steffanie rivers

Steffanie Rivers

 *If you want to know how some people really feel, just read the comments at the bottom of the internet news sites.

Whether it’s CNN, Yahoo! Or EURweb there’s always somebody with fingers perched over the keyboard waiting to add their not so flattering perspective. Just as American Idol auditions of people who cannot sing are more entertaining than those who can, comments at the bottom of an internet news article can be more interesting than the article itself. So when I read about the death of Black History icon Don Cornelius, I was afraid to scroll down.

Surprisingly all the comments were respectful. They were from people of various ethnicity who spoke about their admiration for the Pope of Love, Peace and Soul and how Soul Train had been a positive influence in their lives. If depression is to blame for his reported suicide I wonder what difference it would have made for him to realize the far reaching effects of the show he created.

And then the pictures of Cornelius and his ex-wife surfaced. He and former Russian model Viktoria Chapman Cornelius were married in 2001 before divorcing in 2009. Apparently a part of the divorce agreement stipulated that she remain beneficiary on his life insurance policies worth a reported $300,000. In California if the policy has been in place more than two years it doesn’t matter if suicide is the cause of death. So she’s about to get paid. No word on what his first wife and their two sons might inherit.

But the conversation about Cornelius has turned from condolence to inquiry about his and other successful Black men’s proclivity for younger White women, or at least for younger women who obviously are not Black. Although I’ve never stopped a Black man on the street to ask him “Say, Bruh’: Why do you prefer to date/marry a White woman instead of a Sista’?” most men, regardless of their ethnicity, reveal themselves to be more visual and less cerebral when it comes to choosing a mate. In other words, when it comes to impulse control most men don’t have any. They remain in the “Id” stage of Freud’s psycho-development never making it to the ego or super-ego stages. Instead of thinking about long-term repercussions of their decisions (Does the woman love him for him or will she leave if the money is gone?) they tend to get stuck on what looks or feels good right now. Actor Sean Penn explained it best when he said “I mistook a great first date for a marriage,” referring to his first marriage to Madonna.

Six months into my own marriage my husband looked at me one day with bewilderment and asked “Why is one of your eyes smaller than the other?”

“I have a lazy eye. I was born that way,” I told him. True story. If not into my pretty brown eyes, where had he been looking all that time? And it took him more than a year into our relationship to realize that I was left handed. But I digress.

Since men focus on more obvious assets of a woman it’s hard for them to recognize the ones who are untrustworthy gold diggers! It has nothing to do with the color of a person’s skin, rather the content of their character. Remove our skin and we are more similar than we are different. Everybody should be free to seek true love and companionship wherever they can find it, even in someone of a different race or ethnicity. That’s why it’s important for people to surround themselves with family and friends who have their best interest at heart; someone to act as the third eye when the other two eyes are not focusing on what’s most important.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send comments, questions and speaking requests to [email protected].