02 August 2007

Interracial Dating: The Illogic of Better Spent

A funny thing happened on the way to the coffee shop.

It happens in most large cities and less in small towns around the country. You're standing in line at the movie theater, sitting in a booth at a restaurant, walking down an aisle at a grocery store...pretty much anywhere. You see them. They're walking side by side. Sometimes they're holding hands. It's usually clear they like each other and have been together for a while. Yet something's not matching. They're skin tones are quite a bit different. Their hair texture is different. Their facial features are different. And then you realize what you're looking at is a "mixed" couple. It is then that the betrayal happens. Sometimes one can see it on your face. Other times you've got enough other crap on your mind that your attitude towards what you're seeing doesn't show. Sometimes it is just a gut-based loathing of sorts with no words attached. Other times it is a fully formed thought, like you really wish they would stick to their own kind. Or you really have a moment of self-absorption and you want to know what he or she sees in whomever they're with. Or what does the person who is not of your "kind" got that you haven't got and why isn't her guy with you. It really doesn't matter. You know how you're feeling and even if everywhere else you say you're not prejudiced or racist, you just experienced it within yourself.

Whatever your wonderings about that couple, they're all forms of arrogance. To think that they don't belong together because they're not of kindred ancestry to each other, to think whichever one of them is of your race belongs with you instead of whomever they're with is selfish, self-centered and isn't serving anyone. When you thought that woman belongs with you instead of whomever she's with, you were being racist. When you thought that man should stick to his own kind you were being racist and a fool. His kind is not his race. But because you entertain these thoughts you are showing that you and he are probably not the same kind, and he is sticking to his own kind by not being with you. Do you really think that minus her means plus you? That man is not yours. And there is nothing to indicate that either of your lives would be more fully enriched by you replacing the person he is with. Maybe you think that this woman belongs with an "appropriate" person of her own race and you have in mind just the person. Well who are you to determine what is and is not appropriate? You're like your cousin-in-kind who thinks that the government shouldn't do certain things because the money could be better spent on something else. He doesn't realize that once the money is diverted away from something, there is no guarantee it will end up any place better. And like that cousin there is no guarantee that the person you're having this episode over will be better off with a person of your choosing. So all your calculations lead to the same conclusion, namely that she is with whomever she is with and it is no concern of yours.

So my advice is get a life. Maybe then you'll stop wanting to control the lives of others. All those hatreds and resentments at random strangers are just eating away at your joints and making you less attractive to others.

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