Jill Scott is a great musical influence on me. Today I was checking out some of her new music on Youtube, and stumbled across a debate over her views on Interracial dating. In a nutshell she describes how she winced at the news that her successful black male friend had married a white woman, and argues that the pain stems from the African American history story, and not because she disagrees with interracial dating.
Controversial and emotional topic! Can of worms opened up!
Whilst I admire and respect her honesty in expressing her feelings, love is love! I would argue that interracial dating helps to open up the divide between races, and paves the way for a new more open minded generation.
If some black men are choosing white women because they are idealized in society’s view of what a beautiful woman is, then blame the media if anything. I have to agree that in most countries around the world, lighter skin is marketed as the ideal, and I believe this is so so wrong.
However, you shouldn’t make black men feel that they are ‘letting their race down’ if they choose to marry a white woman. Just as you shouldn’t make white people feel that they are guilty for the racist actions of their predecessors.
Regardless of history, race should be one of the last reasons why you marry someone. The notion that one should ‘keep your culture alive and stick to your own’, stems from the very heart and root of racism.
I speak as a product of Interracial dating, so let me explain the effect it has had on me…
My Father is a white British man. His first wife was originally from Barbados and they married and had my 2 older brothers in the 1970′s. For a white man to marry a black woman at that time, you could expect some opposition from both sides, it was rare in those days, and even now not that common. But luckily for them, both families embraced the other, and despite a few funny looks in public, they got along just fine. You see, people can be shocked at first, but they often grow to like it and even change their views on ‘the other’ once it has emerged into their social stratosphere.
Years later they parted, and later he met my mum in the Philippines and they married. People of course had their views on this, ‘oh he is marrying a sweet young Asian woman…’ but she’s actually a tough cookie!
My parents live in the countryside where you have a small group of minorities. One night at a bar, a white woman upon realising my mum is married to an English man, drunkenly and angrily accused my mum of ‘stealing our men’. My mother was furious, but if anything she pitied this obviously bitter woman, and was strong enough to realise that this woman doesn’t know her at all. According to this woman’s mindset, a person can own rights to those people of the same race as them! (Anglo- Filipino guys better watch out ha!)
Growing up with black, white and asian people in my family, I think it’s fair to say that I view each ‘race’ with equal measure and don’t place one above the other. Without sounding like I’ve been around the block and back again, I have dated men from all backgrounds, every spectrum of colour from the whitest white to the blackest black, and next April I will be marrying a Lebanese man! (Well, we don’t have any Middle easterners in the family yet, and of course, my parents could not oppose this )
Speaking from my own experience, whether you are English, Welsh, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Nigerian, Jamaican, Mexican… you will always have those who deep down feel that, due to culture/ history/ bloodline/ religion/ class/ colour.. you should marry someone of your own background. This is not a black and white issues, this is in every single race/ social group in the world.
But for as long as we hold onto the past, we repeat a history of violence, bitterness, anger and division.. For as long as we enforce the ideal that we should ‘stick to our own’ we hold onto this false notion that there are real differences in our blood, and enforce the divide between ‘us’ and ‘the other’.
In truth, we are all one human race who all originated in Africa. On a spiritual and/or physical level we all stem from the ONE universal source of energy and life- call that God or call it the big bang, as you believe- either way, we are all connected and we are all human beings.
Somewhere along the course of time we need to forgive and forget. Why should people of any identity today have to suffer or be judged because of a rotten history?
I could talk about race all day, but on this, I will leave you with one more story.
When I was in New York this Summer my fiancé and I watched a great comedy by a White Jewish guy and an African- American woman. Their clever humorous show describes how they met and the issues they face as a couple and how they make things work. They came to speak to the audience members at the end, and one couple they spoke to were an Israeli man and an Iranian woman. The couple said that they were aiming for world peace )
I can’t wait to see what wonderful children they will bring into this crazy world!
<3 LOVE & LIGHT