Sometimes I think I am better off not talking to anyone in Northern Virginia. Nine times out of ten you will be drawn into a conversation that ends up being the same old thing; conservative bad, white equals racist, poor are kept down by the rich, and on it goes. So why I am surprised by this still is something of an amazement. I was out running some errands and got into a conversation with a woman who looked like a perfectly normal rational human being. That is until she started talking. Oh my.
Somehow we got onto the topic of inter-racial marriages (I want you to know this conversation started up because I made a comment on how rude people have become in the age of electronics) and was told in no uncertain terms that a black man who marries a white woman does so because once he becomes successful he has the opportunity to be more accepted in the white community and can go after what is taboo. When he is not successful it isn't an option to him. I was also told that in most cases the black man will eventually cheat on the white wife with a black woman. Really?
Now, has this woman been to places where many young people hang out of late? College campuses or even something as simple as a busy mall or movie theatre on the weekends? Younger people in this country don't see inter-racial relationships as taboo as someone in her age range (I would venture to say fifties or so). While intercultural marriages are still taboo in some communities; the asian cultures don't take to marrying someone other than an Asian all that well. This is still a generality and not a hard and fast rule. Many people of Asian decent are married to people who are not.
My nephew is married to a hispanic woman who he met on a bus. Why he was on a bus, was never made quite clear to me as he has a car, but nevertheless that is how they met. On a bus you don't have a great deal of time to worry about race relations when making a decision to get up the nerve to ask someone out on a date. Since they are now married, obviously he did ask her out. I am sure it never occurred to him that she has a different skin color than he does. My family learned the lesson of not being accepting in the past and welcomed her with open arms. She is a welcome addition to our family and he is madly in love and about to celebrate his first wedding anniversary in a few weeks. Her family had no issues either. No one in my family looks at her as some sort of taboo and he is not looked at some sort of trophy.
This is just something that gets under my skin to no end. We are living in the 21st century, can't we just love who we want to love without judgement? While racism exists in this country and that cannot be denied, it is time that we have the honest discussion about it. It doesn't just exist in the white community. The black community is just as capable of racism as any other. If this woman believes that white woman marrying a black man is well received in some parts of the black community she is sadly mistaken. She is looked down upon by both men and women. Some black woman don't take all that kindly to black man being with a white woman. In some cases the white woman just can't win.
I have worked retail on and off over the period of my life. Once during a big sale I was told that I was racist because I wouldn't give a woman a coupon discount. The problem was she didn't have the coupon. So no, I couldn't give it to her. I was told in no uncertain terms by the manager that morning, no coupon, no discount. When I told her that my boyfriend's skin was darker than hers she said to me that I was just some stuck up white woman who thought I was better than his black family and he was just some sort of race traitor who didn't accept his blackness. So not only was I still a racist, so apparently was he. Who knew?
I brought up this story to her and also mentioned that some black women have told me flat-out that there is a certain jealousy that happens when a successful black man marries a white woman simply because so many black men have issues such as criminal records, drug problems, and children out-of-wedlock with more than woman. She dismissed this as just media hype. I suppose the woman who told me this is not capable of having her own opinion.
She went on to explain to me how much of the problems really stem from conservatives. Sarah Palin in particular. I asked if her if she understood that Sarah Palin is married to man who is a minority. Eskimo's are much more of minority in this country than blacks are. She completely ignored that, and also wouldn't answer me when I wanted to know what exactly Palin has ever said that leads her to believe that she is a racist. I guess being conservative is good enough. Because after all, aren't we all?
I told her that the black community certainly wasn't being helped by the likes of Jesse Jackson Jr. standing up in congress and calling virtually everything a racist issue. If we such a racist country how the heck did Obama become president. Yet another question she didn't answer. She kept repeating over and over again that people didn't understand their history.
My question to her is how does it get better if you are referring to white woman who are married to black man as some sort of trophy wife? I asked her when would the black community learn that history shows that since the welfare state started in this country the black family has become more separated than ever before? There was a time that the black community stayed together and helped each other out. The black family was much more of unit than it is today. There was a time that a majority of black babies were born to a two parent family. The republican party is not responsible for the breakdown of the black family nucleus. That is something that they themselves have to take responsiblity for. I told her that the republicans are not responsible for making blacks feel that they are not allowed to think for themselves on political issues lest they be called a race traitor. The republican party is not responsible for the sad state of affairs of the public school systems in urban communities. It isn't the republican party that is trying to stop much-needed reform. That it is indeed the NAACP that is calling well-meaning parents race traitors who are only trying to improve the education that their children receive.
I also told her that any child born into the middle class in this country has a much chance as any other in this day and age. While I will concede that is not true when you are born living at or below the poverty level. But it is no easier for a poor white child to get out of poverty than it is for a poor minority child. But one of the reasons that getting out of poverty is so difficult is that government is not helping people to stand on their own, it is giving them what they need to survive and taking away incentive to help themselves. They are constantly listening to I am a victim rhetoric.
The sad reality is that people with her attitude is part of what is holding back some within the black community and makes people who marry someone from another race or culture that they have done something wrong or taboo. Or try to anyway. And one more thing, take Jesus out of politics. He wasn't a politician.
I can't say it any better than this: