Swirling by Christelyn Karazin

The art of attraction isn't just about colour or creed, it's about chemistry and a whole bunch of other things. Swirling author Christelyn Karazon discusses.

"How Do I Protect My Girlfriend from Racist Family Members?"

Posted by Christelyn, 16 Jun 14

I got this question from a young 20-something:

"Here’s my dilemma: To make a long story short, one of my two sisters, my father, and I are the only three in my entire family that don’t see interracial relationships as wrong. Besides the three of us, my family has never and will never approve of me being romantically associated with a black woman. So here’s my question regarding this: what appropriate method would you suggest I use to inform my potential (or current) nonwhite girlfriend of the difficulties she will probably face while allowing me a chance to be her boyfriend? I don’t want to scare her off and encourage her to get a restraining order, but I also think it only fair that she’s made aware of the potential problems she’ll possibly face while she’s with me. I don’t know any woman that appreciates that kind of surprise…"

This young man is smart to anticipate potential opposition for his preference, but with a little planning, uncomfortable situations can be mitigated or even avoided. This young man has an intimate knowledge of the personality and disposition of his relatives, so he’s armed with vital information on how to navigate through such troubled waters.

Of course, the easiest thing to do for the interracial couple is 100% avoidance, but sometimes that’s just no possible. The the situation arises where interaction absolutely must take place, then planning and strategic responses will be necessary to avoid hurt feelings or outright blow ups. Here’s my take on his situation:

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Christelyn Karazin is the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed. She's also the co-host of "Swirlr" the first multiracial, multicultural dating show, and publishes the blog, Beyond Black & White.

7 responses to ""How Do I Protect My Girlfriend from Racist Family Members?""

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  1.   Sheryl1972 says:
    Posted: 09 Mar

    Honestly, if your family can't accept your girlfriend, then they really aren't very loving family members at all, are they? You're probably better off without them being a big part of your life. I'm not saying disown them right off the get, but distance yourself from those who are negative. It's your life, not theirs, and they should be ashamed of themselves for even expressing such negativity. I have a 24 year old son who has been in a relationship with a mixed girl for about 6 months, and he thinks she could be "the one". I absolutely adore her, she's beautiful inside and out, intelligent, hard-working, and loyal. That's what is important, not the color of her skin. I have had a couple family members make stupid, bigoted comments regarding my son's choice in a mate, and I have quickly and effectively put them in their place, reminding them that who my son chooses to date is absolutely none of their business, and if they don't want to give a wonderful girl a chance, based solely on her skin color, then they can just keep moving along without us. Simple.

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    • Blksrfr says:
      Posted: 11 Jul

      Dated outside my race 99 percent of the time. I had a wfm who wanted to date but said she was scared to lose her friends. She meant a whole lot of them. Thing is she came after me. I'm all for dating who you want to no matter the race but bwm who have not dated outside their race and get subjected to some of the attitudes and blatant racism I have experienced with ex wfm family members might be in for a big surprise. Let's put it this way the N word is like drinking water when no blacks are around and other degrading comments. You will have to remember what you are protecting her from to do a good job of helping her not be offended. Like I said before, I have dated outside of my race 99 percent of the time and mostly wfm. It really did bother me sometimes when I knew we didn't get invited to a gathering because relatives were being racist. I will make one last comment after meeting people who disapproved of me I would here from one of my exes that their relatives or friends would say. Oh he ain't like other black people or he is alright. Not to say they just started loving black people but walls can be broken down when someone gets to know you a little.

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  2. Posted: 18 Nov 15

    my parents don't care who i date

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  3.   Mosiah7 says:
    Posted: 20 Oct 15

    Black people are used to dealing with racism so we don't really need someone else to protect us from bigots. We already know what to do. About the best thing you can do it just give us a heads up on certain family members who may be that way.

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  4.   mibu says:
    Posted: 02 Jul 14

    We only have a snippet of his situation. People can be hateful, hurtful, and downright malicious with there words. His hope is the family members who are ok with his relationship choice. I had verbal abuse from my family in my relationship with a black woman and they never came to my house to visit in 7 years. Some people will never change.my family never did. Dave is right. He might have to tell his family they won't be a part of his life.no one should question his manhood though.and he should stick with his preferences on the type of women he is attracted to . don't ever let anybody control who you are with. I let my family do it. I will never let that happen again.

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  5.   dave_74 says:
    Posted: 21 Jun 14

    That is an interesting and valid concern. However , we should look at to where we stand as men. I mean as a man you must stand for your woman in all circumstances. You make the jump from listening to parents and putting them and their concerns to a lower level when you decide you are ready for a wife and put your woman first. Honestly, you MUST do this and if you can't do this then you are not ready for an interracial relationship, nor any relationship for that matter as you are not ready to make that jump from who would be the most important in your life. You have to put your foot down dude, I have had racist family members that wouldn't accept certain things. I made it clear this is the woman I love and if you want to be a part of my life, get over it! Otherwise , you're not a part of my life anymore. This worked for me. I hope it works for others

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    • gadova says:
      Posted: 24 Jun 14

      es this is so true and if he loves you he will fight for you if you are worrying about your mom and dad and you are grown you need to be a man, and not a boy who needs his family to validate his love life

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