Thursday, October 15, 2009

I wish it weren't so...

When will the madness end? Nine years after the last state (Alabama) finally overturned its ban on interracial marriage, we have this mess going on. In Louisiana, a justice of the peace is refusing to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples. I am tired of hearing people against interracial marriage use the excuse that "the marriages don't last long" or that "[interracial] children suffer" from such a marriage.

Mildred and Richard Loving, whose appeal to the Supreme Court in 1967 ended interracial marriage bans in the U.S.

I am mixed. My dad is black, my mom is white. Yes, I went through the moment of uncertainty when I had to check the race box on my college applications. Yes, I encountered my fair share of "not fitting in." But what kid doesn't? I think my experiences were shaped by the racial attitudes of the parents of my schoolmates. I found a great multicultural group of friends whose parents were open to us being friends. It's the adults that pass on attitudes about who you "should" marry, what skin shades and hair textures are "good," and other stereotypes about their own and other cultures. My black relatives and my white relatives love me equally. Even my Czech great-grandparents, who were super-racist and thought that me and my brother were adopted Hawaiian children for the first few years of my life, accepted us whole-heartedly when they finally found out that we were mixed.

I would never trade for a day who I am. I have such a rich heritage from being mixed, and I get to pass that on to my children. I love being brown. I love my curly hair. I love that everywhere I go I am asked if I am local - Hispanic, Polynesian, Mauritian - you name it! I can fit in just about anywhere, and that opens up greater connections for me with people of cultures that are different from my own.

If interracial marriage had still been illegal, I would not be here. And I think that's a shame, because I am doing my best to contribute some good to this world and to offset some of the tragedy that swirls around us. One less good person in the world, just because her parents aren't the same race, would be very, very sad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love that this came from your heart. It made me cry and miss you so much.