Hello, my name is Fitzcarmel LaMarre and I’m in an interracial relationship. My belief is we choose who we love, but the reasons why may vary. It all is simply part of an irrational cognitive reasoning, involving deep affections, admiration, adoration and willing to sacrifice ones own comfort in order to please a person place or thing; which ever is easier. Have you ever tried to define love outside of what you’ve memorized from bible quotes or Hallmark cards? I highly recommend it! In my definition of love I deliberately leave out major distinctions to specify what I love…because I genuinely do love people. I’m not one of those “I hate everybody” types and proud of it. I have a type I prefer, but that “type” works across all races, but fair skin got my attention quick. Red bones, Quadroons Octaroons, High-Yellow and the like is where I began my walk on the lighter side of things..the “gateway complexions.” GOD BLESS DIVERSITY!!! I acknowledge every individual I meet with equal respect. The “distinction” and hierarchy of love is where people get caught up. I LOVE striking up conversations with strangers and leaving with a new perspective. I was lucky to have an environment where I was able to make my own spiritual decisions early. I guess my mother figured she baptized me as a baby, so a few more “dunkins'” wouldn’t hurt if it’s in the name of spiritual growth and soul searching. This thinking carried over to many other facets of my life with my decisions and choices. I know MANY folks who would never date outside of their race due to family pressure or religious bullshit. It’s all a matter of tolerance. The world is shrinking, changing and evolving at a rate we can feel all around us, especially if we compare today to ten or twenty years ago…
There really shouldn’t be ANY external issues with interracial dating, like there should be no issue with homosexuals getting married…but there is. The search for love knows no bounds. I’d go as far to say it’s why we are all here on this planet, to give love and to find love, the Universe was slick and made love involve procreation so we’d perpetuate. It knew mere curiosity would not promote procreation. Love is not limited to humans, it’s everywhere in nature’s perfect balance. To think otherwise is a limit to the possible amount of love you “feel” you can receive. If you’ve suffered with depression or just a case of the “the blues,” the feeling of being a solitary unit, alone and possibly misunderstood, your ability to give and receive love is paramount. We get love from our family, friends and pets as we grow up in our household. There is SO MUCH MORE of it bombarding us that most are not aware of, don’t consider or can’t fathom. As we mature in our search for love, and the needs that come with it, extend beyond our immediate family…hopefully. In a mate we learn a great deal about ourselves, the world we live in and how we were brought up, it’s a journey. Unfortunately, some see it as a mission and there passionate efforts wane into mediocrity over time, sometimes not that much time. These days homosexuals are having a time of it, trying to get the human rights they deserve. Not long ago minorities were denied many human rights in this same country and we prevailed…somewhat. Tolerance and understanding are needed if we are to move into a more enlightened people in tune with nature to reach a peaceful age. It’s the most efficient way to globally resolve issues of poverty, homelessness, famine, hate crimes, human slave trade, and educational equality to name a few.
I think, like with homosexuals, you know at an early age if you’re attracted to those outside your race. I was colorblind to ethnicity and was AMAZED at the different ethnicities of my peers in all my school years. I felt traumatized when my third grade class watched Little Boy King and the white, racist father wouldn’t let “hard head” Martin Luther King Jr. play with his son. I couldn’t imagine living in a world like that (little did I know). The story of why I choose to date outside my race is not the standard reason. Hold on! IS THERE A STANDARD REASON? As early as I can remember I was attracted to ALL females at an early age, and I mean ALL OF THEM!!! I didn’t distinguish color as a method or sorting out my interests. Even with my friends, I sought out everyone who was different from me because I was drawn to them. From this I found our common similarities. Similar to my heterosexuality, I have no interest in someone with the same equipment. I’ve played with mine enough, I’m drawn to see how I come together with the opposite sex (that was like a triple entendre, folks, with some pun skeeted on the side)! Dating outside your race is not for everyone. Especially, if your level of tolerance is not equipped to handle another’s cultural differences. Cultural relativity is understanding people’s differences without getting offended. You need to know yourself & what could trigger your inner nonsense to shine over someone who just doesn’t know any better. One must be prepared for the MANY social and personal issues that come with an interracial relationship or having friends of other races. A “normal” relationship (whatever that is) has it’s own inherent issues, but interracial couples have compounded issues. Pssst, like homosexuals or any other unique group, faction or nation in this country. It comes with the American Brand with schoolyard bullies and all. This reason alone deters folks from even bothering because “standard” relationships are difficult as is. The divorce rate displays MOST people are still not happy in those “standard relationships” and reality TV shows the loss of sacred integrity in the institution of marriage. Everyone should have a go at it as long as there is not any harm, lack of consent or abuse going on (but I feel that about ANY king of relationship). For the record, I’ve dated within my race too, but I have been drawn outside of it far more by whatever force of attraction guides me.
Many races have different forms of racism within its ethnic groups. It’s these distinctions that stop us from really functioning as a “racial unit” like we see in other ethnic communities within other races. I began to realizing, in a tangible way, the inner racism and mental complexes black people carry in our expectations of ourselves and others. I will ALWAYS maintain my cultural connection but I knew what I needed and kept an open mind while searching. I fell in love with people who made me feel normal and accepted me as I was. I can understand how the first person Frank Ocean fell for happened to be a man. He was open to receiving love where it was offered. Same rules different game. Straight up, I’ll be honest, Black women scare me and I KNOW most of you like it! You think it means you’re too strong or you can’t be handled or tamed. You are probably also thinking that other women are weak and that we (Black men) can run over them unlike Black women. I disagree with every bit of that steamy, hot pile nonsense. Black women have had to be strong for many years due to the destabilization of the Black family by racism, a lack of resources and drugs to name a few. The fathers of this era were deprived of empowerment by those circumstances, so women had to pick up the slack, step it up & raise families as the head of it or alone. I’m not excusing these men, but they were oppressed beyond our understanding. Fast-forward to contemporary times & Black women are damn near keeping men out of the family unit. Most likely, these women are scared & would rather face the world alone with their family and not take a chance on a failing father figure (like their absentee father). I was raised by a strong Black woman who raised 3 kids (and other families) all by herself. She did an EXCELLENT job with us and I wouldn’t change one letter of history. My fear of women, (Black in particular) comes from that relationship, but was perpetuated by my schooling as well. Being spanked and yelled at didn’t go well with my emotional sensitivity, and that was a threat from home AND school in those times. Being a bit chubby and not having any fashion sense made me an easy target too. Up until High School I was taunted and teased about it till I became quiet and somewhat withdrawn. If you don’t know Carol City High School, it’s been predominantly a “black” school since the late 70s, so I’m well versed in “black attitudes” from those stomping grounds. Then, I was spit out into the real world wondering why so many of my “Sistas” were so confrontational (not all but some and FAR from none). I was STILL attracted to all types of women so I satisfied my curiosity and was pleasantly surprised.
Getting back to the fear I have, I fear you emotionally. There was a common brash nature among MANY of the Black girls I went to school with. There is a pain that all of us have that is hard to pin point the origin. I believe it’s residual after effects of slavery and how history was taught to us as being victims. In a nutshell, it seemed harder to get my emotional needs met from my ethnic community without going through a gauntlet of emotion obstacles to get somewhere spiritually and emotionally enriching. It seemed being myself was never enough, a free ride or monetary donation of sorts was expected as things got more serious with the Black women I’ve dated. Other cultures pitched in or at least offered to share courtship planning and expenses. They were as interested in me as I them, and not just what I could do for them. I’m not saying ALL black women are this way, just many of the ones I encountered and enough for me to notice I was not comfortable with it. I felt with all the equality going around, bringing something to the table instead of expecting to hit a small lottery pay out sounded fair. I feel Black women would gain more out of picking their battles rather than fighting them all…with me. But I’m not supposed to say that, so I keep my mouth shut, my eyes, heart & mind open. There is no need to prove your strength when it’s not necessary, I always took it as an attempt at intimidation and control, which is not attractive or welcome (for me). All that added to the feeling of incompatibility.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised from what I learned about myself, other cultures, and the power of tolerance, in my time. In the beginning, I was baffled at the negative social response from folks. My first taste of vocal racism was out on a date in High School. I was protected from such experiences because I wasn’t exposed to overt racism of the “good ole boys,” from Little Boy King till my late teens. We were a group of blacks & Hispanics out bowling, but the white racists didn’t care to notice the difference between anything but light and dark, as they screamed out from the entrance of the bowling alley as we were leaving. “What the HELL are you bitches doing with those niggers! Leave them niggers alone.” It’s hard to forget your first time! These days, I barely notice the looks from Black women, not so much at me, but my fair colored date. I always wondered why that guy yelled and women cared so much, enough to turn their faces to distaste. Either way, one is just a watered down, passive aggressive version of the other. The off color comments (no pun intended, but it works!), the dirty looks and judgement being passed are all symptoms of insecurity, regardless of race. Trying to figure out irrational behavior is pointless so I stopped bothering. I can’t change anything but my response. I’ve been watching this subtle form of hate fade a bit, but not enough. Checking your moral compass for accuracy should be a regular thing for us all. Don’t believe in something because “that’s the way it is,” have it proven, and challenge authority figures to explain their perspectives. Believe in something through feeling it, testing it and experiencing it. People miss out on too many opportunities taking someone’s word for it. As memorable as those negative instances were they never deterred me from following my heart. We’re all from the same DNA make up with minor differences here and there. When it comes down to it, if you view external appearances as the sole basis for love you’re fucked. The priority is in love not complexion. It’s okay to have a preference, but if that’s the priority you may miss out on a blessing that you didn’t plan on or saw as an option till one day…
I have a black female friend who prefers dating white men. She’s not opposed to Black men, she just has opened her preferences and knows what she likes through her dating experiences. We are kindred spirits and have compared notes on how we’ve been treated by other races. We’ve encountered those not exposed enough to diversity, those who try too hard and those willing to compromise in the name of reaching a loving balance. I’m going to interview her for part two of the article.