The Hatchet’s article regarding interracial dating (Love hurts: Inter-ethnic relationships merge worlds of joy and pain, Oct. 28, p. 1) compelled me to write a letter in the hopes that a meaningful discussion about race would ensue. I would like to offer comments and criticisms that will spark interest in the subject.
Your article makes two assumptions similar to those made by general society. The first is that race exists and matters in human relations. Apart from giving a diatribe on the biological truth or falsehood of this point, the very fact that an article like this ran points out that race matters. This brings me to the second assumption made by the article, which is that interracial dating is weird – so weird in fact that people who do it do so anonymously, perhaps out of fear of harassment or scorn. We analyze interracial relationships not on the quality of the bond between the couple but the color of their skin. I won’t judge whether this is right or wrong, but the very fact that it makes the front page of The Hatchet shows the magnitude of the issue.
Because we assume that race matters, we judge people by it. We have standards (based on race) that rate people’s fitness as a datable partner, a viable friend, etc. I hate how my legitimacy goes up when people discover my mother is Canadian, as if suddenly I’m a different person. I don’t change, only the perception of me does. We judge people not by the content of their character but by the composition of their blood.
I’m not going to say there’s an easy solution, as if everyone could suddenly stop identifying with their race and we could be one big happy family. But imagine thousands of years from now, when interracial marriage has produced people who are so mixed that they cease to identify themselves racially, not because they don’t want to but because they can’t. This dream society is only science fiction in the present, so we must work to judge individuals on their own merits, not those of the race to which they belong.
I applaud those tormented interracial couples who have chosen not to, in the words of the band Everclear, trade a love so pure for a hate so blind. I encourage everyone to think about this and discuss just what are the real differences between races. After all, we’re all humans, right?