Back to the 70’s & Before – Racial Discrimination is Alive & Well

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In 1978, much to my total shock and disbelief, my otherwise liberal father would not allow me to date anyone who wasn’t White. My dad had always been so fair – his views on this issue totally sideswiped me.  It was appalling to me that a person could be judged on their skin color and culture. I’d always had multi-cultural friends, but once I tried to date a Hispanic, the cultural understanding from my father ended there.

For much of the American population, times have now changed.  We are a more tolerant society than we were thirty (or more) years ago.  However, the new-fangled ideas of change seem to have overlooked some.  I read a news article about a white justice of the peace in Louisiana who has repeatedly refused to marry  interracial couples. He apparently screens couples in advance to identify the ethnicity of bride and groom.  The JP defends himself by saying he’s not a racist – he has many black friends (who even use his toilet!) – but he feels that the “offspring” of mixed races won’t fit in with either race, essentially being the bastards of society. (Sounds more like the JP is talking about puppies).

Wow – deja vous!  That’s exactly the reason my father had given me over thirty years ago.  The children will have no ethnic group. They would be society’s outcasts.

But of course, I didn’t agree, and being the rebel that I am, I did it anyway.

 I can honestly say that I don’t remember one time where it appeared my kids were being mistreated because they belonged to two ethnic groups.  If anything, I think being bi-racial helped them identify with both groups.

And whether you agree or disagree with the practice of interracial dating and marriage, the US Supreme court decided in 1967 that the government has no right to tell a person who they can or cannot marry. PERIOD.

What do you think about this now-not-so-controversial issue, but one that still causes some hypertension nonetheless?

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2 Thoughts

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your story with me, Diane. As you know, I can empathize (although I must say I think your tension was alot greater than mine – a true “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” moment.) Hopefully your parents have come to appreciate your husband for who he is and for making you happy and taking care of your family. (My father could never argue that my husband didn’t take good care of his family, so I think he begrudginly had respect for him.) Take care, and thanks so much for visiting my site and commenting! Please come back soon.


  2. My father too warned me about getting involved with black men and this was back in high school (late 1980s); so, I married my “high school sweetheart” who was the white captain of the football team. We stayed married for eight years and had no children until he knocked up some bimbo from his office and divorced me.

    Since I’d finished college, my mother ordered me to stop “moping around” and do something with myself. I went to graduate school at a Big 10 University. There I met a grad instructor from Ghana whose classes I audited. We hit it off immediately and what started as a friendship soon became intimate. Two or three months later, I discovered I was pregnant with his child. I was afraid to disclose my condition to my parents, since I was hesitant about having them meet my baby’s father. The initial meeting was cold! There I stood looking like I’d hidden a basketball underneath my shirt and a tall skinny black man stood next to me. Talk about tension…

    However, they drove the two hundred miles to the hospital to see my son when he was born and my “mongrel child” soon turned into their grandson, Emil.

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