Dashiki Dialogues: Choc-vanilla treats are inescapable

2011-04-08 13:32

‘What’s with you beret-wearing, dreadlocked types and your white girlfriends? You are always yapping on about how conscious and proudly black you are, and then you go and date white girls.” My colleague threw this curve ball at me the other day.

She is a loud black woman, and I fit the “conscious darkie” bill, with the poems to match. And ­every brother knows that there are some debates you’ll never win against black women.

So I dodged the bullet and lived to see another day.

But that escape was short-lived as last weekend I found myself ­besieged by a horde of sisters who demanded an explanation. We were dining in a leafy part of Tshwane, wrapped in the hazy spell of magnolia and other scents.

As a disclaimer, I must say it felt a bit unfair having to explain the dating habits of all the brothers who have ever crossed the race line. But the party was too lovely to escape so I opted to stay.

And being a repeat transgressor myself, I became OJ Simpson, Kobe Bryant, Tokyo Sexwale, Frantz Fanon, Tiger Woods, Seal and Can Themba all in one.

I discovered that sisters attach a sense of betrayal to the idea of brothers crossing the race line for affection.

For example, any mention of OJ Simpson’s historic troubles with the law is regularly met with an “it-serves-him-right-for-messing-with-white-girls” attitude.

Remember when African-American academic Henry Louis Gates Jr suffered racial profiling from ­apparently racist police officers?

A lady friend of mine felt the need to point out that he married a white woman. Does it really matter? I guess Gates’ race-denialist ­nonsense, calling himself a “post-racer”, earns him less sympathy in such issues because the world is still very much racially defined.

But I reminded my lady friends that men like me have no problem with Khanyi Mbau getting a skin rub from her former sugar daddy, Theunis Crous, or Carol Bouwer’s nuptials with Edward Bouwer. And what about Peter Ehrenreich and Sandy Ngema?

I offered that freedom means being free to be with whoever you please.

Besides, the future looks creole anyway.

I tried arguing that genetic science teaches us that mixing is good for any gene pool hoping to survive. But as we concluded that Dashiki Dialogue, I could tell that this one will continue for a long ­time to come.

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