Grammy Award winning singer/actress, (star of Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, Too) Jill Scott has come under fire for her comments in an Essence interview where she takes on, and say some bashes, interracial couples:
Maybe she said something more overtly racist in another article to warrant being called a racist as the below CNN interview states. And maybe she's distinguishing "inter-racial love" (which, in the clip, she says she supports) as different from inter-racial relationships, though I don't see how anyone could parse such a distinction.
My conclusion from what I listened to and read here is she's speaking from a painful, soul-sucking place of black women in the long history of America, and voicing that quiet twinge of "betrayal" that a lot of black women feel when they see a black man with a white women. As much as I like and respect fellow blogger friends who find her statement racist, I must disagree forcefully.
It's all about acceptance, and it happens by degrees. A friend told me that the gay equality movement won't be fully successful until we get past what he called the Two Beats syndome. As out and proud as we may be, when we first making acquaintances or dialogue new co-workers, there is that moment when its time to make it clear. They may asks, "Do you have a girl?" And thats when many of us pause, just a second or two, before we either make it clear or skirt the question. Two beats to decide to be authentic or not.
Historically, what Jill says is true. As an out and proud black gay man, I sometimes feel twinges: when I see inter-racial couples, when I see a black woman pushing a white baby in a stroller, when I kiss my man in public or hold his hand and display overt same sex affection.
None of those twinges are ones I want to feel, but I do. We've come a long way, but we have much further to go. I think that's the dialogue Ms. Scott is inspiring, and I think its our sensitivity to these uncomfortable subjects that make us bristle at the thought of having negative reactions to couplings that we all know are as natural as breathing.
Love is love, and its what Jill Scott sings about. And she's about to go on tour with Maxwell, so its doubtful she's homophobic either. I think we should applaud her to expressing things most people would rather we didn't talk about, as if ignoring the reality of having these little twinges, or pausing for two beats, will make the fact that we aren't there yet go away.