Ever since I started blogging, I read a lot of other blogs. It comes with the territory. Today while I was skimming through some of my favorites, I came across a post on Babble claiming that “many parents still object to interracial dating and marriage.” I had to check the date. Maybe Babble has been around longer than I thought. Maybe they have archives since before the digital age. Nope. It was dated 2012, not 1912.
The article was discussing the results of an Anderson 360 study that was recently discussed on Huffington Post. Both writers on Huffington and Babble reported that some parents in the study objected to their children dating or marrying outside of their race. Both writers go on to say that these parents in the study indicated interracial marriage would be problematic because:
The couples will face more challenges as a result of marrying outside of their race (Sullivan, para. 3).
In case you don’t know, I’m white. And I’m married to a black man. If you ask Gus, he’ll say that his daddy is black and his mommy is pink. I’m scratching my head trying to come up with any challenges we might have in our marriage as a result of the fact that my skin is a different color than my husbands. The only thing I can come up with is that I will probably be the one to get skin cancer. And you can die from skin cancer. So that could be problematic. Other than that, I’ve got nothing.
Now, I can understand parents being concerned with their children marrying outside of their own culture. For example, a child from a fundamentalist Christian family is going to have some additional marital challenges if they marry an individual from an Orthodox Jewish family. These are two very different cultures and bridging this gap certainly provides unique challenges outside of your average marital woes.
However, the authors in Huffington and Babble do not say culture- they say race.
It may just be a play on words, but it sends a very powerful message. Race is simply about skin color. Culture refers to a way of being and existing within a group. Race is not synonymous with culture. When individuals assume that being a particular race is the same as belonging to a particular culture, they have stepped onto a very slippery slope. A slope that usually ends in broad generalizations and stereotypes. You may be assuming likeness where there is only difference.
So, here we are. I think Gus is right. I am a bit pink. I think I’ll start wearing more sunscreen.