Black and White????

Updated on April 30, 2008
C.D. asks from Sacramento, CA
9 answers

I have a friend that just found out her 16 year old daughter, a white female, is seeing a black male. I don't have an opinion on this yet as it never struck me as an issue to think about.
She was very emotional and had quite the fight at home with her daughter. My question... is this normal emotion over something like this?
I can speak for my girl friend of many years she has no porblem with race otherwise and we have many friends and co-workers of all races. What do I say and how do I say it without accusing her of being a bad person or otherwise for feeling this way. She needs to talk to someone about it and I feel the need to be a friend but I don't know how I would feel if it were my daughter.
I know mixing can be brutal for the children and some folks dont like it but where do we draw the line between with this issue? This seems like such a hard thing to talk about I have always stayed away from this type of issue just because I never feel it goes any place good... *what do you think of this kind of relationship?

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So What Happened?

First, thank you to all that replied. I just wanted to let everyone know I opened this for my pal and she read each and every response. I am still not sure of the issue in full, but it is something she will have to live with. I personally think that in todays world everything is "OK", girls and girls, boys and boys, and blacks and whites and real young and real old. Everyone will have to adjust and accecpt, thats 2008 and growing. Who needs all these OLD values anyways? Thanks again to all of you that responded.
Blessings
C.

More Answers

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T.F.

answers from Stockton on

I'm in a mixed marriage. My parents, the same people who raised me to not be racist, voiced their opposition when I told them about our engagement. Until then, when we were "just friends", they had no issue. I told them I was disappointed in them and that they were, in fact, racist. Furthermore, I told them if they ever said a disparaging word about our marriage again, they would be cut off. They silenced themselves and have behaved as I had initially expected ever since. It's been 8 years.

I'm sorry, but your friend is racist. She may not have considered herself racist (like my parents), but this is probably the first time she has been truly tested. She failed. The good news is that it's not terminal. This is actually an opportunity to look inside herself and examine what exactly makes her uncomfortable. I never asked, but I'm sure my parents had to do a lot of self-reflection. While they had black friends, they had never had anyone come that close before.

Yes, mixed couples can have difficulty, but it's a lot better than it was. I know many mixed couples and some of us have never had any real issues while others have had some. It's a risk you take and life is filled with them - no guarantees.

Children actually do not have trouble with mixing; it's the parents who do. I've never met a racist child; it's something that is taught. Your friend should be proud that she raised a daughter who is not racist. Now she can learn from her daughter. And, honestly, these are teenagers. What are the odds that this relationship will last a lifetime? As someone mentioned, the mere fact that she voiced such strong opposition will only reinforce her daughter's desire to be with this boy.

3 moms found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I just saw this question and felt the need to respond. I have been married to an African American man for 16 years (I am caucasian) with 3 beautiful children. My husband is very intelligent, went to Ivy League schools and is partner at a very large multi national law firm. There is absolutely nothing wrong with mixed relationships and I can't think of anything that would make it a difficult relationship/experience if you live in the Bay Area.

We've been to Arkansas together and I was completely disgusted, but the more we travel the more I realize that other states are getting more and more on board. How this could be much of an issue in CA - I don't know. It sounds like racism to me.

I feel that my children will also have an advantage when they get ready to go to college as they have the potential of applying for more scholarships (I applied for several out of high school, had honor roll grades and could not get one because I was white and considered part of a majority).

I am hoping people will stop looking at color as an issue and look at the more important things like education, morals and drive/motivation.

2 moms found this helpful
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G.O.

answers from San Francisco on

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was a shocking movie in its time...I'd have hoped we would have moved on by now, 40 years later. Maybe your friend would benefit from seeing it, with her daughter.
First of all, this is a high school dating situation and not likely to lead to marriage, but it certainly pushed your friend's button. Why? I would suggest that she examine that question, and enlist the help of a counselor if necessary, because ultimately she will find out a lot about herself. It is a also an opportunity for her and her daughter to communicate intimately about their feelings. They both can benefit from this seeming disaster.
Children of mixed ethnicities look so beautiful; i see that as a positive sign, of people of different races marrying and having children. I am a teacher and have had many students whose parents were of different races and there was NEVER any problem. Please let's get beyond skin color and religious differences and see the person within. When my daughter marries, I welcome a person of any race or religion--my only requirement is that he has a good and kind heart.

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S.G.

answers from Bakersfield on

It's not an issue unless you make it an issue, and apparently she's got a problem she needs to fix. Like the other lady said this day and age it shouldn't be an issue myself being mixed and my children being mixed never had problems with anyone. That is a sign of racism whether she admits to it or not. Everyone should be treated equally, he's probably a nice guy and if he respects her daughter and treats her well than whats the problem. Maybe she should actually meet him and sit down with his family actually get to know him before judging the fact that he is black. Iv'e also never heard being mixed is brutal on children i know plenty of mixed kids and adults who have never faced any issues. Now if it's just the fact that she's 16 and dating than maybe she should talk to her daughter. And the people who don't like people who are in interacial relationships the world calls them (rednecks). Don't ever judge a book by it's cover only by its content. WE ALL BLEED RED!!!

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L.F.

answers from San Francisco on

C.,

I would talk to your friend and ask her what her hesitation is with her daughter dating someone outside her race. I think that many people can be very judgemental in regards to race they automatically stereotype them into something that may or may not be true-you mentioned that she doesn't have any problem with co-workers etc,but it sounds like it is a huge deal to her so close to home. Maybe you could suggest that your friend invite her daughter's boyfriend over for dinner or spend time at their house. I think you should encourage her to get to know her daughter's boyfriend before making a judgement on him. Also, as far as mixing races-- we are all mixed. No one is exactly one race-- Children only know racism because that is what they have been taught. I think that if two people are happy together, it doesn't matter what their ethnicity or race is. I am happily married to a wonderful man and we have a "mixed" child. I find it very offensive when others make such a huge deal about our relationship.

Molly

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T.T.

answers from Yuba City on

C.,
I can understand your friends concerns. My neices mom married a black man, both of them are in the USAF, and my neice is from Tx, so as you can imagine, this didn't go over very well iwth the family. And like I told her, what matters most, that your mom is happy and well loved and taken care of or the color of this persons skin?

My only advise is this...does color really matter if two people make each other happy and are good for each other? Would it matter if the person she started seeing was another female? I hope this provides a little insight.

Hope this helps.

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P.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Seems really odd for race to be a concern in this day and age. If she has no problem with race what could the issue possibly be?

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M.S.

answers from Sacramento on

Well, it is obviously an issue for your friend, now it is just in her lap. Yes, an inter-racial relationship is difficult due to the world that we live in. Relationships are hard at 16 anyway, realizing that this is probably not the person she will spend the rest of her life with. Like with any other teen relationship - the more the parent protests it, the more they want to be together. I think if the parent's concern is for the criticism the couple might get is the issue, then that is an easy sit down with the two and how to handle that. However, if the issue is that the parent has a problem with the other race....that is her issue to deal with, it is not the couple's issue. It is no fun to look at our own fears - but you do not want to project those on to our own children. The more we talk about it - the easier it becomes to deal with.

Blessings, M. S

C.C.

answers from Fresno on

My husband's parents where an interracial couple beginning in the late 50's. Their relationship was actually illegal in Alabama, the state his father came from. My husband's mother came from a snooty white family from Seattle and her parents were horrified. They told everyone that the only reason for the marriage was that their daughter was pregnant. But once my husband was born (2 years later, ha ha), his mother's parents came around pretty quickly and realized their son in law was actually a great guy! So change, even for people with the most entrenched views, is possible.

I guess I just can't wrap my head around why anybody would be upset at their daughter's boyfriend based upon his skin color. I mean, wouldn't you want to know how he does in school, if he likes sports, where he's going to go to college? Because I'm sure there are a LOT of unacceptable boys out there based solely on those factors. Why reject a great candidate for Daughter's Boyfriend because of skin color? That's like saying she shouldn't date someone from Nebraska, or she shouldn't date someone who wears glasses.

Ugh, I just don't even know what to tell you on this one. I'm not sure I could be friends with someone who I knew felt this way...

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