Irrefutable Black Truth #2: Wesley Snipes Hates Black Women.

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Yesterday morning, Entertainment Weekly posted a rather engaging article about Wesley Snipes on its website. The piece chronicles the actor’s fall from public grace, his recent spate of straight-to-DVD films (His last five have gone the way of the Blockbuster shelf), and his ongoing legal woes — from the Blade:Trinity battle supposedly responsible for his “blacklisted” status in Hollywood to his multimillion-dollar tax evasion case in which he faces 16 years in prison.

The whole time I was reading the five-page piece, I thought, “See if there won’t be thousands of Black women reading this today and muttering, ‘Good.’ under their breath.” What would lead me to imagine an army of sisters, arms firmly crossed over their chests, feet tapping a “what-goes-around-comes-around” cadence on the floor?

Well, as urban legend goes, eleven years ago, Wesley Snipes told Ebony magazine he hates Black women. Oh, if you were older than five years old in 1997, you’ve probably heard some variant of the Wesley Snipes myth. “He said he can’t stand a Black woman ’cause she’s always got an attitude.” or “He said Asian women are better than Black women and he will never go back to Black women.” or “He said white and Asian women are way more agreeable than Black women and that’s why Black men turn to other races.” And it goes on. Personally, I’ve heard everything from “Wesley Snipes has a clause in his film contract that keeps him from having Black love interests!” to “Wesley Snipes said ‘Black women are fat and greasy!'”

So I did a simple Google search. “Wesley Snipes Black Women,” I typed. The search yielded this: the complete text of Snipes’ 1997 interview with Ebony contributor Lynn Norment. Here’s what he actually said:

The Asian model and restaurateur he introduces as “my lady, Donna [Wong]” has been Snipes’ companion for the past year and a half When asked if he dates Black women, he says: “Primarily all of my life I’ve dated Black women…. Oh, most definitely. Oh, my God. Mostly. But it just so happens that now I’m dating an Asian woman. It’s different. Different energy, different spirit, but a nice person.” He says he is not ready for marriage; nor is Donna. “She’s got to learn to deal with the love scenes in the movies first,” says Snipes as he chuckles. “Got to get to a place where it’s very comfortable.”

Wesley says he realizes that there are Black women still who get an attitude about Black men with Asian, White or Hispanic women. “I know we’ve all been hurt, and we’re all very wounded,” he says, addressing Black women. “We have to acknowledge that, both male and female, in the Black experience. We’re a wounded people. And we want to possess and we want to own. We don’t want to compromise. We feel like we’ve compromised enough. But in any relationship you have to compromise. There’s no way around it. And I say to Black women also, Brothers who are very, very successful, or who have become somewhat successful, usually it’s been at a great expense, unseen by the camera’s eye….

“He doesn’t want to come home to someone who’s going to be mean and aggravating and unkind and who is going to be `please me, please me.’ He doesn’t want to come home to that. He doesn’t want to come home to have a fight with someone who is supposed to be his helpmate. So it’s very natural that he’s going to turn to some place that’s more compassionate…. You’ve worked hard and you deserve to come home to comforting. And usually a man who has that will appreciate it. Because I’ve never known one cat, all those cats I’ve hung out with and still hang out with, who found something that they really, really like and didn’t go back to it. They all go back. It’s very simple.”

When asked for clarification, Snipes emphasizes that he is not saying that a Black woman can not be that type of woman a man wants to come home to. “Not at all,” he declares. “Absolutely not. That’s the point. I want to come home and I don’t want to argue. I want to be pleasing, but if I ask you to get me a glass of water, you’re going to say, `Them days is over.’ please. Come on,” Wesley says. “A man likes that. I don’t know why. It’s been that way forever. It makes him proud, you know, like when the guys come over and your lady comes out with a tray of food and says `I made this up for you.’ And the guys are like, `Oh man, you’ve got a great woman.’ And the man says, `Yeah, I do.’ A man will appreciate it when you’re kind and when you’re nice.

“For successful women, it’s hard,” he continues, obviously quite comfortable and articulate on the subject of relationships. “The competition is fierce. And if he’s a man of success and power who happens to be handsome, of course you’re not the only one who thinks he’s handsome. But you don’t have to punish him because of that once you get with him. Don’t punish him because somebody else likes him.”

Continuing with his openness, Snipes says he’s had his heart broken more than once, and at times by Black women. “Most definitely. Most definitely,” he says.

So perhaps we can just put this rumor to rest, once and for all. No one’s saying that Snipes’ claims weren’t problematic or that, no matter what he meant, what he said had the potential to (and did) offend. It’s just that nowhere in this article did he say that he hates Black women. He also never said that he’d never date Black women again (or that other Black men should follow suit). So maybe we could all just cool out on the histrionics, okay?

Entertainment Weekly’s article references Snipes’ current wife, Nakyung “Nikki” Park. She’s Asian. No big. Personal preference, right? Even so, I thought the sight of her might dredge up old feelings (and rumors)–and really, with the kind of problems this man has, rolling down that road once more will benefit no one.

You know what else won’t benefit anyone? Snipes claims that “systematic racism” is to blame for his Hollywood shut-out. And for his tax problems. We’re not saying that an all-white jury seating shouldn’t rankle a brother. But wouldn’t it have made more sense to cross your Ts and dot your Is in the first place? Isn’t it a bit more difficult for The Man to get at you for tax evasion when you’re not looking for ludicrously high tax breaks and refusing to pay at all for multi-year blocks?

Wesley Snipes: making bad PR and personal decisions since 1997 (though none of them include hating Black women).

slb

slb (aka Stacia L. Brown) is a writer, mother, and college instructor in Baltimore, MD. Check her out here: http://stacialbrown.com and here: http://beyondbabymamas.com.
  • All I know is he should not have slapped Halle

  • tlynnfizzle

    LOL @ asking for a glass of water and her saying, “them days is over.”
    I laughed hard.

    • Nina

      lmao Yea that was funny af.

  • Lisa

    Yeah, I never got that either. But he did make it seem as if only black women give men problems. Like if you have a bad relationship with a black woman get an Asian or white woman and everything will be splendid! I didn’t get the vibe that he hates black women, though.

  • Tabitha

    I’d hire him to star in a film because at the end of the day, Wesley is STILL a good actor. Forget the Blade films and the martial arts, the brother has chops.

  • LH

    I’m really glad that you posted this. For years I’ve been hearing this nonsense about Snipes hating black women from the same people who will swear up and down that Liz Claiborne, Perry Ellis, Marithe’ & Francois Girbaud, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren appeared on “Oprah” and declared that they don’t make their clothes for black people. It’s as if there’s a competition for dumbest rumour.

    • kenya

      All that did really happen @ LH. Liz Claiborne came on the show said something about not wanting black people to wear or buy her clothes. It was very offensive so Oprah took the Liz Claiborne dress off did the rest of the show in a robe. I saw the show. Louis vutton is another racist.

  • JJ

    He may not have said he hated Black women but his comments implied that Black women weren’t the “giving/comforting” type.

    • Jean Deaux

      they are not….in general. If there was a list of “how much trouble” women from different ethnicity would give, Black women would be at or near the top. who wants to deal with that shit.

      • Samira Sadiq

        You sound like a misogynistic dumb ass, go fly a kite.

  • The post’s author acknowledged that Snipes’s views were problematic.

  • Tiffany in Houston

    His comments WERE problematic and though I’m no expert; I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that black women were a large part of his fan base and as a result of the distortion of said problematic comments, that fan base probably dwindled to some degree.

  • slb

    Tiffany-

    As well said fan base should’ve. But we have to admit that the comments themselves didn’t likely do as much prolonged damage as the variants of the comments that have been proliferating through Black communities for over a decade. Anyone who’s ever quoted Snipes out of context on this issue or exaggerated his statements or added his/her own implications and spin has fueled the increased enmity between him and potential Black women viewers.

  • marc

    Well, we should all rememeber this is his opinion…this is an actor, not an intellectual. If we are now looking to actors or rappers or singers for intellectualism and then become hurt by any type of opinion be it idiotic or sensible then we deserve whatever feeling we get. Who is wesley snipes? He no more speaks for the blk race then does Jesse Jackson. Let him have his opinion. Dont be hurt by it, Know your self and nothing noone says canmake or break you….

  • 7579esq

    I know the Wesley Snipes comments are being touted as not about hate for black women, but no matter what, he made it clear that once you have reached a certain level of success as a black man putting up with a black woman’s purported mythical “attitude” is just no longer worth it. However, what Snipes did is communicate to men (of all races) that black women are difficult non-supportive, critical, negative women who should only be tolerated at the lower levels of the social strata, and that once you reach a certain level of society there are better trained and accommodating women deserving of bearing your children and inheriting your millions. If Snipes thought we were angry then — he’s learned the hard way – we are successful and have our own money to spend and it will not be for movies by pseudo-intellectual idiots like Wesley Snipes and the like.

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  • Sister P

    I don’t know where I’ve been for the past 10 years but I have NEVER heard that rumor. Thanks for enlightening.

  • What’s irrefutable black truth #1?

  • Aisha

    Wesley clearly doesn’t think highly of Black women. He said this in Ebony a place where he should have been more careful. He really thought he was giving Black women some advice, some home training. Wesley doesn’t think a black woman is a suitable mate. So saying he hates Black women is not a stretch to me.

  • Resee

    That’s interesting. You know, someone told me that he said he hated black women on the Queen Latifah show – now I know that this was all just a lie. I can see where he is coming from, though (and SURPRISE! – I am a black woman). A lot of us have some sort of a chip on our shoulder and some of us tend to act like we’re tough, loud and like NOBODY can say ANYTHING contrary to us when we just want to be loved like the rest of the world. I believe it has a lot to do with our communities and what we see on television. I have found an attitude in many black men that may contribute to me dating other races more often than black men (but then again, I love variety!). All I’m saying is, sisters, while we may not like it, Snipes statement did have a ring of truth. I ain’t mad at him, but then again, I’m not the type of black woman he was referring to, but I do know many who are.

    • Samira Sadiq

      Your problem is you’re looking at this through the lenses of race and gender when it’s more of a human condition. Regardless of gender or race, you will find people who fit this narrative. I have found that black women are some of the most loving people you will ever come into contact with so when you say “a lot of black women have a chip on their shoulder…” I can’t help but completely and utterly disagree.

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  • Alex

    As we all know, the lesser privileged will often attempt to read articles, misconstrue what was truly intended, and spread mindless gossip. As for racism, I never assumed that from his comments… Maybe expressing personal preferences in public was a bad idea as regardless of what anyone said, somehow it would insult someone somewhere.
    People are people regardless of race, there are bad apples in every bunch.

    Snipes Sniped by Feds;
    With everything else going on, all I can say is, “Poor guy…”

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  • fanatic

    LOL @ “them days is over.”

  • SC

    i was amused by the author comments because they are patronizing, condescending and ironic “just cool out on the histrionics, okay?”
    he pretty much ignored or overlooked comments from people-male and female that accurately remembered wes-snip comments and made corresponding sensible responses. no, you just reduce the entire argument to whether or not he exactly said “I hate black women and wont date them anymore” and if he didnt say that, well then nearly all the objections were over-reactions. no his comments were damaging enough EXACTLY the way he said them. can you imagine a bill gates or some other white corporate president stating similar reasons why his company wont hire blacks? (putting the fact that discrimination in hiring is illegal aside)
    what struck me when i read his interview was this: the bizarre internecine racist mindset that black women need white,asian or latina examples to model their behavior and black men dont need to do the same. should black men, who are at the bottom of every scale in comparision to other men (except for the stereotypical penis size), model their behavior on other groups? females of a group, like its males grow out of their enviornments, if seems to me black men need to be a asian type of man if their want to see black women become an asian type of woman, whatever that means to them. also, snipes didnt even conceed there are many black men who have psychosexual fetishes for white/light features. the skin, the hair the nose, etc and his particular fetish for the “china doll”, THAT would have taken more courage than he is capable of. ..by sin of omission he gives “successful brothers” a pass he lays it all at the feet of black women and their behavior. as far as saying black women’s behavior and attitude needs improving, what group on the planet if they are honest wouldnt say their behavior and attitude doesnt need improving? no the problem was/is that for the past 30 years black men have been spouting the snipes line and not added clarity and focus to exactly who/what a black women’s role model should be. there has been a small industry of HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of self-improvment courses books, courses specifically for black women by black women/men but jokers like snipes NEVER mention them, and what examples should be followed. i have my own list of role model behavior, queen afua, amos wilson, etc, but this post is already too long.
    the interviewer, working for ebony kept the question on the most superficial and salacious and didnt put his feet to the fire and go further in depth,unfortunately the author of this blog has followed the same course.
    i also remembered from the interview showing how he did have black women working for him, but for his queen he chose something else. no, snipes did “say that” he didnt have to. that was a direct hit to the heart of the black woman.
    people know when they have been dissed, what did or did not come out his mouth, people sense the general feeling of what he was saying.
    black men do the opposite of what other men do. historically white men made the black women his concubine, prostitute, employee servants, but kept his white woman as queen.
    by the way, if anyone has the link to “society of asian women to free wesley snipes” site, please post it…lol!

  • LH

    That was constructive, SC. Bravo!

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  • Ashley

    What’s up with the grammar? Snipes comments were really hard to read…choppy etc.

  • Ebony

    Wesley Snipes isn’t even cute, who cares who or what he dates. I never liked him.

  • likalaruku

    Says the guy who acted like an uppity little diva on the set of Blade: Trinity. Guess he should also avoid Italian & Hispanic women if he can’t deal with anyone bitchier than himself.

  • Vana

    Ok i have been hurt by black men but that does not mean the next black man will hurt me as well. I have hope that i will meet my future husband one day. I still have faith in the black man after all i have been put through. No one wants to come home to a grouch, however. Wesley has inflicted pain on some black women as well. And there is domestic violence. Black women are put upon by everyone else and we are supposed to smile through all of it. Hard to do some days.

  • Touzdi Rivers

    HOW CAN HE HATE BLACK WOMEN,WHEN HE IS THE BLACKEST DUDE ON THE PLANET

  • BlackWoman Fighting Misogynoir

    So he has to say “I hate Black women” in those exact words, before black women are allowed to be offended?
    Nope he didn’t say he “hated black women” but he did say very unkind things about them. Really saying “I hate black women” would have just saved him some energy yapping and ended the interview a bit quicker.