Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No Interracial Hiccups Yet

In our approximately 3.5 years of being together, we have not yet experienced any outside animosity or disapproval for being an interracial couple. I say "outside" because I think my mom had some issues with it before we were married. If she still does have issues, she keeps her mouth shut, because I haven't heard so much of an interracial peep out of her since wedding planning had begun.

In fact, I personally am not aware that I have experienced any racial or ethnocentric prejudice in a long time. I don't even remember the last time something like that happened. Maybe it's a sign of the times. No one's ever talked extra slow to me because they saw that I was Asian. Probably because the minute I started talking, they realized I was capable of coherent conversation in standard American accented English.

I haven't experienced any interracial hiccups with Harmony's family, to my knowledge. Everyone's been perfectly nice and hospitable. I don't believe Harmony has experienced any prejudice from my family. However, you can bet that if Harmony were black, there would've been a bit more of a fight from my family. My apologies to any black readers (or non-black readers attached to a black person), but in Korea (and probably Asia in general) there is a general stereotype that black people are thugs and GaNgStAs (yo). It's quite wrong of them to think that, so now that you know that, go prove it wrong.

I personally still am getting used to the idea of us being married now. This is not made any easier by the fact that we look nothing like each other. I would bet that most of us are used to seeing married people who resemble each other. Harmony and I look alike in that we are generally part of the animal kingdom, and of the genus and species Homo sapien. Harmony gets a sunburn if she thinks about sunlight, and I get rosy cheeks if I think about alcohol. I wonder if our children will grow up thinking that it's a bit strange that other people's parents look like each other?

Here in the conservative/traditional South, who knows how many people have thought disapproving thoughts and have kept their mouths shut. I guess it's not a surprise that no one has spoke out to us strangers in public, since that's generally not something that regular people do. I can't recall us being treated any differently because of our mixing.

And now I've done it. You know, like when someone brags about having never broken a bone, he'll probably break one the next day. Let's hope that after writing about this, I won't be lynched by local white folk for marrying one of their number.

I know there are at least a couple of interracial married couples who read here. Have you had any bad experiences? And any general advice for a young interracial married couple?

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5 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Harmony

    I once met a Korean lady who had married a black man. Her family was *completely* against it -- they had made up their minds that he was a hoodlum, and that he would completely ruin their daughter.

    Then they found out that he was a doctor. They've loved him ever since. ;)

  • Laura

    Sadly, opposition to my marrying a Hispanic man came from my own family. :(

    There was a funny incident that I still share with people, though. I was spending some time with a lady who (whom?) I was just recently aquainted with. She began quite a diatribe about all of the Loatians, Cubans, and Mexicans that she ran across while living in Florida. Said diatribe included many unsavory and unflattering assumptions against the people she was complaining about. She continued by commenting that I must have had a lot of experience about that issue since I had previously lived in California. I looked at her with a straight face and told her that I knew just what she was talking about; and I had no clue when I first met my husband that he was Hispanic. I know it wasn't very nice of me to put her on the spot like that, but the look on her face was wonderfully amusing!

    I don't necessarily have any advice for you as far as handling rude people. It seems to me that the likelihood of running into someone who would voice disapproval of your marriage is probably fairly low (I hope). The slight possibility of having to deal with that type of situation isn't worth the time spent on thinking about how to handle it.

    Perhaps I do have some advice after all: just keep politely quiet, and let the person be seen for the intolerant bigot that they are.

  • Laura

    I forgot to mention that this same lady had already met my husband, lol!

  • CappuccinoLife

    Well, we have run into some of those hiccups, but most likely because we are the "normal" interracial couple--black man/white woman. Also Josiah is a fairly recent arrival and does have an accent, so people automatically assume he's a)a bit slow and b) married to me for the visa. Ick.

    When we were engaged, a woman I worked with was talking about her daughter, who is white and who was dating a real "gansta" black guy. And the woman said if her daughter ever got pregnant by that guy, she'd push her down the stairs to cause a miscarriage. And then she remembered I was engaged to a black man and said "Oh, no offense. I'm not at all racist, you know".

  • Michelle

    One of those hiccups was instrumental in getting us together, actually. My husband is a south Indian, which means he is rather dark. He always wanted to marry a white girl, but spending his high school years in Kansas, he didn't think many would know how to deal with racial discrimination.

    So one day we were walking in a predominately white neighborhood of Philadelphia (that's not too easy to find). This car drives by, a white man stuck his head out the window and shouted, "Leave them white girls alone!" I laughed. It had been a few years since I lived in the city and I hadn't seen that kind of mentality in a while. Enoch was pleasantly surprised that I laughed. He realized that I'd be able to handle any sort of discrimination we'd encounter.

    Family wise, his grandmother thought that I would divorce him, because that's what white people do. My Cuban grandmother thought that Indians abuse their wives, so she gave him a "subtle" warning.

    I know the Asian mentality concerning blacks. I don't agree.