I am Haitian-American and my husband is German American. I am baffled with the buzz about the biracial cheerios advertisement and heard recently that John McCain’s son was marrying a woman of color. So the question comes to mind: Why do people marry outside of their race?
I can only speak on behalf of my situation. I married my husband because I fell in love with him. Secondly, I married him because he is a man of integrity. I had my heart set on marrying someone black, but destiny had other plans for me, and naturally, I accepted it.
Did I always think it was okay to marry outside my race? If I answered yes, I would be lying.
I worked very hard in high school and earned excellent grades. I ended up getting a full scholarship to attend college. I was ready to conquer anything and everything. Much to my dismay, when I arrived on campus I was very surprised with the lack of diversity. I attended a private Catholic college for women. For entertainment, we were taken by bus to nearby co-ed colleges and universities. We frequented Columbia University, Fordham University, and West Point Academy.
Most of the time I stayed in my dorm because I felt totally out of place, since there were very few blacks with whom to mingle or even date. I decided early on that I was attending this college to get my education not to socialize. I made a few friends who took me under their wings. I started going to weekly dances at Columbia and at West Point Academy. I thought I might as well go and listen to the band. What I did not expect was to be asked out on a date by a white male. I absolutely refused to go on a date with a white male. In my mind, I am black and I should date blacks.
Second semester rolled around and on to new challenges. I continued to do well in most of my classes, and I made it a point to socialize more. Being the optimist that I am, I tried to remain in a positive state of mind. More white males kept asking me out on dates and, of course, I always made some excuses.
My world came crashing down, when one of my professor gave me a very low grade, even though I earned an A in the class. I was devastated. This professor was clearly a racist. He had made some very bad comments in class about people of color. Determined to get my degree, I did not let this bad experience deter me. All of my other professors were people of integrity and treated me very well. In fact, my French professor was in instrumental in helping me get a full-ride scholarship to study abroad with the University of Syracuse.
Later in the semester, the college sponsored a dance on campus. Students from Columbia, West Point, and Fordham University attended the dance. During the dance, a white male asked me out again. I danced with him but declined going on a date. He gave me his number in case I changed my mind. Later that night I had an epiphany. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. I soon realized I was just as bigoted as that professor who nearly failed me. “No, No!” I reasoned with myself, not I, no way, no how. This earth shaking realization changed my life forever. That night I made the decision to stop being so narrow-minded.
To answer the question: Why do people marry outside of their race? I believe people marry outside of their race because first and foremost they see the individual as a human. Color is secondary. Color does not make the person, character does. Had I not change my ways, I would have missed the opportunity to marry my husband. My husband is my best friend and soul mate.
It saddens me deeply to hear all the negative racial comments that are all over the Internet about the biracial Cheerios advertisement. I have a lot of respect for senator McCain for proudly posting the picture of his son’s wedding. His action shows that he is happy for his son. In my opinion, people need to realize that our global world is changing. Wake up, Americans; you cannot stop what is meant to happen. The sooner people realize and accept that color does not make the person the better off we will be as a country.
I like what the Aboriginal Aussie football player Adam Goodes had to say when a girl called him an “Ape.”
“We’ve just got to help educate society better so it doesn’t happen again.” Goodes added that the police in Melbourne had asked him if he wanted to press charges, but that he did not want to – preferring the girl instead undergoes an education program instead. “It’s not her fault, she’s 13; she’s still so innocent, I don’t put any blame on her,” he said. “Unfortunately it’s what she hears, in the environment she’s grown up in that has made her think that it’s OK to call people names.”
As a society we have to make a concerted effort to help educate others about racial issues, and how it is wrong to mistreat others because of their color. I certainly hope the two incidents with McCain and the Cheerios biracial ad have stirred the pot a little bit. Hopefully, people will take notice and make the necessary changes to help make our country better for every citizen.