2010-02-03

Maybe Post Racial America Does Exist?


Thanks Lovelyn for forwarding this to me.

I was given a link to this blog the other day, a black woman explaining how race or racism affects her and her husband.

Per this woman race was never an issue because she grew up around white people. She regards race as "insignificant" or "trivial" and her and her husband don't see race in each other. She also goes on to say that due to her upbringing in a predominantly white area,the black guys she did date, she had nothing in common with and they only dated her for looks, whereas with white guys they dated her due to having similarities and things in common, but then goes on to say they were surprised at articulate and educated she was. She also states that the only negative reaction she has received about her relationship is from other black people, and that where they live is very diverse and multicultural.

Her husband even responded, and he says the only time he realizes he is in an interracial relationship is when he is around black people, particularly black men.

You can go read it, so you can tell me if my summary is off or not.

Personally, being in an interracial relationship for almost 11 years, being pregnant with a biracial child, and maybe even because I live in Texas, I have a different view and experiences of interracial relationships.

This girl is about ten years younger than me, so maybe for the younger folks, no one says anything, and everyone is ok with it. When I was dating, this wasn't the case. I caused a stir in my high school because I went to prom with a white guy. It was a controversy and I got all kinds of questions from the other kids.

Growing up in a predominantly white area, I didn't live in a racially harmonious utopia, I don't think I ever forgot I was black. I was constantly reminded. Someone always felt the need to ask me if I wanted to hear a funny n-word joke. Or feel the need to ask me why I didn't know any gang members or live in the ghetto. I lived in an area, where I had a poor white girl believing my father was always home because he worked nights as a pimp. My father is the epitome of a black geek, he could't pimp his way out of a paper bag.

I dated white guys in high school and college,almost exclusively because to be honest, that is what I was always around, and I do know or at least think, as my husband has pointed out, men are men, and most men don't ask out girls unless they are physically attracted to them. Personality and common interests come later. It would explain why I always attracted uber preppy republican white boys or jocks. They weren't interested in my politics or my interests in sports. I've met many white guys who just wanted sex. I do notice that a lot of white guys that approached me were scared to approach me for fear I wouldn't like them because I might not be open to IR.

I personally found it insulting when white people think I'm a magical negro. So yes, I'm articulated and educated, probably more so than you, and it isn't some weird thing,it is just how I was raised. Why would anyone assume I'm not educated or articulate? We don't want to open that can of worms.

In terms of family and friends accepting our relationship. My parents love my husband, but I know that my mom and dad would have preferred I married a black man. My parents were concerned about the reactions from others, but my parents grew up in Jim Crow, so they might have a way different experience with white people than I ever did. My husband's parents and grandparents seem to like me. His mother would always tell me I was her favorite kid. We get/got along great, but there were things they would say that would indicate to me they weren't 100% colorblind.

In terms of how others receive our relationship, some like it, some don't. I made a decision a long time ago, I couldn't date a white guy who was scared or uncomfortable around groups of black people. I need to be able to go to family reunions. I will say how blacks and white approach their disdain is different. Black people tend to be more vocal about it. White people more subtle, but they do show disdain or confusion. White women who think my husband must be down or from the "trailer park", as there is no other type of white guy willing to date black women. White women getting upset and telling me white men are only attracted to black women with white features. White women telling me they wish their brother in laws would quit dating hispanic and black women and get white women so they could date a better quality women. I would say the backlash is 50/50, just different in the approach.

Maybe I'm a pessimist, but I think race still matters in America. I still think to many people it is relevant. I am aware my husband is white, he is aware I'm black, but the novelty of race has worn off on us, but we know that to others, this isn't the case.

Maybe my age has an impact on how I view race? I think currently race relations are going backwards, not forwards. I do think things have improved, but I don't think they are where they should be.