LOVE SEES NO COLOR: My View On Interracial Relationships

My feelings exactly. Image courtesy of theodysseyonline.com

 

I reckon that the title of this post has given away my feelings on people of different races and cultures dating and having romantic relationships.

A few years ago on the website HubPages.com I wrote about seeing a young teenage couple at a bus stop one day, doing the typical teenage couple thing; kissing, cuddling, etc.

The thing that appealed to me about that twosome was that she was Latina and he was an African-American, giving me a good feeling that relationships in which the people involved are a different race/ethnic group/culture are more accepted in the present day then when that Loving vs Virginia case was going down in 1967.

Unfortunately – and especially in the current cultural atmosphere triggered by the election of this country’s President-Who-I-Refuse-To-Name – there are plenty of folks who are completely against Miscegenation; folks who have the view that different races and ethnicities should never mix romantically, which includes Asians, Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and Jewish people as well as blacks and whites.

I remember back in high school having a crush on a Persian girl; to make a long story short, when I tried to call her, her mother angrily rebuffed me, me not knowing that a big part of Persian culture is for them and their children to only be “with their own”.

Of course I saw – and still see – that as plain old bigotry.

 

Florida, USA — Young interracial bride and groom on wedding day — Image by © Kai Chiang/Golden Pixels LLC/Corbis I love this wedding pic – that groom is SO lucky to be marrying such a beautiful bride! Photo courtesy of imgarcade.com

 

In fact, I’ll be perfectly honest…

While as a black man, I want to emphasize that this is no way whatsoever implying that I have anything against African-American females as I have a list of black women and girls that I had a crush on over the years, including Clueless’ Stacey Dash (her politics notwithstanding), The Facts of Life‘s Kim Fields, and especially Michelle Thomas, who played Urkel’s obsessive girlfriend on the TV show Family Matters and who tragically didn’t make it to the age of 30, dying of cancer before reaching that age,

I have always been attracted to females of all races and ethnic groups as their personality and integrity has far more importance in my book than the color of their skin and how they worship God.

Basing my romantic interest choices by initial physical attraction (unfortunately, that’s a natural reality) and  – more importantly – “the content of their character”, to quote Martin Luther King, is something that I have always emphasized.

In fact, I’ve always felt that to limit my dating/relationship options to strictly “my own kind”, as too many people, particularly social conservatives and right-wing types, would prefer to do, would not only be akin submitting myself to a voluntary Jim Crow-segregation,

I would feel straitjacketed, limited, and bored.

BOTTOM LINE:

When it comes to love, a mate should be chosen based on one’s heart and soul rather than skin pigmentation and cultural/ethnic sameness.

They say that “The heart wants what the heart wants” , and I’ll always strongly believe that anything between two individuals that is loving and affectionate should be appreciated and celebrated.

Which was why it gives me a feeling of gladness whenever I see interracial couples out there; it’s real good to see that race, ethnicity and culture in dating is far less of an issue for millennials than for previous generations.

My suggestion to all those couples out there who are given dirty looks or nasty comments because their skin color or ethnicity is different:

Just say this to those folks:

“Love sees no color, because there is only one race – the human race.”

Or tell them,

“You have a right to feel that way, but you know what? It’s SO none of your business!”

Which it isn’t!

Or better yet,  just ignore them.

 

Now this is a great picture of a truly gorgeous family. Photo courtesy of triadmomsonmain.com

 

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The One Thing I Wish For Regarding Race and Racial Issues

 

 

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Getting right to the point, as there have been SO much stuff on this issue, what with the recent police killings of unarmed Black men in South Carolina and Ferguson, MO and that racist song sung by that fraternity at the University of Oklahoma…

I can sum up what I wish for as far as this centuries-long cancer in three words:

RAW, NAKED HONESTY

I am sick and tired of conservative whites proclaiming how they are not racist, but then spout views and opinions that show them to be otherwise.

To illustrate what I am wishing for not only whites, but for all Americans regardless of color…

Remember the movie 42, which detailed Jackie Robinson’s struggle to break the color line in Major League Baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers and starred Chadwick Bozeman as the pioneering legend and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, Jackie’s mentor and the one who signed him?

Remember the scene where during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia manager Ben Chapman, a native Alabaman (played by Alan Tudyk), stepped out of the dugout every time Jackie came to bat and screamed some blatantly vile, bigoted things such as (besides the n-word, which he repeatedly shouted at the top of his lungs)…

“Hey, porch monkey!”

“Tar baby’s skin gonna melt!”

“Which one of the white boys’ wives are you gonna climb on tonight?”

(When Jackie’s hat flew off) “Why don’t you leave it on the ground and do a little dance; put some money in it?”

Of course what Chapman did was absolutely despicable, and I think at least 99% of those who saw 42 would agree, no matter what race or political ideology they were.

As much of an evil person as he was, there is one thing that I will say in Chapman’s behalf:

HE WAS HONEST IN HIS VIEWS.

Which Malcolm X discussed at length in his classic autobiography when he stated this about Southern whites like Chapman:

“The white Southerner was always given his due by Mr. (Elijah) Muhammad (former leader of the Nation of Islam). The white Southerner, you can say one thing – he is honest. He bares his teeth to the black man; he tells the black man, to his face, that Southern whites will never accept phony ‘integration’. The Southern white goes further, to tell the black man that he means to fight him every inch of the way, even against the so-called ‘tokenism’. The advantage of this is the Southern black man never has been under any illusions about the opposition he is dealing with.”

I will add to what Malcolm said and state that this paragraph from his book can apply to anyone who makes known his or her true feelings on how they negatively regard races or ethnic groups that are different from his or hers, as opposed to what’s the norm today; people – predominantly conservatives and conservative politicians – who disguise their racism in the policies that they enact and support that hurt African-Americans, Latinos (re: immigration), gays, and others who are not conservative and (mostly) white.

Not to mention folks who deny jobs to people of color when they are far and away the most qualified person for that job, as what happened to me when I was passed over for a softball coaching position because someone else had “asked first” when the prospective employer took one look at me, after she was clearly impressed with my resume and what I was telling her about my experiences over the phone.

As well as those who follow blacks and Latinos around in stores because they are convinced that they might steal something.

And let’s not even talk about all the racial profiling (which I was also a victim of in the past) and “Driving While Black” incidents that continue to be quite common; I could elaborate on the recent episodes that have been all over the news lately, but that issue has been done to death in the media and will result in an entirely different article if I was to go there.

Crispin Sartwell (who happens to be white), in an opinion article he wrote a few years ago called “White America Needs Its Bigotry”, puts things in perfect perspective when he made these different points:

*  “Most white people think that racism today is limited to a few crazy extremists…We still associate racism with the Ku Klux Klan (and) bigots in the Deep South.”

*  “Average white people don’t think they are racists. Because they would never utter the “n-word” or eat in segregated restaurants or teach their children explicitly that black people are inferior, they believe they cannot be prejudiced.”

*  “There continues to be a huge disparity between the incomes and employment prospects of the races. And white Americans continue to harbor the attitudes that preserve these conditions.”

*  “With a bigot, you know where you stand. But what do you do when someone smiles in your face and doesn’t hire you? Or denies their racism, then follows you around their store because they think you are a shoplifter (or, I may add, stops you in the street because you “fit the description” of some criminal)?”

That last point is the kind of bigotry – a gentler, more subtle kind of bigotry but bigotry nonetheless – that people of color, mostly African-Americans and Latinos, deal with today.

Which personally upsets me more than if someone told me flat-out: “I don’t like n*****s”, because like that Phillies manager of so long ago, that person using the n-word would be proving that he or she is honest.

And it’s that raw, naked honesty that’s SO needed if this country is to truly deal with this issue and these cultural tensions that currently permeate – and always have permeated – this landscape.

Do I think that all whites are like this or have these views?

Of course not! And I don’t think Sartwell feels that way either.

But far too many folks feel this way.

And in my view, one is too many.

I didn’t mean to take this long on this subject, so I’ll end by saying this:

As far as I’m concerned, I honestly don’t know what else is there to say.

 

 

Perfect Sign

This sign expresses these current race issues perfectly

 

 

 

 

UCLA FOOTBALL 2014: My Personal Crosstown Rivalry Story

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My former marching band, as they look today

REMINISCING ABOUT A PREVALENT MEMORY REGARDING MY ALMA MATER AND THEIR CROSSTOWN RIVALS, AS THE 84TH MEETING OF UCLA AND USC IN FOOTBALL WILL COMMENCE THIS SATURDAY

November 14, 1988 (I think).

It was my first year not only as a UCLA student after transferring from a junior college, but my first year in the UCLA Bruin Marching Band, where I played the tenor saxophone.

As I was a longtime Bruin fan who was realizing my longtime dream of becoming a Bruin, I was excited about experiencing in person, for the first time, the rivalry that my institution of higher learning has with a certain private school located 12 miles to the east in Los Angeles’ inner city, having watched the two football teams do battle on TV since I was less then ten years old.

Not to mention seeing in person what I had been bragging about during my high school days as UCLA beat that private school in my 10th, 11th and 12th grade years.

A quick note before I continue:  I refer to the University of Southern California – USC – as a “private school” because it is. Those three letters put together will not be written again in this post from this point, nor will their nickname, the “Trojans”.

All right, now that that disclaimer has been taken care of…

I was riding with some fellow UCLA band members to the private school to partake in a flag football game called the “Band Bowl”, which the marching bands of the two schools have played in since the 1950s during the week of the “real” game.

It was usually held on the Sunday before, but due a prior commitment from the private school’s band, the game had to be held on a Wednesday night.

As I was and still am a big guy, I was going to the game as a member of the Bruin band football team but because I had fallen on a broken beer bottle and subsequently suffered a cut on the bottom of my toe that required stitches and a small cast, I was on the “Injured Reserve” list, so to speak, and was attending the game solely for moral support.

I was told by friends in the UCLA band about the evil nastiness that the private school band exuded with regards to us, but it was that evening where I would experience it face to face.

We arrived at the private school campus’ track field, getting off our yellow school bus (“Let’s go back to the 6th grade, shall we?” our captain quipped), and prepared to play the game, which much like our real football team with the full scholarships was important on a pronounced scale to everyone involved, on both sides.

The game begins, and we played very well; I believe we led the whole way and ended up winning 21-7.

It was during halftime that I saw, for the first time, the way that private school band acted like a combination of Lord Voldemort’s Death Eaters and Satan-led devils…

After the private school band played – well, I don’t recall what they played but I do remember that it sounded rather bad – they turned around to face our side and screamed at the top of their lungs, with their middle fingers proudly pointed in the cool L.A. night…

“F*** the Bruins!!!”

While getting into our band’s faces – those who showed up to support us – with what I’m sure was their drunken breath, yelling various versions of “F*** You!”  for roughy 15 minutes until it was time for the second half.

Although I was on the other side of the sideline from that evilness, I’m sure that saliva from that private school band’s mouths found the faces of at least some of our band members.

There was one particular member of that private school band whose image I haven’t forgotten after more than 25 years – he had a long, scraggly beard that would be made popular by pro athletes today, who was obviously smashed on various liquors as his face was as red (or “Cardinal”, as they call it) as his school’s primary color.

I was surprised that he didn’t vomit on the poor Bruin band girl whose face he so obnoxiously got into; I believe she was a piccolo player who had brought a large Bruin teddy bear to the game.

Other hate crime-level deeds such as water balloons being thrown from a building that stood behind us which was intended to humiliate, which our band director chased away, marred the whole evening, which would have been a much more bitter memory if we hadn’t won the game.

As such, this was an annual tradition with that private school band, I would later find out.

But it wouldn’t be until 12 years later, having long since received my degree, when this private school bigotry would reach the last straw when – to make a long story short – UCLA’s instrument and equipment truck was broken into during a Band Bowl game on that private school campus, $30,000 worth of instruments, uniforms and other stuff were stolen and a tenor sax case, when recovered, had a “Stop Hate” sticker ripped off and replaced by, crudely written in black marker, the word “Jew”.

Sounds like Germany in 1938, don’t you think?

That solidified my dislike for that private school in South L.A. to nuclear-like proportions; not that is was much less to start with.

And because of that hate crime, which is precisely what it was, the Band Bowl has not been held since as the private school band’s leaders feared retaliation.

There are quite a few other incidents that occurred with that private school over the years since that day in 1988, some that directly involved me and some that did not, like that instrument truck incident.

However, If I discussed every one of those episodes, the size of this article would approach that of “War and Peace”.

So I’ll end this post with those two prevalent memories of the longtime animosity between the two major college marching bands that call America’s largest city west of the Mississippi River home.

As well as announce that my official preview of the big showdown between UCLA and that private school and a separate piece that will feature a prediction of the game, which will include a score, will appear on this blog later this week.

For the record, my preview of this 84th renewal of the Crosstown Rivalry will be on this site Wednesday, while I’ll give my prediction – including a score – in a post on Thursday.

I certainly hope you are all looking forward to reading what I think the keys to this game will be and how I see it unfolding…

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What UCLA does to protect their Bruin Bear statue; because vandals from that private school have ripped this cover to deface the statue, thus committing a felony, it is now covered in a big plywood box.