By Imani Hudson-Hill, Assistant News Manager
High school is the place where many students discover themselves. The realizations range from what they want to do once they graduate, to what kind of person they like.
One thing that has become more common throughout history is interracial dating. Oftentimes many don’t hear what the couples think, just what spectators have to say. Though many can’t describe what love is, they oftentimes show discrimination towards couples who don’t fit the “typical” description.
For many, interracial relationships begin in kindergarten when they spot a cutie across the floor during naptime. Never is the issue of race thought about. The new playmate just happens to be of a different race, but a friend is a friend.
When beginning a relationship with someone, regardless of race, a lot of teens think about what his or her parents and peers may say.
“My family unfortunately is not completely supportive, which is very hard on me,” junior Madison White said. “Mainly my mom, grandparents, and aunts and uncles are the unsupportive ones. My dad just wants me to be happy and my little brother loves [her boyfriend]!”
Madison who is white has been dating senior Jordan Washington, who is black, for the last four months. Jordan shares a similar situation.
“My mother would much prefer I were with someone of my own race,” Jordan said.
Despite the lack of support, Madison believes she and Jordan share something special.
“I personally am so comfortable and insanely happy with my relationship,” Madison said.
For Jordan, it is deeper than just race.
“People should not be ashamed of being attracted to other races, but proud,” Jordan said. “God sends special people to us all, and whether that person is of a different or same ethnicity, [she should be cherished]. People are attracted to people in general; it has nothing to do with race.”
Many may believe an interracial relationship would be a huge change of pace. Senior Will Ragsdale believes all relationships are different.
“It would be a different experience no matter who it is, same race or not,” Will said.
Will, who is white, has been dating senior Amanda Abernathy, whose dad is white and whose mom is black, for a little over a month.
Unlike Madison and Jordan, Amanda and Will’s relationship receives more acceptance.
“Will’s family seems fine with our relationship,” Amanda said. “I’m over at his house all the time and they’re always really nice to me. I feel comfortable with them because I’ve seen them a lot before when we were just friends. My parents, of course, will agree with any decision I make since they’re in a bi-racial relationship too.”
Many teens are used to dating someone who is similar to him or her.
“The only advantage to being in one with someone outside your race is that you get exposed to their culture and how they do things,” Amanda said. “Sometimes their culture isn’t different from yours, but if it is, it’s interesting. Oh, and for those who make the long haul into marriage, its fun to see what your kids are going to look like because you never know.”
Will agrees with Amanda in that culture does have a major influence on a relationship.
“It’s less about race and more about chemistry and overall attraction,” Will said. “Culture is more attributing to these than skin color or nationality could ever be, if you get right down to it.”
There are many things people never think to ask someone in an interracial relationship, so they carry these falsehoods and biases.
“To all the parents out there who aren’t ‘racist’ but have a problem when their child wants to date outside his or her race, here’s a reality check—that’s racist,” Amanda said. “People need to realize that interracial dating is becoming more common than it is uncommon and there’s nothing wrong with that.
People are people. A certain skin color shouldn’t automatically label someone as ‘trouble’ in anyone’s mind. Everyone deserves a chance to show who they are.”
Though there are many people who don’t agree with interracial dating, attraction is attraction. Thanks to an interracial relationship, America now has President Barack Obama. Times have changed and everyone is in charge of his or her own life.
Dating begins during the teen years and can continue into the senior years. In each relationship, there are always things to be evaluated. No one wants to pass by his soul mate because he/she isn’t the same color.
Quoting Martin Luther King Jr., Jordan sums up his opinion on interracial dating.
“I would just like to point out that there is nothing wrong with interracial dating, people should be judged by the ‘content of their character’, and not the ‘color of their skin’,” Jordan said.