Issues in interracial relationships: Acceptance by the Family

You meet the man or woman of your dreams and life and the world couldn’t be any more perfect. You are floating through life because all you see around you is love. You wake up to love and go to sleep on love. Then you both decide to take the next step in your relationship. But that next step won’t be complete without informing both family members right? The reality is, that your families already know you’ve been dating, however they have also been secretly wishing you would break up and come to your senses. Neither family wants their child to date or marry outside of their race. This is what most adults face when dating outside of their race and/or ethnicity. This is what we refer to as issues in interracial relationships: acceptance by the family. Welcome to the real world. A world that is as prejudice as can be.

You all know my story about how I was raised in an all white environment and was mostly the only black girl in my school. If you’re unfamiliar read this. My mother raised us to only date within our race. However, she was only successful in brainwashing me. My younger siblings ignored all her antics and have never dated within the Black race. How does she feel about this? Would the words: ‘resentment’, ‘horrid’, ‘unsupportive’ do justice? She would taunt my siblings all the time and call them different unpleasant names and tell them, they were wasting their time. She would constantly ask them if they thought they would be accepted by society or the families of the people they were dating. When my younger sister became pregnant by her then boyfriend (now fiancee) she didn’t even tell my mother until she was seven (7) months. Basically, she avoided her until she was as huge as a house. Even then, my mother had her reservations. 

My sister was more accepted by her boyfriend’s family than she was by her own parents. Can you imagine that? When I told my mother that I became KolorBlind, she asked me why? She didn’t understand and I didn’t bother going further. It’s of no use. It’s not that she doesn’t love us or doesn’t want us to be happy, she just feels we’ll be happier if we stick with ‘our own’. This is the way a lot of parents feel towards their children dating outside of their race/ethnicity.

Can you now picture if the resistance is from your partner’s family? It makes for an ugly reality show as you will constantly be looked down upon and your motives questioned. Now add children to the mix and you might as well say goodbye to sanity. I’ve heard stories where the children are not even accepted by their grandparents because they’re not ‘white’ enough.

I personally have only had to deal with rejection from my parents regarding dating interracially, but that’s enough rejection to last me a lifetime.

This is a letter I found online at http://interracialloveandspicebysara.blogspot.com/2009/03/help-my-family-hates-my-fiance-because.html to that effect:

How do I convince my grandparents and aunt that marrying a white man will be okay when I am a black woman?
I am currently dating a white man who is a year older than me. My grandparents and aunt (who I consider my real parents) seem to treat him as if he is a little slow, when he is not or as if they do not feel comfortable around him. For instance, whenever he comes over to my house, especially around the summer at family reunions, everyone stares and laughs and does not introduce themselves. I have to make the introduction and when I do, they just stare through him. One of my family members at the family reunion laughed in front of him and made reference that he was white… I felt so bad. I know he feels uncomfortable about this, but he always tells me that he loves me. I never thought that my grandparents and aunt ever had a problem with white people. I grew up in an all-white neighborhood, attended a school with a population of 95% of the kids there being all white; with a few blacks, Indians, and hispanics. All I have known are white people…in fact, my stepmother is a white woman. I do not live with my parents because my father told me that he no longer wanted me. So, the issue, obviously since I am living with my grandparents and my aunt is with them… the problem is convincing them all that things will be okay. My grandparents and aunt never seemed to have a problem with me having white friends over or hanging out at the mall with them, so I never pressumed that all of this would go down! They have always treated all of my white friends as if they were a part of my family (at least that is what it seemed). I DO have some white people in my family as well. My grandparents and aunt have always told me to marry a man who treats me with respect, but when I brought home a white man, it was like to my aunt that I disowned my race. She said that ‘I was only dating a white man, because I felt insecure about myself and that there are black men that know how to treat a black woman right.’ I told my aunt,” Then why aren’t YOU married at all or married to a black man?! and she said nothing!” She always talks about how when she was my age how she dated a black man, but things never worked out! However, I do have a lot of black friends and hang around all of my family members who are mostly black…. I just never found the right black man for me. Some of my cousins said that they were not too surprised with me because I always acted too proper and that I was always so book-smart! When I dated a black man before he was just too loud, over controlling, and treated me like I was his DOG…. So, I was like, “Hell, no, honey, this is not working out… so, we split.” I am a very quiet, conservative person. My black friends at school seem to feel the same way about things, such as it is okay to be friends with white people, but talking about marriage is another thing. I am just about to graduate college this year and my boyfriend has already graduated last year. What are some suggestions in dealing with my situation and convincing my family that he is a good man and that they should learn to accept him for who he is (and not because they only see his color)? I was really shocked because my folks are Christian and have always raised me to have an opened mind about things, so I thought perhaps now they are not so Christian as what I thought. It breaks my heart, but if things do not work out I do not want to tell him it was because my family does not accept white people, when in fact like I said before, I DO have white people in my family. It is really odd the way things work out in my family……..

Another blogger http://50cigarettes.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/interracial-relationships-still-taboo-in-my-family/ writes: 

Most people nowadays don’t really care about interracial relationships: they see it as normal and healthy, just like any other relationship. I am one of those people. I believe that interracial relationships are normal and I don’t think race matters, as long as the people in the relationship are happy.
Unfortunately, that is not the case in my family. Coming from a Mexican background, my family insists that we keep the gene pool 100% Mexican. Unfortunately for me, I always get a lot of shit for not liking Mexican girls. I won’t lie, I can find myself attracted to girls of any race EXCEPT Mexican girls. Why? Maybe it’s because my parents and family pushed me into liking them that it ended up having the opposite effect on me. So I’m the first in my family to have been in relationships with girls of other races and that is strictly taboo in my family.

Interracial marriage used to be taboo (and illegal) in the United States until they came to their senses. Now every state has legalized it and I think we’re better off now. Too bad that there’s no way that I’ll ever convince my family that interracial relationships are perfectly okay.

Does anyone else have this problem? Why do some families find interracial relationships to be bad? Is it a bad thing that I’m not attracted to girls belonging to my race?

This is an issue that affects all who are dating outside of their race/ethnicity. If you truly love the one you’re with and are certain that love is mutual and genuine, my advice to you is to go for it and ignore what everyone says. I know it’s going to be hard, but you will overcome it just like you’ve overcome other obstacles in life.

If you are able to get past this, then you’ll have a beautiful platform ready for your children.

Good luck.

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6 thoughts on “Issues in interracial relationships: Acceptance by the Family

  1. it is nice to hear about something like this. My friend had a hard time getting accepted by her boyfriend’s family.

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