In an effort to dig deeper into the topic of the racial and social issues, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and Anderson Cooper interviewed a panel of teens and parents for CNN’s ‘Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture’ study. During their television segment, three families were brought onto a panel – two African-American and one Caucasian – and discussed the sensitive topic of interracial dating.
Jimmy, the teen from the African-American family, talked about his experience with racist jokes and shared how his parents would probably react to him bringing home a caucasian girlfriend:
“When I tell my parents, when I did, I had dated a white girl and then they said, they’re not racist – they said, ‘why not your own kind?’ Because all my girls have been white…I mean it wasn’t like they were like, ‘You need to choose a black girl!’ It’s just they were asking me why I liked white girls. And I’m like, ‘No particular reason.’”
His father, Jimmy Sr. explained that they as parent’s do not care, but just wanted to makes sure that there isn’t anything wrong with him dating girls of his own race.
Luke, the second teen from the Caucasian family admitted that his parents would probably have an issue with him dating an African-American girl:
“Honestly my parents probably wouldn’t be too happy because if I was to marry a black girl, [they'd be like] you’re connected to their family now and who knows what her family is really like.”
His father, Gary shared how his older daughter had a dating experience with an African-American male and how they made it a point to explain to her how there are cultural differences between them and how she should be aware of them.
The third teen, Chantay revealed that it wouldn’t be an issue for her as an African-American girl to date outside of her race, but also pointed out that there is a double standard when it comes to an African-American male doing the same:
“If I were to date a white guy, a lot of people wouldn’t really have a problem with that. But if my brother were to bring home a white girl, there’s definitely going to be some controversy [from me] [...] Because I think it’s more of a problem for people when a black man brings home a white woman because it’s been like that for years.”
Her mother, Christal remarked that although her daughter feels this way, it really reveals the deeper issue of black girls/women feeling as though they are inferior:
“I think when she speaks about if her brother were to bring home a white girl, what it says I think to our kids, our black kids, is, ‘Are we not good enough for our black brothers? What’s wrong with us, you know? Why? Do you like the silky straight hair? I can press my hair.”
Check out what they all said in the video below. If your child or teen decides to date outside his or her race, how would you feel? What would you think? Would you have a talk with them?
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON THIS?
AC360 Talks to Families About Interracial Relationships