In case you aren’t very astute and haven’t picked up on it from my little profile picture, I am not white. Well actually, I am. In fact, I am just as much white as I am black, although I doubt most people see me that way. I’m a bi-racial girl, and I’m actually very grateful for it, mainly because it has given me an opportunity to experience many cultures and to realize that a lot of the ways we separate ourselves by “race” are fairly trite.
My parents were married back in the 70s, and they lived in small-town South Dakota their first couple of years. Although they faced a couple of remarks from people, it was very minimal, and the majority of their time together was not marred by prejudice. Anyone who had been hesitant about their marriage quickly got over it once they got to know my mom and dad together (which is what usually happens when people actually get to know one another instead of pre-judging).
Personally, I have never struggled with feeling “out of place” as a bi-racial girl. I define myself much more by my faith, personality and interests than I do the color of my skin. I have never been mistreated or left out because of my race. In fact, the one time in my life I truly felt discriminated against was when I had a friend who wanted to date someone outside of her race and her parents insisted that if they got married and had children, their kids would experience suffering and hardship because they would be so shunned. That had not been my experience, so I thought it was unfair for them to generalize how I felt as a bi-racial person.
When it comes to dating, race has never been an issue for me. Who I date basically tends to be based on the people I’m around. When I was in high school in the inner-city, I dated black guys. In college and out here in Colorado, I’ve dated mostly white guys. Faith, common interests, humor, intelligence, etc. are the things that are ultimately attractive and long-lasting, so to me it makes sense to focus on those things much more than any kind of “preference” when it comes to skin color.
I am not sure if this is the case for everyone, though. Some online dating sites let you choose races you are willing to be matched with, and it still seems fairly rare to see happy interracial couples portrayed on television. Because of this, I am always glad when dating sites automatically match people with everyone, or when I see television shows that portray interracial relationships without dwelling on the race difference (Parenthood, Happy Endings, Friday Night Lights).
Honestly, I think if more diverse people married and created a “melting pot” of children, some of the race issues that still do plague our country would begin to fade away. If our churches were truly more united and diverse (which, when you read Ephesians, you see that this is Paul’s true heart for the church), it would be a beautiful picture of what Jesus did when He came and expanded God’s covenant of salvation to all people. If we as Christians were more willing to experience and interact with cultures outside our own, we might see how colorful and beautiful the body of Christ can be.
So, what do you think? Have you dated outside of your race or do you prefer not to? Why or why not?