Before Will, Jada-Pinkett Smith shared that she dipped in the vanilla bowl a few times and learned a common realization that many black women face when dealing with a man outside of their race.
By Alexia McKay
During Monday’s episode of her Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk, the 47-year-old spilled a few details about her past relationships with white men and why they didn’t work out.
“I have dated some really wonderful white men, but it was interesting in the fact that you’re dating someone who has no idea what oppression is,” she said. “He’s at the top of the food chain. He doesn’t understand. It’s a very hard thing for him to be able to relate to. It was always the factor in the relationship that made it break.”
Jada’s deal breaker speaks to many black women who are in or are seeking interracial relationships. Race can be a sensitive topic to talk about with your non-black partner. Recently, Michelle Williams got into it with now-ex fiance, Chad Johnson about race. Williams called off the engagement in early December. However, movies such as “Get Out” and the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has pushed the age-old debate back into the spotlight.
But the complications are not stopping people from hooking up outside of their race. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly four-in-ten adults agree that marrying someone of a different race is good for society. The most common of these interracial pairings are Hispanics and Whites. Black men are also twice as likely as black women to intermarry.
“I have dated some really wonderful white men, but it was interesting in the fact that you’re dating someone who has no idea what oppression is.”
The Smiths were joined by Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, who opened up about her interracial marriage with music producer Chris Ivery, who is biracial. The actress revealed her biggest challenge when it comes to raising mixed children is figuring out how much to speak to them about race. But she does not deny it’s a subject that needs to be addressed with them.
“As moms and dads, we have the responsibility to expose our children to all different types of people,” Pompeo says, who grew up with black friends. The actress has been criticized heavily using black fist emojis after A&E network promoted a show documenting the lives on family members with the Ku Klux Klan. Most of the critics were white commentators. The series was eventually pulled before it even aired.
She added, “If black women have a problem with white women, I completely understand why,” Pompeo says. “If any black person has any problem with any white person I understand why. If black people have a problem with things that I’ve said, I’ve used the term reverse racism that caused a stir, people of color had a huge problem with that. They get a pass; they get to have a problem with whatever I say.”
“All I can do is explain why I say it and what my experience is and if you want to come at me for that,” she continued, “you get that right.”
The women also touched on the best advice they did not take and the importance of self-love.
“One of the biggest life lessons for me, in the last couple of years, is really having the courage to do what was necessary for myself, make changes in my life, make changes in my relationships, to really find that sense of self-love, ” Jada shared during the viewer question segment. “And to really be able to mature on a way to rely on myself emotionally has changed my life and all of my relationships in the best way, is that practice of self-love. If you can’t love yourself honestly, you cannot love anyone else.”
This past episode of Red Table Talk has over 3.3 million views.
Watch the full interview below: