This week, we're publishing some of those responses as part of a conversation about race and relationships.
Thirteen years of dating boys outside my race and it took sitting down to write this essay to have the first, real conversation with my parents about interracial dating. I used to say I didn't have a type, but if we go off consistency, I do. While I've dated other races, I'm mostly attracted to black men.
My eyes and heart tend to steer me in that direction. I can't pinpoint physical features or characteristics of black men because that's not only wrong, it's just not the entire case. What I'm attracted to can be found in men of all races: I've dated other races aside from black men—my first and only boyfriend of two years was Korean. But I've never dated someone of my own ethnicity: And I would say Colombian, but that courtship never blossomed into much after he came over my house and serenaded me with his acoustic guitar.
My parents were more impressed by him than I was. I was 16, but not emo enough apparently.
Would I date a Mexican guy? Have I come across one that's caught my attention?
I have strong Mexican men in my life, too—my father and my two brothers—that I hold close, respect, and admire. My brothers never seemed to have an opinion as to the type of men I dated, and were only concerned with how each guy treated me. They didn't connect one with the other. My dad has always been a quiet man, and his only insertion in conversations about my dating life: Time and again, after being introduced to a black guy I was dating, my mother either let out heavy sighs or foretold my future under her breath.
My parents were born and raised in Mexico. They were each other's first love. My dad used his seasonal, strictly temporary passport for work and came to Arizona to pick fruit. But my grandfather—my mother's father—wasn't too fond of my dad. My dad knew that in order to ask for my mom's hand in marriage, he had to have a house ready for her. He couldn't work fast enough. He also knew that the American Dream was the dream he wanted to achieve for them.
My mom knew her father wouldn't approve either way. My dad wasn't wealthy.
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She's always said that he's 'mi media naranja' a Spanish saying for soul mate. She knew if she wanted to be with my dad, she'd have to runaway with him. Despite not knowing she was pregnant with my older brother at the time, she hid in a bunk in the back of my father's van and they crossed the border together. They settled in a largely Mexican neighborhood in San Jose, California.
Then, when I was five-years old, they moved to Tracy, about an hour drive east of San Jose, where the population was, and remains, predominantly white. The majority of what my parents know about other races they've learned through media or second-hand stories.
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Stories, which laced with racial stereotypes, were told continuously that https://nata-agency.pro/21/2221-free-dating.php became truth. Those "stories" tell of black men leaving their women, and of black men being promiscuous and violent. My mother internalized all of this.
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While problematic, my parents' thinking was the thinking of their time. And, really, it roots deeper than my parents, my grandparents, and their parents before them. Racial tension between Mexicans and blacks, especially on the west coast and in some parts of the south, is tied to an ugly history.
Take the segregation and gang rivalry in Los Angeles or the hate crimes in southern states, like Texas and Atlanta. In Georgia—where the Hispanic population has increased percent from toand became the third largest state with migrating Hispanics and Latinos—there's been numerous hate crimes between Hispanics and blacks.
In the fall ofsix Mexican immigrants were murdered when a group of black guys attempted to rob trailer parks known to house immigrant workers. Both minorities have been reported here confront more than cooperate in certain areas; reports have pinpointed competition for jobs as a factor.
What's crazy to me is that both groups, Mexicans and blacks, have been marginalized historically, and dealt with levels of oppression by systems, yet tension is between individuals. But it's not only about where and how it started; it may not even be right to think it started from any one place.
There's a myriad of factors that are both onset by personal experience and exposure to what people see on television or read in the news. The curse is that those.
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