Dating shouldn't be racially exclusive

When dating starts, most likely we date those who we socialize with on a daily basis. Any school setting may just be the most common ground in which dates are likely to occur. What if Tyrone thought Mary was cute, but didn't think much of Kiesha? Do we scold him for his own true feelings? Do you persecute the young man for making a choice based on what is heart says and not what peer pressure might say? What if Tyrone's parents are from different cultures, making him bi-racial, do we consider him any less of a man or member of the culture that he has been placed in due to his skin color?

These are just a few of the things that I have had to deal with and have been dealing with all of my life the wondering if I'm even a member of a culture that I know I belong to, but yet only having "half" of the qualifications. When it comes to dating and romantic relations, it seems that my "sisters" have more of a problem than do my "brothers" with what I believe in. Though I'm not the only one in this situation, I feel it is necessary to finally come out and say my piece.

When the topic of sex pops up (no pun intended), we'll have something to add to the conversation. Whether it be when we lost our virginity, craziest place, favorite positions, etc., anything said is taken to heart and not even looked at twice over. If the topic has to do with dating, the gloves come off and its time to rumble and the ones who want to rumble most are the sisters!

Last week in the Union, while playing dominoes with friends and having a great time talking and laughing, I pulled out my organizer with pictures of my friends in it to share with another friend. When he opened it, a sister, who had been yacking and laughing along with us, said, "Look at all these hoes!" Knowing nothing of them, not even a name, she made a rash judgment just based on skin color. (I thought that was a bad thing to do?) Her reply to a mutual friend, "Jevon, you better straighten your boy out!"

I tried to explain that I can't stand behind the idea of only dating within your own race because my parents are interracial. This would have me disrespecting half my family along with the woman who gave birth to me. The sister threw her hand in my face and uttered, "Whatever." I lost my composure and replied, "I have yet to meet a sister worthy enough to be in my book!" For this, I apologize to African American females. Fact is there are many sisters I would put in my book, if I had their picture. Two in point would be Amy Knowles and Linda Harrison. These ladies have helped me get back into school when I was ready to call it quits and I thank them.

I know that there are brothers who will date outside their race just because it's chic. If the brother is a sports figure on campus, then it makes it even harder for the rest of us. Since they are seen in the media light more often, and their personal life is somewhat of a open book, sisters may use them as a measuring stick for the rest. It gives off an image that if those particular brothers do not find the sisters beautiful and/or attractive, then the rest of the brothers must feel the same way. Not true!

I hear a lot of sisters say that there is a shortage of black men on this campus and there are not enough to go around. The only bit of advice I can give to them would be to A) Transfer to a school in which the demographics favor more black men; B) Deal with the fact that you are here in Tucson where the population of blacks is small; or C) If you didn't give off so much negative vibe to a brother before you get to know him, maybe your beauty on the outside would not be so tarnished by your ugliness on the inside. This does not include all of the sisters on campus, just to those to whom it applies.

This column is going to turn some heads and may even cost me friends in the Union once it's read, but hopefully it will wake up some of my sisters who have been sleeping for so long.

Eric T. Watkins is an industrial psychology senior.

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