"Can she use your comb?"... a conversation

Another curiosity item came into mind the other night as I sat home with The Katie on my 3-day weekend… It was one that I THOUGHT might spark some conversation among friends on The Book of Face – knowing that I know about a great many of them – so I figured I would cast a dragnet and see what shook.
The question, as presented, was…

“New idea for the question of the day, and no bull on this one, be really honest and please miss me with the passive aggressive nonsense… How would your family HONESTLY react if you brought home someone of a different race?”

I had to add that little caveat to make sure to fight off the little nonsense I might have otherwise encountered and have come to expect from some of the people on my friends list.
I suspect that it may have stopped some from answering.

[Phlip note – oh well, better luck next time, perhaps]

First response was from my cousin Desmond, with…
"Blood, I believe that my family will accept anyone I bring home. But sometimes, I am not even sure."

Next was former coworker, Amanda with…
"my family was very understanding. "

Next was high school classmate, Tim with…
"been there done that no problem I believe thats not a big problem any more while a lot of people do still have a problem with it most dont and I know being a father my self I think its all in your child being happy there is nothing wrong with color I would have a bigger problem with them doing something wrong and I dont see that as wrong drinking everyday doing drugs or not working then they will have a problem in my family ok so maybe I drink to much but I have been working on it......... KC"

Then forum member James with…
"my fam is cool with it. I have a brother-in-law and an uncle of another race."

Next was former coworker, Tiffany with…
"Well, my son was just recently referred to as "black" by my grandmother..meaning like, a week and a half ago, and he just turned 6. He's been telling her since he was 2 that he was black...and she's been arguing with him until she finally conceded. As far as men go...I don't think that will ever completely be acceptable. She will never stop trying to hint about UGLY ass white men, most 15-20 years my senior, that are "good honest men that would love to meet me" And she will never give up the stereotypes that even my own dating history has proven wrong..."black men beat their women, they are never faithful, and they will never marry or take home a white girl"...yet the only BOY that ever put his hands on me was white, and knowing that - my family fed him at Christmas dinner, and my Grams even took him out to eat, all the while knowing that he had been locked up a month earlier for beating my ass. Later on, while I was dating a black man, she tells me that if I ever brought him to the Christmas family dinner, they would either not allow him to stay, or make him feel so uncomfortable that he would WANT to leave, and this is when I informed her that if this particular man came to the family dinner, he would not be uncomfortable....he knew who he was and had no shame about it...if anyone would be staring at their shoelaces, it'd be the one who looked at him wrong and if they were willing to feed the man who put his hands on me in anger, but not the man who treated me like a queen, all because of their skin, then I have no problem with them not speaking to me anymore...sounds like their problem, not mine. None of them have ever lifted a finger to help me, raise me, or even stand up for me...so their opinion is not my concern. I have the same attitude where my son is concerned, and I will not explain or apologize for him being a PROUD black male. I never felt it necessary to announce his ethnicity when I was pregnant or ask permission to bring him anywhere....and I never will. (sorry so long)"

To which Tim returned…
"Tiffany if you eer meet a man that loves he will not need your family to feel happy with that said it is nice to have your family to go along with you when you get with someone and you find the person you want to marry.. I think when i was younger I needed to have my family there. now being 30 I dont care what anyone else thinks because at the end of the day its me that has to live with them and I know that my family doesnt care about stuff like that not just so much because I've done it but because my family wouldnt test me .. i have met so many girls that there family is like that and let me tell you I will not eat at there families house but before I leave there famly changes there mind because of the person I am no they dont always just love me but they respect me. and thats all I need in the first place you dont have to love me just respect me and what me and the person I am seeing is having cause I am going to do me there are bad blacks and bad white so date who you love even if they purple you owe it to you to be happy and never settle.. Dont think it do it .. Dont want it get it... Success is the art of being who you already are... KC"

And Tiffany gave us back…
"Welllllll, Timothy...I haven't needed their permission and/or approval since I was about 5. My family didn't raise me, I did. I had to take care of my drunk ass parents 80% of the time, and my grandparents only pitched in when it was not going to cause WWIII with my parents...my stepmother was jealous of me and would smack the ish outta me for looking at her wrong. I've never pushed myself on a black man to meet his fam for that very reason, I understand someone who was RAISED right by his mother and/or fam to need their acceptance, but for me? Don't want or need it. As far as family reactions when it comes to us white girls? I think a lot of it has more to do with the fact that the girl "announces" a black man is coming, or "asks permission" or tries to feel them out. I don't feel the need to let anyone know what color someone is before I bring them with me, as long as they know I am bringing a guest...but I usually don't. If I were ever to be married, the only man I would ask to give me away is my son...as far as my birth parents? They wouldn't even be invited. That has nothing to do with me possible marrying someone of a different race, it has to do with the fact that they are not in my life like that...and I am better off because of it."

Next was another lightskinnded former coworker, April, with…
"My dad would not care....he says as long as I am treated well and taken care of then he gives his blessing.....my mom feels like as long as they are not White then ok.....personally being 30....I feel like it's not about anyone....it's about me and if I'm happy and you are my friends/family then you will be happy with me"

Next respondent chose to remain anonymous with...
"It wouldn't even be a problem... White men enslaved and now imprison black brothas, and they raped sistas. Ain't no way in the hell I would even CONSIDER dating a white dude. No way, no how. I have yet to meet a white dude yet in my life that I deemed worthy of my vagina.
And don't be trying to get funny with my response either, make sure you spell black with a capital b, jerk!"

[Phlip note - I probably should never ever ever publish another anonymous answer]

Then another former coworker, Cedric, with…
"They would either accept it or not accept me plain and simple"
and quickly added
"But I am lucky that I am in an interracial relationship and I have had no issues brought or even whispered about it. I am very fortunate to have an open minded family that trust my judgement."

Next was the homie Joe, with…
"Honestly, my brother brought home a spanish girl one time and my mother wasn't exactly the most accepting of it....she ended up being a complete good for nothing skank, which I know has nothing to do with her race. However, I believe over time my mother would have relaxed a bit and come to her senses, but the skank he brought home ended up cheating after 2 weeks. If I ever brought someone home (I dated a fresh off the boat japanese girl once, but never brought her home) of a different race, I think my mom wouldn't say anything because she knows how I would defend my decision and in the end it would be futile for her to be ignorant."

Then was John B. (not the singer, lol) with…
"My parents and brother are pretty racist, so they'd shit themselves if I brought home a Black girl. My extended family would be accepting though, which is kind of weird."

Last comment was from Simon, with…
"My mother would explode like the white man did on the Dave C show for sure"

Again, I guess I expected a little more conversation on the topic than I got, but I will write it off on the holiday weekend…

As for me?

And no, this conversation is in NO WAY suggestive that I am kicking Katie out of the house and moving in a standard-issue white girl, no matter what they say on the internets about a black dude never "arriving" without one of those.
I was just curious.

Back to the task at hand...

There are two sides to this one…
Mom’s family would say nothing and mean it. Whomever I have brought home for whatever reason has been accepted for my applied reasons, color be damned. It is worth noting how much race-mixing comes from that side of the family, though. I won’t get into specifics, but let us just say that there’s a white dude in at least one picture on the walls of the house my own grandmother grew up in.
No problems there…

My dad’s side, though?
They would SAY nothing to me about it, but the moment I was in the car on my way to where I am going – not even necessarily out of the driveway – I would be the topic of damned near every conversation in the building, and not in a desirable way.

[Phlip note - hell, I am close to sure that has been the case with my CURRENT fiance, and she is my complexion!]

If my grandmother was still here, she’d likely hit the ceiling, and she was only like 4'9".

Looking over the answers I did (or, as it were, didn't) get, I find it a bit odd that this is even still an issue these days.
Not that it is a total non-issue even in my own family, but I was so estranged from the side of the family where this would have been an issue WHILE it would have been, that it never came up, and I am thankful for that.
Seriously, if a family can't get past their hangups with things that an individual you've decided makes you happy is powerless to change, then they have made a conscious decision that they do not want to see you happy. This is that sad instance where family shares only an unavoidable blood connection for which you might want to try to work things out to a peaceful solution, but understand full well that it may not be pretty.

I will tell you now, if anyone comes equipped with anything LESS than concrete evidence of why the person I have chosen to be with is not worthy of such a position, then they'd best be prepared to become a part of my past.


Madeline Hatter said…
My brother, I know, wouldn't care.

When I dated a Far Eastern guy (Thai), mom felt the need to point out that if he treats me well she's ok. Dad never said anything.

When I simply went out a few times with an Italian guy, mom I don't remember mom saying anything; Dad said nothing to me, but vented to his brother, who told my cousin, who told me.

While talking on the phone with Dad, he once rambled the thought: "Don't you bring home some bohemian." I laughed, not knowing til later that Bohemia used to be a country in Europe.

When I went out ONCE with a [fine ass] Pakistani guy, mom freaked the f* out, called him "those people," because it was after 9-11 and she's old school Christian. And I ripped into her for being racist - and ignorant of any truths regarding the cultural comments she made.

But I'm sure, by now, that I've sufficiently beaten up their racist sentiments to the point that if I did marry a guy from a different ethnic group (to say "race" is ridiculous because we're not talking about aliens), there'd be no problem.

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