. Normal has more to do with orientation and societal mores of the day. Society as a whole has still not embraced the idea of bi-racial dating, but there are pockets of acceptance as well as bastions of resistance. Take Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina. Until recently, the school had a ban on inter-racial dating. It took a national embarrassment to get them to do away with the ban. Is that progress? Not by my definition.

The question has to be asked, do black men find white women more attractive and alluring than their black counterparts? Of course not! What then the attraction? Are they easier marks? Well, for fear of offending some of my dearest friends, I'll allow the reader to decide. But I will say that black men are not some monolithic bunch that operate from a single point of view. I am sure that each person has their own reason, or so they think, for doing what they do. The attraction exists on several different levels in the minds of many. Some will openly admit their fondness for the taboo of it all and then there are those folks who are truly color-blind to the whole race concept and feel free and independent enough to fall in love with "whoever they damn well please."

Being that there has always been some "cross pollination" among humans, one could reasonably surmise that this type of behavior is inevitable. But to what degree? And with what regularity?

What role, if any, has the media played in this? Could the fact that women of color are not equally represented in the print and advertising media have anything to with this "attraction?"

The media has been known to shape minds and influence public opinion. Some would suggest it destroys minds and dictates public opinion. I'll let you decide. But few would argue that it has become an enormously powerful tool. How much of the increased sightings of biracial couples can be attributed to natural selection and how much to movies, magazines, television and the like?

No matter the motivation for dating outside of one's ethnic group, there are perils. For black men, the price paid could be their lives, making this arrangement quite the fatal attraction. A hidden cost could well be the psychological health and well being of the offspring. Can you imagine the feeling of being rejected by both sides of your family, not to mention the larger society.

I am not aware of any extensive studies that have been done to monitor the effects of society's wrath against white women who have dated and married black men. On a personal level, family members have been know to become irate when it is discovered in the initial stages, but this is generally perceived as a short term response. There seems to be a preponderance of white women who date black men exclusively. Giving some credence to the adage "once you go blacků," well you know the rest. Black men however, don't seem to be quite so brand-loyal.

If it is true that love can not be comprehended or analyzed, then we will never know the truth behind why men and women of different races get together. That can leave us to draw our own conclusions, which most of us no doubt already have.

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