Singer/Actor Tyrese Gibson announced his marriage last Valentine’s Day. While what should have been a joyous announcement was plastered all over social media, the focus was not on the fact that the self-appointed advice columnist found love and happiness, the focus was on the hashtag the singer used to describe his racially ambiguous wife. The hashtag heard ‘round the world was “#MyblackQueen.” Now, I am not going to pretend to know what Mrs. Gibson’s racial background is nor am I going to pretend to care, but the reality is that this declaration stabbed at a festering wound in the black community that refuses to close.

I remember reading an article in the Washington Post entitled, “I’m a Black Woman Who Doesn’t Date Black Men. Sometimes, I feel Guilty About That.” In the article, the author speaks about the trauma inflicted on her as a youth and dealing with issues of colorism and self-hate. This, apparently, caused her to shift her dating focus to white men as opposed to men that look like her.

This woman’s declaration made me think about the countless dark skinned men who refuse to date women that cannot pass a paper bag test and why some of them have such an audible preference for black women of a lighter hue or women who aren’t black at all.

There is a pattern amongst those who stand up for black women of all shades and those who make slick, condescending remarks. While there are obviously exceptions to this rule, you see the point that I am making.  

As a youth, I went through the same scenario that just about every dark skinned man and woman went through. The teasing, the taunting, and people being downright ruthless simply because the sun kissed my skin a little longer than others, caused a period of insecurity and self-loathing that I have since shaken. A period that, I suspect, many dark skinned men are still wallowing through. But it's time that dark skinned men own up to their colorism issues. It is apparent that they suffer from the same mental disparities as dark skinned women, they merely project them in different ways.

For instance, there are dark skinned men who exclusively date light skinned women, sighting "preference", when the difference between dark and light skinned women often boils down to nothing more than skin tone.

As a youth, I dealt with colorism issues and battled with loving my chocolate skin. This projected as a love for all things white culture, even white boys. I was not truly interested in white boys in “that way,” I just liked the way they looked. As I grew older my attraction evolved into light skinned boys while my insecurities continued to fester.

As I grew older I began to fall in love with myself and my skin. This resulted in a love for black men of all shades.

If you end up with a man or woman outside of your race, good for you. But if you actively tell people that you are not attracted to the very man or woman that LOOKS LIKE YOU, there is an obvious issue that needs to be addressed.

There's a difference between being socially conditioned to liking people of different races and dating outside of your race solely because of physical attraction. For example, growing up in cities like Los Angeles, where I'm from in Maryland, or even in Europe, will almost guarantee that your perception of race relations is going to be different from someone who grew up in say southeast DC, Newark, or Bed-Stuy.

In other words, half of y'all that claim you have a preference are only saying so because you have some colorism issues you need to work out. The "soup cooler", wide nose insults hurled at you as a kid stuck, and you should seek help immediately.

These preferences occur not because you are genuinely used to dating outside of your race but because your pain is being projected as "attraction" to the men or women that you have subconsciously deemed superior. The problem with the dating world is that it is difficult to separate those who are dealing with mental issues from those who are genuine.

Our issues with colorism are also projected into common creeps who have nothing more to do than to berate someone who has found love. If the man or woman you are bullying on social media never came out and said anything negative about dark skinned men or women, leave them alone. You do not know their background and you do not know that couple’s story.

There is obviously folk who need to get a handle on their colorism and mental health issues, but a picture on Instagram is not going to give you any indication of those issues. If they have not projected a disdain for people of a certain hue then the man or woman they end up with is no one’s concern. We have bigger issues at hand and the skin tone or racial background of someone else’s spouse is absolutely not one of them.