Monday, November 12, 2007

Interracial couples are complicated

There seems to be this myth out there that racial discrimination does not exist. But if you really want to see the monster of racism rear it's ugly head, try bringing up the issue of interracial dating.

People say all the time that race relations in this country have come a long way, and they have, but on the romantic side of things, we're slacking. I have spoken with so many people over the past several years that tell me their parents are pressuring them to bring home a specific ethnic group.

It's interesting to see the face of a man, who swears to love all races, when "daddy's little girl" comes back from college with a man of another race. Or the face of a mother whose only son calls to tell her about the girl of his dreams that he just met and mentions her skin color isn't the same.

Of course there are plenty parents who don't care about race, but then you've got to factor in the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings that may. And if you're lucky enough to have everyone on both sides of the relationship okay with it, then you've still got to deal with society.
I personally don't have a problem with interracial romance because I believe in what Martin Luther King Jr. fought and died for.

I believe that people should be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. It's shocking to me that across the board, whether it is white, black, Asian, Native American, or Hispanic, there are people who shake their heads at couples with different pigmentation.

With that said, if you are entering into a relationship with someone of a different ethnicity, the worst thing you can do is completely ignore it. If you do that, then you will never be able to understand that person or where they're coming from. You have to learn and accept their various cultures and beliefs.

Furthermore, if you don't have a conversation about the obstacles you will face in the relationship then you're putting yourself at a disadvantage. It's like fighting in a war without ever preparing for battle or recognizing that you're in one. You have to be able to fend off the stereotypes, disgruntled family members and discrimination together so that you can both continue moving forward.

Here we are in 2007 and we still have to deal with the hatred toward interracial dating. I challenge you to really think critically about this, and try to ask yourself what your reaction is to these couples. Then go a step further and see what your family's responses are. You'll be surprised at what you find.

There is no quick solution to the problems facing interracial couples today. There is nothing I can say that will change the minds of everyone who read this piece. All I can do is encourage those who are struggling with their relationships due to race to continue fighting the battle because, in the end, it'll all be worth it.

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