Parenting the Interracial Child: Interracial Dating

Mom and dad are from different ethnic backgrounds and races. They have persevered through life’s and society’s ups and downs, approvals and disapproval’s. When the interracial child of this union enters into the dating world, it is inevitable that they will find a partner that is also of a different race. Immediately mom and dad are comfortable with the situation? Not all of the time. Sometimes parents find themselves in an uncomfortable situation because an interracial child chooses someone the parent would never choose.

interracial-partners

Judgments Need to Stop at Hello

As interracial parents, both partners will be wise about the impact of interracial dating on society’s outlook, but that does not mean the first reaction to an interracial relationship is not one of awe from a parent. Take a Caucasian mother and African American father into consideration. An interracial daughter may choose to date a Caucasian boy. Mom is the only standing on the outside looking in. Personal preference led her into the interracial relationship and she may not understand why her daughter is choosing the person she has chosen, but judgments need to stop at, “Hello.” An open mind is the best mind to approach interracial dating with from the start – especially with biracial or multiracial children.

Talk With Interracial Children About How Others May React

Parents of interracial children need to remember they have been living the “out in front” lifestyle for years. Children are not as apt to understand why people stare, snicker or make remarks. It is best to discuss these potential reactions with a child as soon as they are old enough to start dating. Parents of interracial children may get the standard, “I know and I don’t care what others think of who I date”, but at lease children know parents are there to talk if (and in most cases when) society gets under the skin.

Open Up about Past Experiences

Another huge benefit to interracial children who are dating outside their race is the past experiences a parent may have. Just because things seem accepted today, does not mean there will be no confrontations. If parents of interracial children talk about past confrontations they have experienced and the best means of making it through emotionally and physically, children may be better prepared for life ahead with an open mind and heart.

Life parenting an interracial child is bound to be full of ups and downs. Parents who tackle interracial dating head on with no expectations in mind, everyone will feel better about dating choices in the end.

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Sanctioned Racism: Contempt for Interracial Relationships

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?

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.