Interracial relationships are nothing new.1 History has examples of them from which to examine. I do not intend to contest them as to their morality. I want to question the underpinnings of these unions. Are these relationships more challenging than others?
The Challenges of Interracial Relationships:
Love is blind so it is said. How often do we consider what love is? What criteria do we use in order to consider who the right person is to be in love with? Things like common interests, attractiveness, socioeconomic similarities, and good nature seem to be obvious. But are these ever really considered in the process?
All of these criterions are often the basis for a successful relationship.
Interracial relationships may require more as they are uniquely challenged, unlike conventional relationships.
Why do people from different racial groups find themselves attracted one to another? Are differences in the cultural traits and behavior contributors? Are the phenotypical differences in appearance as compared to ones’ own race more appealing? Why would this be?
Are the men/women in ones’ own race unattractive or simply not meeting a certain set of standards one holds? Does this come as a result of living in a multicultural society? Are the men/women in your racial group not good enough as compared with how and with whom you have been raised around?
Can one be honest with oneself?
It would seem that these are reasonable introspective questions. Interracial relationships require more thought as to the very nature of your involvement in one. It must be for the right reasons.
”My heart’s subdu’d
Even to the very quality of my lord;
I saw Othello’s visage in his mind,
And to his honors and his valiant parts
Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.”
The Shakespearian play Othello can explore on this narrative with some emotional insight .
Challenges for the Families
How does your family feel about race? Have you ever heard comments or had discussions where race was either the subject or part of it? What did you learn from such conversations? Would your mother or father approve of your relationship to a person of another race? How about a different ethnicity, e.g., French vs Italian?
Would your siblings give you grief over such a relationship? Would they feel embarrassed or even shunned by family, friends, and neighbors?
And what of your grandparents and extended family members–aunts, uncles, and cousins–how would they feel?
Is racial purity important to your parents and the immediate family?
Challenges for the Progeny
Children are pure and innocent indeed in many ways. It is true that some things about human nature are intrinsic; eye and hair color, height and weight, good and bad genes, etc.
These are consistent within all racial groups and are of no immediate interest. The challenges are introduced when the phenotypical expression becomes altered by genetic admixture. Things like hair texture, ears, nose, and skin tones are altered to the degree which is uncommon or inconsistent to either gene pool of the interracial parents.
When these factors are observed and in mind it is necessary to consider what the child/children will face growing up in a society where race, ethnicity, and culture are what identity is defined. Where will they fit in this situation? How will you prepare them for the challenges of looking different or not fitting neatly into a given racial group due to the genetic admixture?
There is much to consider in relationships in general. Looking at the essence of the makings for a good relationship is paramount.
In one’s youth, we learn the basics about relationships; being attracted to someone, how to make an effort to let that person know you are interested in them, holding hands, kissing, the first date, and finally your first heartbreak due to a breakup.
This teaches us some of the basics about what relationships are in their most stripped form. And as time progresses so does our knowledge about them grows.
When we enter adulthood, relationships will have taken on a much more sophisticated nature and is central to what and how we evaluate them.
Interracial relationships require a deeper examination as thinking adults. Social challenges would have it so. It is necessary to remain broad in consideration and avoid being self-centered or narcissistic.
But if things are approached using a philosophy that takes a deeper look into the inner workings of relationships–or any matter that requires it–will help to ensure that a wise decision can be made that is based on the result of critical analysis.
These relationships are neither wrong nor right. They are relationships with additional challenges when compared to their homogeneous conterparts2.
In the end, it is for the two persons to discern for themselves and not and for the court of public opinion to decide.