What I have learned from dating a minority  

By Richard MacTough

 

In January of this year, I started a relationship with an African American girl for the first time.

I have been always open to the racial issues, however, I never realized how serious of a social issue it is.

Whenever we went out in public, I was astonished by the attention we were getting. White people would give us the most disapproving looks.

Not only did we receive disapproval from strangers, but I realized that the people that I called my friends had strong opinions as well.

I went on a trip to the beach with former social acquaintances of mine. It was fun up until they laughed at fried foods on the boardwalk. This was referring to the stereotype that black people are obsessed with fried chicken.

I was upset about being bullied for dating a girl of a different skin color. Then an individual who I will not name, won a prize of choice in a game. He picked a black doll and said, “Hey Richard I found your girlfriend.”

I was distraught by the ignorance of people who are supposed to care about me. I refused to talk to any of them. My girlfriend instead introduced me to people that were so intelligent, open-minded and genuine amongst her family and friends.

I was ashamed of the people I was associated with. I learned so much from my now fiancé about what I thought to be true from growing up with people of my race. For instance, I have consistently heard “Blacks take advantage of welfare and are the only ethnic group that receives it.”

The girl I love showed me that whites are on welfare more than blacks. One bigot had the nerve to say there is a thing called black privilege. No, there is a correct term called white privilege.

We have a wrongful advantage of not being racially profiled, we are less likely to be pulled over by cops and African Americans are being wrongfully gunned down every week when the crime doesn’t justify a tragic murder.

My fiancé and I discuss racial issues on a daily basis. One thing we discuss is that white crimes are often thrown in with mental disorders. On the other hand, African Americans are described as “thugs.”

It scares her and I everyday. We never know when somebody is going to pick a fight with her. I hope her and I never have to lose our future children over outrageous violence and discrimination.

Our wish is that everyone will have equal opportunity, really think about both sides and be more openly sympathetic towards a stereotyped group of any kind.

Email Richard at:

rmactough@live.esu.edu

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