Does the thought of your baby girl bringing home a black man make you cringe? If so, would you tell me?
Would you tell this half black, half white girl that you don’t believe in interracial marriages? Would you admit that the thought of your offspring dating someone of another race makes you nauseous?
As a black girl growing up in an all-white, dusty California town, I heard it more than once: “I’d date you, but my parents just don’t believe in interracial relationships.” At the time, too young to understand the implications of such a statement, I would nod my head, reassuring my friend that I understood and wasn’t upset.
It wasn’t until years later, that I understood what my friend’s parents really meant by that statement.
Here in America, you would be hard pressed to find a white person who would use the “N” word, at least in front of a black person. Incredibly though, many in this country have little problem admitting that either they, or their parents, have issues with interracial dating. These individuals will often accompany their belief with a disclaimer stating that either they, or their parents, are not racists. They might talk about the diverse friends that they have, or how interested in other cultures they are. They might even defend their parents by describing how “warm” or “nice” they are. Occasionally, though, these individuals will give an honest assessment, and admit that it isn’t so much that their parents are old-fashioned, but that they are either blatantly racist, or sadly ignorant.
Where does this socially accepted aversion come from?
It isn’t just whites that loathe mixing their lineage. Blacks and other races feel the same way. These people often feel “betrayed” when one of their own dips outside of sanctioned territory. They label them “traitors”, making great assumptions about the type of people they are: “Black men that date white women are intimated by women of color.” or “White women are easy.”
Others are threatened. White men are often challenged by angry black men for dating one “not” of their own. Ironically, half of the time, these black men are also guilty of dating outside their race.
So why do people do this? More importantly though, why do we accept this not so subtle racism?
“People fear what they don’t know.”
Man, that phrase is getting old. More likely, people fear what they have ignorantly made assumptions about. People don’t want their white daughter dating a black man because they believe black men are deadbeats and will cheat on her. People don’t want their white son dating a black girl because “what will people think?”
What all of these ignorant fools don’t seem to understand is that the success of their child’s union with another is not determined by what race they are, but by the values and morals they both share. What these bigots also don’t seem to comprehend is that anytime a family merges with another, regardless of race, there are going to be differences, oftentimes great. Instead of sheltering their children from dating outside of their race, they should be ensuring their child knows how to choose a valuable partner. That is what will ensure a happy and successful union.
Perhaps then we can rid America of this blatant racism.