Interracial Relationships

17 Aug



Interracial Relationships

by L. Stewart Marsden


I am an older white male (mid-sixties) who lives in the foothills of North Carolina, the United States.

I am a college graduate.

I am a writer. Poetry, short stories, plays, and a would-be novelist.

I play the guitar and harmonica.

I am an amateur actor — a thespian.

I like to think I can sing.

I like to draw cartoons and silly things.

I have a sense of humor — and am an advocate of puns.

I have five children and three grandchildren.

I am, ostensibly, retired (depending on whom you ask).

I live in an apartment complex.

I drive a Honda hybrid.

I have a drop-kick dog.

I’m a Duke basketball fan.

I’m overweight, and have launched a walking program to get rid of my barrel belly.

I’m balding, and sport a scraggly white beard.

I’m law-abiding, have served on a jury, and hate taxes.

I believe I am responsible for my own actions, and the consequences of those actions.

I believe in God, but am not a churchgoer.

I am heterosexual.

I am single.

If you are a non white, is there anything above that you can relate to? Is there anything that would deter you from at least considering a friendship with me?

I’ve just started a friendship via Facebook and email and WordPress with an African resident of Togo.

David lives in the capital city of Lomé, where he is pursuing writing, acting and comedy. He speaks French. That’s about all I know of him at this juncture.

He was the 800th visitor to my writing website, and I decided to send him a copy of Through the Glass Darkly.

I am looking with great anticipation learning more about David’s life, and sharing mine with him.

David, by the way, is black.

So why, I asked myself today, is it that I can make friends with a black man halfway across the world, and yet have virtually no black friends here in the neighborhood, city or state where I live?

Yes, I’m reclusive.

Yes, there are stereotypes of various ethnicities and cultures that I wrestle with.

If you are a non white, help me dialogue about just what it is I’m missing. I honestly don’t want to go down the last quarter or less of my life without closing what I think is a serious gap in my life.

When I lived in New York City years ago, I became a professional Scouter for the Greater New York Boy Scout Council.

In that capacity, my closest peer friends were from Puerto Rico and the Philippines. My area coordinator was black, and my council chief executive was black.

The latter two were distanced from me due, I think, to rank. Still . . .

The guy from Puerto Rico and I got along famously. He was always asking me to say something in Southern (I’m from North Carolina), and he would belly-laugh at my witticisms. Juan, from the Philippines, was a bit more reserved, but still approachable.

Of course, NYC is more metropolitan — more of a jumble of races and culture (the old metaphor was ‘fruit salad’).

It seems to me that the distance between races — in spite of all the laws and legislation that the government has enacted — has not decreased, but increased.

And I think sadly on King’s “I have a dream” speech, and wonder have I stepped on its potential to become reality through my own life?

In a course I took to become certified as a lateral entry teacher, one course instructor flatly said that all whites are prejudiced and bigoted.

I can’t argue with her, as I would invariably fall into those positions by virtue of disagreeing with her.

Whites wonder will they ever be released from the curse of being descendants of the South, where slavery and Jim Crow and segregation have occupied most of the history of southern blacks?

We wonder at the anger we sense from our black neighbors. The distrust. Perhaps it’s merely guilt on our part, and the anger isn’t there at all. I don’t think so.

But, you tell me.

The roots of racism and bigotry are long and deep. Are they too deeply rooted to ever rot and disintegrate?

Please, tell me what you think?

My dad thought that this separation would exist until the whole of mankind is one indiscernible color and race. A uni-race.

You have to then think that any difference is bad, and uni-this and uni-that — gender and sexuality and political affiliations — are the ultimate dystopic answer to all difference dilemmas.

But, please tell me.

Why is it I can establish contact more easily with a black man from Togo than I can a black man from across the street?


7 Responses to “Interracial Relationships”

  1. blondefreak August 18, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

    I love the line, “I like to think I can sing”


    “I believe I am responsible for my own actions, and the consequences of those actions” . I like to live by this rule too.

    • skipmars August 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

      So, how does the rest ressonate with you?

  2. arrayanesliterario September 5, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

    Oh, really, this page came to me in a sudden. I have read interracial Relationships, an as a mother of three, and still young granny, sport woman,mix of lots of cultures (italian, spanish, American, Venezuelan, and from Nicaragua) what a mix, even my kids are Mexican also. We white people what they call us, but for me I am just have that pretty tanny color of the sunny coast, I have travel a lot, have the privilege to study abroad, and have seen how can be so difficult to talk to somebody floe to you because of your ethnicity. I think one have to be very sensible, educated, tons of cultures, but most of all, never to underestimated nobody, not even you. Just respect to the believings of others and ask for being for reciprocate your fair position. I admire people who are citizens of the world, but most, I admire someway who questions for better what are we talking right now. You have a big heart, Your have friend from Venezuela, which love trails and ultra trails even in my country, or abroad. remenber, education, education and education.

    • skipmars September 6, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      Do you believe that education — or intelligence — is a key to understanding others. Or, perhaps, the willingness to become educated, or to increase one’s intelligence. Yes, I think those who are more world citizens do have a greater sense and capacity to “give way” in the areas of their own history (“This is what I’ve always known to be”) in order to broaden their perspective and tolerance of cultures/thoughts they have never been exposed to before. Some find that easier to do than others. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

      • arrayanesliterario September 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

        Yes, I do understood. I forgot to mention something really important and it has to be with your heart and soul. No matter how prepare you are in life, if you cannot understand values.and feelings, and consequences, which all goes together, you might be quite blind without knowing it, but being a good man or woman is a plus, a must. I like your answer. My best regards

  3. Outlier Babe September 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    I fear they are too deep. My last brown boyfriend did not agree that his Brown Pride tats were racist, but he did think White Pride tats would be.

    Non-whites openly make racist comments in speech and writing which, if equivalent comments were made openly by whites against non-whites, would bring public condemnation, personal attack, or even riot.

    The hatred of whites now runs so deep that conscious and unconscious racism has placed the shoe firmly, or also, on the other foot, depending upon the prejudice level at which the white/non-white players began.

    An (Eastern) Indian friend of my (white) Bavarian friend recently said to her–they both live in Los Angeles:

    “Move somewhere else to be happy. Why would you want to live in Los Angeles, anyway? Everybody HATES white people here!”

    When I take my daily walks, I smile or say “Hi” at all I pass. A disappointing number if Latinos–sometimes entire families, down to the children–glare back at me.

    There are many blacks where I live. Not long ago, one young man felt free to yell loudly out his open window: “I HATE ALL WHITE PEOPLE!!”

    Imagine if I had screamed “I HATE ALL BLACK PEOPLE!!”. Do you think I would be able to be typing this now?

    The ONLY good side of all this is that some whites get to experience a taste of what being on the receiving end is/has been like.

    • skipmars September 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      Not sure I would say “good side,” but “positive side.”

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