Part 3 (last one):

Interracial dating: You asked about black women who have dated white men. I’ve been on about a handful of dates with white guys, and then a few hip-hop concerts and out to dinner with a few platonic white friends one-on-one. But these are the kind of guys who look like they’d be perfectly comfortable at a black BBQ. There’s a world of difference between the white guy trying his best to act black (the younger years of Eminem), the white guy who grew up in a black community and just doesn’t know anything different (the Jon Bs) and the white guy who doesn’t have a clue about white people (the Mitch McConnells).

The guys I hung out with fell into category two. I did date a Romanian man (model fine, good gawd) for a couple of months within recent years. But the way he described how Russians treated Romanians, they sounded like the “black people” of their region. And he came to Chicago more than a decade ago. All his friends were black or Romanian. Although I had a bone to pick with him switching languages — especially when a Romanian waiter came to our table to take our order — because those two talked forever. I felt like I was intruding. So I didn’t get the oblivious-to-black-people vibe from him because he’d dated a whole slew of black women. Our issues were more about relationship goals (FBFs versus monogamy). Race was never a “thing” with us. Nobody ever challenged me or gawked at me or anything, not with him anyway. I don’t play that gawking/challenge-my-race s — t anyway.

The Romanian waiter whispered to two other waiters as I walked off, but then the ex loudly laughed and said, “He thinks you’re cute!” So I guess the gossip was a “good” thing. I dunno. I was more irritated by the fact that those two wouldn’t consistently speak English around me. I wanted another waiter, but I didn’t want to be that paranoid person who swears everybody speaking another language is “talking about me.” But anyway, he was pretty “woke” primarily because of his own upbringing and growing up in a lower-class community when he lived in Europe.

The closest I got to category 3 was out to dinner with one white guy. He was pretty cool at first, although I didn’t feel any kind of sexual chemistry. And then completely out of nowhere he started talking about how his sister is “so ignorant” and how she “thinks slavery wasn’t so bad.” My first thought was, “Why are we talking about slavery while I’m trying to enjoy this Ethiopian food that I am definitely NOT paying for?” My second thought was, “Even if I considered dutch, the more you talk about your sister, the more we will never ever go out again.” We did not go out again. The food was delightful though. Never had Ethiopian food. It was his idea. “Thanks for the culture, buddy!”

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