HuffPo's worst headline ever?

A gallery celebrating interracial love goes very, very wrong

By Mary Elizabeth Williams
Published April 22, 2014 7:26PM (EDT)

You don't exactly have high expectations for the folks who gave us Kate Middleton's "Post-Baby Body One Day After Giving Birth" or the classic headline, "Fork in Penis Removed After 70-Year-Old Man Stuffs 4-Inch Utensil Into His Urethra (PHOTO)." But I'm going to say that today, all other HuffPo headlines must bow down for a new trolling champion. It's a story about interracial couples. The headline, above a photograph of Halle Berry and Oliver Martinez, is "Proof That Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back."

Accompanying a gallery of 11 couples whom writer Jessica Dickerson says are "reminders of how beautiful love can be, no matter what the color of your skin is," is the introduction that "Some say that, 'once you go black, you never go back.' And when it comes to love, some celebrity relationships validate that claim as perfectly." And there are fun facts, like how Robert De Niro's "first wife, Diahnne Abbott (1976-1988) was also black."

If you want to celebrate love in all its forms, great. But it's pretty insulting to people of all colors to suggest, in handy click bait gallery form, that when a white person falls in love with and partners with a person of another race, he or she has "gone black," and is furthermore "never going back." (There's another, more practical reason these couples are likely "never going back": they are engaged or bound in holy matrimony.) That's not really an "age-old saying" as much as, oh, I don't know, a throwback to a distant era of racial stereotyping. What do you say we never go back?

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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