**DISCLAIMER: This post is not meant to offend or hurt anyone – it is simply to shine a light on how things may be perceived.**
When people use the phrase “Love is blind” I’m not ever sure they really mean it when they talk about relationships. Maybe they do. I mean, I’m married to a Peruvian man and honestly that’s the last thing I think about when I see him. There are certain things though that come with being in a bi-racial relationship. In case you haven’t figured it out yet – I’m a caucasian, american woman. I grew up in a white town in the middle of Midwest America. The song “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift was exact in how I felt when I moved away.
Ok so back to bi-racial relationships! While they aren’t as abnormal anymore as when “Loving vs. Virginia” took place – they are still pretty unusual. Here’s the thing – where I grew up it was, and still is on some level, taboo. When I’m home and go through the town I grew up with my husband – we get weird looks, comments that are double-edged, and the weirdest questions. So for the those of you who are looking for some insight – here we go:
- Cultural assimilation? This is what I mean by assimilation, One person adapting the culture of another place or person’s heritage until they are a new version of that item. A great version of this is Hip-Hop/Rap; originally written by African-Americans in the “hood” as an outlet of the way they were treated/put down/felt. assimilation – Enter Mackelmore or Eminem. Now please – I love their music but they are great examples of assimulation. Another version is Tacos – yea that yummy food – happens every Tuesday night for me…. Real tacos do NOT look like that! They don’t have cheese and olives. America has taken the Taco and assimilated it to be what we want. Assimulation is defined as taking something and changing it to be similar to what it was origionally but changing it. When you are a relationship with a person that is a different race – get ready for assimulation. You and that person will become your own culture. It’s going to be different from what you grew up with. There is nothing bad in this – hold to certain traditions but some need to grow and change.
- Ignorant Questions – Ok, I HATE ignorant questions. By default I’m not the most patient person. I never have been, but ignorant questions irritate me to an extreme. Some of my favorites are about how I’m being treated because of a stereotype the person has seen on TV relating to Latino men. The other one I love is that when people assume that one country of South America is the same as another. IT IS NOT. Chile, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, and Brazil – they all have very different cultures, holidays, traditions, dress, and even languages! My husband is from Peru – his roommate when we married was from Honduras, while they both speak Spanish, they both have different slang. It is similar to someone being from Northern United States and going to the Deep South United States. They have a different way of talking and celebrating holidays. Think Sweet Tea, Southern Draws, and Pecan Pie. Do NOT assume that just because someone speaks Spanish they are all from Mexico – its offensive. And just because you watched Spanglish or Fast and Furious that doesn’t make you an expert on Latino culture. If you have a friend who is in a bi-racial relationship, don’t ask offensive questions – google it!
- Colorism – I mention this because it’s a real thing. Even if you don’t have colorism tendencies (I applaud you because everyone does – now time to come out of the world of denial), get ready to see everyone elses. Like I said, my husband and I get dirty looks walking down streets in certain areas of the United States. We ignore and cope. But I can safely say that I have heard some horrible things regarding race/colorism from those around me that I have respect for. I also know that many cultures/subcultures have colorism tendencies. I see it when I speak with my extended family. It’s common and extremely “normal”. Here’s a bit of advice – choose your battles. If you don’t agree with it – like I don’t, understand this, you will not change the culture over night. In fact it might never change. You can try to tell your family where they have gone wrong – I encourage you to do it gently, but you may not even change them. It’s ok. You aren’t alone. Just take a deep breath and remember to focus on continuing to change what you can. Let the rest go.
Here’s the final things to remember. Relationships are hard. Being in a bi-racial brings in new issues. Sometimes its communication, culture, other people’s ignorant actions that bring hurt. If you are in a relationship like this – I hope I helped you a bit. I would love your feedback. If you have a friend who is in a bi-racial relationship – I hope I gave you some insight into what they see and experience on a daily basis. Now you know why they get offended over “little issues”. Those “little issues” are the things that really affect their lives on a daily basis. At the end of the day just remember “Haters gonna Hate” Proverbs 5:8, sometimes people are going to disagree even if it’s something good for you.