Interracial love is taking the world by storm. Census data conveys that the prevalence of interracial marriage is increasing.
With the election of a biracial president, Barack Obama, many hoped that race would become irrelevant. Unfortunately, this is not the case. As evidenced by former Louisiana justice Keith Bardwell’s resignation from the bench after a national outcry against him, race isn’t going anywhere.
Bardwell’s choice not to marry an interracial couple in 2009 reminded Americans of the ugly little historical monster that is racism.
Knowledge of racism is particularly evident in minority-populated environments like Grambling State University.
Even so, students and community members aren’t exceptions to the interracial phenomenon. Many Grambling State students have dated interracially, hope to do so and/or support such companionship.
These students understand that interracial relationships are still somewhat controversial.
“I always see many people making unacceptable comments on speculations about why Black people marry White people,” said Grambling State student Nolukhanyo Ndlabhu of East London, South Africa.
We might sound off about it now, but we have not always had the legal choice to leave phenotypic lines.
The Supreme Court ruled that marriage between Whites and Non-Whites must be legal on June 12, 1967. The Loving vs. Virginia case made it possible.
That same year “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” hit the theatres. Decades later, numerous movies with interracial love interests have been made, including a remake of the 1967 film.
“Guess Who” starred Afro-Latina Zoe Saldana and Caucasian funnyman Ashton Kutcher.
In supremacist circles these unions still prompt contempt. In some ethnocentric circles, Black people have difficulty separating colonialism and oppression from today’s colorful relationships.
Although cross-cultural experimentation is becoming commonplace, some hold fast to race pride and allegiance.
“I have nothing against interracial couples, interracial dating or interracial beings. But with my respect, knowledge and love for the Black community (and) the complete African heritage, my preference is a Black man as my companion,” said Grambling State student Ashley Williams of Columbus, Ga.
I dated a Latino for nearly nine months. While I would not trade the experience, my peanut butter and his butternut skin caused social discomfort.
Black men commonly approached me in his presence. He knew I preferred Latinos (at the time), which incited his insecure behavior in the midst of men whom he thought I fancied so much that I might sail off with in his stead.
I then dated an Indian Brit who pretended race was nonexistent, yet was uncomfortable if/when people associated him with Blackness.
As someone who ventured outside of African American men to find companionship, I realized that many relationship woes stem from identity issues.
I am a reformed Black-men-with-Non-Black-women hater who learned to value myself highly enough that I no longer internalize someone else’s choice as rejection.
Brothas do what they please without affecting my self-perception and/or worth.
Although race remains a factor, acceptance and sensitivity also play vital roles in sustaining any relationship.
“Diversity is the outward sign of a people unafraid of knowledge and growth,” said Grambling State Recruitment representative Anitra McGowan of San Diego, Calif.
As with many of my peers, I am not afraid to venture out – or too comfortable to remain home.