NYC Mayoral Aide, Rachel Noerdlinger, in Hot Water Over Ex-Con Boyfriend: Can Black Women Make Better Choices in Their Relationships?

Rachel Noerdlinger with boyfriend, Hassaun McFarlan. (Facebook)
Rachel Noerdlinger with boyfriend, Hassaun McFarlan. (Facebook)

by David Kaufman

Of all the questions posed by the Rachel Noerdlinger saga, the most confounding isn’t, “Why hasn’t the mayor fired her yet?” It’s “Can’t a woman like Noerdlinger do better than this guy?”

A worldly, well-educated professional, Noerdlinger should be positioned to choose a partner far more appropriate than a serial criminal like Hassaun McFarlan. But instead of building a life with an equal, she opted for a man who could destroy the life she’s so carefully built.

It would be easy to blame Noerdlinger — yet this dilemma is faced by all too many of her successful African-American sisters. Across America, black girls are up to 50 percent more likely than black boys to graduate from high school, report the NAACP and Schott Foundation for Public Education.

In college, African-American women outnumber men by roughly two to one, notes The National Coalition of Black Civic Participation.

And, with black men six times more likely to be incarcerated than white men, educated black women like Noerdinger lack the pool of suitable mates their white counterparts take for granted.

Yet black women show little sign of abandoning the race.

Indeed, of all US demographic groups, African-American women are least likely to date or marry across ethnic lines. Fewer than 10 percent of black women have non-black spouses — less than half the number of black men.

Part of this is external: Troubling 2013 and 2009 reports from dating network OK Cupid revealed that black women are the site’s least-desired demographic — even by black men.

But, as Ralph Richard Banks explored in his 2011 book “Is Marriage for White People?” African-American cultural and community leaders also share the blame for limiting black women’s romantic options.

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SOURCE: The New York Post

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