Most Black Men Don’t Know What “Right Of First Refusal” Means

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
-The Princess Bride

Continuing our discussion of dating and mating in 21st century Black America using the lingua franca of the economic and business worlds as our guide, we now turn our attention to yet another phrase many Black men online tend to indiscriminately and inaccurate toss around – the notion of a “right of first refusal”. This is taken to mean that Black women want the right to be able to reject Black men first and leave open the option to change their mind on the matter should said Black men “come up” – become conspicuously successful, etc. While the sentiment behind this grossly misinformed application of the “ROFR” principle is certainly understandable – it’s long become a staple of many a Hip Hop song, in fact – the truth remains that far too many Black men have no idea what ROFR actually means. As a result and as is so often the case in Black American discussions, it has become increasingly difficult to gain clarity on the matters under examination, severely undermining our ability to come up with and implement useful solutions. Black Americans in general have a very bad habit of taking long-established words, terms and phrases that have specific definitions and meanings and then twisting them into completely “new” ones – a very common example of this, is how the word “nigger” has been twisted from its original intent, meaning and definition. No matter how much “Ebonics” proponents attempt to legitimize the casual use of the term among Black Americans, it will never change the long and sordid history of such a phrase – and only the most ideologically blinkered and/or severely learning disabled will attempt to suggest/argue otherwise.

Nevertheless and even in the face of clear and present evidence to the contrary – even when your interlocutor has conceded that they were wrong in the first place – there can and will be fellow Black Americans who will doggedly hold on to their wrong notions of the world. This was seen most recently, for example, in my fellow Negromanosphere columnist Mr. Tony Maceo, who has been proven wrong both on the notion of there being some kind of “ugly/non-select guy tax”, as well as the idea of there being some kind of “Big Booty Brenda cartel”. Even worse is the fact that he clearly doesn’t read what he writes, such as this clear and present admission that he was wrong on the former; I quote:

“To be certain, the non-select tax is NOT compulsory. You are not required to pay it. All you have to do is walk away.”

Ahem. Moving right along…

As an Obsidian, you understand that not only do words matter, they carry specific and precise meanings and definitions, designed to convey certain ideas and concepts. Moreover, an Obsidian understands that if you wish to use a term known and recognized in one particular context as a metaphor in another, that you thoroughly understand the term as originally defined and used FIRST. Clearly, as we can see, Mr. Maceo and many other Black men do not understand what simple economic/business concepts such as taxes and cartels mean, which then explains why he and they fail to correctly convey their meaning and use in the present day Black American mating market. Today’s column continues to correct Mr. Maceo’s misconceptions and, with any luck, educate other Black men in their proper understanding and use of these and related economic and business terms. In a future column, I will address Mr. Maceo’s continued refusal or inability to understand my actual lived reality with regard to the ladies. Stay tuned!

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WHAT “RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL” ACTUALLY MEANS OUTSIDE OF THE ‘HOOD
Contrary to what “real niggas” like Mr. Maceo maintain, in the sane world of business and commerce, the principle of right of first refusal means something far different. Originally a concept applied to real estate dealings, ROFR is defined as follows:

“Understanding Right Of First Refusal
The right of first refusal (ROFR) is a contractual right between two parties: the grantor and the holder. The grantor owns an asset which the holder may, at some future date, want to purchase. An ROFR ensures that, in the event a third party makes a bid for the asset, the grantor must first offer it to the holder for the same price and conditions.

Right of first refusal is most commonly seen in real estate, although it is also found in most LLC Operating Agreements, where it resides as one of a number of preemptive rights. Though simply enough on the surface, ROFR agreements can easily go astray.

How ROFR Works
To understand right of first refusal at its most basic, let’s look at an example.

Jane owns ten acres of empty land. Joe lives next door. Jane and Joe sign an ROFR agreement. The agreement states that if a third party ever makes an offer for the acreage, Jane must first offer to sell the property to Joe for the same price and under the same conditions.

Years later, Brian offers $50,000 for the land. Per their ROFR agreement, Jane contacts Joe and offers to sell him the land for $50,000. Joe considers the deal but eventually declines. Jane sells the property to Brian.

Two things to note: first, an ROFR agreement requires that Joe be given the same offer (Jane could not request Joe pay $75,000 for the property); second, an ROFR is not an obligation (Joe can legally decline the offer).”

Got it? In order for ROFR to exist, there must be three components:

1. A contract to begin with
2. A contractural agreement between two of the three parties
3. An equal offer on the part of the seller to both buyers

Let’s apply this to the world of Black American dating and mating, shall we? And, just for Tony, we’re gonna use someone he would know well.

Big Booty Brenda has struck a deal to let D’Andre take her to JJ’s Wings, after which she has agreed to bust it wide open, because he’s a Khan Noonien Singh Negro – in other words, a Select Guy. Along comes Henry, who is interested in Big Booty Brenda as well, but is almost the exact opposite of D’Andre – he’s not “street”, tall, buff and is in fact kinda “lame and corny”. She really ain’t feeling all the ‘gina tingles that she feels when around D’Andre, but the fact of the matter is that D’Andre is kinda broke, whereas Henry more than makes up for his lack of overt physical prowess and appeal by being seriously successful, to say nothing of being kind and courteous – while D’Andre is something of a self-absorbed jerk. Big Booty Brenda, under the principle of ROFR, has to offer the same deal to Henry that she has offered to D’Andre – a date at JJ’s Wings, after which she’s busting it wide open. Henry enthusiastically accepts, as D’Andre ain’t trying to “trick” on any “hoe” and continues to rely on his biceps and “mouf piece” – but biceps and a supposedly smooth rap don’t get Brenda fed, does it? Big Booty Brenda gets a night out on the town complete with all the buffalo wings she can eat with Henry and Henry busts a splendiferous nut on Brenda’s ample backside while bent over his couch. Brenda and Henry come away very happy. See how that works?

Now – exactly WHERE is the “hood definition” of ROFR at play here? It doesn’t take a real estate mogul to clearly see that it in fact has NO resemblence to the original intent of the term in the first place(!). This is what I mean when I say that Black Americans have a very bad habit of taking already established words, terms and phrases and making up entirely “new” meanings for them that more often than not, have NO relation to the original words. Simply put, ROFR does NOT mean what Mr. Tony Maceo and so many other Black men heard online think it means.

In order for Big Booty Brenda, for example, to reject Henry, SHE MUST ALREADY HAVE A DEAL IN PLACE. Moreover, if she is going to let D’Andre hit it on the basis of his sex appeal alone, in order for her to get Henry, SHE MUST OFFER THE SAME DEAL – NOT ATTEMPT TO IMPOSE A “TAX”. Anything less than this, IS NOT RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL. Either Maceo and his ilk don’t understand basic real estate dealings, having learning disabilities, or are being patently disengenuous. I leave it to you, dear reader, to decide!

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“PRICE DISCRIMINATION” REVISITED
To illustrate further, the reader might recall a previous column I wrote called, “All The Crazy Ladies” – it had to do with a study published earlier this year, where as much as a full third of American women had admitted to going out on “foodie calls” – going on on dates with men they already knew they had no sexual or romantic interest in, but went along simply for the “free food”. Maceo once again got my argument about price discrimination wrong in that context, because, while inherently discriminatory, in the end both “buyers”, i.e., Black men seeking to get some of Big Booty Brenda, ultimately would do so – just at different “prices”. In this scenario, D’Andre would hit it simply because Big Booty Brenda likes his looks and swag, whereas Henry would have to take her out to JJ’s Wings first.

However, what Maceo got wrong about the “dinner whore” issue, is that the women who admitted to being such, weren’t offering their goods to different guys at different prices – WHAT THEY WERE DOING WAS ENGAGING IN FRAUD – a serious “no-no” in the business world. Which is why I never used the term “price discrimination” in my dinner whore article in the first place. In the scenario that is the topic of today’s column, “dinner whoring” CAN’T apply, NOR CAN PRICE DISCRIMINATION, for all the reasons already enumerated. *Sigh*

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“RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL” APPLIED TO HUMAN MATING
The closest actual definition of the principle of ROFR as applied to human mating that I could, comes from a website called, “Our Family Wizard”; a posting there called, “First Right of Refusal in Child Custody Cases” states the following:

“Right of first refusal in child custody situations commonly means that one parent must first offer the other parent the opportunity to look after their children before contacting a babysitter or another family member to care for the kids. It is a clause that is frequently included in child custody agreements to help parents navigate parenting time exchanges.

Right of first refusal typically applies to both planned and last minute situations. For instance, if a parent makes plans for a night out with friends two months or even two days before the actual event, they must offer the other parent the option to care for their children before making any other arrangements. If the other parent decides not to take the kids during this time, then a third-party caretaker such as a friend, babysitter, or another family member may be asked to care for the children instead. Right of first refusal may also apply to situations such as doctor’s appointments, vacations, after-school daycare, and many other instances.”

Got it? There has already been an established relationship between two of the three parties involved here: the pre-existing relationship between the parents. If they were married, then a CONTRACTUAL relationship is also in play, which would fall in line with the original intent and meaning of ROFR. Moreover, in keeping with the spirit of ROFR, the custodial parent must offer the noncustodial parent the right to care for the kid(s) BEFORE SAID CUSTODIAL PARENT CONTACTS AN OUTSIDE THIRD PARTY TO DO SO, such as a babysitter or daycare provider. ONLY IN THE EVENT OF SAID NONCUSTODIAL PARENT DECLING SUCH AN OFFER, can the custodial parent then seek an outside third party to care for the kid(s).

See how that works?

Again, I ask you dear reader: WHERE does this “hood definition” of ROFR come into play? Perhaps in his next rebuttal to yours truly, Mr. Maceo can attempt to clearly explain. With citations and sources.

Shall we hold our breath?

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IN SUMMARY
In addition to the aforementioned points made in today’s column, it is important for the Non-Select Guy to be an educated consumer and act accordingly out here on these Black American dating and mating streets. You have every right to protect your interests in the most shrewd manner possible, because, unfortunately, there are bad actors – both Black female and Black male alike – who have a vested interest in your continued ignorance, naivete and thirst. Learn, understand and be able to apply simple economics and business world concepts like “tax”, “fee”, “price discrimination”, “fraud/defrauding someone” and “right of first refusal”, what they REALLY mean and how they apply to dating and mating, instead of listening to two-book intellectuals, barbershop scholars and those peddling “street knowledge”, as that will only get you took or worse. Last but not least, stand up for yourself! Because if you don’t, no one else will.

Now adjourn your asses…

MOA

Mumia Obsidian Ali is a citizen journalist, podcaster, talk radio show host and newly minted dating coach. You can catch his daily live shows on Mixlr, and his podcasts on YouTube and Black Avenger TV, as well as his weekly dating coach column at the Negromanosphere website. He’s also a semi-professional pest.

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