“White Woman Complex”: Myth or Reality?

Our special guest is Clinical Community Psychologist and Hebrew Israelite Community member Sis. Yishibah  Baht-Gavriel. Sis. Yishiba is also Curator African Edenic Heritage Mobile Museum and the Director or Co-founder of CAND: This week’s show: Monday 14th May 2012.

This week’s show: Monday 14th May 2012
MONDAYS 8pm-10pm
(Repeated Wednesdays 9am-11am and 12midnight – 2am)

Bolt enjoying his sweet white love for a moment

Surely the hottest ticket for this summer’s Olympic Games is the men’s 100m final where the star of the show is expected to be Jamaican world record holder and reigning Olympic champion Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt.  In recent years Bolt has ascended to become one of the most (if not the most) recognised sports star on the planet, enhanced by his inclusion in numerous high advertising campaigns.

However, according the Daily Mail (04/05/12) Bolt has also run headlong into a “race row,” due to his “very serious” relationship with Jamaican based Slovakian designer Lubica Slovak – with accompanying photograph of them locked in a kiss.  The account that has been doing the rounds on the internet for several weeks now, is that the star sprinter was introduced to last year through a mutual friend and began dating after the Slovakian ex-pat interviewed the world record holder for a home newspaper. A “friend” was quoted as making some very pointed comments: “It works because they are both successful and focused. She focuses on her designs, he focuses on his sport. ‘There is no stress in this relationship. She is a calm, very nice, industrious, busy woman. She has her own life so she isn’t demanding.”

Such appraisals have reportedly cut no ice Jamaican women who have poured scorn on the union and lobbed a “barrage of abuse” at the couple.  The Daily Mail reports: “One online posting said: ‘Really now Usain! Some successful black men obviously suffer from a white woman complex. You too?’, while another complained: ‘Another one of our men snatched.”  Now in an interesting twist, the Jamaica Star online reported last week that the relationship has ended: “The record holder has opted to focus his energies on creating new records on the track, sources in his camp confirmed. Bolt is competing at the 2012 Olympics in the United Kingdom this summer and cannot afford any distraction at this time, his team added.”  It should be noted that none of the stories quote Bolt or Slovak directly with all comments attributed to “friends” and “sources.”

Whatever the veracity of the accounts of Usain’s Bolt’s private life, the notion of famous Afrikan men having a ‘white woman complex’ is an enduring one – dating from even before the first Afrikan boxing heavyweight champion Jack Johnson (three European wives) in the early 1900s, through basket baller Wilt Chamberlain (hoards of European women among his alleged 20,000 conquests), as well as Quincy Jones (three European wives), James Earl Jones (two European wives) and up to almost as many premiership footballers today you can shake a stick at.  Eric D. Graham of the Black Athlete Sports Network calls it “The Topic That Won’t Go Away – Why do black athletes date white women??” and laments the “refused and rejected” Afrikan women that they pass by.  Graham goes on to ponder: “Is it a mental health issue? A sickness?  A form of self-hatred? A case of white supremacy and Black inferiority? Or simply an example of years of television programming that have warped their “sub-conscious” minds with negative images of Black women being portrayed as jezebels, sapphire, and mammies?”  On the other hand it is not just Afrikan men; there are several high profile women who seem move from one European to the next (e.g. Naomi Campbell, Kerry Washington, Mica Paris, Denise Lewis).

It could be argued that such activities are merely a reflection of a society that has often been touted as a ‘post-racial’ and that these cases are only discussed due to their high profile.  It has also been suggested that these celebrities are merely going for those partners who are in their environment and the top of most professions are dominated by Europeans.  And of course there is the response similar to that quoted in one of the Usain Bolt articles: “Love has no race – it’s a heart to heart connection.”  Such sentiments are often accompanied appeals to personal choice and individual happiness

But research shows that it is not just an orientation restricted to the rich and famous.   Bro. Ifayomi Grant on Afrika Speaks with Alkebu-Lan in February last year revealed that among Afrikans in the 16-29 age group 62% of males and 51% of females were in “inter-ethnic” relationships, a far, far greater proportion than all other groups.

So tonight we ask the question?

“White Woman Complex”: Myth or Reality?

  •   Does Usain Bolt have “White Woman Complex”?
  •     Did he end the relationship with Slovak because of the “barrage of abuse”?
  •     Do you believe any of the accounts in the stories?
  •     Are European women less “demanding” in relationships with Afrikan men?
  •     Are European women with Afrikan men “snatching” them from Afrikan women?
  •     Is it right to ask” Why do black athletes date white women”?
  •     Is the “complex” restricted to high profile Afrikan men?
  •     Are interracial relationships an indication “a mental health issue? A sickness?  A form of self-hatred? A case of white supremacy and Black inferiority”?
  •     Do Afrikan men cause a “race row” when high profile Afrikan women date European men?
  •     Are Afrikan celebrities simply going out with those who share their environment?
  •     Are mixed relationship merely a reflection of changing attitudes in society?
  •     Is it really anyone else’s business who anybody dates?
  •     Is it really the case that more than half young Afrikan men and women in UK are in “inter-ethnic” relationships?
  •     Why is it that only small proportions of other groups engage in “inter-ethnic” relationships?

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Hear weekly discussions and lively debate on all issues affecting the Afrikan community, at home and abroad.
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  • If it’s a myth or not, i really don’t care. I think somebody just, whatever reason they have to be with somebody, should be able to be with that person without being slandered, questioned or harrased about it. Don’t worry, be happy =)

  • vote death penalty for all white women w black men.miscegenation laws,or deport them to a small island.black women vote death penalty for all black men w white females.vote to kill the whore.i blog this for years,police never bother me,i never say kill them,i say vote to kill them.start a petition to gather votes

  • Three big issues in this:

    1) Racial identity vs. social/cultural/religious/ethnic identity.
    2) The cost of relationships by sex. (Male vs. Female)
    3) Cultural expectations differ.

    1) Racial identity vs. social/cultural/religious/ethnic identity.

    The idea of a “racial” identity seems to be a creation of African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans as a response to slavery. Basically, almost all other groups base their identities off social, cultural, religions, or historical connections that can cross “race” lines or are “more finely grained” than race. So, if you ask a Native American if they’re an Indian, you’re likely to either antagonize them or get a response where they tell you what tribe they are from, but it’s not likely to be “I’m an Indian”. Likewise, for “white” people, you’ll get a location, a religion, a subclass of the population, or anything but “I’m a white” unless you frame the question in purely race-based terms.

    This creates a lot of problems when people base their behavior and expectations off their identity and only one side is making it about race…


    Because–unlike most of the other forms of identity–a racial identity is generally obvious to everyone. You don’t expect everyone with white skin to have money and speak with a “WASP” accent, but black people often expect other black people to do something similar, then negatively reinforce behavior that isn’t “black”. So, while a white person can have several identities AND avoid getting censured for acting differently (unless he or she advertises they belong to such-and-such identity), black people miss that option for racial identity and have other black people increase their censure for not acting in accord with their racial identity.

    2) The cost of relationships by sex. (Male vs. Female)

    For men, relationships cost a little time, usually some money, and they get to decide–in general–when they don’t want to be in it anymore. For women, relationships cost in terms of adding to their sexual history, what information there is about it out there, the risk of pregnancy and/or the costs of children/abortions, often added consequences if they marry the wrong person, etc. etc. etc.

    For a man, the cost of trying something–especially SOMEONE–new and/or different is pretty low, even lower if he’s got money to pay for unintended kids, etc. Which tends to mean a man is going to be a little more “liberal” with who he’s willing to be with, especially as his income increases. The risk of going outside your “race” often drops.

    Add in the fact there’s often more black males of “marriageable” age–even if they never marry–than black women and you create a higher cost for the women to be less than perfect, which ties into…

    3) Cultural expectations differ.

    White women and black women are biologically the same. So, to conceive, they’re looking for the same hardware every woman is looking for. However, how you get to that point–dating, surviving, building and maintaining relationships, etc.–and what you do after that point–raising kids, supporting a family, etc., are not necessarily the same. This–and what people have learned by experience–often influences how they treat potential and actual romantic partners.

    For many white women, the expectation is there will be a man and he will take care of a lot of that for them. For most black women, they know that’s bullshit and they can do everything but conception themselves, if they have to. This makes their expectations for men a whole lot different and most men will see that. For many women in higher social classes–accessible by added money–they are okay with not being in charge of some things, and some men like that and take advantage of that. For most black women, it seems risking “being taken advantage of” is a reason to seek more control…

    Which–when a man has other options–doesn’t usually work out well.

    KSB: Todd, you make several good points but also delve into serious assumptions which can only help in the argument if you can point to some research findings. You project the image of a person who knows and understands both perspectives (black and white) although the reasoning you try to advance may not fit into the framework of the type of individuals whose views and positions you try to articulate with gusto.

    For example, you say that “For many white women, the expectation is there will be a man and he will take care of a lot of that for them”. While this might be correct depending on your personal experience, it might also be wrong because there are white women who are fiercely independent and who view the “traditional male role” you allude to as an opportunity for the man to take control of the situation in the relationship. Since you try to argue scientifically (… black and white women are biologically the same…), where do you get the concept about your holistic view regarding white woman’s expectations of a male partner? You can only be right if you are generalizing because although you lump all white women into one pool of expectations about male partners, you do not allude to any general theory that may validate this view, given the great diversity in approach possible within any number of white women (from the point of view of methodology) in their dealings with men.

    Another great assumption you make is when you insinuate that “For most black women, it seems risking “being taken advantage of” is a reason to seek more control…”. It could be true that some black women may fear “being taken advantage of” under the circumstances but the reasons might be very different – unfavorable past experiences, insecurity about the future, irresponsibility by the husband (social or economic), general instability due to some unexpected event or discovery about the man, fear of the unknown, just to mention but a few. Given the varied possibilities, how do you arrive at the above conclusions if not through assumptions?

    In fact, some women do like male domination as long as the man remains silent (consciously or unconsciously) about it. This is because such women view male domination “as part of critical masculinity” which the woman badly needs to maintain a psychological condition that she has a real man in the house and not just a muscular female companion for a man. Some studies could be cited if you dispute this point.

    Needless to say, your posting is off the mark, given the alleged “black man’s complex about the white woman” topic of discussion. This point, however, is not important because what you raise could serve as a welcome deviation from the subject matter. Your point of departure could expand the debate although you need to base your reasoning on more solid facts instead of pontificating from a distance as you try to create the impression that you are adding value to the main subject matter. If you cannot validate your points, you could be accused of rumour mongering, gossiping or spreading biased propaganda about black and white women’s views on imaginary male partners.

    You are right that cultural expectations differ. Unfortunately, you at the same time, fail to recognize similarities in cultures (black and white) out of which male dominance of women is thought to originate. When it comes to oppression of women, the dialectics of movements like feminism primarily hinges on the premise that despite the differences in cultures (as you say), all males from all cultures have “a natural inclination” to oppress women thus the need for women to “fight back” at every opportunity and regardless of their cultural backgrounds.

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