The Truth About Interracial Relationships In 2018

The Truth About Interracial Relationships In 2018

The good, the bad, and the ugly - and what you can do about it.
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It is now 2018. A mere 18 years since Alabama removed the anti-miscegenation law from its books.

ONLY 18 years.

This means that technically it was illegal to be in an interracial relationship until the year 2000 under Alabama law.

A common idea throughout American society is that interracial relationships are generally accepted and that prejudice doesn't really exist anymore.

This is a LIE.

I am a white woman married to a black man. I have been called tainted, damaged goods, and "niggums girl" to my face. We have been victims of side glances and glares, and it is automatically assumed our restaurant bills are "separate." These are things that same-race couples do not have to worry about.

I am not saying that these things happen daily, but they happen often.

Racism is wild and rampant in our society today. It is shocking how sneaky and normalized racial discrimination has become. Despite the fact that interracial relationships are on the rise (one out of every eight marriages according to Dailyhistory.org), they are still seen as "different."

Gina Escandon, associate Editor at Her Campus , described it as “Race will continually be injected into their relationship because society will put a big red stamp on their foreheads that reads, 'This is different.'”

I could not have said it better myself.

What are the key differences between interracial relationships and the latter?

Let's talk about the elephant in the room: Racism

First of all, I am a white woman married to a black man. Most of the time when people think of racism and discrimination against interracial couples they think of little old grandparents and the common excuse is "they are old" or "it's just how they were raised." Whatever. We get it; you’re justifying.

But what about the black women that glare at us, viewing my husband as a ‘"sellout" and me as stealing "their" man? What about our parents? I guarantee that no parent envisions their grandchildren as mixed kids. They are either beautiful black babies, with big brown eyes and curly hair, or blonde-haired and blue-eyed.

When I told my parents that I was dating a black man, they automatically assumed it was a "phase" and that I would grow out of it. Eventually, they fell in love with him, just like I did, and he became part of the family. Now my parents adore him. But this is a hurdle we would never have had to jump had we been the same color.

You are conscious of your appearance - constantly

Things that are different or against social norms have a tendency to make people feel uncomfortable. When people are uncomfortable, they stare. I constantly wonder if there is something wrong with my outfit or if I smeared my eyeliner - but nine times out of ten it is because I am a young white woman on the arm of a black man.

The Stereotypes

People assume that because you are in an interracial relationship that you ONLY date people outside your race. However, this is (in most cases) a load of crap. The majority of people who end up in interracial relationships just happen to end up there. I had never dated a black man before my husband, and honestly, I never planned on dating him. We met, we became friends, and we fell in love. Now, four years later, we're married and starting our lives together.

I feel that this is how the majority of relationships of all types come to be. The second stereotype I want to address is that "whites in interracial relationships are rebelling." Are there white people who bring home a person of another race because they know it will drive their parents crazy? I’m sure... But it’s highly unlikely that these people would maintain a relationship with someone just to spite their parents, let alone go far enough as to get married.

People making your relationship a bigger deal than it is

We are just two people in a relationship like everyone else. We did not get together to stand up for civil rights and "stick it to the man." We did not get together to make a statement or end racism. We got together because we liked each other. Simple as that.

Malcolm X said, “I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being - neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.”

And that folks, is the heart of it all.

Cover Image Credit: UnSplash

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Thank You, To The Women Who Loved My Boyfriend Before Me

I don't know who taught you to be the way you are, but I am thankful for them.

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I am so thankful for the women who loved you. Whether they were flings or long-term relationships, I am thankful for them.

I am thankful for the girl you dated in high school who broke your heart for the first time and I am thankful for the girls you fantasized about in your college classes. These women did nothing wrong. They were new to the dating world just like you and maybe you both honestly thought it would work out in the long run, but I am so happy they didn't.

The women before me loved you.

They helped you learn how to love someone. They taught you how to express feelings and the value of being held.

They helped you through brokenness I never could've and expanded your views of the world.

All the good and bad in those relationships help you and I have the relationship we have now. I'm not saying being your partner is always easy, sometimes we argue or get on each other's nerves.

However, you come at every situation with compassion and laughter. I don't know who taught you to be the way you are, but I am thankful for them.

I'm most thankful for your mom.

I haven't met her, although one day I hope to, she created you. She raised you to be the person you are today.

You are authentic, grounded, compassionate and driven. You are the most selfless person I have met and I know you got that from watching your mother be the same way.

You have this way of being vulnerable and elegant, even when we dance like robots in the kitchen. Your joy fills our home and all I know is that if I want to be with someone, its someone like that.

Thank you, to the females who were before me, you helped form the man I adore.

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