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There has been a lot of buzz about actor Taye Diggs and his statements about marrying his wife Idina Menzel. Not being one, to insert ourselves in any form of race debate but we want to weigh in on Taye’s comments because they clearly show some deep-seated issues.
The first we heard of Taye’s comments- they were posted on the Huffington Post, then we decided to check it out for ourselves, so we then snagged bits and pieces of a transcribed interview Taye gave with the British magazine The Voice.
Here is some of what Taye had to say:
“When I was younger I did get caught up with that. When I was growing up, there were guys who dated everybody, there were guys that only dated black girls, and there were guys who only dated white girls. Back then, I used to judge the black guys that only dated white girls and for so long, I wanted people to know, I’m not one of those guys…..But as I got older, I realised what the important things in life are. I can’t worry about changing the way that people see me. If you like me, you like me, if you don’t, you don’t. And luckily, I’ve been just fine, you know what I mean? I think people are becoming more understanding.”
Well said Taye! but you messed the above statement up by saying. . . how, sometimes, you have to “CHECK” Black women when they try and disrespect your wife. Here’s what he added:
“I won’t pretend [race] wasn’t an issue, because it was. We’ve had to deal with situations in the past where black women would give her attitude or not acknowledge her, and you’ve gotta nip that s**t in the bud.”
More recently, Diggs, when appearing on Sway’s satellite radio show to promote his new book “Chocolate Me,” admitted his preferences for white women.
According to Diggs, even his mom knew he would marry a “white woman”.
My mother said “I told you!” [laughs]. She always thought – I hate this, but I’m being honest! [laughs] – she said, “I always knew you were gonna marry a white girl!”
How is that funny? So in other words, even Diggs’ mother put his future wifes’ color above her education, intelligence, having two arms and two legs etc. Now thats messed up!
So yea, Mr. Diggs, we have a problem with your statements and then you wish to push over a book about understanding what it means to be African American in a white environment? If this is the moral of the book- I would rather use it for toilet tissue.
Now the problem that we have with Taye Digg’s comments are that:
(1) He is assuming the African American community cares who he chooses to pull sheets with
(2) He feels, in 2011, he still has to justify his choice to the African American community
(3) By his own admissions he stated ” my mother knew I would mary a white girl” How about a Christian, A Vegan, A Cubs Fan etc, etc, No, he identifies her as “a white woman” not a beautiful, well spoken picture of grace- but just “a white woman” W.O.W!
Now before you decide to skip the page, know that this analysis is coming from an individual in a interracial marriage. I know the looks, stares and disrespect one can experience when he or she decides to date and or marry outside of their “race”. Keep in mind, I think “race” is a figment of our imagination because I think culture is more indicative of social, economic and often times financial traits.
For instance, I believe, you can have a guy like Barack Obama, although he is biracial- he relates more closely, culturally, to Caucasians and not African Americans. Although his “skin hue” appeals to African Americans- his culture breathes white America. He was raised by his “white” mother and grandparents. The same applies to Mr. Diggs but he was raised by his African American mother, but still, he may be dark skinned- he associates more closer to “white America” but because Hollywood is still behind, in terms of casting more diversity in leading roles- Diggs is often times stuck playing the “intelligent black guy”.
I hope we are being clear, I was raised around “white” kids who were “black”. In other words, they (not trying to stereotype) hung out with mostly black people, talked black, associated more closer to black culture and married black. Keep in mind, we are taking into account the fact that not all black people talk, walk and act the same but, much like a Tyler Perry film, we are painting a picture and not trying to say all blacks, whites, asian, latinos, mexicans etc are a certain way. We are just saying you can be “black” but yet have skin as white as paper and be “white” and have skin as dark as night- it all depends on who you were raised by, where, the time, location etc. So don’t get offended!
However, Diggs may want to lay low for a while because I have found myself siding with African American women. If Digg’s has so much confidence and love in his relationship why is he justifying it? Yes, African American women are contending with a lot in terms of the skyrocketing criminal conviction and prison rate of black males, homosexuality and operating on “the down low”, other women marrying black men, unemployment, education etc. Put simply, there is a growing gap between African American females and African American males- with the females often times being left with the short end of the stick. But for Diggs to imply that African American women lost out is ridiculous ( no wonder you have yet to appear in a Tyler Perry film). Diggs is no Blair Underwood!
So, when an African American male, like Taye Diggs comes out and says what he said- it makes a ripple. Mainly because up until this point few people knew he was married to a “white” woman. Then, to make matters far worse, he tries to justify to a community already lacking in positive African American male figures who are both confident in who and what they are and the choices they have made. So, Mr. Digg’s if you notice your next film is lacking in sales- know that your comments about “black America” i.e. black women got you there (black men don’t flock to see Diggs). So, don’t bite the hand that is feeding you.
For every eligible black male (which there are a lot) there are probably about 5 African American (more eligible) females. Successful African American women out number African American men almost 5-1. This is my statistic and is almost baseless.
Let’s be honest, African American actors like Taye Diggs build their careers off the backs of the black community, then after they see to many grinning faces and articles talking about how great they are-they lose focus. Keep in mind, all of this has nothing to do with the fact that Digg’s is married to anyone, much less Idina Menzel. The fact that Diggs is drawing attention to a racial problem that he chooses to give no solution to- then to simply “CHECK” those who take issue with him is problematic.
It would be like The Dixie Chicks, who built their careers on everything that is country music and then they go overseas to trash talk America but then put out an album (in America). Just learn to keep you mouth closed and just act. Diggs you have now drawn attention to a “non-issue” but you have made it an issue- now the black community hates you.
If we are trying to make any point, it’s just that if you choose to marry out side of whatever race you identify with- fine. However, don’t insult the very people that you are hoping to buy your book or go see you new film. Take for instance Robert Deniro, he is married to an African American but, in most roles, he plays a white father, with white children, with a white wife- but he does not do interviews dwelling on the fact that personally he is married to an African American nor does he justify his choice- he is just, hopefully, happily married.
I know firsthand, Taye, about the stares and sometimes unfair treatment by often times those who are closest to you that hate the fact that you may be married to someone out of your race. However, next time trust the fact that your love for each other is strong enough to
(1) Stand the test of Time
(2) Look past the “haters
(3) Support the life of your child or children
But don’t go around doing interviews about how you have to “CHECK” black women because you are “God’s Gift” to them. Maybe the ones you ran into were having a bad day, maybe their boyfriend or husband left them with a child or children for a “white woman”. Maybe they are stuck (alone) raising the next generation to believe that an individual should be judged by the content of their character and not the colore of the skin. Or did Martin Luther King Jr. fight for just the right for black men to sleep with “white women”?
Black women need to be uplifted, they are told by our media that their characteristics are secondary to their white sisters, the only role they are good for is being mean, hateful, fat and with a chip on their shoulders, the media is hell-bent on convincing the world ALL black women are all on welfare, few black girls dream of being a princess because they are told they are ugly and worthless. But black women, husband or not, welfare or not, continue to struggle to raise young black children into believing they can be anything and not just a athlete, rap star or rap music booty shaker or “self-hater”.
By seeing both the interview and hearing the radio program the only one with the problem is you- as for the rest of black women in the world- they are too busy either going to school, going to work or carrying the future of the entire black race on their shoulders- so don’t you hate cause you, as you stated, “married a white woman”.
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