Ever since my first column, "Dating should not be racially exclusive," I still receive comments about it. Well, here is the follow up to that article. I hope that my message and context get across to all.
In the first article, I mentioned that you date the people you associate with on a daily basis. This is true, in my opinion. If you see the same people every day for nine months out of the year as we did in high school, or for five months in college, you are more likely to become friends with those people first before any others you meet outside of school. It makes logical sense to me that the beginnings of relationships start off in some type of social setting in which you are able to converse with that person as frequently as possible. My parents met in a hospital Ÿ mom was employed there while dad sold medical supplies to them. They saw each other on a regular basis, talked, got to know each other, went out on dates and now, years later, they are still together.
Next, where you grow up during your adolescence is another major factor. If "Boy" is raised in an area in which the girls are of "Y," "L" and "T" races, it is very likely his preference is going to lean towards those races, just by the fact that he'll see these girls more often then he would see the girls from "S" race who are predominately in an area 2,000 miles away from him. So, to blame "Boy" for his choice in dating due to his geographical location would be wrong. He is not responsible for the racial mix in his neighborhood. He is only dating those whom he is associating with on a daily basis.
Finally, I ask the following question to you all. If you have an idea of the perfect mate in your mind and you have a type of scale that he/she must fit, would you settle for less than you deserve? For example, you have decided that the person you want to spend the rest of your life with must have characteristics A, B, and C. You meet two people in which one has all three while the other only two. The person with all three is not of your race while the other, with two, is. Are you going to sell your self short on what is to be your dream mate? Can you honestly say to yourself, "Well, they don't have all that I'm looking for, but they are in my race, that's good enough." I could not fathom the idea of settling for less than what I want and deserve.
Maybe those of us who are biracial see this issue in a different light. Since we grew up in a house with our parents of two races, the idea of mono-racial relationships is not a major issue to us. Though I did meet a girl who is half black and half white who would disagree with this idea, I feel she has more personal acceptance issues to deal with in her life. After she had read the first column, she made one of the most ignorant comments I have ever heard.
If you recall, I mentioned that for me to take the stand that blacks should be with blacks and whites with whites, I would be disrespecting my mom, who is Filipino. It would have me blaming her for who she is.
Well, the young lady's comments were, "If people ask me what my race is, I tell them I'm black, period." I responded to her, "No, you are not black, period. You are half black and half white, period." She followed up with, "I can't change the past." This comment tells me that if she could, she would change her mother. Now I ask you, would that be considered a form of disrespect? I feel she has some internal conflicts about her own cultural identity and how others see her. It is very obvious to me that she is not proud of her background and wants to hide half of it, or just hide her mother. Maybe someday she will learn to accept her biracial background and her mother.
Take care and have a great weekend.
Eric T. Watkins is an industrial psychology senior. His column appears every other Friday.
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