Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Won’t Apologize

On June 16 of this year I will have been happily unmarried to the same man for twenty years.  It seems like just yesterday that we met. Though we have had many ups and downs what has never ever faded is our love, friendship and mutual respect.  When I place my head on his shoulder I know a comfort that can be found nowhere else on this planet; I am home, I am complete and all is right in my world.

We are an unconventional family in many respect but I think that the interracial nature of it, is only problematic because others choose to view it as avante garde; you see I am a black woman in love with a white man. 

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about black women dating interracially, this of course stems from the whole “there are no good black men meme”.   Many actively push interracial dating out of the notion that all women need a man to feel satisfied and rather than face “spinsterhood“ alone, one should either lower standards or date white.

There are so many reasons why this kind of logic is wrong.  Having a life partner is wonderful but ultimately unless you are happy with yourself, no one person can deliver you to a state of bliss.  The date white meme also fails to recognize that some women of colour are same gender loving.  Not all women need or even want man.

Those that speak out against interracial dating do so from the position that it is a betrayal to the race.  I find this ridiculous.  When we consider that all men exist with male privilege the whole idea of betrayal would thus apply to all heterosexual relationships, in that women could be accused of betraying all women by sharing their lives with a man.  Black men are just as likely as men of any other colour to invoke their male privilege, of course we don’t perceive it this way because we view heterosexuality as the norm. 

My blackness is not changed by the race of my partner and I am just as committed to seeking equality.  When I face the world I am subject to the same sort of stigmatizations that any other WOC faces and his whiteness in no way mitigates the ways in which people respond to me.  Though we approach the world from different cultural perspectives, him through a lens of race and gender privilege and I through a lens of racial and gender oppression, our partnership is a constant reminder to me of what is possible when people attempt to own their privileges. Daily we converse and we grow.

When people ask me why I am so committed to calling out injustice and push for more conversation, the answer is always the same, I have seen the power of it in my own home.  I won’t apologize for my white unhusband, I won’t apologize for my biracial children and I won’t apologize for my blackness.  They are not evidence of my betrayal, they are evidence of my commitment to humanity. They are my inspiration to continue on in the face of so much anger and rejection, and because of them I know the power of love.

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