Dreaming of a White Christmas

I want what I want
I want what I want

So…

When I read that headline I thought, “Have we completely run out of news” and “Guess The Post is officially a tabloid now”. After reading Diary of a Frustrated Brotha’s take, I figured I would add my own spin on this. Oh, and I will respect this woman’s choices even if I don’t agree with them.

On Friday 12th September, one of our national papers (arguably the most popular one) decided to go with this headline: “I am a virgin and my dream is to marry a white man”. Now I’d just roll my eyes and move on but on reading the article I discovered a few “inconsistencies” with this young woman’s aspirations.

Firstly, attraction is its own beast. You like what you like and its based on some gut instinct you have no control over mixed in with a heavy dose of life experience. This is a 21 year old’s dream, and most 21 year olds are heady with youthful optimism and not enough life experience to know any better… unless life hasnt been particularly kind in which case that’s a different story. But her experiences are the dreams she believes will come true and teen boys affections.

Last year I think I had a conversation with a friend from South Africa and she asked me why Zambian women are “so into white guys”, and I have had a few conversations with Zambian women (and men) on why this apparent attraction exists and I’m not sure its about liking white guys but about what those white dudes represent.

Historically, Zambian society was segregated along racial lines (as with most African populations) and white societies lived better and had better experiences than indigenous ones which is in line with most African countries in general but where the Zambian experience deviates from, for example, the South African scenario is that there was not enough blood shed to want us to “own” our own wealth. We migrated from a society of servants to a society of envy but without enough “muster” to make it work for ourselves.

Of course there are exceptions of Zambian owned business and Zambian execs that defy this general mentality but in general, while most Zambians may aspire for more they lack the tools to believe they are capable of attaining more unless it is given to them and I think that is our greatest societal flaw. You cant “earn” something, it has to be “given” and I think that foundation could be “guiding” this woman’s views.

I am not a historian or psychologist and do not know why we have the belief sets we do but our response to independence was to become more “English” (former British colony). So we aspired to live in “white” houses and have children that sounded “educated”… read spoke with an accent. Perhaps the dream was if we sounded “white” we could have white lives? But here’s the thing, on the whole, we did not sit around and talk about what life was like for indigenous Zambians pre independence and actually make plans to empower the indigenous population to attain a better quality of life unless they were involved in politics. The white populations remained so small and localised around their economic interests that segregation continued after independence and we continued to romanticise what “living white” was like.

When my family moved to South Africa (in 2000 I think), I remember my mum telling me not to get a black South African boyfriend because “they can kill you”… I haven’t reminded her of that in light of the Pistorious trial but our experiences cloud how we experience life and when we were moving, headlines were about jealous boyfriend kidnappings and killings and baby rapes and murders.

When you grow up in one society and lack exposure to how other societies REALLY live, hearsay and romanticisation colours any judgements you may make. As a 21 year old, chances are the guys she is surrounded by are not mentally mature and that goes across all races but the stories she is exposed to in her society aren’t about love or guys with interests that dont involve alcohol or sex. Dudes can be a shallow lot, cant they? However, this speaks more to the kind of society we are that in and the experiences our young people have than anything else. Interstingly, the only (other) published response to this article was:

“Editor,
I totally agree with Buumba, the virgin in search of a white man to marry.
Most zambian men are not only violent and difficult to ‘manage’ but also promiscuous and unreliable. I however advise her to be cautious in her search. There are many whites out there involved in human trafficking and she could end up regretting for the rest of her life.

Concerened”(sp)

What this girl wants is the kind of love she sees in the movies, romantic, sweeping sacrificing love and she thinks black men are incapable of it because sadly Zambian society does not value loving marriages that highly. Marriage seems to be a transaction, woman gets “shelter”, man gets a maid with bangable benefits. Or its a marriage that “fixes” an unplanned pregnancy… but we have no love stories of our own. Fidelity is not guaranteed from a husband and if you find that he has been “wandering” then you have to forgive because you are better off married than not and “all men do it”.

Plus our society is still segregated enough that unless you happen to be in “affluent” areas, you can go ages without seeing a non-person of colour (or is it person of non colour?) and if they are coming into a non affluent section of society then its either a backpacker, an NGO worker or someone involved in some kind of missionary work… all of these attest to a better life somewhere else.

So, I refuse to judge this young woman who doesn’t know any better but choose to question our society as a whole, we have problems on what we choose to glorify and that needs way more attention than one girl who thinks the worst a white fellow will do to her is traffic her.

There is no question in today’s post but should you have an experience or insight you’d like to share, comments down below!

O&O

2 Replies to “Dreaming of a White Christmas”

  1. So Buumba want’s a white man to marry. I’m cool with getting turned on by a particular race’s physical attributes. Be it black woman’s curves or skinny white women with long legs or the black straight hair on white small bodies in Asia. Whatever turns you on be what turns you on.
    But to be in a mind frame where one thinks a race is the answers to all blank spaces that exist when one is looking for someone to marry is so sad and shallow.
    Societies try their best to show an audience an aspect of their life. TV, movies, books etc, have normally portrayed white people as the romantic, kind, tender and whatever else is seen as good. I’m afraid Buumba has decided on only seeing one side of these tales. For these tales to leave the impact they do, they need to show an opposite or a trial. The poor white girl will have her heart broken by a rich white guy only to get rescued by the modest and down to earth white guy who has nothing to offer her but compliments. Buumba! There’s a bad white guy for every good white guy. These tales where told to cultivate men and women’s romantic bones. They where done to make life happy. The black stories you read in the newspapers about abuse and dark black man behaviours where in the papers for one simple reason – they were news worthy stories that sold papers. No reporter will have a job if all he reports on are black men who send flowers to their wives once a month. Cooks the significant other breakfast every Saturday morning and holds hand as they shop. Such a story will make a nice “breather” for the paper but it will not shake a community.
    Buumba! Show me a white man who writes a poem to his wife once a month and I’ll show you a white man who locked up his daughter underneath his house for 20 years, raped her and had multiple children with her.
    Buumba! Tell me you love looking at white men’s bodies and I’ll say “cool”, but to convince yourself that all white men are angelic and designed to love all women is very sad and immature.

    1. I totally agree; if this were a physical attraction I would have just shrugged it off. We like what we like and cant always explain it and that gut attraction normally starts with a physical spark.

      If she perhaps said she believed there was a common cultural foundation, there may some validity to her beliefs, but romaticising a whole colour of people, (not even a society based on some cultural belief set) a race, is very shallow and to do it without having any ACTUAL life experience to support her bias is a highly uninformed decision to make. If she had dated just one black man and one white, she could use that (VERY) limited experience as supporting proof for her clouded judgment. Her experiences would have determined what she thinks is possible, but here that lack of experience simply has her worshipping an ideal that has no foundation and that is dangerous.

      Buumba simply needs more life expereience that shows her people are people. Some white men are romantically stunted, some black men have you grinning like a fool just hearing their name in a context that doesnt apply to them.

      See people for what they are and not lumping them exclusively into unwarranted collections. But if certain physical traits turn you on, own that too because who controls their reposonses to that? What you do about those reponses is another story but attraction is all in the brain… well, starts off there anyway.

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