Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Interracial Relations

By , Sulphur, LA
You see him walking down the halls. He’s tall, handsome, and has a great smile. You can’t help but notice him everywhere he goes and he always gives you goose bumps and a tingly feeling in your stomach. Well, what if there was something stopping you from asking him out? What if you literally weren’t allowed to like him? That’s what happens to kids every day. I am a young, teenage female who is of Cajun French and Atakapa descent, basically a common mixture that makes up a white person in the South. I am in a position that is hard for me, but I know it is also harder for other people elsewhere.


When I was younger, I didn’t know what kind of guys to like. I’d always gotten the vague impression that people who looked like me were okay- the whole “no interracial dating” talk never came up with my parents until I was older, about a year ago. I never showed any interest in guys from my school when I was in junior high. Once I got to high school (the beginning of 10th grade, actually), that was another story. It was just my first day, and I was walking down the hall when I saw a couple, a white girl with a black boy, and it surprised me how many people were giving them glances or rolling their eyes. I felt angry at that, for some reason. It seemed I wasn’t as ‘prejudiced’ as I was supposed to be. After that, I thought a lot about my values, and why I had them. Were they in me because I wanted them or because other people wanted them? I thought about it for a while, and decided that I was okay with it. I didn’t mind other races dating each other. I felt better, knowing I had my own opinion. I didn’t know that meant it would apply to me. Not until a few months later when I had my first, actual crush. He was, as you can guess, black.


I am a very strong person, and people who have opinions of me are perfectly fine. I have a tough personality. Gossip and ugly comments won’t ever break me. So that’s why I had no problem telling my friends and family about it. My mom and dad weren’t happy. My mom was outright telling me there was no chance I’d ever be allowed to date him. My dad was more disappointed in me. However, after much talking, they were forced to realize that their opinions were based solely on nonsense, and that, as Christians, it was morally wrong to say it wasn‘t ‘right’. They finally said that they weren’t okay with it, but they would accept and respect my views and allow me to make my own decisions.

My friends were another matter. They were shocked and surprised, one even going so far as to act condescending. I, once again, explained to them my views on the matter. One of my friends actually asked me, “Why do you like black guys?” It took all of my self-control not to slap her. I was angry and hurt at her, because she was supposed to be my best friend. But I knew I wouldn’t get anywhere if I did that. I had to explain to her, and everyone else, that I was okay with liking any race, any color; black, brown, blue, polka-dot- it doesn‘t matter! Over the next few months, they became comfortable with it. I was happy about this.

But my problem now is that I want more than acceptance. Because even though they are okay with it, they always say things like, “Well I’d never do it.” No, I have not taken the plunge and found someone I really care about, any race. And being strong is a great quality. But in a society today where we have a half-African American-half-Caucasian president, people are spouting more and more fluff about ‘racial acceptance' and 'color doesn’t matter.' Well, to a lot of people, it still does. They might put on a bright smile and pretend, but, especially where I live, the atmosphere is prejudiced. I’m not going to give clichéd scenarios for people to rag on me about. I’m just wondering, WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL???? If you love someone, you love them. I’m not a hippie or a tree-hugger- I’m a human being. But every time I think about dating that guy I first liked, I think about that girl who was walking down the hall, hand in hand with her boyfriend, and I wonder if that’s the price I’m going to pay. Not to say that I wouldn’t pay it- I would gladly put up with people who don’t matter to be happy. But more along the lines of should I have to pay it. Should me, my friend, the boy who lives down the road- should anyone- have to deal with that? No one should have to be scared to make their opinion known or penalized when they do. Why can’t people open up their minds a little bit more? My parents’ answers, when I asked them why they were against it, was, “Because that’s the way we were raised.” And it’s going to be like that for a long time if we don’t do something about it. My generation, compared to a couple older ones, is generally more accepting. But we are far off from calling ourselves unbiased or non-racists. I’m not saying this as a sob story or for people to make fun of me. I’m thinking of the kids who are only two or three, and who might not be as tough-skinned as I am, but who might end up needing to be. No one should have people laugh at them, call them names, or spread rumors about them simply because they might have feelings for someone a little different than who they are. The color of the person you like may be only skin deep, but the prejudices and racisms that unfortunately come with it are a lot deeper than that.




Join the Discussion


This article has 30 comments. Post your own!

CHSLitKid4everThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm:
Holy cow. I'm in high school now, but in my middle school, there was racism - but it didn't go that far. Now I go to a high school that has an extremely accepting environment, so I'm not used to racism. But your article reminds me that in some parts of North America, people still have sick opinions on things like that. I applaud you for doing what is right but wish for your benefit that dating a black guy wasn't such a scandal where you live.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Lostinbooks This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 30, 2009 at 11:31 pm:
Yes...
My whole group of friends at school are from different races...our diversity makes us proud. If a person's nice, if they have a good personality, what else matters? My friends are great, and all different!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Victori_Rappold said...
Oct. 24, 2009 at 9:33 am:
The only way to achieve true happiness is to follow your heart. Ignore what people say...this is your story not theirs
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
writingrox said...
Oct. 20, 2009 at 7:14 pm:
People say that discrimination is over, right? It is still all around us, everywhere you go. You are just another person to end discrimination once and for all.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
PK4evr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm:
Haha, I totally understand! I'm Asian and I often go between liking a white guy to an Asian guy back to a different white guy. This world was made to be a melting pot. I don't know why people have a problem with it. I have a lot of half-Asian friends and I also know some people that are half Caucasian and half African-American. Actually, I think that the ones that are half and half are the most beautiful. That's why I occasionally wish that I was fifty percent Asian instead of a h... (more »)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Sunshineyday said...
Aug. 16, 2009 at 9:40 pm:
it's like the song "jungle fever" said:
..For color blind are inner feelings
If we feel happiness ,And know our loves the best, forget their mess...
what about the important questions(especially when you grow up if you want to MARRY someone)
do they love you?
are they a good person?
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
musicgirl757This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 12, 2009 at 8:17 pm:
You are obviously wise beyond your years. Good for you for not giving into steryotypes. Love is not defined by the color of your skin, its defined by your heart. Times are changing though, I hope that someday it will be perfectily normal for 2 people of different races to be together. Because you know what, it doesn't matter as long as you love each other.
 
DeeJay replied...
Sept. 12, 2009 at 5:29 pm :
just wanted to tell you that I appreciate the support and I'm glad you understand!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Esther said...
Aug. 12, 2009 at 1:14 am:
this is truly beautiful. Interracial relationships is something that really needs to be acknowledged. Black, white, yellow whatever..we're all human.
 
DeeJay replied...
Sept. 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm :
thank you so much. I didn't know if anyone would even read my article. I wrote it off the top of my head one day after school.. I'm glad you liked it and thanks for the support!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback