Interracial Relations, “Trendy?”

The 50th Anniversary of MLK’s march on Washington reminds us of the great strides we have made in overcoming the racial prejudice that existed during the era when the political machine took on a whole new color.

If you click on the image of Martin Luther King, Jr. you will see a video from “Rolling Stone”.  The following link tells the stories of people who lived through the transitions of the era.  Their stories should not be forgotten.

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The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom or “The Great March on Washington“, as styled in a sound recording released after the event, was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech advocating that racial harmony should prevail upon the march. (Wikipedia)

The march was organized by a group of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations, under the theme “jobs, and freedom”. Estimates of the number of participants varied from 200,000 to 300,000. Observers estimated that 75–80% of the marchers were black.

Racism results from oppression, poverty and ignorance.  These three things are the greatest influences on society’s reluctance and inability to become more than tolerant, but to embrace and accept the changing tide in this country.

I have been reading many articles and blogs on the issues of racism over the past few days, and what I am seeing is that interracial relations are currently considered, “Trendy.”  My daughter, who has racially mixed children, agrees.  I can only pray that it is much more permanent than trendy.

My granddaughter has the Hispanic phenotype of her father, a Puerto Rican.  My grandson has the Arian phenotype of his mother, a German/English/Cherokee.  The Puerto Ricans are a mix of Spanish, African-American, and Island Indians.  They are a mixed race family and not unlike many families in the Orlando area.   My daughter feels that, while we are far from “post racial”, we are moving closer toward an accepting society where race is less of an issue than it was 50 years ago, but her life experiences with these children let her know that we are not there yet.

She has had people ask her if she was babysitting.  She has had people ask her if she adopted, and to go so far as to congratulate her on adopting, “Typically less than adoptable children.”  She has had day care staff members assume that she was picking up a child other than her own daughter simply because she is white and her daughter is not, asking her for I.D. to prove she is the parent of the child.

The Trayvon Martin-Mark Zimmerman case reminds us that there is much progress to be made if we are to truly see people and not color.  I am hopeful that we can get there soon.

“Red Clay and Roses” speaks to the issue of racism as it was fifty years ago, and to the issue of Civil Rights and Women’s Rights.  It is fiction based on the true stories of those who lived during the era and faced the challenges of it directly.  It is an historical reminder why we should strive for acceptance and assure that we never go back to where we were fifty years ago.  These are issues worth remembering.

9 thoughts on “Interracial Relations, “Trendy?”

  1. My daughter has heard some of those same comments. I don’t know if I would say it is “trendy” or if it is just more wide spread – I think it is a good thing that people are accepting people of other races/cultures and seeing them as human beings rather than another race. People are people the world around. I just want someone to be kind and loving and honest – not worry about the color of their skin.

    • Same here. I think we are making progress, but I talk to both my daughter and stepson a lot, and they both agree that it is a current trend to be in a mixed race relationship. He will only date black girls. He says that his friends (who are mixed) are more accepting of him when he does than when he dates white girls. I sometimes feel that the young people embrace the issue of interracial relations the same way they our generation embraced women’s lib or civil rights. We grew our hair long the and changed our music and the young people today have their tattoos and piercings. The generational trends are part of what provides the progress that we need to see, moving away from old indoctrinations.

  2. You’ve given me much to think about it. I hadn’t thought of interracial relationships as “trendy.” We know they’ve always existed. Perhaps trendy–and having instant access to photos and information through social media makes something trendy–and that leads to more acceptance. I don’t know. Of course racism, sexism, homophobia, etc, still exist. But look at how acceptance of marriage equality has grown in only a few years. Maybe someday we’ll get to the world imagined in Star Trek where we accept people of all races, even those from other planets. 🙂

  3. I really need to read your book. I’m sure I can relate to it being a southerner. My mother made sure that we were raised “color blind” but I was exposed to racism from time to time. My mother has relatives in Mississippi and I visited them in middle school. It was like stepping back in time. The town was segregated. The whites lived on one side of the railroad tracks and the blacks on the other. My relatives owned several hundred acres of land and the blacks would come over and work for them. They had a maid who lived in the shack out back. I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t sit at the table and eat the dinner she had cooked with us. My cousins couldn’t believe I had friends who were black. “You talk to them? What are they like?” “Uh, just like you and me (duh!)” And it wasn’t just my mother’s side, I remember being horrified when my father’s mother pointed to an adorable child in a stroller and said, “Oh, look at that cute little nigger baby.” The mother overhead and I wanted to say something, but I was young (8 or 9) and so embarrassed, that I said nothing. To my grandmother, it wasn’t offensive, it was just the way things were and I never heard her speak with hatred toward another race but the use of the “n word” made my skin crawl. And as for the commercial, I don’t know how you can be offended by an interracial child. To me, they are among the most physically beautiful people in the world. People are people, no matter what color.

    • I agree. It is amazing to me that communities like Rochelle GA still segregate in 2013. Look that one up. They were in the news in April of this year. Many people not from the south really can’t relate, but it is understandable to me why African Americans had such a hard transition to freedom, why their stories are so painful…and why the resentments. If you are from or live in the Deep South, you have seen it in your lifetime if you are more than thirty years old…and then some younger. It is a regional book, “Red Clay and Roses”…which doesn’t help sells, but it was still a story that needed to be told…and there is an international message. Thanks for your thoughtful consideration.

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