I had a conversation with a dear friend recently, and learned (with surprise) that she believes “whites should marry whites and blacks should marry blacks.”
Being the child of a mixed race couple, I asked, “Does that also mean you don’t think a white man should have married an Asian woman either?”
I could tell this question made her uncomfortable, and she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) answer it. Perhaps, because of our friendship, she couldn’t be that truthful with me. “Well, that’s a good question,” she said. “I don’t really know.”
I asked my next question. “And, if you think there is a difference–that it’s okay for a white man to marry an Asian woman, but that a white man shouldn’t marry a black woman–then what I understand you to be saying is, it all boils down to the color of one’s skin.”
This conversation was a blow to me, because I see no difference, regardless of the color of one’s skin. I’d hoped that my question about my Japanese mother’s and white father’s marriage would make her think about what she was saying. But it did nothing of the sort. In fact, even with time to think about our conversation more, she posted the following on Facebook this evening:
“…we don’t need mixed-raced couples either. Whites still marry whites and black still marry blacks!”
I am the child of a mixed-race couple. I’m proud of my mother’s heritage. I’m proud of my father’s heritage. I’m hurt that such a dear friend doesn’t seem to understand this—certainly doesn’t care about it.
I’ve always believed we’ve come so far, and I’ll admit I haven’t always understood those who complain that we haven’t.
Now, I understand how far we have to go.