It is not secret that Black women feel that there is a shortage of Black Men. Many of these women are begin to alleviate their frustrations by dating White men. They are throwing caution to the wind and reprogramming their cultural conditioning by abandoning their inhibitions towards mixed-relationships. Even Hollywood is capitalizing on this growing trend by creating films that depict authentic interracial relationships.

On the silver screen, relationships between White men and Black women usually come in two types, equal and unequal. An example of an equal relationship would be the movie “Something New,” starring Sanaa Lathan and Heath Ledger. Sanaa Lathan’s character, Kenya McQueen is a prominent African-American CPA, who is having a hard time finding a African American man. A friend sets her up on a blind date with an architectural landscaper named Brian, but when she truncates the date when finds out that he is white. While attending a upscale party a few days later, and she ends up hiring him to landscape her new home, and they end up falling in love. Kenya and Brian’s relationship was equal because they both were successful in their perspective fields and they loved each other unconditionally.

Halle Berry and Billy Bob’s relationship in the movie “Monsters Ball” was unequal because Billy Bob Thornton’s character preyed upon her socio-economic status and the recent loss of her child during their courtship. He ultimately is seen as her savior and she ends up sacrificing her pride and dignity. Even though she finds out that he was one of the jailers who participated in the execution of her child’s father, she stays with him anyway. And let’s make no mistake, Billy Bob’s character was incorrigibly racist and his apparent change of heart was superficial at best. In the end he just fell in love with some good “coon juice.”

Can you imagine your daughter bringing a White man home to meet you? If you’re like most African American men, you probably would react like Bernie Mack in “Guess Who.” As Bernie Mack soon discovers, you can’t always judge a book by its cover. His baby girls love interest, Simon turns out to be everything he could want in a Son in Law; a man who loves his daughter unconditionally.

In all fairness, I have to admit that Hollywood has done a good job of depicting authentic interracial relationships. From “Monsters Ball” to “Guess Who” Hollywood has effectively used feature films to spotlight the increase in interracial relationships. Let’s see if they can keep this up by creating more films depicting African American Males as more than drug dealing buffoons or baby daddies.

African American males typically feel angry when they see a Caucasian man with a black woman because to them, she is “Sleeping with the enemy.” By the same token, when a white man sees and a white women with a black man he thinks to himself, “Why does she want him? “Oh, she probably couldn’t find a white man who would date her.”

Tishawn Thames of Flora, Ms. has been down this road before. She has seriously dated only 4 men and 2 of them have been Caucasian. When asked what factors influenced her decision to date outside of her race she says, “I meet someone who was interested in me and I was interested in him and he asked me out…. I was single and agreed.” She contends there is no difference between African American men and Caucasian men, because, “Each individual has his own ideas on how to handle a relationship.” African American Women who engage in interracial relationships get their fair share of bigotry from both sides. “I noticed that black people exhibited a greater level of bigotry than Caucasians. When we would go out black males would verbally make comments and give us the meanest stares.” Even though Tishawn is currently dating an African American man, she would consider interracial dating if the right opportunity presented itself. For many women, including Tishawn, the perfect man does not have specific skin pigmentation. The only thing that he has to do is to treat them with love and respect. On the flip side, there is a growing segment of black women who find it hard to encounter available Black men who are on their level, educationally and financially. These women refuse to date down, and if this means pursuing a Caucasian male, then so be it. For them, it’s all about the Benjamin’s baby!

As a black man it does not sicken or anger me to see an interracial couple. To me, race is merely a human construct that was invented to perpetuate the institution of White supremacy. Even the biblical dogma concerning the mixing of the races is a farce. When it is all said and done, race should not play a factor in whom a person decides to date. The only thing that ultimately matters is your happiness.