I add “sorta” because Gaddafi had publicly gushed about Rice in 2007. “I support my darling Black African woman,” Gaddaffi told Al Jazeera TV. “I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders… Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. I love her very much and I’m proud of her because she’s a Black woman of African origin.”
Proving his words with action, Gaddafi showered Rice with over $200,000 in gifts at a State dinner when she visited Libya in 2008. The treats included a diamond ring and a locket containing a picture of Gaddaffi.
This isn’t the first time a madman has gushed about his fondness for a woman with melanin. Osama Bin Laden’s one-time mistress Kola Boof recounted in her memoir “Diary of a Lost Girl” that Bin Laden had an obsession with singer Whitney Houston. “He said she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen,” Boof recalled. “He said he would be willing to break his color rule and make her one of his wives.”
I certainly don’t think Black women should be flattered by these rantings; I mean, consider the sources. But in reading the preferences of these men, I can’t help but notice it’s been a long time since I’ve heard a man declare his adoration for Black women. I know, the musings of the crazed and deranged are not the love Black women are looking for. But as I wrote in a post on my personal blog, “Where’s the Love [for Black Women]?
It’s been a long time, too long, since I’ve heard a man, in public or private, gushing about Black women’s strength or taking a sense of pride in our African origins. The strength that allows some of us to lead is usually perceived as a double-edged sword; great for raising families on our own when a guy abandons his duties, but a burden when it comes to mating, because we allegedly don’t know how to “let a man be a man.” And the African origins that Gaddaffi and Bin Laden find assets, the origins that color most of us in a browner hue and coil our hair, are too often derided in favor of long-haired, “red” bones, of which notably Rice and Houston are neither.
Forgive me if I’m being vain, but I’d like to hear from men — sane, upstanding ones — more often about how wondrous Black women are, because well, we are. I want a man to get on a soap box and talk about how, as Oleta Adana once put it in “Get Here,” he’s willing to “cross the desert” for Black women, “like an Arab man.”
The borderline stalking of crazed men shouldn’t be one of the too few and far between times Black women are publicly cherished.