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Newsflash:
Monday, 30 May 2011

White Dating Black

Written by  Erin Donovan

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QI really like this young man. There are only 3 problems. 1. I'm Caucasian, 2. He's African-American, and 3. My father's side of the family is racist. How can I get my dad and his side of the family to accept my choice without them disowning me? I'm 18 years old, and I feel like they're treating me like a 10-year- old. Society is really confusing me. In the 60's and 70's they were saying NO SEGREGATION and now that these two races are coming together by loving each other, society is saying SEGREGATION. Please - I need help, I need to make myself happy, but I also don't want to loose my family either in the process of making myself happy.

AIt's sad that here we are approaching a whole new millenium and people are still judging a human being on a color! It sounds so ridiculous, and yet it is still a problem many are facing. At least from where I'm standing, we have come many, many milestones away from our grandparents thinking on this issue.

Unfortunately though, racism does still exist, and it's perpetuated down the line mostly through families making this seem like an acceptable belief (the belief being that you can judge someone's character or quality based on skin color). So I'm very happy to hear that you didn't buy into your father's side of the family's beliefs.

But no matter how wrong you know racism is, it still doesn't change the fact that you don't want to hurt your family. Your decision is going to have to be based on whether you really like this boy enough to go through what you might have to face with your family. That's what it really comes down to.

And this could be about anything, not just race; I'm saying that if your family felt very strongly about a certain religion, or political view, or that boys shouldn't have long hair and your boyfriend did, etc... Would you believe in him enough, and in your relationship enough, to fight for it?

But please don't misunderstand me; I know this is not about religion, haircuts, or politics; which could all be changed or hidden if that's what you felt you had to do (though it's a shame that prejudice against religion is a huge deal in other countries, maybe even more so than racism is in ours, and I'm not trying to downplay that in anyway either), but this is about color! And no one should ever be made to feel ashamed or disgraced because of this! I understand your feelings of hypocrisy that your parent's generation fought for civil rights, segregation, and the end of 'Jim Crow' laws, and now when it comes to their own daughters and sons are they saying "This is different".

How does your mom feel on this issue? Could she help in trying to make your dad understand the ignorance of his views? How would he feel if you dated a guy with a different color eyes than yours? A different color hair than his? Does that sound silly to him? No more silly than a skin color.

It might be unrealistic to expect that you can change his views on this, but it's worth a try. Talk with the guy you like about this if you feel that you can. Explain what you are feeling; that their may be some tensions caused by your dad, but you will not let his ignorance affect your relationship.

You could get a counselor to mediate a conversation between you and your dad on this issue, so that you know you are being heard. Maybe the counselor could also help him in figuring out why he has these prejudices. Maybe it's just because that's what he was taught. It's not a hopeless situation. His views can change with time and patience, though there is no guarantee. But his love for his daughter should be stronger than his hate for a color. And maybe one day we will all be able to see that there is only one race; the human race.

See Relationships - Peers / Crushes and Dating

-Erin-

Last modified on Monday, 30 May 2011 13:08
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Erin Donovan

Erin Donovan

Erin Donovan's contributions were written in the year before she began college, at which time she was WholeFamily's Senior Teen Advisor.

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