Friday, June 22, 2012

Interracial Dating Is Still A Hot Topic For Many

Dear Tazi:

I am in an inter-racial relationship. I am a black woman dating a white man, and my family would [poop] Frisbees if they knew! My father grew up down in the deep South, and just because he now lives in a more progressive state does not mean he is any more progressive than when he lived in Alabama. He hates white people like the Lord hates the Devil. My girlfriends all support my decision to date "Neil" because they know how hard it can be to find a brother who doesn't have a record, a disease, or thirty children by eleven different baby mamas (Yeah, I read that story in the paper. Pathetic!). The black men who do work hard, are educated, and treat their women right are all dating white women, so I figure if one of their men is interested in me, I'm going to give him a shot. That shot was Neil, and he is a wonderful man.

My question for you, little cat, is how should I go about introducing Neil to my family? My Mama is okay about white people, she just doesn't trust them right away. My brother would probably laugh at how I have flipped the script, but Daddy is not going to take it well at all. Neil keeps asking me when he can meet my family, and I don't want him thinking I am not ready because I don't love him. I'm just not ready because I'm afraid Daddy's going to chase him out of the house with a shotgun.


P.S. You recently asked what it meant to be the "ace boon kitty". It's a good thing, little cat. It means you are the original and the coolest and the friend that someone wanna ice cold chill with!

Dear Mimosa:

Wow! Thank you for letting me know what the "ace boon kitty" is! I appreciate it. I never know what teenage slang means, since there are no teenagers in my prowling territory. From the sound of your letter, your Daddy does not want any white guys prowling through your territory!

Living up North, I have never experienced the culture of the Deep South, but I have met people who have grown up there. While I stress that 99.9% of the people I have met have been absolute angels, there are a few who are still fighting the Civil War (or as they call it, the War of Northern Aggression). I get the impression that these are the type of white people that your Daddy grew up around, instilling a sense of hatred for anyone lighter than the color of a toasted marshmallow (mmmmm...toasted marshmallows!).

Since you are certain of your feelings for Neil, I would suggest that you introduce him first to your brother, then to your Mama - preferably on separate occasions. By handling things this way, you will be taking the stress off of Neil (it can be panic-inducing to meet someone's whole family all at once) and allow your family the chance to get to know him in a more relaxed setting. Once your family has gotten to know Neil, someone - or all of you, if you prefer - can have a sit-down talk with your father. Your Mama and your brother can explain to your father than Neil is wonderful man who treats you well and makes you happy and is everything a Daddy hopes for in the man who wins his daughter's heart. After that, you can break it to him that Neil is white.

I do not expect your father to take this news very well, so let him let off whatever steam he needs without trying to calm him down (so long as he does not turn violent). Once your father has calmed enough that he will hear you when you speak, tell him exactly what you told me: that you were looking for a good, responsible man with strong prospects for a successful future. Let him know that Neil's skin color is not something he can control; and that you fell in love with what is on the inside, not the outside wrapping. Remind your Daddy that if the situation were reversed and you were to meet Neil's parents, wouldn't he want them to be accepting of you? Then, hope your Daddy understands that your choice of partner means no disrespect to him, that the heart wants what the heart wants.


P.S. I do hope that you do not have to make the difficult choice between Neil and your Daddy. I have seen this happen to the people that I love. Let's just say that there were no winners; only losers.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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