Interracial couples, are you tired of these questions?
Yes. We are now more tolerant and more understanding towards interracial couples than we were about 5 decades ago. Yes. We swear by colorblindness and equality. So why the stares still? Why are we engulfed by assumptions about them? And why the uncomfortable questions from people trying to understand interracial couples?
Grace Buchele is white and has a Japanese-American spouse. As an interracial couple, they have been getting the same strange questions over and over again. And when she asked some other interracial couples, she realized she wasn’t alone. She says much as some of these questions are really innocent, they "have deeper, darker implications for interracial couples."
Usually, when people ask these questions, there is no sinister subtext; just curiosity. I don't know if I should call it fascination or what because even when people ask interracial couple the "How did you meet" question, the assumption is: There must be a tale there. I think people ask these questions because interracial relationships still seem improbable to many. Yes, this cluster of questions might be totally exploratory and innocent, but what they portray is that people still see interracial relationships to be more of an anomaly rather than a norm.
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Buchele compiled such questions in her article “8 Questions Interracial Couples Are Tired of Hearing” and great answers to these questions. Here they are some of them:
1. How does your family feel about your partner's race?
Do you want the long version or the short version? Race is surprisingly difficult to talk about -- you can't just ask an interracial couple about their family's reaction to the race of their partner and expect a single-sentence answer.
If you seriously want to know the struggles interracial couples go through, you can go ahead and ask this question. If you're simply asking for formality (or because it is the first thing you can think of), skip this question.
2. You're dating a [insert race or ethnicity]? Aren't you worried about [insert country/ethnic stereotype here]?
Here's the thing about stereotypes: they are usually offensive and misplaced. Not all African-American men end up in jail; not all Japanese men are emotionally unavailable; not all Mexican men cheat on their spouses; not all white women are loose; not all Arabic women are docile. The Internet is full of all sorts of untrue stereotypes that are passed off as "facts."
Don't ask me if my Japanese fiancé is a work-a-holic with a small penis who loves to drink sake, kill whales and pressure his wife (me) to do housework all day.
3. Wouldn't it be easier to just date your own race?
I understand the intentions behind this question are pure, but it always comes off a bit racist. By only dating white men, I would be cutting out a whole group of viable dating candidates.
Answer: Dating (and deciding to marry) someone outside my culture was one of the best decisions I ever made.
4. But think of the children! Aren't you worried they will be bullied?
In this day and age where divorce is becoming the norm, I'm more worried about making it to our 10-year anniversary than whether or not my possible future children will get bullied because of their mixed heritage.
Of course I'm worried about racism. I grew up all over the globe (Texas, Ghana, Japan) and saw racism in all sorts of forms. Sometimes I was the recipient; sometimes I was not.
Answer: I would rather my hypothetical children grow up as interesting, deep and charismatic bi-racial children in a loving home than to be just another statistic.
So have you been bombarded with such questions... probably worse? Tell us what they are and how you react to them.
Read more on the Huffington Post.
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