Is Taye Diggs Getting a Divorce?
by Gloria Dulan-Wilson
I admit, Black in the day, when I was Ms. Militant Black America USA, it used to bother me a great deal. I had serious issues with folks “crossing the line” whether male or female – and would not be very pleasant about it either. I’d call the “brother” or “sister” and Oreo.
I probably would prefer that we marry our own, particularly since there is a scarcity of you fine Black men on the planet, making it much more difficult for sisters to find a positive empowered mate. But I’ve kind of given it a “rest,” because I’ve learned something along the way.
It may be because I married into a family where I had two white sister-in-laws; and, after my initial shock and anger, found them to be really great, down to earth ladies, who loved my brothers-in-law very much. (I was angry because I wasn’t “warned” about this – here I am with a fifty-foot natural, as AfroCentric as I could possibly be, and I’ve got what? White sister-in-laws!! No way. I don’t think we said more than two words to each other for the first year.) But as a result, I’ve got some wonderful nieces and nephews, and they made sure they knew their history, participated in any and all things having to do with African and Caribbean American heritage. In other words, they knew they were marrying Black men, and had a deep respect for Black culture. One of them was a librarian, and used to drive me nuts with all the research she did on Black history. She was beginning to know more than I did, and I taught the subject. We’ve shared some great times and some harrowing times together – and I never felt any of the kind of hyped stereotypical issues we have about them. Except for one thing – and it used to really crack me up – my sister-in-laws were too damned permissive – they had no concept of discipline when it came to raising my nieces and nephews, and these kids would run rampant all over the place unless I, or my mother-in-law (Grandmom) would put our foot down, and stop them in their tracks.
Now in terms of the generic situation, the real deal is that human beings are human beings. We’ve come to such a pretty pass, though, that we’ve politicized and stigmatized and stereotyped everything. And that’s not without cause – it stems from the fact that we are a society that has been founded upon racism – which is at the very core of this country’s being. There are definitely still meanstream individuals out there who will keep the animosities going among and between the races. And, as with everything else, because, by and large they are the ones who make the laws and control the purse strings, the mores and folkways of the country, they continue to keep the friction going.
And we, as the direct targets and victims of this onslaught, have every right and necessity to protect ourselves, our Men, our women from being picked off. It goes without saying that once they identify the brightest and the best, they become the concerted target of the meanstream. As Farrakhan said at the Million Man March, there is the effort to white that person out – to take him over. In the case of artists, successful businessmen, athletes, etc, it becomes the factor of dangling the “desirable” white woman in front of them. This is how they keep the money in the family – i.e., their family, instead of it circulating in ours.
Artists and business moguls are given a “white pass.” And it’s not always friendly. Sometimes it’s the requisite for continuing to be part of the playing field. And It’s not always Black, or just about marriage. You’re under a different scrutiny when you start rising to the top. They will impose barriers and see if you exceed them. I once told a Japanese friend of mine, when he found out that America had imposed affirmative action quota of 35% “minority” on his company, and he said to me, “But Gloria-San, I’m Japanese – I’m the minority. The whites hate me as much as they hate Black people. I don’t understand.” My response was, “Once you have as much money as your company does, you are considered ‘honorary white’. And it’s also an attempt to slow down your progress, because there’s a myth out there that Japanese and Black people don’t get along. So they figure you won’t be able to make the quota, because you don’t know enough Black people, and the funds will then go somewhere else.” They went on to not only meet the quota, but exceed it with such an embarrassingly high percentage, the City of New York asked to borrow their list for their own affirmative action program.
I am saying that to say, in some instances, it’s also because the Black man is on his way to somewhere (moving on up to the East Side) that white women will either autonomously cross the line and come after him on their own; or be “persuaded” (read hired) to do so. Some brothers aren’t aware of this, and think it’s just because of their charms (not saying the brother doesn’t look good or have charms, because Taye Diggs definitely has both).
It may also be because there’s a scarcity of viable sisters in that arena. They may be in the “hood,” but not not in the milieu to which the brother is headed. And also, some of us sisters have this thing about “keeping it real” that can be relatively unpleasant when a Black man or woman is trying to rise up and out. I know that some of us don’t want to hear it, because we think it’s what keeps us “Black” – telling it like it is; but we should consider how we tell it, and when we tell it – because the “Sapphire” attitude is not where they’re heading. And to that I would say, either step up to the plate and learn the name of the program, or move out of that person’s way. Don’t expect him or her to drag you across the line. You really do have to be working toward improving – yes, improving – yourself as well. If you don’t aspire to that standard of living, you won’t last long in that realm. Sorry, it’s the harsh truth.
Truth be told, things are not just happening across racial lines; it’s across class lines as well. And some of us have to regroup and be about our own transformation – we can’t just say that the person wants to be with another person just because he or she is white – when you’re making more money and you’re dressing differently; you’ve gotten a better education, and you speak in a different nomenclature, the “hood” is just no good for you any more. And it’s not just about a person “forgetting” where he or she comes from. He or she remembers all too well where they came from; and they’re glad to be out. Which is why he or she is trying to keep as far away from that as possible. It is one thing to contribute to your old neighborhood, where there was gang violence, drugs, roaches, substandard housing, and a host of other negative, degrading things; but unless those folks are also actively working to improve themselves(in a positive manner), and making sure their children are also upwardly mobile – there is absolutely no way an individual who made it out should have to be tied to that past. And the further up the ladder they go, the scarcer appropriately available Black men and women are.
Now, I’m not talking about brothers or sisters who have abandoned being proud Black men and women just because they’ve achieved a better standard of living. I’m not talking about those brothers or sisters who think they’ve achieved “whiteness.” I’m talking about those of us who know we’re Black, are proud to be Black, and are professionals in different realms that serve our own people, as well as operate smoothly in the meanstream. There are a lot of us who are now in that status. Our roots run deep. In those instances, we are definitely looking to set a positive example, because we want to help more of us achieve the same thing. A lot of them used to live in the “hood,” until those in the hood made it impossible or dangerous to do so. It’s unfortunately one of the reasons why so many of the Black neighborhoods are devoid of middle class Blacks – they began to cannibalize their own people through hostile activities. They’re kind of in a holding pattern – because there aren’t a lot of viable Middle Class Black neighborhoods – and thanks to Bush (housing crises, economic downturn, foreclosures), they’ve almost become extinct. I was raised in such a community, where our parents formed their own clubs and vehicles for us to play and interact in, because we were, quite frankly, not allowed to play in the “hood.” There were few to no whites. We were measured by each other’s progress. And our parents kept each other informed and up to date on whatever it was that would help each other move forward. No competition – coordination and cooperation. We knew we were going to marry a Black professional somebody. It was how we were raised. We never expected to compete with white women for our Black men; any more than we were looking to have a white man as a husband or life mate – still don’t.
Taye Diggs & Idina Menzel. Is he searching for a new Best Woman?
I don’t know a thing about the relations between Taye Diggs and his wife – and don’t really care to know. They made it for 10 years, which is more that some of us have made it married to each other. It think they’ve had enough time in that marriage to determine whether or not it is still working for them. So pressures from the outside probably had little to do with their decision. I know couples who have made it for 40 years, he white, she Black – and they’re still happy. I know couples who made it for 6 months, and wisely got an annulment. Human beings are really just spiritual beings having a human experience – if we’d let them be. My preference is and has always been Chocolate – and after that it’s a long, long way through the other flavors – Coconut, Lemon/honey, etc. – before I get to vanilla.
But in the main, it’s all about how the person’s insides; how we respond to each other and how we treat each other, that’s the bottom line for me. As this country slowly evolves to a more open hearted approach to relationships, I daresay, these issues will no longer be front and center headline news (after all, the only reason this is even discussed is because it’s superfine Taye Diggs. If it was your neighbor next door who was divorcing his white wife, most folks would say “who gives a f?)
Stay Blessed &
bullet Columnist Gloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com