For a little more than a quarter of a century, I was married to a white woman.
I wasn’t the first person in the family to have a relationship out of my race. However,I was the first male.
I grew up during the second phase of integration, when black childen were allowed to go to white schools and some white children were forced to attend black schools. I grew up with White, Mexican, Asian and other groups at a time when it was uncomfortable for parents, to see their children interacting with someone of a different race.
We all knew the limitations of our families and our friends and their racism. Our values were often questioned. ” Why would you want to hang with white people?” Do you think your white? “You know how they are-remember you will always be less in their eyes. ” I think all of my friends have experience it, but it was OUR friendship that was important.
When I proprosed to my wife, we were both quietly aware of the challenges ahead. What we couldn’t antipicate is the ignorence. While she was from a small town where their weren’t any black people. I lived in a large metro area, where I dated black, white, filipinos and assumed my news would be easier than my fiance. What I learned, dating and marrige was different.
The mothers were against having grandchildren ,as the world in their eyes weren’t not ready for bi-racial children.
While my father in law was accepting, my mother in law was not. She didn’t approve of my wifes pregnancy. However, in a strange twist, she and I bonded during the birth of our first child. She fell in love with my gay niece and became interested in the mistreatment of blacks. She and I remained close years after the divorce.
Its unfair to expect or demand,friends and families to immediately to erace years or decades of embedded beliefs, simply because you are in love with someone of a different race or someone of the same sex..
Its going to take a minute
Ignorance abound. For years in Hollywood, people of color weren’t viewed as people, we were often cartoons and were giving roles that supported stereotypes. It took a minute, for America to accept Diahann Carroll as a Nurse or the Cosby’s as a regular upper middle class family. It took a minute for America to view same sex individuals as regular people.
The reality is, some may never accept a relationship that is outside of what they believe is normal. With exposure, in Time, their Time, others may view your coupling as a normal couple.
My issue with Meghan and Harry is, they aren’t new to this world. Meghan is 39, Harry is 36.
Meghan Markle was born in the United States, to a white father and a black mother. She is very aware of the challenges of race and the ignorance that exists. While Harry may have been shocked after learning someone asked about his son’s skin color. Meghan wasn’t ,as her ultimate hue was a burning question to both sides of her family. How light or dark isn’t uncommon amgost Africian Americans as we come in many shades.
Unlike Meghan, Harry is very aware of the british tabloids and their brutal coverage of the Royals where his mother was often attacked serveral times a day. He is very aware of some of the racist issues that exists in Britian.
He was well aware of “The Firm” or the Royal Families limitations and its history of banding together as his mother Princess Diana, his Aunt, Fergie The Dutchess of York were abandoned by the firm and left to face to press and public critisism on their own. The family has a long history of preventing marriages and ostracizing members of the family for not following the rules.
So I have issues with two thirty somethings who are very aware of the world they live in and the limitations of their respective families. I dont want to seem harsh and downplay the pain they experinced. As you are never prepared for the ignorance, internally from family and externally friends and stangers. After six months of marriage,a family member asked “has she called you a nigger yet”
There is a part of me that wants to say you two, need to put your big boy pants and big girl shorts and grow up, your not that naive. Meghan and Harry were not ostracized by “The Firm” they were hugely popular before they left Britian for California as they ushered in a new era in the Royal Family.
The tears and their story touched America this week. However, that was this week. The realization that Meghan and Harry are not employed and live in a 15 million dollar mansion with a full staff, in a Covid ecomony, might cause the public to turn on them. They need to go home and work it out ,as millons of non millionares do. Their grandmother Queen Eliazbeth will except them back into the fold. But the ignornce and sometimes misunderstandings will continue, as it will take a minute.