Monday, July 14, 2008

It's All Fun and Games Until You Marry The White Guy

What's Love Got to Do With It?

© 2008 Leighann Lord

Almost everyone in my family has been kind, gracious and accepting of my Husband. If they have a problem with our marriage, they have had the good sense to keep it to themselves. Unfortunately though, I do have a cousin -- Cousin X -- who will not speak to, make eye contact with or acknowledge my Husband in any way. To be fair Cousin X doesn't hate my Husband directly, just by association. My Cousin hates white people. My Husband is white. So, Logic 101: My Cousin hates my Husband.

And this is no idle hatred. Cousin X has written a few books on the evils of white folks and has said publicly (at least once that I know of; isn't You Tube great?), "We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet." You can see why I didn't invite him to the wedding. An assassination attempt might have put a damper on my big day.

Les Brown, one of my favorite motivational speakers says, "You have to cut the negative people out of your life." This is easy to do since we don’t live near Cousin X, but when we ran into him recently at a local event his continued disdain for my husband was palpable. I was again glad that I hadn't wasted a stamp on a wedding invite.

I am amazed that Black racists and White racists aren't better friends, what with all the hate and ignorance they have in common. White supremacists don’t believe in interracial relationships as it "dilutes the race." I think I would rather dilute the race than diminish my humanity.

I have heard the theory that Black people can't be racist because we don't have any power. Really? The folks at Black Enterprise who compile the annual BE List of the Top 100 Black Businesses in America will be surprised to hear this. I bet the Congressional Black Caucus and Senator Obama didn't get the memo either.

For those who doubt that racism exists in the Black community, I ask you to ponder if Barrack's presidential bid would have as much support if his wife, Michelle, were white. To be fair, John McCain's chances might be equally less rosy if his wife, Cindy, were a woman of color. We're just not that evolved as a species. Our collective racial baggage is way too heavy.

Sadly, I am not immune. I've had my ignorant moments as well. I'd be lying if I said I'd never looked at a Black man with a White woman and wondered, "What is he doing with her?" The answer is: none of my freakin' business. Time is too precious to be worried about what others are doing with theirs.

I think people are more tolerant of an interracial relationship when both people in it are either superstar gorgeous or conventionally unattractive. Alex Rodriguez and Madonna? Okay. Lyle Lovett and Star Jones (Post Surgery)? Okay. Halle Berry and Stephen Hawking? Not so much. That union might move Minister Louis Farrakhan to call for another Million Man March.

Speaking of which, the looks my Husband and I get from Black men can be the worst. They scowl at him as if he has stolen something from them. I'm actually not sure if they're mad that I'm not with a Black man in general or that I'm not with them in particular. Testosterone is funny like that. But if sameness of skin color and culture were the only criteria for a successful relationship, dating would be completely unnecessary. Color coordinated marriages would make divorce obsolete.

Sometimes I wonder if it would have been easier if I’d had an agenda. But alas I didn't marry a white guy to further the cause of diversity, improve my credit score or to make up for all the white women who have married Black athletes and actors. I made the mistake of simply falling in love, and thus we have subjected ourselves to a lifetime of stares and glares that all seem to ask "why." None of your freakin' business, that's why.

I might be a little biased here, but I think my Husband is a great guy. Cousin X might have found that out if he'd sat down and actually had a conversation with him; or even found a reason to dislike him based on something more substantial than his color. They could have bonded over sports or battled over "High School Musical."

But that's not gonna happen. My Husband is many things, but a turn-the-other-cheek kinda guy, he's not. At this point in their "relationship" he probably wouldn't spit on Cousin X if he were on fire. I would; assuming of course I was spitting gasoline, and said precious liquid didn’t cost over $4 per gallon. Personally, instead of getting flak for marrying "outside" the race, I want credit for marrying "inside" the species.

My parent’s marriage had its naysayers. People said it wouldn’t last. I don’t know why. They’re both Black, and color scheme is all that matters, right? Well, this year they’ll be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I guess the best revenge is a long happy marriage, outliving all the people who called it wrong. Me, and The White Guy have seven years and counting. We’re looking forward to the next 43, racist assassination attempts not withstanding.


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