Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's not just black and white

The phrase "it's not just black and white" has never seemed truer to me than now.

I'm talking about literal black and white- Interracial relationships.

Why, you ask, am I bringing this up? Well, I've never had to think about it before now. Seriously, it never phased me or crossed my mind when I saw a black man and a white woman together or visa-versa. It's not out of the ordinary and I never took a second look or thought.

Recently, my best friend (who is white) started dating a black man. I'm not going to lie to you it was a bit surprising not because I'm racist or anything, but simply because he is not at all her type. She was nervous about me meeting him, but once I did and liked him a lot she was extremely relieved- which was weird because she's never depended this much on my judgement of a boy she was seeing. It seemed like my approval was crucial to her. Like she was trying to decide if she would continue the relationship based on what I thought.

And that was true, I found out. She was so nervous that her friends would disapprove that she literally didn't want to get too close to him before getting the OK from us.

Both of us having grown up in a rich white Irish town in Boston our whole lives, we knew it would be difficult breaking this to her parents. Even if they acted like it was okay, you just knew that they would secretly disapprove because that's how they were raised. She still hasn't taken him home to meet her parents even though they are getting very serious now because she is scared. She can't share one of the biggest parts of her life right now with the people she loves the most simply because he is black.

Now, when I see interracial couples I actually stop and think about it. What's the back story that no one sees when they're smiling walking down the street? Do family or friends disapprove? Do they have to hide it? Knowing what I know from my friends experience, I really admire couples that can face these extreme prejudices and obstacles and still be happy and strong together. It's really given me an inside perspective into the racism that really does still exist everywhere.

So, don't worry about what other people think or say. Do you. Do who you want. Do what you want. And don't apologize for it.


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