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Love Life: Interracial couples still face discrimination

Published: Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Updated: Saturday, March 27, 2010 10:03

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Courtesy photo/Cinthia Sierra

Bridge Staff Writer Cinthia Sierra and boyfriend, Bridge Staff Photographer Chris Beard vacationing on a Carribean cruise in Nov. 2007.

"How are you going to walk with a little black baby?…How will you deal with other peoples' looks?" an acquaintance asked during the first month of my relationship with an African-American. It is shocking that even though interracial marriages have increased dramatically over the last 40 years, this mentality still exists. According to a census taken in 2005, marriages between whites and African-Americans rose from 65,000 in 1970 to 422,000 in 2005. The Associated Press reported that most support for interracial marriage comes from younger people. Brenda Briones, a Psychology major, explained, "Many of us are possibly first-generation college students and have the opportunity to receive an education and be open-minded; our parents, however, do not all have an education and are strong believers of sticking to our own race." "I personally have no problem and really enjoy being in a more diverse environment," said Briones. "You get the best of both worlds," added Gladys Benavides, an Education major. "Having two different cultures, traditions, [possibly] languages, and food are all benefits." Other university students have mixed feelings about interracial dating. "I do believe it depends on which two races mix," said Danny Garcia, a Nursing major. "Some interracial couples can be [perceived as] weird." In order to avoid harassment, many biracial children have had to be home-schooled, and their parents also confront mistreatment; together, interracial couples and their children face a daily struggle. Consequently, research shows that interracial marriages are more likely to fail. Over a span of 10 years, there is a 41 percent chance an interracial couple will separate compared to a 31 percent chance between two people of the same race. I can honestly say I have faced obstacles even after being with my boyfriend for three years. It's remarkable how even in the 21st century, when an African-American-the product of an interracial marriage-is on the verge of becoming president, people still make racist remarks about my interracial relationship. After taking a couple of days off at my summer job, my previous supervisor said, "How was your vacation with your nigger of a boyfriend?" Of course, I felt offended; I wanted to, first of all, hit him, but I also wanted to spit out every moment of happiness I had experienced with my boyfriend, or for him to feel the tingling sensation that runs through my body every time I see my boyfriend. But something stopped me. I had no reason to explain my feelings to someone whose main concern was that the color of my skin did not match that of whom I am dating. To say that I have not encountered any form of racism or different treatment would be a lie; however, I have come to ignore those who give shocked looks, speak rudely, or don't speak at all. Although America's views on interracial marriages have come a long way, I don't believe we have fully accepted racial equality. NEXT ISSUE: SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS

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