Why the shift? Blake emphasizes the large percentage of black men who are off the dating scene because they're "in jail, or are murder victims." But isn't there another possible factor, something that happened in, say, the mid-90s, something like ...(the suspense must be killing you) ... welfare reform? It's not only that the hundreds of thousands of black women who are now working rather than on welfare come into contact with non-black men at work, It's also that when you're working the virtues of pooling your income with a male earner are now far more obvious than in the days when that could cost you your AFDC check. If there aren't enough "marriageable" black men around -- and if too many of those who are around "know the numbers favor them so they have less incentive to treat a black woman well." -- then women expand their "options," as one African-American Web designer puts it:
"I'm not going to sit on a porch in a rocking chair, all alone at 80 years old because of color," says Wanda Dunn, a 37-year-old Stone Mountain Web designer.
One reaction to that sentiment: It's about time! Black-white miscegenation may have been slow to get off the ground, but once it gets started it seems likely to transform the national culture. ... The AJC touches on all the other obvious themes -- the diminishing-but-still-evident social opprobrium, male insecurity in the face of the college degrees and earning power of many black women, male complaints that black women are too status conscious. ... Two issues go unaddressed: 1) How will black men react when black women start getting all sorts of favorable publicity (in newspaper stories like this one, and advertising imagery) for going out with non-black men? Anger seeems one short-run possibility. 2) Then there is the final taboo issue -- black male sexuality. Fear of black male sexuality was the psychological engine of Jim Crow, Nicholas Lemann has argued. And respect for it is the unwritten explanation for a lot of the resistance to cross-race dating (betwen 1960 and 1980, for example). I once asked a multi-degreed, accomplished black woman friend of mine (who dated whites) why so many other black women restricted their "options" to black men. She paused thoughtfully, stroked her chin, and said:
"I guess it's the sex."
Blake's story leaves the reader with the impression the biggest obstacle white men-seeking-miscegenation face is that they might not know what "P-funk, nappy hair and playing the dozens" mean -- that they lack an understanding of the black "experience" and "heritage." That's what newspaper editors would like to think! ... Even so, Blake's story ("Could Mr. Right be White?") seems like a big advance. ... 1:30 P.M.
Pray for Bubbles: Good Michael Jackson empire-crumbling dish in this FoxNews column. ... P.S.: Isn't Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, identified as Jackson's colleague in an apparently unproductive theme park/restaurant venture, the same guy whose $10 million post-9/11 check N.Y. Mayor Giuliani rejected when an accompanying news release quoted the Prince saying that "the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East" because that was one of "the issues that led to such a criminal attack"? ... . 8:00 P.M.
i was waiting for someone to write that! okay, here's my answer:
kausfiles is quite right. i was wrong, and susan love ought to feel vindicated. this is the perilous--and, of course, fun--part of writing about medicine. every now and again, scientists discover something new that turns everything we all thought we understood upside down.
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