Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The interracial angle

Shani-o has a very provocative question about what a Barack Obama presidency might mean for interracial relationships:

Interracial dating is obviously a touchy subject. I’ll say for myself that my father would be very, very unhappy if I married someone who isn’t black, while my mother is more practical: “whoever makes you happy” is her motto.

Now that I think about it, I wonder if having a loving black family in the White House will put more pressure on black women to find themselves a Barack?

Honestly, it might. But that's only if people forget the story of how Barack actually came into being - the product of a black Kenyan and a white Kansan who met at college in Hawaii. As a friend of mine once said, "Ann Dunham was dating black dudes when dating black dudes wasn't popular."

And in many ways, some interracial couples might see the ascension of Barack - not to mention Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter - as a sign of acceptance. Even validation. People might feel emboldened to try something new.

Or not. As long as everyone is happy with their choice. I would hope black women would feel free to date anyone they want, without guilt or recriminations.


Cami said...

interesting point. i've heard some other make reference to finding a 'barack' type. i just hope the long term implications are that America sees the reality of a black family in the White House and realizes that black people are just like everybody else.

blackink said...

I dunno, Cami. That could happen. But I'm also reminded of that scene in "Do The Right Thing," where Sal's son, Pino, waxes poetic on stars who "weren't really black." Folks like Magic Johnson and Prince. In short, any black person whom he deemed exceptional.