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Black and White and Love All Over

16 May

Diversity HandsI date white guys. I marry them too, (and divorce them as well unfortunately).  It wasn’t any great plan of mine it just happens, repeatedly.  Honestly, I would date any race or ethnic group, I’m not picky.  But I like geek boys, I find intelligence sexy, and most of the time when I find a black guy that fits both of those categories, they are either a) not interested in me or b) live too far away.  I’m not going to sit in a corner waiting for my “black prince charming” to come along.  If like something, I’m going for it. Well in my usual shy, dorky, and extremely socially awkward way.

I belong to some interracial relationship groups on facebook.  Even 24 years after going to prom with a white guy I still find there is a lot of opposition to interracial relationships.  Come on it’s 2013 people, get with the program.  On one of these groups I follow, I Support and Encourage Interracial Relationships (go follow it and then come back) there was a really interesting article posting this morning. It’s the true story of  Elinor Powell Albert, a black nurse, and Frederick Albert, a German POW, who met in a World War II POW camp in Florence, Arizona.  They fall in love, marry, and have children.  The story details their struggles and challenges of creating and maintaining an interracial family.  I think the article does a great job of covering the different types of discrimination interracial couples face, be it governmental,  societal, or familial.  Not to mention the non-minority partner way witness first hand the discrimination and hate that their partner receives.  This may be very difficult because often they are not receiving the same treatment and haven’t had to experience it before.

Me as a bride sans groom

Me as a bride sans groom

I remember when I first got engaged to my ex-husband.  When he asked me to marry him, the first words out of my mouth was, “Are you going to tell your parents?”  Me and my ex had had this odd friendship occasionally sort of dating thing going on for years but his family, and honestly most people, didn’t have a clue.  Added to the fact that he had already relayed to me some of their misinformed opinions of black people, I wasn’t expecting his family to be thrilled. Unfortunately, for the most part, I was correct.  There was at least one threat of disowning him from another family member.  We weren’t allowed to tell other family members and family friends, his parents wanted to “break the news” themselves.  There was no engagement party (which would’ve been nice just so people would get to met the bride before the big day), no rehearsal dinner, and personally I think they only showed up because it would’ve looked bad if they didn’t.  Okay maybe I’m being harsh but that was how it felt. My family, I think they were surprised I was getting married to anyone.  I really never dated and I exuded social awkwardness.  If they had any problems with the groom being white, I never heard it.  Our marriage lasted 5 years and through that time there were the looks, the stares, the rare commentary. This was over a decade ago,  I like to think things have gotten better.

My partner and me

My partner and me

I’ve been with my current partner (I’m not going down the aisle ever again) for 13 years.  I really haven’t felt we personally hassled about the interracial nature of our relationship.  And as I said before I would like to think it’s because things have gotten better. Unfortunately, I think it’s just people have moved to the anonymousness of the internet.  I’ve read such horrible things said about “race-mixing” from both the white and the black community.  I do believe it’s harder on black men than women because the media likes to perpetuate that black men as an endangered species so everyone is precious for the continuing of the black race.  So dating outside your race is almost considered genocide.  If  the same things were said about white men we would be making comparisons to Hitler. Of course there is a more subtle message that black women are also responsible for continuing the black race as well.  I guess since I essentially can’t have children  I’m off the hook on who I can be with.

But seriously be with who you want.  If that person makes your heart flutter, your knees weak, occupies your mind day and night, screw what their race, religion or gender is.  If they want you and you want them, don’t let society tell you what to do.  (Barring of course legalities regarding age and the morality issue of infidelity)

Now go read the article, it’s really lovely and educational.  How can you not read an article with this excerpt as part of it; ‘”I know the story of how they met,” said Chris Albert, 59, the youngest son of Elinor and Frederick Albert. “It was in the officers’ mess hall, and my father was working in the kitchen. He kind of boldly made his way straight for my mother and said: ‘You should know my name. I’m the man who’s going to marry you.’ “

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