In doing my duty for Lemondrop, I ran across this story on YourTango.com called "Is Interracial Dating Racist?" I clicked on the deceptive picture of a White man and Black woman and was shocked to see that they were rehashing and opining about ReggieGate--the online scandal created after Essence made Reggie Bush the cover man for their Black Men, Love and Relationships issue.
Here's a snippet of the story, penned by Rajul Punjabi (I googled to see what her deal was, but could only find a Facebook page):
Essence magazine has caused a bit of a stir by putting NFL yum-yum Reggie Bush on the cover of February's "Black men, love, and relationships" issue. It seems that his status as Mr. Kim Kardashian has a lot of panties in a knot—and not in a good way.
She went on to quote a BET.com blog that had captured a bit of the Essence.com comments about the cover and said this (emphasis mine) :
One crotchety commenter says, "Why put a man who clearly prefers the bottom of the barrel of white women than a good black woman on your cover? Clearly, he has no love for the sisters. This magazine is supposed to empower black women not remind us of the disadvantages that we face in today's society. Please don't insult our intelligence."
But in this day and age, a committed, loving relationship—like that of "Bush and the Tush"—should to be celebrated rather than berated. We applaud Essence and Reggie Bush—because empowerment begins with an open mind.
Beyond the clueless-ness of the author, the comments for the story were a whole other story. One said, "you love who you love." Err, that's great but that's not the issue here.
Another wrote, "I think that the women who complained about this article are exactly the reason they can't find that Black man they want. They are too busy worrying about the ones who are taken." Since when did expressing an opinion make you an undesirable romantic partner? And again, missing the issue.
I noticed after this whole scandal went down last week that a lot of women had this "I don't see what the big deal is" attitude towards the cover. If you don't have an opinion about it, good for you, but don't belittle other people and make them feel like they are overreacting for having a discussion about a publication that is for them, supported by them and, ultimately, should be aware of their concerns. I'm sure the folks at Essence were happy for the feedback, so don't attempt to write off the issue as trivial just because it didn't hit one of your nerves.
YourTango: Is Interracial Dating Racist?
A Belle In Brooklyn: Reflections: Reggie Bush
The Beautiful Struggler: Deep Cover