TOM & HELEN WILLIS: SWIRLING IN RETROSPECT

It’s just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.” -Malcolm X

In the 1998 cult classic Bulworth, the protagonist, Jay Billington Bulworth (Played by Warren Beauty) advocated an end to racism by a healthy, spirited program of racial deconstruction. In other words, “everybody just gotta keep fucking each other until we are the same color.” In the 21st century this phenomena is known as swirling. Ever since the Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967, interracial relationships have been on the rise. It has become in chic especially in the never never land of Black female You Tube. Allegedly, there is even something called a “pink pill.” (a program offered for cost) to help black women land white men.

Black women are allegedly celebrating their new dating options as white men are discovering black love. But are they? In the past years, we have seen the rapper Eve marry a white man. Tennis great Serena Williams marry the reddit social media mogul Alexis Ohanian. Hollywood has even gotten in on the act. In comic book films and TV shows, the hero’s (usually white) love interest is usually a black woman. In the case of Netflix films Luke Cage, the love interest is a white woman. The not so subtle point, rather accidental or intentional, seems to be that white love is the savior of black people.

But in the real world, things really don’t seem to be that simple. Studies have shown that compared to  same race unions, interracial unions are typically shorter in duration. Studies have also indicated that black people from lower racial status groups with higher educations tend to marry higher status white people with lower educational achievements. Is this really just one human being marrying another? Is this really love or is there something else afoot here? Alas! The plot unfolds.

In the 1970’s groundbreaking TV show The Jeffersons, Norman Lear(The Show’s Creator) gave us a glimpse inside of the lives of of an interracial couples. Tom and Helen Willis is an interracial couple that lives upstairs from the Jeffersons. They have two bi-racial children: Jenny and Alan. While the couple has very few fights, the objection to their union comes from a societal critique. One that is about 5’5, loud, boisterous and extremely narrow minded. His name is George Jefferson. In his world, interracial marriages are similar to unicorns or more specifically, zebras (perjorative slang for interracial couples). Like millions of other conversations secreted inside of black homes, George echoes in public, what many say in private.

In the Jeffersons, we see not only the bigotry of George, but the struggle of the Willis children. The societal demons of miscegenation rear their hideous faces when in one episode, Jenny reveals that she is secretly jealous of her brother’s ability to pass for white. Her brother Alan, also reveals his insecurities at the lack of an identity while seeking to be something he’s not simply for the purposes of blending in. But what of Tom and Helen? Who exactly are they? Not much is revealed about their origins. Just that they are from a place where George’s kind of thinking is common. But we see that Tom is a successful publishing executive, while Helen is simply his wife who volunteers at a help center with Louise in the heart of the City.

To many black women this represents a kind of escape from the struggle of everyday life in poor urban communities across the country. Tom represents a deep psychic yearning for the “white” knight to come in and sweep them up into a heavenly life of excess and leisure. A place where the only opposition is boredom. A real live fairy tale come to life. But again, reality must intervene. Statistics show that the intermarriage percent rate for black women is about 12%. While for black men, that amount is nearly double. It appears that Japanese, Filipinos, and Hispanics intermarry at rates nearly triple both that of black men and women. It also appears that the only racial minority that intermarries less than blacks are the native Americans. The reason? They don’t want their cultural or tribal traditions broken by interracial unions.

What this suggests is that while interracial marriages have clearly become more obtainable, not too many people are rushing to entertain the reality of these marriages in a post racial America. In a world where marriage is allegedly a business or investment, no one is really willing to invest in either black men or women to the degree that Bulworth or the Willis(es) would like to see. Truth be told, our stats are not that impressive. We are the least educated, the least hired, the most incarcerated, and the most politically and economically vulnerable of all racial groups in the country. Our women have the highest STD rates, the highest out of wedlock birth rates and the lowest marriage rates of all women in the spectrum. I would wager that very few long term investors would place their money in such dire predictions against a high rate of return.

Therefore, while it is certainly possible for human beings regardless of color to find love and marry, it appears that there are other more pressing concerns than such an amorphous concept as love. One such concern is the preservation of generational wealth. It is highly improbable that whites who have worked to preserve their wealth through generations, would leave it in the hands of those that they consider not in the family.  This is especially the case for black men who come from the most marginalized sectors of society.  When it comes to black women, one Black Female You Tuber suggested that swirling for black women by and large is not a real answer either. She reasoned that they usually do not wind up with the movers and shakers in the society. She stated that they usually get the “liberals and the rebels.” The numbers suggests that she is probably right.

It’s clear that when it comes to swirling, the answer is not as clear as a pink pill. While you may ingest the pill, there is no guarantee that you will be transported to a whole new world; especially with an over 70% out of wedlock birth rate. And while you may find submission and obedience with Becky, it is no guarantee that you can rest with an easy mind; especially when you find out that Archie Bunker is in the family. We may have moved on up, but the house is only 2 stories, not the deluxe apartment in the sky.

TONY MACEO is a Senior blogger at the Negromanosphere and the Chief blogger at Power and Strategy.com. Like, share and subscribe to the You Tube Channel, FB, or website. Also you can become a patron @powerofstrategies on Patreon. Till Next time I’ll Holla!

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