A few months ago, a friend of the family was telling me about how his wife gets heckled by some of their black female neighbors in their downtown Atlanta community for being a Puerto Rican married to a black man.
“I don’t understand,” I told him. “Why?”
“When we lived in Midtown nobody cared,” he said. “Black, white, Puerto Rican, gay, stripper, transexual — nobody cared. They would just wave hello and keep to themselves.”
I shook my head in disbelief. Who has that much energy to focus on such triviality like the color of one’s skin? The more I thought about it, it occurred to me that the underlying reason may not be about the color of one’s skin, but culture.
Black, white, Latino, Asian — all of us have a culture we are born and raised into. A culture we are repeatedly told is beautiful by our family and community, and year after year after year we’ll continue to celebrate our traditions until the day we die. But as beautiful as our culture is to us, it can bind and restrict us from the opportunity to experience other cultures and beauties.
I think it’s interesting when minorities protest haters of interracial dating when sometimes we minorities ourselves don’t want to see “our own kind” pair with an outsider.
My mother, for example, is not fond of the fact that I, generally speaking, am not attracted to Puerto Rican men and usually pair with white men.
“You’ll lose part of your identity,” she warns me.
“I would never allow that to happen,” I reassure her.