By: Amy Wise
Last week our family had the honor of being featured in USA Today. I was interviewed for the piece and then a photographer came out and did a photo shoot of our family. We had such a great time with the photographer; he actually ended up joining us for a little dinner after we were done taking pictures. The article came out a couple of weeks after the interview and it was such a thrill to have our family be the face of interracial marriage in USA Today. It truly touched me because so much of my writing is about this very subject.
I have been writing about interracial marriage for years now and the one thing that I have never had to deal with when it comes to writing about our family, whether on my blog or on guest sites, are racist comments. Even if there has been a difference of opinion, the comments have always been very respectful. When the article came out in USA Today I was saddened to see so many racist and hateful comments in the comment section. Thankfully there were many more positive comments than negative ones, but it saddened me nonetheless. Because USA Today reaches so many people I should not have been surprised, but I was. I’m not going to go into specifics about what was said and luckily the paper pulled the really horrible comments, but it still shocks me to see how closed-minded and ignorant people can be when it comes to race in America in 2011. I actually had to stop reading the comments because they made my stomach turn. They also made me realize how much work we still need to do when it comes to educating people about race and interracial relationships.
The one thing that I want people who don’t seem to understand or approve of our family to know, is that we are truly no different than any other family out there today. I don’t wake up in the morning and look at my husband and think, “I’m so in love with my black husband“; he’s just my husband. I don’t look at my daughter and think, “My biracial daughter is my heart and soul”; she’s just my daughter. Yes my husband is black, yes I’m white, and yes our daughter is biracial…those are the facts, but the truth of the matter is, we are three people who make up a family filled with love. It really is that simple. I didn’t steal a black man from the hood, Jamie didn’t set out to meet a white woman, and we didn’t say let’s have a mixed child. We married each other because we fell in love and we had a child because we wanted a family. Color has never had anything to do with our choices when it comes to our relationship and family. Color only comes into play when society continues to make an issue of it. We are about love and love only. Isn’t that why anyone gets married and starts a family?
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Tatiana gets the best of both worlds. We embrace my culture and we embrace Jamie’s culture. She gets double the fun, double the food, double the history, double everything! Talk about an open mind. America is all about people who originally came from some place else. Our country is really just one big melting pot of the world, so trying to be around one race and one race only is quite unrealistic. I feel sorry for people who aren’t open to other races, cultures, and backgrounds. They are truly missing out on so many wonderful experiences. It’s quite sad.
So in the end, to those who had such negative things to say about our family: all I can say is, my heart breaks for the hate that you carry. I hope that you can one day realize we are just a family that happens to have multiple shades of skin colors and lots and LOTS of LOVE!
Thank you USA Today for such a wonderful experience!