Why are some people against interracial dating/marriage

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Postby Khajran » Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:03 pm

I must admit, I've been a bit confused and startled by this issue recently, and I was wondering if anyone else had comments. I've never seen interracial dating or marriage as particularly noteworthy or interesting - it's relatively common where I live (the Bay Area, CA), and I'd assumed it was similarly a non-issue (and certainly a non-controversial issue!) in society at large. <BR><BR>A few recent events have led me to wonder, though. MTV recently showed a made-for-TV movie (called "Love Song", I think) where the entire plot was centered around a romance between a black woman and a white man, and their struggle with their friends and society. The promos for this movie seemed to view this scenario as somehow noteworthy and taboo-breaking. I'm somewhat mystified - why would this be some sort of novel concept? <BR><BR>Another event: Alabama recently became the last state in the Union to repeal its laws preventing interracial marriage. Two questions:<BR>1. What took so long?<BR>2. Who were the 40\% of Alabama voters who voted *against* repealing this law?<BR><BR>If there's anyone here with a different perspective, I would love to hear from you - I'm pretty much mystified.<BR><BR>Thanks for your time,<BR>--k
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Postby Alatar » Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:19 pm

Fear and ignorance. Alot of people fear change.<BR><BR>I can speak with a little experience on the subject. I'm dating a Philipino girl, and sometimes our cultures clash. Most people are shocked when I tell them that most of the friction we receive about our relationship is from her family. They do not like the fact that she is dating an "American white boy;" and have voiced it frequently. <BR>Life is all about change, but some people don't see it that way.
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Postby plunge » Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:22 pm

Well, at least in the situation described in this movie: sophisticated Northerners, well to do- there still is that prejeduce. And it isn't a "white" prejeduce either- it's largely one that the black community holds. Really stupid, and totally racist (but then again, maybe it's not so rare if a blond college co-ed brought home a black boyfriend, I bet a good number of supposedly tolerant parents would still freak out, at least inside). And this isn't just old-fashioned parents either- it's the 20 something generation themselves. There's sort of a feeling that it's like selling out, or disrespecting black males because they're looked down upon in our soceity, and white males are so heralded. This defensive reverse-racism is pretty despicable, but I don't really know how to combat it other than pointing it out as despicable. I think that MTV movie, though I only saw a few minutes of it- probably does go into this problem and discuss it. Though I can't speak to how deep the discussion is- it is MTV after all.<BR><BR>Of course there are plenty of real racists still around that oppose interacial dating. Though to be fair, many should not be called "racists"- though it's pretty safe to assume that most are- this position is called "racialism"- the idea that each race, while not superior or inferior to each other, have distinct spirits and separate qualities. Why exactly mixing them would be such a bad thing is beyond me, but racialism does not have as checkered a history as racism- many early black Civil Rights leaders, like W.E.B DuBois, were racialists. It was part and parcel of the Social Darwinist thinking of the times, and it has yet to go away, even though it's been shown to be near neglibible as science.<BR><BR>It's also strange involving gender. A white girl marrying a black guy still bothers white people, while a clack girl marrying a white man bothers black people. But the reverse really doesn't hold anywhere near as much. There's a lot of bad history on both sides- from the "black men rape white women" hysteria to the white men marrying minority women just for their exotic and trophy sexuality.<BR><BR>I believe the MTV also dealth with class- the white boy was a poor musician, while the black girl and her black fiance were both rich.
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Postby The_Grey_Pilgrim » Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:42 pm

40\% of Alabamans voted against repealing this law? Man, that is scarey. I don't know why this is an issue anymore, but sadly it is.<BR><BR>When I say commercials for that MTV movie I thought it seemed a bit behind the times. I don't know if it was as I did not watch it.<BR><BR>Plunge makes some pretty good points in his post.
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Postby Finrod_Felagund » Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:56 pm

I know of a coule in DE that had a heck of a time finding a priest/pastor, white or black, that would marry them. She is white, he is black. Eventually they found a black baptist minister that would do it.
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Postby The_Grey_Pilgrim » Wed Dec 13, 2000 2:03 pm

Really? Do you know if the pastors that declined to marry them gave them a reason? That is sad.
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Postby Hero's Song » Wed Dec 13, 2000 2:05 pm

Personally I've always thought the more interracial marriage the better. My sister (I'm caucasian) married a Japanese American in 1973. It was a shock to my parents, but Earl is like a son to them now. They're wonderful Christian people, but I don't know how they would have reacted if he had been black. <BR>Why does a little more pigment matter? My sister's daughter is now dating a black guy. So what? If we all intermarried, pretty soon no one would be able to tell "who was what" anymore and it wouldn't matter. I like DC Talk's song about racial issues called "Colored People" Here's an excerpt:<BR><BR>Pardon me, your epidermis is showin'<BR>I couldn't help but note your shade of mellanin.<BR>I tip my hat to the colorful arrangements, cause I see the beauty in the tone of our skin. <BR><BR>We're colored people and we live in a tainted place.<BR>We're colored people and they call us the human race.<BR>We've got a history so full of mistakes ...<BR>We are colored people and depend on a holy grace. <BR><BR>We've got to come together and thank the maker of us all. <BR><BR>
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Postby summoned » Wed Dec 13, 2000 3:38 pm

i am a white male, and the first year i was at college, i dated a black woman for about three or four months. we had a LOT of problems, so i would not take our relationship as being representative of anything, but one of the problems we ran into was her feeling like she was abandoning her culture to be with me. which was interesting since we were both from the south. but like i said, we had a LOT of problems, and while that may have been a fairly significant one, i don't think it was made for the most trouble in our relationship. but college is occasionally a bit overwhelming for any number of reasons, and i don't know that identity issues helped any.
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Postby peregin2k » Wed Dec 13, 2000 4:28 pm

Like Alatar, I used to date a chinese girl (when I was an undergrad) and in thier culture women are not allowed to marry a foriegner. My parents think it's okey but her parents don't like the idea. It's just that it's not accepted in their culture. She keeps telling her parents that they are in Canada now and not in Hong Kong. I broke up with her years ago.<BR>It just that people stare at us most of the time which makes me uneasy. People still can't accept it.
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Postby Witchwench » Thu Dec 14, 2000 1:09 am

My first boyfriend ever (in every way possible)was Japanese-American. He started to date this Portuguese/Italian/Irish/Indian mutt of a girl and we had absolutely no problems on either side of the family. We lived on the west coast at the time and interracial dating/marriage was very common. I guess I dont get it, I dont get the the idea that love has a color. If people treat eachother with respect and understanding what does color have to do with it? Call me niave but that is how I feel.
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Thu Dec 14, 2000 3:46 am

That's TRUE about Alabama??? Good grief - what DECADE are those people living in??? <BR><BR>I live near London. In this cosmopolitan, multi-racial city, inter-racial relationships are pretty common. <BR><BR>Of course racism exists here. And it comes in all shapes and forms. I once saw a black girl getting upset by racist verbal abuse from some unpleasant white yobs on a train, who found it amusing to insult her and wind her up. Last year, I was astonished to see a West Indian woman viciously berating a Kosovan refugee couple on the London Underground, accusing them of being parasites on the British system. It made me really angry with her. I thought, 'for heaven's sake, that's precisely the kind of racist nonsense which was thrown at YOUR people when you came over in the 1950s, isn't it?' <BR><BR>Then I read an article in a British newspaper claiming that by 2050 there will be more black people than white in Britain - because the Asian and Afro-Caribbean communities are producing children faster than the Anglo-Saxons. To which my response is: "Well, so what?" <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Of course you're not naive, Witchwench. You're humane. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Beleg » Thu Dec 14, 2000 8:17 am

Once again, slippery word usage leads to maundering when the subject is controversial. We humans are all one race, no matter the melanin content of our skin. What can really make a difference is the culture from which we emerge. I would have been just as complimentary of plunge as TGP was if I couldn't help noticing that plunge is somehow equating black and white cultures. In fact, I see a good number of really nice and really poor black people every day, and the ones whose niceness is hugest are those whose culture isn't built around self-victimization.<BR><BR>And so, it's really possible that the preaching that certain black leaders do to blame white folks for every bad thing that ever happens to any black person really doesn't reflect anything more substantial than that black leader's fear of losing an easy paycheck through race-baiting. <BR><BR>Which would be very consoling, I would think.<BR><BR>And I'll tell you this: we're considering moving out of California altogether, simply because feminism and socialism has neutered just about every young male in our area. Our daughters have little to choose from because all our young men have been taught to act like second-class citizens, coming to the delusion that they deserve this status. A delusion built into them by the largely female grade-school teacher population. And this goes for any young male, of whatever melanin content.<BR><BR>We're 'prejudiced' against liberals and we find that liberals come in every category one could artificially construct, but of course, our discrimination in this is tied to the artificial categories, not the actual one, so we keep a very low profile.
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Postby Axordil » Thu Dec 14, 2000 8:27 am

That would be "...feminism and socialism _have_ neutered...". If you're going to do diatribe, get it right.<BR><BR>And I think elves and dwarves marrying is really really weird, personally. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Finrod_Felagund » Thu Dec 14, 2000 9:32 am

Yeah I tend to agree problems with interracial relationships have more to do with differences in culture than with actual race. In the U.S. at least it boils down to plain old black and white, a lot of times, becuase of the long history of ill treatment of blacks. Blacks where reduced to slaves, raped, beaten, murdered... Many bad things and those grudges can be hard to let go of I guess. Although I think blacks definately have(had) it the worst, most if not all the minorities here suffer(ed) from discrimination at different points in this nations history. The Native Indian, the Chinese, the Irish....<BR>Even if you do try to keep an open mind, discrimination can alter you perspective and perception of things. That can sometimes make it hard to participate in an interracial relationship, or to be accepting of others who are in one. My feeling is this: if you love someone, you should be accepting of whomever they choose as their life mate regardless of ethnicity. Provided they are good, good for that someone, yada yada yada....
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Postby Finrod_Felagund » Thu Dec 14, 2000 9:39 am

Talk about triple post!
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Postby Finrod_Felagund » Thu Dec 14, 2000 10:19 am

more of the same. sorry.
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Postby Khajran » Thu Dec 14, 2000 12:00 pm

Beleg:<BR><BR>1) I agree that "interracial" is a misnomer - I chose it simply because it's a) a convenient term and b) the popular term.<BR><BR>2) I would argue that the "culture of victimization" you describe is not *entirely* attributable to Jesse Jackson. Consider the baby-boom generation, for example. I find it difficult to comprehend what sort of effect it would have had on my psyche if the primary images of my people on television involved being attacked by dogs, sprayed with fire hoses, blocked out of attending schools or voting, or being beaten to death by policemen for the crime of excessive melanin. Yet that is exactly the experience of black people who grew up in the fifties and sixties. Might that not be a cause of the victimization complex you decry? <BR><BR>Furthermore, if you've read about the Stanford Prison Experiment and the various blue-eye/brown-eye primary school experiments, you'll know that the perception of being a second-class citizen is a powerful thing - and even the current generation can find the signs all around. There are fewer burning crosses and lynchings, but there are still obvious prejudices, if you know what to look for. I've observed it when shopping with my wife (who is black). When I (white) follow behind at a fair distance, she gets noticeably worse service: often passed over for white customers, ignored, etc. When I walk with her, her treatment improves. Racism is the only explanation I can think of here - she tends to dress better than I do, she's *certainly* the one to make purchasing decisions when we're shopping for clothes, and she's generally a very purposeful shopper. Can you imagine that even for a strong-willed, confident person, this might start to grate?<BR><BR>--k
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Postby GoodSam » Thu Dec 14, 2000 12:18 pm

Confession time:<BR><BR>I grew up in extremely white bread Wyoming. there was 1 black family in my home town the whole time I was growing up. My parents worked hard to teach me that race and color of skin does not measure a person in any way.<BR><BR>All the same, when I see a mixed race couple, something inside of me gets all strange. I am fascinated, and I want to ask all kinds of piercing questions to see how it works for them. I know it would be very uncouth to do that, but the urge is really strong. It's the novelty of the thing in my mind that causes the problem. I also know there is a deep core of racism inside of me that I must subdue intelectually.<BR><BR>Does anyone else feel that way? Honestly?
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Postby Bombadillo » Thu Dec 14, 2000 12:45 pm

One thing to keep in mind when discussing American racial views is the time element. There was a solid 400 years of slavery on this continent before the Civil War, and since then it's only been within the last 40 or so years where any kind of legal protection has been there for african-americans in this country. It will take TIME for these racist attitudes to change, there's really no way around it. Education promoting tolerance and diversity can speed the process somewhat, but we need that generation in Alabama that voted "no" on interracial marriages to physically die before reform can really begin to take place.<BR><BR>As for the "evil liberals" out there who emasculating the young males of MY generation... I still feel pretty damn macho and I consider myself very liberal. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Not afraid to flaunt it.
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Postby MithLuin » Thu Dec 14, 2000 1:25 pm

Good Sam, I'm in the same boat you are. I'm from a very small rural town, and I think it's all white. I can't think of any minorities who live there, but that may have changed. As a result, I notice minorities as being an unusual sight, but not if I know them as people. Meaning, I notice strangers on the street, but not my friends, people I'm in class w/, etc, as much. There were only 2 black kids in my high school class. As it happened, I was friends w/ both of them, and went to a dance with the guy once. My parents were cool with that, but then, it was clear to everyone that we were not dating or anything. If I had started dating him, my parents may have had different views...I don't know. I do know that a white girl who did like him "like that" was not allowed to date him because of her parents. I don't know if it was a racist decision, or if they just didn't like him or didn't want their daughter dating anyone or what. My parents went to college in Detroit, and were pretty racist by the time they got out. They've mellowed out over the years..a little. I would hope that they would not judge a guy I bring home by how he looks, but rather by who he is. I'm perfectly willing to test the theory if I find a nice guy <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>. <BR><BR>I do think racism plays a role in how people view a cross-cultural couple. But, I think the "issues" involved in the relationship are probably cultural. Meaning, you have to learn to adjust to a lot of different cultural ways of thinking just to learn to get along with each other and understand each other. I realize this isn't a racial thing, but in my Dad's family, the father was in charge and all decisions were deferred to him. In my mother's family, it was the opposite-the mother was in charge of everything at home. So, when my parents got married, each felt that they were bending over backwards to share authority, but that the other person wasn't being fair. Or something like that. They eventually figured out what the problem was and worked out a system that worked for them. Anyway, in inter-racial dating/marriage, there are likely to be a lot of things like that-you need to learn about each other and find something that works for you. Since you need to do that in any relationship, it's no big deal and can be done.<BR><BR>I think anyone who's getting into an inter-racial/inter-cultural relationship should be aware of the baggage that goes along with it, but surely love can overcome those difficulties as well. Having a law against it is very silly, and I couldn't tell you why that vote was what it is. I can tell you that the Deep South is very different from the West Coast, but I guess that's not very helpful. <BR><BR>Hero's Song - I like that dc Talk song <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Sillymarillion » Thu Dec 14, 2000 3:18 pm

Plunge:<BR><BR>"And it isn't a "white" prejeduce either- it's largely one that the black community holds. Really stupid, and totally racist"<BR><BR>"This defensive reverse-racism is pretty despicable"<BR><BR><BR>Are you saying that racism should only be presented on television if it is showing white people's prejudice of blacks?
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Postby mandos » Thu Dec 14, 2000 5:02 pm

In Alabama, the 40\% who voted to uphold the ban, have family trees that look like Christmas Wreaths.<BR><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR>The color of skin is not an issue with me.<BR>The content of character is the only true measure of a human.<BR>Where is their heart?
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Postby Ozymandias » Thu Dec 14, 2000 5:36 pm

Skin color makes no difference to me. If I'm attracted to someone, I'm attracted. Currently I'm interested in a Mexican/Irish friend of mine (obviously ethnicity didn't mean much to her parents, either). She's a good friend and a beautiful girl. If only I could figure out if she's interested as well.... <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby Star-of-Hope » Thu Dec 14, 2000 5:42 pm

I think those who have an issue it is normally more cultural than color, (or at least I hope it is), its like different religions can cause problems/conflicts and we would be naive to assume it wouldn't. <BR>personally I have no problems with different religion/color/culture as long as my children/family/friends are happy with their chosen partner I am happy.<BR>
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Postby summoned » Fri Dec 15, 2000 6:51 am

sorry to interject an aside, but something i thought interesting is the assumption people are making about the 40\% figure in alabama -- i am not an alabama resident, but i live on the border in tennessee, which may or may not mean anything. the 40\% who voted against repealing the ban on interracial marriage are the reason it was still in place, but the reason they voted against repealing the ban probably has more to do with them voting against anything that has to do with government and referendums than it does with the content of the referendum. just a thought.
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Postby Hanani » Fri Dec 15, 2000 8:17 am

Although I have always said that I would date a black girl/woman if I had the opportunity, I never made the opportunity!!! This girl from my high school, she was a doll, a brain and a truly lovely person -- I probably would have gotten a sound thrashing (from somebody) if i dated her...anyway i never asked. i never felt I really could, either.<BR><BR>In any case, I am white and have dated white most of my life ... my preferences weren't really American (I am that too) either. Italian, Greek, French (really!), I dated Americans too, but I found my love in Japan. My wife is Japanese, and personally, among many things I fear, it is that people will think I married a "trophy" or some such nonsense. <BR><BR>We have our share of problems, but her father has nothing to do with them. He has been very accepting of me, although an uncle or two are still somewhat suspicious of me. Going to funerals and weddings and the like have garnered a lot of familiarity (really that is all that is needed, mixed with a little alcohol perhaps, and an open mind) which has created familial ties.<BR><BR>Our problems really do remain largely culturally based, but THAT isn't anything I am afraid of. I like to say it's just a different kind of math. Besides, Our two girls are so darn cute!!!! I mean, I weep when I look at them! People in the train, usually they are quiet, but they can't keep quiet when they see my 2 girls! (it drives me bonkers always saying thank you, smile smile, yeah, she is cute, smile ... i would never make a good politician)<BR><BR>It is a different kind of math, that is all.
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Postby Beleg » Fri Dec 15, 2000 8:20 am

Perhaps, summoned. I'm not so omniscient that I can divine the thought processes of voters, who might have voted for or against that referendum for any number of reasons, some perhaps as specious as thinking they were voting for Grover Cleveland Alexander and just wandered into the wrong century.<BR><BR>And the correction that socialism must also be included when suggesting society has been emasculated is fine with me, though it does break the flow of the wording I submitted and as I firmly believe that feminism is just socialism in drag and smoking a thin cigarette, I'm not sure it adds all that much to the image.<BR><BR>Besides, one of the worst features of present-day bigotries is the one against men in general, which thus acts doubly bad against black men. Which is just more of the same and because so tangibly close to them, only hurts the worse when one reflects that black men have the bottom slot in every league table on achievement. Black women get to be twofers in the affirmative action game plus the automatic deference women always get whether they're supposed to be equal or not. <BR><BR>Further, the images of hoses and German Shepherds are put on TV and into movies precisely to encourage blacks to revel in the agonies of the past. Keeps 'em furious and voting Democratic, a tactic that clearly worked in the late electoral unpleasantness in the US. It'll work every time, so long as liberals keep stoking those racist fires, and, of course neglecting to mention that the sheriffs manning those hoses were one and all Democrats.
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Postby Hanani » Fri Dec 15, 2000 8:24 am

oh, and dctalk gets regular spins in my house <b>Hero's song</b><BR><BR>I have bought the stupid thing three times now.... The first time I left the CD in a rental car while on our Honeymoon. The Second CD I gave to my student who really liked it. The third time is a charm, i hope. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Hanani<BR>
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Postby Bombadillo » Fri Dec 15, 2000 2:53 pm

<b>Beleg</b>,<BR><BR>To say that the democrats ("one and all") used to use firehoses on the blacks in Alabama and then force-feed those images to them on TV to keep their racist fires burning bright is beyond ridiculous, it is downright irresponsible. It's cool that you're one of these new-fangled "compassionate conservatives" and all, but lets tone down the radical stereotyping, hmmm?
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Postby Khajran » Fri Dec 15, 2000 5:43 pm

Beleg:<BR>In mentioning the fire hoses and German Shepherds, I was not discussing those images' effects on youth of today, but on the youth of the 50's and 60's. Those people, of course, are now the parents of the youth of today, and may well promulgate the attitudes they developed during that earlier time. Your point about those images being recycled on television today (which, by the way, I *haven't* seen an excess of) seems a non-sequitur.<BR><BR>--k
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