by Prince @phisammajamma
It’s the elephant in the room. The whispers are getting louder from black women. Those who oppose interracial relationships leer across the track at white women, waving a damning finger. But even though they’re the loudest voice, I guarantee they’re not the only group that shares those sentiments.
Personally, I understand both sides of the argument on integrated relationships, for it and against it. Venturing beyond the arena of relationships, these same sides take up arms in other aspects of society.
“Equally Yoked.” Growing up in the Christian Church, from day one we were programmed to be distrusting to other belief systems. This ideal is applied to all areas of the Christian walk. Its basic premise is as follows: You don’t spend time with, associate, date, and most importantly marry anybody who doesn’t share our Christian faith.
Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18…
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
But this is not exclusive to Christianity. Judaism, Islam, and many other religions follow a similar policy of forbidden integration.
Still, in our “melting pot” nation where younger generations are seeing past race, do black women have a valid point; is there an exodus of black men? According to NPR there is validity to this sentiment.
“In 2010, 8.1 percent of black men were married to white women. This is up from 5 percent in 2004.”
Black men marrying outside of their race is still a rarity, however; each year that number is steadily growing. To be fair, it is increasing amongst the entire populace.
“Of all 3.8 million adults who married in 2008, 31 percent of Asians, 26 percent of Hispanic people, 16 percent of blacks and 9 percent of whites married a person whose race or ethnicity was different from their own. Those were all record highs.” (NY Times)
Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras was in attendance at an educational seminar I attended a few weeks ago. She said that out of the 2000 teachers in the district, only 37 were people of color.
As of 2011, 84 percent of all teachers in America were white. Of the percentage of white teachers, 85 percent are female. This number is actually down since 1986 when 91 percent of all teachers were white. (Profile of Teachers In The U.S. 2011)
What does this have to do with black men increasingly marrying white females?
It has to do with imagery. Young black men go to school, and are overwhelmingly taught by white females. Unfortunately teachers are often the only educated and socially concerned people urban black youth come in contact with.
As the Black family structure continues to erode, more than ever we see single black mothers struggling to make ends meet.
In the minds of young impressionable black males who desire to escape urban ghettos, these images leave a lasting mark. White women are seen as progressive and caring, while being with black women seems like you’re signing up for a lifetime of struggle.
Couple this with prejudicial barriers being torn down at an alarming rate never before seen in this country (Gay Americans getting the right to marry for example), and you have an environment ripe for integrated relationships.
But I ask you this; if you’re a devout Christian and an Islamic man tried to date your daughter, would you let him? Would a Chinese or Indian family support their child marrying outside of their race? Though we are not privy to individual family dynamics, history says that families would be hesitant in accepting such an arrangement.
Our preferences dictate our lifestyle, and in America we are afforded the right of choice. Even though America is a “melting pot”, we hold onto many biases, and as far as we have come, we still have a long way to go in understanding and accepting one another.