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"Interracial dating: yes or no?".

Sha-Sha Allen Brooklyn, New York

As an African-American woman, I don't have a problem with a person dating people of other ethnic groups. I believe dating is just one of many ways of socializing. It is through socializing with different people that we learn about who we are.

However, I do have a problem with a person dating solely outside of his or her own ethnic group. I believe if one allows a few bad people to spoil his or her perception of his or her own people, then he or she is giving in to generalizations. I don't think one is being fair to oneself to allow generalizations to stop him or her from dating within his or her own ethnic group. If a person does give in, he or she is preventing himself or herself from learning about what we are, as a people, as well as who he or she is, as an individual.

Gregory Clark Louisiana College Lecompte, Louisiana

Yes, I believe that people should start using the content of one's character to find a date. Rejection on the basis of race is an unfair practice that deprives us of the opportunity to explore the personalities of people of other races. The more open we become to others, the more likely we are to find the "right" match and eliminate prejudices and hostilities toward other ethnic groups.

The Holy Scriptures declare that we are all created from one blood and are therefore the same within. Picking dates by their race is discrimination in the wake of an America that desires change and equality. Shouldn't we live in harmony?

Kermit A. Franklin Graduate--West Bank Technical Institute Southern University of New Orleans Marrero, Louisiana

Yes, although many people disagree based on their own prejudices against other races. But it is ordained by God that we are all one race of human beings, with no differences except between the righteous and the sinners.

It is a person's God-given right to date or choose whomever he or she wants as long as they are good persons who bring out the best in the other.

Regardless of what some men and women may feel or what is "outlawed" in society, people are going to date, marry, and reproduce interracially, and have done so since the beginning and will until the end. Everyone needs to live and let live. We should focus on making ourselves and our lives better.

Kyle C. Gibson Florida African-American Student Association Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Florida

This is a very good question, and very difficult to answer in so few words. As a proud male of African descent, I feel that we, as Pan-Africans, should keep intimate relationships within our own Nubian circle. I believe interracial dating is o.k. as long as it is kept at the level of friend. But before we Pan-Africans become seriously involved and fall in love with members of other ethnic groups, we should first learn to love ourselves. After we master the art of loving our own Pan-African sisters and brothers, we can love anybody we want to. But love of self should come first.

Becky Goodwin Senior Coppin State College Aberdeen, Maryland

Movies like "Jungle Fever" and "The Bodyguard" have appeared to focus on interracial dating as mainstream while African Americans continue to struggle against the increasing undercurrent of racism and bigotry within our country, which is partly due to an economic recession. Fortunately, the Clinton administration's theme embraces unity, prosperity, and equality through diversity.

Interracial dating can be healthy if it is not pursued as a form of self hatred. It is important to learn, understand, and respect other cultures. This can be achieved through interracial dating in some instances. However, it is equally important and perhaps more so that we African Americans attempt to heal our hurting relationships.

History will teach us, if we are willing to learn. Historically, before the Jews were persecuted, the relationships and marriages between Jews and non-Jews had grown to an all-time high. Quoting Maya Angelou, "History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again."

Nana Baffour Gyewu Lawrence University Appleton, Wisconsin

I think interracial dating should be encouraged. To me, it's about the only way that the ideas of racial superiority or inferiority can be erased to bring about equality. Because if there are a lot of interracial relationships, we can expect a lot of "colored" children. Thus, a time might come in this society when "colored" folks would be the majority and non-colored, the minority. Thus, the tables would be turned, and with an experience of what it is like to be a minority, people will appreciate equality all the more.

Kharis Jones West Georgia College Carrolton, Georgia

It seems that today there is an unusually high rise in the number of interracial relationships. However, the rise is not because of our Black sisters dating white men, but because of our so-called "strong" Black brothers who are eagerly crossing the tracks.

I might understand it if our Black men were going after the "top notch" white females, but they aren't. It seems as if they are only dating those on the other side because of their color, not because of their intellect. And it seems that the Black men are some of our finest--for example, Sidney Poitier, James Earl Jones, Arsenio Hall, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

How can we as Blacks serve as role models for our youth if we continue to relate with others in this manner? Black brothers, take note: We Black women are a most precious gift from God. We come in all different shapes, sizes, and COLORS. Black men, be strong and cross the tracks back to your roots!

Chris McCain Journalism Major University of South Carolina, Aiken

This is a great question, one for which no definite answer can be given. If the question is asking if interracial dating should be allowed, then the answer is yes. Race should not be a factor when one considers whom he/she will date. A dating relationship is based in love, respect, honesty, and trust. More serious relationships include a degree of intimacy and commitment.

The fact that someone is dating interracially should not affect the relationship of the couple or relationships that members of the couple are a part of (friends, parents, relatives).

I have dated interracially ever since I have known the definition of the concept. There should never have been a problem with dating of a person of a different race in the first place. The goal of a relationship is for two partners to learn from each other while sharing and pursuing the couple's lifetime dream.

Jay U. Odunukwe Boston, Massachusetts

Many people are feeding into the negative and misguided stereotypes about interracial dating/relationships. People should be allowed to choose whom they like to date and share their lives with and not be bogged down by societal reprimands. Everybody has his/her own ideas of what is attractive.

That someone is dating outside of his/her own race does not mean the person is in denial or is ashamed of his/her race. In this day and age, you are blessed if you can get a partner who is "gonna treat you right." There is nothing slick or hip about being ignorant or prejudiced.

All segments/races of this society have to come together and establish common ground. Peace, understanding, mutual trust, and respect can exist only when all are treated as equals.

What is the color of love?

Tiauna C. Phillips Central Missouri State University Warrensburg, Missouri

Dating interracially is a matter of personal preference. Those who choose to date outside their race should have some sense of who they are and where they come from. In some instances, a person who has had a few bad experiences will decide to explore other ethnicities. By supporting one another and treating each other with respect, we will, hopefully, eliminate the desire, among those who are unhappy with themselves or with our people, to date outside our race.

Patience Rockymore University of Georgia Athens, Georgia

All relationships should include trust, love, and devotion, and these feelings should be the key components to the relationship--not race. Although race is a significant factor, it should not be the only factor. Interracial relationships, just like intraracial relationships, should be entered into for sincere, heartfelt reasons.

I agree with the need for racial and ethnic groups to want to strengthen their communities through intraracial marriage, especially when the group finds itself in the minority in a society, but also I believe that love is love (whether society agrees or not), and is not always easily redirected. Instead of chastising people in interracial relationships, I think we should congratulate them on finding love.
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Title Annotation:Feedback; response of Afro-American college students
Publication:The Black Collegian
Article Type:Column
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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