Preferences, Pride and Prejudice (Part 1 of 2)

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What does it mean when someone excludes themselves from dating an entire race based on a few personal experiences?
Lonnell Williams

You may want to watch these videos before you continue reading:

The original interview

Response from “the community”

Follow-up from Zeric

Don’t have time right now? I’ll give you the CliffNotes version:

Black Cuban model who was on a reality show does an interview on a popular internet show and explains he doesn’t date other Black/Latino men because they gossip too much, are incapable of monogamy and he prefers someone who doesn’t party a lot because his past relationships have been ruined due to him being “in the public eye.”

First I want to commend Lonnell for digging deeper when he didn’t have to. His Pillow Talk series has historically been playful and he could have easily glossed over the statement.

Also, I’ve never met Zeric nor did I watch Model City so I know very little about him. He’s made it perfectly clear he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I’ll be the first one to tell folk not to expect much from celebrities/public figures.

It’s not so much his opinion; I’m much more disturbed by how many people are defending his statements. If you check the comments on all three videos (as well as video responses and on facebook) many people don’t seem to have a problem with what he said at all. They say:

I get where he’s coming from (He’s right: Atlanta queens are messy)
Attraction is attraction (the “innate” argument)
Dude was keeping it 100% (real) and like he said his comments were directly related to his experiences (the truth hurts)
Why is everyone so concerned about his personal life/preferences? (it’s none of our business if he prefers Italian/White men)

It’s really fascinating when you think about it.

A similar incident happened in 2008: A C-list rapper did an interview explaining he doesn’t like “dark butts” (dark skinned women). Black women rallied together; the collective response was we won’t tolerate this nonsense. They made sure Yung Berg stayed a one-hit-wonder.

Do we, Black/Latino gay/bisexual men (as a group of people) not have the same level of self respect?

Why is general racism (read: especially when it comes from White people) not OK, but sexual racism acceptable?

If you’ve had bad personal experiences dealing with a category of people, is it legitimate to write off everyone who fits that category in the future?

Swanee from Da Doo-Dirty Show, while talking about the Zeric controversy revealed he doesn’t date light-skinned Latino men because he was raped by two brothers when he was seven (41:00).

Justified racism or untreated PTSD? Both?

Microsoft just patented an “Avoid Ghetto” GPS app to help motorist steer clear of “dangerous” neighborhoods.

Racist or a good use of technology? Both?

The rates of HIV are so high in gay/bisexual Black men, should HIV negative men (including other Black men) avoid having sex with Black men to avoid getting HIV/STDs?

I guess this whole “Stop and Frisk” policy here in NYC isn’t so bad then eh? Young Black/Latino men commit a good percentage of crimes, we’ll just have to stop and search all of them even if there’s no probable cause.

Where do you draw the line?

(to be continued)

6 thoughts on “Preferences, Pride and Prejudice (Part 1 of 2)

  1. Thanks for weighing in on this important conversation. You raise some very valid concerns. I’m anxious to hear how your readers feel. The only way we begin to heal us by starting with honest discussions. Much respect!

  2. I’m eager to see part 2, however, this post has sort rubbed me the wrong way a bit. Reason being that to me the man is valid in his present personal preference, it’s not like he said ” blk fags ain’t shit, I spit on them” his experiences led him to a decision. A decision that created a more favorable event in his life. Let’s be honest, how many times in our own personal lives have we THOUGHT or had the inkling of the thought. ” I’m so tired of these bad dating situations in my African American community, maybe I should try other races for awhile and see if I like the way that tastes.”

  3. This is a very interesting topic that is often a part of my many discussions with friends. I can admit that I’ve referenced dating outside of my race with the intention of maybe increasing my chances of establishing and developing a long-term committed relationship. Normally this has been said out of frustration from the experiences I’ve had with dating other black men. However, I do believe that everyone has the RIGHT to CHOOSE who they want to date. Now, for some, their reasons may seem irrational, unfounded or prejudice to you and I, but it is their choice. The bigger issue here is what I call the CRISIS of the Black Gay Community. You have all of these educated, professional, attractive and SINGLE black men, yet no one can find someone and/or keep them? There’s something wrong with that picture.

    No. It’s not everyone. But while we (as a whole) are still trying to BEGIN the dating process and having these discussions, it’s hard not to notice that many of our White counterparts are often 5-10yrs deep, loving each other, raising children and living their lives.

    This is a full on crisis that extends far beyond what Zeric expressed. His feelings are just a symptom of the crisis.

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