I would categorize myself as a waning militant. There was a time when a black fist was seen on everyone of my t-shirts, my favorite colors were black,
and more black. (I wasn’t the most original teenager)
And my walls were peppered with socialist (before I even knew what the word meant) leaders and black revolutionaries. Though I am still inspired by Malcolm X, Che is still see randomly in my screensaver, and I walk out of movies that offend me (case in point Transformers 2, which I regretted shortly afterward being it was an uncharacteristically cold night and I missed one of the best battles in movie history), I find myself waning on my Black Nationalist views that I held so long. And in some cases just being plain embarrassed by them.
For example, interracial dating.
I have never been against it, but I can still remember the days when I saw a black man with a white woman, and judged immediately about why the two of them were together. I did not hate, but I could not think of it being anything but a momentary fling, a sexual fetish that the two of them shared. I could not see beyond my own prejudice viewpoints.
It was true, it was prejudice. Which is why I am embarrassed now.
However, without noticing some of my best friends began to date interracially. Still my prejudice did not wane. In fact, even though my best friend who is black was in a long standing relationship with a woman from Pakistan, my mind did not click that they were an interracial couple. It was something about Black and White that seemed unable to mesh for me, even as my friends would date Asian, Latinas, Arabs, Persians, and even European women.
I remember what people used to tell me as a child about people who are dated outside their race.
1) Sold Out
2) Hate their race, and consequently themselves
3) Have issues with their mama or daddy
4) Can’t “Handle” a sista or brotha, or are generally weak people
5) Are Immoral people
And I succumbed to these beliefs as well, even used them as jokes, especially with sistas, toward my peers who dated white women.
I am under the belief that fear of interracial dating is embedded within the very fabric of Black culture. We immediately demonize anyone who participates in it, because at one point it truly was a very dangerous aspect of our lives. Interracial dating didn’t become “legal” until 1967. That is less then forty years ago. Up until that time people have been arrested, jailed, murdered, beaten, and tortured because of loving another race. Everyone knows the horror stories of black men who “winked” at white women and received a brutal lynching as a reward. Interracial relationships were seen as nothing more than rape in the eyes of the law. And still biracial children are considered the bastards of either race, a scorn that is swept under the rug and forgotten (a topic for another blog).
So we have crafted an undeniable fear in ourselves for pursuing another race. Not to mention, especially for sistas, we are constantly told by those around use (whether media or our peers) that we are not good enough, pretty enough, western enough, skinny enough, black enough, or human enough. And to think a black person is attractive is still perceived as a fetish that is often exploited by pop culture.
But these traditions need to change.
The friends I have who dated interracially are not the self-loathing, race hating people that people make them out to be. Many of them are just as politically and socially active as I am, and can quote the teachings of Martin Luther King and Marcus Garvey better than I can. The white girls who I know with black boy friends are not struck with bouts of jungle fever, but love their boyfriends and are as loyal to them as any sista would be. And the interracial couples I know are some of the strongest and loving relationships that I have seen in my short life.
I to have dated interracially, and I dare anyone to call me confused about who I am, or if I do not have an intense pride for me race.
Humans are meant to merge cultures. It is an undeniable fact. Look at music. Music only grows and expands when it merges with other forums of music. Beatles would not have been the Beatles without their love and cover of old blues licks. Jazz would be no where without George Gershwin orchestrating it. And Jonny Cash used to sing Gospel songs before he went to country.
If that is true for music, fine art, poetry, architecture, etc. then why not should we also merge as peoples?
If that argument doesn’t work then what about personal preference. You know how you just like black people; perhaps they happened to like all people. Or white people. Or Asian people. Or Indian people. So ask yourself, like I did. Why do you hate? Could it possibly be your own insecurities?
Maybe I am just not a believer in the myth of the “black family” anymore. Maybe because I find myself increasingly dating biracial women who have experience hatred because of their mix ancestry. Maybe because the people against interracial dating seem irrational and damn near racist. Or maybe because I don’t give a shit. Anyway I support interracial dating, and purpose a radical idea: let’s just call it dating. Might solve a few things.
Plus look how happy these models are. Clearly it’s because of interracial dating, and not because they’re getting paid.