Interracial/Mixed Race Relationships: The Delusion of a Post-Racial World

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I often hear the phrase,

“I don’t see color, I only see people” or

“love is colorless” or “

you can’t help who you love” or

“in a few years we are all going to be mixed and it would be one world [ie. mix marriages will eliminate conflicts]” or “

there is only one race, the human race” etc.

These claims, for the most part, are based on feelings and lack proper context.

In the past, interracial relationships were outlawed and considered unnatural by the supposed “superior race” (white people) that did not want to “contaminate” their gene pool. [1] The legal sanctions have gone away and interracial marriages are much more common nowadays. In the USA, research indicates a generational shift–younger people are more accepting of relationships across the color line. Some have pointed to the seeming increasing tolerance to argue that the world is becoming more “colorblind”  or “post-racial.”

There has been progress.

African Americans are no longer being lynched or water hosed or attacked by vicious dogs. Black people fought that battle and won. And, yes, societies around the world have become more accepting of these relationships. I do believe that people of different races can develop loving relationships. For example, I have read stories of lasting interracial marriages like that of Ghanaian Nana Joe Appiah and his British wife, Margaret; James (African American) and Grace Lee (Chinese-American) Boggs in the US. And I have friends that are in interracial relationships. But what many people are missing is that just because you are dating/married to someone of a different race, it does not mean that you and the people that look like you would be accepted by that race. Indeed, your mate might not accept people who look like you. Ghetto-intellectual, Harvard trained anthropologist and Africana studies professor, Kwame Zulu Shabazz states in the interview below,“Acceptance on an individual level is not the same thing as accepting a group.”

To claim that sexual relationships or producing “mixed”/”biracial” babies signals the end of racism is naive at best and, at worst, it suggests the interracial couple’s unwillingness to tackle structural racism and oppression. These relationships are certainly not a proof that the walls of institutional racism have fallen.

Racism is alive and well. Racists can and do have sexual relationships and make babies with a member of the race that s/he hates. As Brazilian professor Joao Reis puts it,  although race is frequently a barrier to marriage “race is not often an obstacle to sex.” According to professor Henry Louis Gates Jr, “sex is colorblind.”

Justin Volpe, the cop that racially profiled, brutalized and sodomized Abner Louima a Haitian American had African-American girlfriend. Volpe’s girlfriend defended him claiming that he could not be racist because they were planning to get married. Thomas Jefferson, a slave-owning “Founding Father” and American president raped Sally Hemmings, an enslaved African woman (his wife’s half sister) and had children with her. Segregationists and US senator Strom Thurmond had children with African woman in secret while publicly promoting politices that would further oppress African-Americans ( Image below ).

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Actor Terrence Howard is on the bandwagon of interracial relationships, he calls it ,” a way forward….morally right.”  Howard reported being called “nigger” and “monkey” by his ex-wife, Michelle Ghent. Ghent allegedly told Howard that she would not make nigger babies with him (image below).

terrence-howard-052010-3In the UK, Lauren Beckham, a mother of four, reportedly screams racist slurs at her mixed-race children (below).

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A black woman of Jamaican descent complains that her husband calls her “Nigger Bitch,” during sex.

We have come a long way, but how far have we come?

One way of assessing racial progress is to “follow the money.” The wealth gap between whites and non-whites is still wide ( and widening ). Countries that have higher racial mixing are not exempt from this disparity. In fact, those with “mix blood” generally have more economic opportunity than Black people. For example, in the “New” South Africa, whites who are 9.5% of the population control 60% of the country’s wealth and the more indigenous “African” you look the less wealth you have. In Brazil even though the country has a large number of mixed race people, white Brazilians dominate the economy and the poorest Brazilians tend to be the darker people of African descent. The US is often referred to as a “melting pot,” but the reality on grounds is that the pot is just boiling. White Americans control most of the wealth. Globally, the more indigenous or Black you are, the less opportunity you have.

What is the way forward?

1.  Healthy self-esteem and self-love. Folks that say, “I would be more appreciated by other race…” are missing an important element of being fully human. If you hate yourself and others that look like you, it would be difficult for others to love you!

2.  In terms of economics, buy from other African American /black businesses. Africans/blacks need to regain their/our consciousness and start supporting businesses in our neighborhoods. If we don’t buy from our “peoples” it would be difficult to reduce poverty in our communities.

3. Set a good example to our children  and expose them to  healthy African/ American/ black relationships.That way our children would learn to treat their partners with love and respect. Research shows that most African- Americans marry each other, this debunked the idea that blacks are not marrying each other. Keep up the good work.

4. Empowering each other within our communities that way we would not look else where for validation. As Jill Scott puts it, we need to hold on unto our African culture in our relationships.

Notes:

[1] One important exception to strict ban on “miscegenation” was 1950s case, Loving vs. Virginia.

Additional Information 

1. Depiction of interracial relationship in US history.

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2. Nigerian husband ( Sambo Davis ) and Indian wife (Sheeba Rani ) shared their experience of tough life in India and the extreme racism that they face daily. Mr. Davis expresses, “It’s because I am from Africa, I am a Nigerian. I think Indians see us as inferior.”

3. Rachel Sullivan, a white woman shares that many of her  friends and family members are racists and treated her African-American boyfriend poorly.http://loveisntenough.com/2007/10/08/some-of-my-best-friends-and-family-are-racists/

4.“Statistics on Interracial Relationships”

5. Academic paper, ” ‘Two Nations”? Race and Economic Inequality in South Africa Today “

6. The rape of enslaved African American women by enslavers white men, this is such a fascinating book by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Wench listen to the interview of the author here‘Wench’ Explores Intimate Relationships Between Slaves And Masters

7. Mariah Carey’s mother ( white ) talks about her experiences married to a black man (Mariah’s father ). For example, her family disowned her and they had a hard time raising their mixed race  children in America.

8.The owner of Los Angeles NBA team Clippers,  Donald Sterling  a notorious anti black semitic expressed to his  Afro-mexican girlfriend that he hates African Americans despite the fact that they make him rich and he is very much  against her making friends with them in public. Listen to the audio of their heated conversation below:

 

9. People that don’t see race…

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Please note: I do not hold copyright on any of the pictures and videos.

24 thoughts on “Interracial/Mixed Race Relationships: The Delusion of a Post-Racial World

    • Brother Kwamla,
      It is my pleasure to share my thoughts and finding…this topic is often hot in our community and many times folks base their reflections on feelings instead of concrete logical ideas that could help us all move forward! Thank you for sharing the link with me, I will check out the debate as it unfolds

      respect!

  1. Pingback: “I Don’t See Color” | Iron Dove

  2. This was an incredibly thought-provoking article you’ve written here, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard various white persons say things like, “so and so has a Black wife or child.. So how could they be racist?” But like you said, it’s not like someone can simply eliminate racism by dating or marrying or having children outside their race. There are plenty of people, including some I’ve met, who are in interracial relationships but still hold negative racial connotations and prejudices towards that group. Thanks for sharing.

    • Cuz Caleb,

      It was my pleasure sharing my thoughts on this important topic…..some folks hide behind the rhetoric of “post-racial” as a way to avoid addressing the problem of racism in our world. The troubling element to this in my view is when the “minority” in the relationship backs their in your face racist partner. I know folks who have been/ are in sexual relationship with racists but do not have the courage to end it because they lack self esteem. Some use individualist approach to say, “well s/he is not racist towards me therefore all is well.” but what they are missing is that the world does not revolt around a couple, more is at stake and we need to go back to basis of looking at life through a communal lens!

      one!

  3. @Yok,

    Wow! Once again you never disappoint. Funny, where are all the trolls that overtook your last post about this topic (9 reasons white women prefer Black men)???

    If i had to guess it is because this post calls to question what truly sustains a relationship whereas those commentators were ONLY expressing self-seeking racialized sexual desires (er, if that makes sense)…

    If you haven’t already there is a film by Sun Ra called “Space is the Place” and it addresses many of these issues you have written here. You can access it on YT.

    One Love

    Phoebe

    • Sistar Phoebe,

      As you know our misguided family are holding unto their delusion as an effort to distance themselves from the reality of race relations in our world. That is like a person that has a chronic disease and it is eating away his/her flesh but s/he pretends it is not there.
      I find it interesting that a good number of folks that commented on that piece celebrate being objectify but they sugar coated it as “love” and a way forward…..In short I think your observation is to the point!

      Regarding the film by Sun Ra, actually I have never seen it . Asante sana (thank you) for sharing it with me/us. I started watching it yesterday and I hope to finish it soon.

      bless up for always dropping knowledge on this page.

      love and respect!

      Yok

    • Brother Sondis,

      respect for stopping by! I hope the piece opened a different intellectual door from the one you used to use on the issue of interracial relationships.

      Yok

  4. Very interesting… but sad. Sad because it is true. For how many years in human history, white people believed that white skin is a sign of a high class… So stupid. Even now I still can find ideas and arguments, like biologically white and black people are different, like black people have smaller brain, and other bullshit… I can’t believe this can come to somebody’s mind in civilized world!!!
    And I was shocked when one friend of mine refused to have a child from her black boyfriend, and her argument was “how I will grow black child in white country?” My God!!!

  5. Interracial couple: “I don’t see race – i’m a good person”.
    Green activist: ” I don’t drive big car – i’m a good person”.
    Vladimir Lenin: ” I am a rational thinker supporting working people – i’m a good person”.
    George W. Bush and Barack Obama: ” I fight for the freedom – i’m a good person”.

  6. white men’s mistreatment of black women during slavery and segregation

    Because of the massive gang rapes committed by white men during slavery and segregation, the white man had to justify his defilement of black women.

    He knew that his wanton degradation of her was seen by the black man, daily, monthly, yearly. The white man fathered tens of thousands of children with the black woman, children he denied. Because the white man raped and debased the black woman he knew in his guilt that he had created a race of people raped into existence and therefore, he feared that the black man would do to the white woman what the white man had done to black women for over 400 years.

    Four hundred years is a very long time.

    Rape. Pedophilia. Acts of outrages and sexual excesses that would shame a rabid dog were done to black women. And the white man saw that the sexual cruelties done to black women and girls and the resulting progeny were a daily reminder of his psychotic mistreatment of an entire race of women.

    Also, with the end of slavery, the white man feared that he would no longer have ease of access to the black woman’s body. This further enraged him because with the debauchery of black women’s bodies during slavery, it was accepted that black women were to always and forever more be sexual outhouses for the white man, that he would forever have free, unlimited sexual access to her body, and fearing the abolition of slavery would end his continued wanton and degrading mistreatment of black women and girls, the white man flew into a rage, that what was for so long his and his alone (the greedy hoarding of both the black woman AND the white woman) would come to an end, the white man enacted segregationist laws that would continue to keep the black woman in a state of de jure and de facto degradation.

    In essence, the white man wanted to forever keep the black woman as a sexual latrine for his most basest, grossest and inhumane sexually degenerate practices.

    Knowing that the result of his actions (his mixed-blood children) walked around as living reminders of his cruelty, he began to fear the black man’s vengeance.

    He began to fear that what he did to the black woman things that were so shameful and hateful, that words could not begin to describe the unspeakable acts of the most grossest abominations that he did—–then and there the white man began the act of projection against his perceived fears of the black man:

    “Since I have degraded the black woman so, when will the black man eventually start to do to my “women” what I have done to his “women” for centuries? His sister? His aunt? His daughter? His mother?”

    Then and there the die was cast.

    Because of the white man’s guilt, and fear and rage, he projected onto the black man the image of bestial beast, of savage brute, when in reality it was the white man who was the bestial beast, savage brute who caused an entire race’s bloodline to be polluted (with rapist white blood).

    Then in the late 1890s, the vicious lynchings started.

    The “over-sexed, hung like an ape, walking life support system for a huge insatiable penis” image of the black man was born.

    The savage “can’t wait to lay up with a white woman brute” black man was born. The “we must protect, defend and honor our white woman” psychosis was born. And soon, black men’s (as well as black women’s bodies) were hanging from Southern trees; black men’s bodies were tortured and burned; black men’s bodies had sex crimes committed against them ( for what is castration if not a sex crime?)

    And the savage lynching bee spectacles that lasted for nearly 100 years occurred.

    The white man projected onto the black man all his sexual transgressions that he had committed against innocent black women and girls.

    Then and there the black man as “Brute” as “Black Beast” was born.

    Therefore, the white man was punishing the black man for the transgressions he had committed against the defenseless black woman.

    And the more he raped the black woman, the more he put the white woman upon that pedestal.

    The more he creeped down to the black cabins during segregation, the more his guilt grew.

    And the more his fear grew.

    To even think of a white woman being with a black man sent him into a rage. No white woman in the white man’s mind could possibly love a black man; no white woman could possibly find a black man as having any humanity. No white woman could possibly desire a black man.

    Therefore the white man greedily kept the white woman away from the black man and constantly told her, (and himself as well) that no sane, pure white woman could possibly have anything whatsoever to do with a black man. And the white man set about to destroy the “beast” he had created in his sick, demented mind. No white woman was safe around a black man, so the slightest look at a white woman brought with it death.

    The legacy of that twisted perversion of sex by the white man still lives with us today:

    *Black man as brute beast rapist (no white woman could possibly want anything to do with him. If she does, she is the lowest of the low, insane, demented, trash)

    *Black woman as animal, “good enough to fuck, but, not good enough to marry”; insatiable “Whore/Jezebel/Slut” not worthy of having her humanity validated.

    Even today, when a WW/BM couple is seen it illicits rage and torment in the white man. Since the white man can no longer castrate and lynch the black man physically before the white woman’s eyes, he feels he must lynch the black man in her eyes by not hiring the black man for high positions/careers, by economically tearing him down; allowing in many instances the black man only obtaining employment in certain low-paying jobs.

    He can no longer physically tear the black man apart, but, he constantly strives to tear him down economically and socially in the white woman’s eyes. But, on the other hand, the site of a BW/WM does the opposite because it is still acceptable in this society, this country that a black woman is to be given no human regard and is to always be used, not just by the white man, but, by ALL men. Lay up with her, sexually use her, maybe even get her pregnant like in the good ‘ol days; abandon her and her child, but, under no circumstances honor and respect her in marrying her. Make no mistake, the white man has not stopped working on destroying the black woman either. He disparages her beauty. He negates, marginalizes and erases from people’s psyche’s her womanhood—–he in essence renders her VISIBLE BUT YET STILL INVISIBLE. Not worthy of love or respect.

    Whereas on the other hand, the white woman is to always be accorded the utmost respect and to always have her humanity validated.

    That is why many people look at a white woman and question “Why should she be with him (the black man)?”

    On the other hand, a black woman is seen as having no right to have the love and adoration of any man, and that her womanhood has to constantly be impugned and assailed every chance anyone gets to do that to her. She is to be used and then thrown into the garbage dumpster by all men, no matter what their race. Those men who have not the backbone to think for themselves but are all too ready to believe any and all hated lies and disparagement that are said about all black women. Men of many races who don’t have the balls to stand up and think and reason for themselves and see the humanity of all black women.

    So, you see, you cannot speak of the BM/WW aspect without mentioning the BW/WM aspect of this dynamic, the residue of which is a holdover from the depravities of slavery and Jim Crow segregation.

    It did not start with the white woman/black man.

    It started with the black woman/white man binary where the debauchery of black women set this dynamic of black sex/black privates/black bodies were vile, evil, filthy, and perverse into motion.

    But, it also set into people’s psyche’s the dynamic of white bodies/ white sex/white privates as pure and normal.

    It is the white man’s perversion and filthying of interracial sex that has left a damnable and twisted sexual fabric in this country that exists to this day.

    And it started with the white man’s subjugation and defilement of the black woman.

    Which is why the white man feels that he is to always have all the women he can greedily get his hands on; the white woman is not to have anything to do with the black man; the black man is to be looked upon as a sex beast; and the black woman is to be looked upon as a mule, as an animal to be worked to death, fucked to death, kicked to death both figuratively, and literally.

  7. l think what we should look at should be beyond a person’s colour… l dont mind dating a white person, its all about the person’s personality, do we click enough to be together…. its about something new, starting a new generation on your own, accepting one another irrespective of colour. we just need to be human and let life be. there is so much we can learn if we start thinking outside the box, despite cultural differences and colour you will find you are more happy with the person of another colour than your own. Its about adding a little bit of colour in your life….. xoxo

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