With Martin Luther King Jr. Day occurring around this time, many people begin to reflect upon the adversities he faced, and others like him. One of those adversities is the decision to engage in an interracial relationship.
During the mid-late century, being involved with someone who was a different race than you was frowned upon. Hate crimes and harassment would occur, just because someone wants to date someone they like. And why should they not date who they like?
Why should someone not be able to like someone, because of the color of their skin?
And fortunate enough, it has become less taboo to engage in such relationships, but a good amount of people cannot see themselves with someone of a different race. Why is that?
Why can a person not see themselves with someone of a different race?
What does that say about that person?
It does not mean that a particular person is racist or prejudicial, but it may mean that a particular person has a secular view of people and love.
See, most people argue that you cannot help who you love, but yet most people end up loving someone of the same race. And that is often because people tend to form lasting relationships with people who are similar to them. In other words, people tend be more comfortable in the company of someone of the same race.
Some argue that feeling of comfortability stems from an understanding of beliefs, history, and stigmas. If someone is involved with someone of the same race, they do not have to explain their race. They do not have to explain the perceptions and realities of being a particular race in a particular region.
So, some people do not intimately engage with someone of a different race because they do not want to be uncomfortable. But how does someone know if they like, or even love, someone if they never give them a chance?
Integration only occurred because people got uncomfortable.
At times, it is important for people to step out of their comfort zones, because what is uncomfortable is often unknown or misunderstood.
For those in committed relationships, imagine being forced or demonized for being with your significant other.
For those single, imagine not being considered a prospective mate because of how you look.
Both scenarios are unfortunate and sad scenarios. So, how is the mold broken?
How are people supposed to break a view, that they may not realize they have?
Well, people can begin to be more open-minded with those who do not necessarily look like them. People can value internal characteristics more so than external ones. And people can educate themselves on racial and cultural differences.
Yes, doing those things may require more effort on your part, but is it not worth it for love and peace?
And the United States, for example, seems to be wising up a bit, with interracial relationships rising according to census data.
So, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, get a little uncomfortable.
Like the uncomfortable.