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“Can I say the N-word if I’m singing along to a song? ” (I don’t know dude, I ask myself the same question every goddamn day.) I know that I shouldn’t feel compelled to always speak for my race, but I can’t expect a white boyfriend to stop asking some of those questions if we’re to come to a mutual understanding.Lately, though, I just don’t feel like answering them.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.They smoked weed in their parents’ houses with abandon. If they wanted me, I thought, it was because I seemed free like them.White men have preoccupied me my whole life, from the schoolyard to the subway, but these days I’m seeing them differently.
It’s an odd thing to then go back to my date and continue the performance of “getting to know you.” I fantasize about walking up to him and saying, “Gotta go!Later, I tried to convey how hurt I was that he didn’t say anything, but he didn’t seem to understand how bewildered I was.There are, in my relationships with white men, so many moments like that.In those moments, I’ve wished to be sitting in front of someone who could relate.Despite knowing I can feel intimacy with white guys, right now what divides us feels like a chasm.