“Why Was It Important To You To Marry A Black Woman”
The above headline and it's sub-head were taken from a Tuesday night sit-down between well-respected BET political reporter Jeff Johnson, and potential Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama from a program entitled, "What's In It For Us?", which also featured Hillary Clinton in a separate interview. I happened across the encore last night featuring the Barack Obama interview and was pleased with most of the questions Johnson asked Obama. They touched on issues like public education, and immigration as it pertains to Africans and Caribbeans.
Then, because anytime a black journalist has an opportunity to sit down with a respected black public figure they always think they can keep it real with their subject, Johnson turned to some personal questions. Specifically about his taste in women...The video is on the bottom of this post, but to save you the trouble of waiting for it to buffer, I'm writing out the excerpt:
Jeff Johnson: You come from a mixed-race couple. Yet your wife is a black woman. Having a white mother, and being raised essentially by her parents, why was it important to you, for you, to marry a black woman?
Barack Obama: Well, first of all, if you met my wife, she's fine. So...and I love her. She's the love of my life. She's the rock.
Before I go in on this stupid ass question, and the commendable response, let me just say, I really don't want to write too many columns about this year's presidential election, just because A) I already know who I'm voting for and B) There are a lot of other people who write about politics way better than I, and you should be going to those people for that real good analysis.
Now, back to the question at hand.
Mixed or not, this notion that Barack Obama felt it was important, and as the program suggested earlier on, chose, to marry a black woman, is ridiculous. I can go on about why this is for days, being that I am mixed, and I'm in a relationship with a black woman, but I'm going to try and keep this from running too long seeing as you folks probably have more important things to do.
My first problem with this question is if we're going to try and get all up in the bid-ness of Barack Obama, I hope we can do the same thing for Hillary. That being said, can someone please ask her why she chose to stay with her husband after she found out he was being unfaithful and how the lessons she learned from that turmoil has helped her in this year's presidential election? I'm really waiting for that question to come from someone.
Here's my second beef: Without all the rhetoric, Obama really could've just left his answer at, "she's fine." He had me there. Not because I think Michelle Obama is fine (and not to say that I think she's unattractive), but because I really don't think mixed black men look at black women differently than black men who are not mixed. Out of my core group of friends, I'm the only one who's mixed, and our taste in women run the gamut. Sure we disagree about certain women, but when we do agree that a woman we see is fine, a lot of times it's for the same reasons. Some of my boys, who are all black men, like just black women. Some of my boys like to mix it up and prefer women of another race. All of my boys like fine women though, and never have I heard one of them say black women are finer than or less finer than another type of woman.
Of course, a question about a presidential candidate's first lady is not completely out of bounds. The media and voters have always felt they can get a gauge about a candidate's personal life by analyzing their wife's wardrobe selection, ideas, and beliefs about America, which, I suppose does help in some weird, backward-ass way. But to me, being asked, "Why her?" because of the wife's race and/or ethnicity is pretty insulting. No man, black or otherwise, should get a badge of honor for dating, marrying, or jumping off, with a black woman. The tearing down of those black men who choose to date outside their race is already sad, but what's more sad is how we want to uplift the black men who choose to date within their race. As someone who dates a black woman, let me be the first to pass up whatever prize is given to me for doing so. I'm not more real than the black man who doesn't have a black woman on his arm, and he's not less about the cause than yours truly.
As it is for many other men, I don't believe Barack Obama thought it was important to marry a black woman. I believe it was important for him to marry the finest, rightest woman he could find. Besides, who knows what kind of women Barack was into before Michelle came along. Honestly, if we found out he was actually into the white meat before her, would it be that scandalous? I'll answer that question with a maybe, but if you asked him why the women he dated before he met Michelle weren't black, he'd probably say they were fine too. And as a man, that makes the most sense to me.