Ebony-n-Ivory Accepted Here?

Ebony-n-Ivory Accepted Here?

Mar09-1People everywhere celebrated the election of Barack Obama.  Others felt it was a terrible day and that they could never respect a black man as their president.  If we look at Obama’s background, we see that he is more diverse than many of us.  And while we all say we are accepting of it (to the general public he looks like an average black man), are all of us really?

Barack was born to a Caucasian American female and an African male from Kenya.  When we say someone is African-American, he definitely fits that description.  Outwardly it seems like the minority community is more accepting of interracial relationships, but are we?  A couple of weeks ago I received an email from an OnyxLouisville reader.  She attended a party and was very troubled by her experience.  I told her I would write about her situation and get the input of others.  Please help her out.

Her Initial email:
I just wanted to address some things I have noticed lately.  I was born and raised in Louisville and throughout the last couple years I have been so frustrated with how our “grown up” nightlife scene is. My frustration stems from the ignorance I have seen. I have many friends that love the music but will not step foot into parties such as the ones at Raw and the Winery based on the simple fact of the pettiness they have experienced. I thought Louisville would be more diverse by now, but wow I am shocked.  Why does my race have to be addressed when I walk in the doors? I understand I am Caucasian but why must the ladies always point that out with side comments and harsh looks? I usually just laugh at it, but now I am really trying to come to terms with why this is still going on. I hate that my city has to be so ignorant. What is up with that?

Her follow up email where I asked specifically what happened:
Aside from the deer in headlights looks I receive (and trust me I am not just being paranoid), as a woman I am sure you can relate. Between 5 to 6 females made it a point to approach my boyfriend and ask him why he was here with a “white chick”, much to their dismay we have been together for 3 years but I am a pretty private person so it caught me and him off guard. He said he had females coming up to him that he barely knew making comments. Disrespectful is an understatement. Also, my guy was introducing me to someone and she tried to pull him aside and ask if he was really with a “white girl” and then he went on to introduce me out of respect and she said “Is this a new one”? Like I was a new pair of stilettos! She later apologized to him saying she didn’t recognize me because my hair was up when she saw me last time. Do you think this is just a female thing or a race thing? I feel like it is a little of both and it’s such a tragedy.

So readers, what is your response?  Are you accepting of interracial couples?  Are ‘urban professional’ parties supposed to have an all black crowd?  When you disagree with someone’s choices in a mate, do you have a right to vocalize it to the person?  Would you still love Michelle Obama if she had blonde hair and blue eyes?  Is love really color blind? What would you do if you were in her situation?

M.Y. March 2009

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