Entertainment

Jeannie Mai’s Comments About Dating Black Men Are A Reminder That Some People Might Date Us But Don’t Value Us

In 2019, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that any problematic thing you have said on the internet will come back to bite you.

Host of “The Real” and TV personality Jeannie Mai is learning that lesson the hard way after her relationship with African American rapper Jeezy, Jay Wayne Jenkins, went public on Instagram. In response to the couple’s great news, the internet was quick to resurface an old clip of the television host proudly and enthusiastically claiming that she might date Black men but prefers to marry men who are white.

By the way, this “old” clip aired in 2014, a time when anyone dating a Black person who had access to the internet and friends ought to know better

The clip from 2014 of Mai saying that she prefers her “dark meat on the side” is making the rounds once again.

During a segment on “The Real” in which Mai and her co-hosts spoke about their “types,” Mai made a comment in front of her three Black co-hosts (Loni Love, Lamar Braxton, and Tamera Mowry-Housley) and all things holy that she “loved Black guys!”

And ayayay because that’s already a risky thing to enthuse but she didn’t stop there. “I did, I did,” she went on to say. “But for me, dark meat on the side. White keeps me mean and lean, you know? That’s why I married white. That’s what I like.”

The comments shocked her co-hosts at the time and at one point, Tamar Braxton, replied. “Before I get offended, I’m going to just hush.” When Mai realized she had upset her co-workers she immediately demanded to know what they thought she meant and Mowry-Housley countered that she ought to explain herself.

“What I’m saying is I really do think Black men are attractive,” Mai said again. “When I think about men, I like dark men. I used to date Black men. I think they’re attractive. But when I decided to stick to – because it just kept me happiest – was my man Freddy, who just happens to be White.”

Mai’s sentiment highlights a common sentiment from women outside of the Black the community that Black men are fine to play with but not hang with.

The comments implied that Black men are fine to date but never good enough to settle down with. A Black man could offer a non-Black woman the world but he’d be too “lowly” in their eyes for them to hitch their wagon too. Comments like these not only fetishize Black men and Black people, they dehumanize them as well.

Truth be told, when it comes to race, no one’s being quick to put Jeannie Mai at the helm of the racial conversation.

Mai has made a point on her show of stating her belief that race is not an issue. During various segments of the show she has asserted that Black women are more or more distinctly disparaged in our country.

In actuality, studies have proven time and again that when it comes to domestic abuse, sexual assault, and abuse when it comes to obtaining jobs, education and higher salaries, even proper healthcare Black women are particularly disenfranchised against.

During a conversation about R Kelly and the way his Black victims have been overlooked Mai protested the notion that white victims would have been treated differently. While discussing the issue Mai’s co-host Adrian Bailon asserted that if the girls had been white, the national guard would have been involved. Mai was quick to reply that “women of ALL color” are not being taken care of.

Of course, we’re not mad that Mai is dating Black men. We wish them well and for Jeezy’s sake she’s not sticking to her 2014 ways.

Readers Share Adorable Stories of How Their Parents and Abuelos Met

Culture

Readers Share Adorable Stories of How Their Parents and Abuelos Met

@JulianFdo /Twitter

In the era of hookup culture and online swiping, it’s comforting to look back on the days when dating was a straight-forward affair: boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy marries girl. End of story. But, times have changed and finding your other half can feel more impossible than every Luckily, we can always look to older generations to give us hope. Their romantic stories of days past are always inspiring.

Readers of FIERCE by mitu shared their cute stories of how their parents and abuelos met. Check out some of our favorite ones below!

1. The old bait-and-switch

@ChrisRAlonso/Twitter

“My abuelos met eachother while they were living in Cuba. Abuelo pretended to be 5 years older than her to get her attention but was actually 2 years younger. He asked her out for ice-cream on their first date.”

2. The Cinderella Story

@JulianFdo/Twitter

“My Dad was rich & Mom poor, he chose her and was disowned by his family and lost his inheritance. They lived happily ever after working their asses off once they came to the United States. Love my parents”. -@mrs.jaypeeonenine

3. Love Letters Gone Wrong

@kathleenlights1/Twitter

“My dad was playing basketball at my moms high school. He saw my mom and asked her if he could write her. 1953. Mom told dad to write his address on the locker that he was using for the basketball game ( girls lockers). He did. On Monday morning the principal of moms school called to complain to the principal of my dads high school and was angry his basketball team had written all over the lockers. My dad and his team were punished and had to go back to my moms school to clean up the lockers. I still have the first letter my dad sent my mom. Mom passed away 10 years ago. I’m 64 and will never forget their love story”. – @dollycardenas50

4. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

@cokythelad/Twitter

“My mom and dad both immigrated here from Argentina when they were kids. My dad was 9 and my mom was 2. My dad ended up going to high school with my mom’s little brother and they got super drunk one night together when they were 16. They were scared to go back to their houses (the wrath of a Latin mother!!) so they tried to sleep in a park. It got too cold, so they went back to my uncle’s place and decided to wake my mom up by throwing rocks at her window. At 3am, my mom let her hermanito and my dad crawl through her window. My dad and uncle set up camp in my uncle’s room to sleep everything off, but they were starving. My uncle sent my dad to knock on my mom’s door and ask if she could make pancakes (bc they’re legendary). She thought he was so cute, that she made them pancakes at 3am. They’ve been together ever since (they’re 52 now).” -@bryduca

5. A Tale of Two Heights

@joeytovar_ /Twitter

“My grandparents went to school together. He asked her to be his partner for a dance performance once. Grandpa says he would have asked her sooner but didn’t see her. He’s 6ft she’s 4’10.” -@danhely

6. Love at first sight

@lcarreradesign/Twitter

“My abuelos met each other on a bus in Chicago while Guelo was studying to be a priest. He was a light skinned, fiery haired Mexican man with a friendly smile. Guela’s golden brown Puerto Rican glow was accented by her elegant black ringlets and graceful summer dress. He was smitten the moment he saw her! They conversed about spirituality, faith, and love for something greater than self.Less than one year later, Guelo traded one sacrament for another so that we, our family, could be born.” -@e.m.castro

7. Flirting By Throwing Rocks?

@keithmburke/Twitter

“My abuela would fill up her cantaro with water & whenever she walked by, my abuelo would through small rocks. She hated him for making her dump the water & he loved how beautiful she looked angry”. -@mija_por_favor

8. Life-long dance partners

@babybellabb/Twitter

“My abuelos ran into each other multiple times in one day. They had gotten onto the same bus two different times. Later that night when my abuelo saw my abuela at a dance he decided seeing her a third time that day was a sign and asked her to dance. And they were dancing partners the rest of her life”. -@thetiffanyandco

9. The Bashful Beginning

@leticiasaurus /Twitter

“My dad was friends with my mom’s brothers but he never met her despite always being around. One day, my mom was cleaning the floor outside her house & saw my dad walking from a distance towards the house. She dropped the broom & ran inside. The rest, is history”. -@lifeasingrid

10. The Whirlwind Romance

@ohmy_itsyza/Twitter

“My grandma and grandpa met while being migrant workers. Grandma was 15 and he was 18. My grandma’s sisters were trying to get with my grandpa but grandma wasn’t having it. Their time at that location was almost over and they were going to be separated so after two weeks of knowing each other, they decided to marry. They were married 62 years before my grandma passed.” – @amorettenoel

11. A Military Marriage

@prietitaV/Twitter

“My grandfather was in the marines and was stationed in the Dominican Rep. training the Dominican Air Force. At a party he meet my abuelita and fell in love. He had to asked his superiors for permission to see her, then my great grandfather to court her. They both passed away one right after each other after being 50 years together” -@claudia_teresa1

12. A Meeting of Cultures

@TheHernandezLab/Twitter

“Mi abuela, Soledad, or Chole, was a very attractive and creative woman. Soon after high school she was dancing in a women’s Mexican folklorico troup at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Mi abuelo Modesto, was selling Cuban cigars as a traveling salesman. They met at the Fair, fell in love and eventually had my mom, Rosalia.” -@fridadina

13. An arranged marriage with a happy ending…

@brina_la_nica/Twitter

“In my dad’s side of the family my grandma had to marry my grandpa because a chismosa saw her talking to him outside the grocery story, so my great-grandparents arranged the marriage to restore their honor. In my moms side of the family my grandma had to marry my grandpa to pay off a debt of his family take care of hers after my grandmas parents passed away when she was young. They loved each other and lived happily ever after.#arrangedmarriages” -@iris_herndz

14. An Irresistible Passion

@daiciamestas

“My parents met at a dance in Durango, Colorado. Durango is a college town perfectly located in the middle of my parent’s hometowns. My mother was promised to someone else through engagement, but my father won her heart before leaving for the Navy.” -@daiciamestas

Update: Bodycam Footage Of Texas Police Officers Leading A Black Man By A Rope Reveals They Knew It Would ‘Look Bad’

Things That Matter

Update: Bodycam Footage Of Texas Police Officers Leading A Black Man By A Rope Reveals They Knew It Would ‘Look Bad’

Two Gavelston, Texas police officers arrested 43-year-old Donald Neely on criminal trespassing 50 miles south-east of Houston. The officers are both white, while Neely is black, thus, a photograph of the two officers on horseback escorting Neely whose hands were tied with a rope, sparked public outrage. Civil Rights advocacy groups felt the picture echoed imagery from the Jim Crow era or Antebellum south. 

While the Gavelston police were quick to apologize and change their policies, protestors demanded the officers’ release their bodycam footage of the incident, which took place last August. 

Officers arrest Donald Neely on horseback.

In the absence of a police vehicle, two white officers led Neely by rope as they rode on horseback through the streets of Gavelston. Reports describe Neely as homeless and mentally ill after he was arrested for trespassing. When a photo of the incident began to circulate online, there was a national outcry with many believing it was needlessly degrading. 

The police department admitted the officers demonstrated “poor judgment” and would not arrest someone using this method again. 

Galveston’s police chief, Vernon Hale apologized calling the rope an, “unnecessary embarrassment.”

“We have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods,” Hale said. “We understand the negative perception of this action and believe it is most appropriate to cease the use of this technique.”

Donald Neely’s family reacts on Facebook. 

Imagine that you have a relative who is homeless and mentally ill… Imagine that YOU are aware that living on the…

Posted by Christin Neely on Monday, August 5, 2019

Donald Neely’s sister Christin Neely took to Facebook after the photos when viral. She shared her family’s story. Donald is mentally ill and became transient because of it. His family is still remarkably supportive and regularly searches for him when he goes missing. Fully aware that his unfortunate circumstances make him a target of law enforcement, it was no less traumatizing to discover how her brother had been arrested by seeing the viral photos.

“Imagine that you have a relative who is homeless and mentally ill… Imagine searching the streets of a city for days looking for your loved one, to no avail,” Christin wrote. “Just imagine for one second being one of his children who have been fatherless for years and your father isn’t incarcerated or dead. With all of that in mind, now imagine scrolling fb and seeing said loved one being escorted to jail on foot by 2 officers on horses, hands cuffed behind his back with a rope attached. In 2019???? He was treated like an animal paraded through the streets.”

After Christin’s post and viral outrage ensued, Hale issued an apology to Donald

“First and foremost I must apologize to Mr. Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment. Although this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios, I believe our officers showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of arrest,” Hale said. 

Civil Rights groups and protestors demand more action. 

Civil Rights advocacy groups were not completely satisfied with the way the arrest was handled, even if they did appreciate the police’s quick apology. However, no disciplinary action was taken with the two officers. 

“If it was a white man, he wouldn’t have been treated that way,” Leon Phillips, president of the Galveston Coalition for Justice, told the New York Times. “I guarantee there’s nothing in their rules that you can put a leash on a guy while you ride down the street on a horse.”

Phillips said that he grew up during segregation and the image made him emotional because during that time “people said and did whatever they wanted to,” to black folk. For Phillips, this incident was all too similar to many he had witnessed before. 

“This is 2019 and not 1819,” James Douglas, the president of Houston’s NAACP, told the Houston Chronicle. “I am happy to know that Chief Vernon [Hale] issued an apology and indicated that the act showed poor judgment, but it also shows poor training. Even though the chief indicated that the technique would be discontinued he failed to address the lack of respect demonstrated by the officers in the episode.”

Protestors get Gavelston police to release bodycam footage.

Protestors and advocates successfully got the Gavelston police to release bodycam footage of the incident. The two officers, Amanda Smith and Patrick Brosch each made their footage public. 

In the video, Brosch asks Smith if she should go get her truck, but Smith feared their sergeant did not want the officers to separate. 

“This is gonna look really bad,” Brosch says laughing, as they start escorting Donald Neely with the rope. “This is gonna look so bad. I’m glad you’re not embarrassed, Mr. Neely.” 

Police Chief Hale says that the report and footage will be used to determine if further action must be taken.