Politics & Race
Fake Love: How Drake Explains My Feelings About White Women

By Ashley McIntyre

In the aftermath of the presidential election, (in which a large enough number of Americans decided that a laughably unqualified, decomposing pumpkin was capable of running the country), Shaun King wrote an article that pointed out the Democratic party’s lack of diversity: The Democratic party is largely (and painfully) white without President Obama’s influence. King opened this piece with a lyric from one of Drake’s newest songs, “Fake Love.” As I listened to the song again (perhaps the first and only time I will apply my critical reading skills to anything that comes out of Drake’s mouth), I realized that the 6 God had inadvertently created a metaphor for my ever-evolving relationship with white women.

*Warning: “Fake Love” is about to get stuck in your head again and for that, I am deeply sorry.

I’m done with AT LEAST 53% of White women.

“But why?” they ask. “Why are you showing no love for 53% of White women? I thought we were homegirls! I thought we were cool! I thought we were friends!”

For reference, exit polls showed that 53% of White women, many of them college educated, chose to vote for the Orange Menace. We were cool, Becky. That was before you showed me your true colors, Becky with the “Women for Trump” bumper sticker. That was before you cast your vote for someone who is dedicated to making life harder for me and people who look like me, Becky. That was before you hid in the shadows as a part of the cesspool that is the #silentmajority, only to hit “like” on The racist kumquat’s Facebook page the day after the election. That was before you decided that it was more important for you to preserve your status and your safety as a White person, than to stand shoulder to shoulder with me in the fight for our rights as a women. Don’t think I don’t see you, Becky. You might not be a racist (a distinction that is currently being called into question), but you definitely thought it was perfectly acceptable to vote for one.

Gentle reader, are you hearing that “Fake Love” pre-hook yet?

“That’s when they smile in my face
Whole time they wanna take my place
Whole time they wanna take my place
Whole time they wanna take my place
Yeah, I know they wanna take my place
I can tell that love is fake
I don’t trust a word you say
How you wanna clique up after your mistakes?
Look you in the face, and it’s just not the same.”

There’s a sense of betrayal unique to a lot of black women who grew up around White people. We’re not as surprised as we are deeply and irreparably disappointed in them. We find ourselves more distrustful of them than ever before.

“Somethin’ ain’t right when we talkin’
Look like you hidin’ your problems
Really you never was solid”

We invited these people into our homes, and had dinner with them. We crammed for exams together. We watch each other’s kids. But what now?

“Yeah, straight up to my face, tryna play it safe
Vibe switch like night and day
I can see it, like, right away
I came up, you changed up
I caught that whole play
Since, things never been the same”

Here’s the thing–and I don’t think they’ve figured this out yet: You don’t get to vote for Trump, perpetuate white supremacy and keep all of your black “friends”, dear Becky. I know you’re a white woman and have grown very accustomed to getting whatever you want, but it’s not going to work that way this time. You don’t get to throw black, brown, LGBTQ, immigrant and disabled women into the fire by voting for Orange Mussolini, and expect them to turn around and join you at “that cute lil’ lunch place” on Friday. Get the hell outta here.

“I got fake people showin’ fake love to me
Straight up to my face, straight up to my face”

I was raised in a predominantly white suburb, played on predominantly white sports teams and went to predominantly white schools – all the way through undergrad. When I was younger, I felt I had more in common with the white kids. We shared interests, our parents had similar methods of home training their children, and so those kids became my closest friends. (I didn’t gain my first black bestie until my senior year of high school.) I held nothing against the other black or brown kids at my school, we just didn’t enjoy enough of the same things.  Don’t get me wrong, my formative years weren’t all rosy; I definitely caught a good share of teasing for my big butt, full lips, brown skin and thick kinky hair.

“No, you can’t ‘son’ me
You won’t never get to run me”

So many of these White girls tried to demean me and these beautiful God-given features of mine 10 years ago, only to spend piles of money on products and services to try and emulate them today. So, there’s that too.

“That’s when they smile in my face
Whole time they wanna take my place
Whole time they wanna take my place
Whole time they wanna take my place
Yeah, I know they wanna take my place”

My 5 year college reunion is happening later this year, and I’m trying to decide if I should scrape together enough fucks to make it back for alumni weekend. Thanks to some rudimentary Facebook browsing, I’ve discovered that I’m surrounded by a lot more Tomi Lahren (aka Darth Becky) and Trump fans than I originally thought. I went to college with a lot of these women; they were my RA’s, classmates and co-workers. So tell me. Why in the world would I cross two state lines and spend 8 hours in the car just to be greeted by a horde of Darth Becky’s mouthpieces upon my arrival? “Oh my gosh, how ARE you? It’s been so long! How is your boyfriend? How is your family? OMG how’s your dog, I love when you post pictures of him on Instagram because he is so cuuuute!

Nope. Nope nope nope.

“That’s when they smile in my face
Whole time they wanna take my place
Whole time they wanna take my place
Whole time they wanna take my place
Yeah, I know they wanna take my place”

The solution to my quandary isn’t immediately apparent. It will likely include a lot of swerving and more unfriending sprees. I’d like to think I can be the better person (á la Michelle Obama), but I have to take care of myself because–goddammit–I’m tired. I’ve already declared that I’m largely done explaining racism to white people, even the well-meaning ones.

But if I do wind up going to that reunion, you better believe that my Swerve Rate will be at least 53%.

About the author

Ashley McIntyre is a writer and wardrobe stylist from Atlanta/Durham who is in a perpetual state of trying to get her shit together. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @ashley__lucinda. (Or not. Totally up to you.)

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