Monday, January 31, 2011

A Quick Thought on Interracial Dating

No matter what someone's political beliefs may be, Barack Obama is an impressive individual. He has worked tirelessly and diligently to assume the role he now plays in our world. I feel that no matter what the legacy of his presidency may be, he will be remembered by history to be one of America's most inspiring figures.

Obama's parents are Barack Obama, Sr., a black man from Kenya, and Stanley Ann Dunham, a white woman from Kansas. So yes, while the President may personally identify with being a black man (and rightfully so), he is the product of an interracial relationship.

I would cautiously argue that many Americans tend to admire the novelty and exoticism of individuals who are biracial or multiracial descended. We seem extremely attracted to them; we view their existence almost as an evolution of humanity. They represent the gradual erasure of the racial divide. However, there are many in our society that are still apprehensive about interracial dating. We still have those initial tribal impulses embedded in our bodies that prevent us from fully appreciating romantic biracial interaction. When we see interracial couples in public, we can't help but take a second look and wonder about their story. What were the circumstances that brought them together and why did they choose each other instead of someone of their own race? Is the scrutiny difficult for them, or has it simply become background noise?

I know I do this, even though I feel a bit of shame. It takes a moment for my reason and acceptance to offset the initial pangs of tribalism. I guess I'm human after all.

But for me, there is a bigger question. If the children of interracial couples are so treasured by our society, why are the couples themselves still the targets of scrutiny and skepticism? Should we not praise their efforts as openly as we marvel in the beauty of their offspring?

Until tomorrow...


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