Sunday, June 04, 2006

'MIXED RACE' RELATIONSHIPS

See post by 'Lester' Blink Forum:

http://66.249.93.104/search?q=cache:S4apgpVQzvoJ:www.blink.org.uk/////
forum/viewtopic.php%3Ft%3D31%26sid%3D6b85405cd9cb622dc842a656754aabb8++site:
www.blink.org.uk+%22lou+sid+linesman%22+cultural+values&hl=en&
amp;amp;gl=uk&ct=clnk&cd=2


It's for the individual parent to choose whether to play a full and influential part in the upbringing of children - and this is largely a question of the maturity of the relationship.

Unless there is an enforced prohibition of culture in the Carribean and in Africa, I see little chance of these cultures being 'lost'! I'm fairly sure that traditional European rather than Afro-Carribean culture is in need of being granted heritage preservation orders and the designation of sites of special scientific interest! Nevertheless, true cultural values must be rediscovered, reproved and re-authorised by each new and independent generation - in order to prove the real worth of those individuals. And if worthy individuals fail to endorse certain aspects of their forefathers' culture, those cultural phenomena will have lost currency - according to a natural order. Cultures which must be preserved are cultures which have given up the will to face reality and which have failed and died. Cultures are based upon the universal recognition of the achievements of individuals - individuals who recognise that there is always room for improvement. A culture which considers itself to be of such perfection as to be deserving of a glass case is yesterday's culture. Culture must live and develop to be worthy of the name.

One has only to read a few of Frank TALKER's posts to become aware of the comprehensive failings of traditional European culture, but traditional Afro-based culture too has it's drawbacks eg. male and female circumcision. On the other hand, the invention and vision of Ghanaian music is truly marvellous.

Any good relationship (no matter the cultural background) is founded upon love and the joy of creating something which is original and which aspires to fulfill the highest human ideals. Such relationships are the only possible nurseries of culture and it's amazing how we humans compost and recycle that which has real worth. I would reckon that the freedom of spirit required to enter a 'non-conformist' relationship is a promising ingredient for the soup of culture.

If individuals (whatever the colour of their skin) do not to fail in their relationships, do not get married for the wrong reasons and do not fail as parents, how are those same individuals ever to learn to recognise what is of value? Everybody must be able to make mistakes.


I have complete respect for what 'Lester' has (most sincerely) written, but the problems which he identifies concern individual maturity and are not problems which arise from the colouration of culture. Real cultural values can always be shared. What is more important: the value, or the skin-colour of the person who holds the value?

10 Comments:

At 04 June, 2006 20:29, Blogger Ken Wood said...

Oh, all right then! I’d better hold my hands up - because (you’ve guessed it!) I (and my wife!) have been at it too! It seems that some of us just cannot resist the temptation to experiment with ‘new’ recipes!

I am a white British man and my wife is a black African woman; we have several ‘mixed-race’ children in addition to my wife’s black African children (my step-children); we now live separately, but I am closely involved in the children’s upbringing and maintain good relations with my wife.

I can honestly say that, over a period which spans more than a decade, I have never experienced any adverse reaction to our ‘mixed-race’ relationship - nor have I particularly looked for any such unreasonable reaction, despite being fully aware that, in the UK’s race-obsessed society, we are probably labelled as ‘different’. Rather like the white person who shows unreasonable fear of every black person (because he believes every black person to be a potential mugger and thus makes himself a more obvious target for the very small number of black people who do commit such crimes), I have always tried not to speculate upon what people might think about my ‘mixed-race’ relationship - because one cannot anyway know what other people are thinking and because this type of behaviour might well attract more racist reaction. Despite initial prejudices, I have found that having teenage black step-children has helped me gain a better perspective on scale of crime amongst black youths - despite the fact that I have previously suffered a mugging and an attempted mugging at the hands of black criminals!

Although she has inevitably experienced racism in the UK, my wife can only remember one incident where she received some verbal abuse as a result of our indulgence in ‘miscegenation’ - this occurred around 1996 after we had been visiting a friend, who had just had a baby, in a West End London hospital and, whilst walking back to the underground station, an apparently ‘middle-class’ woman ‘went a bit potty’ on identifying us as a couple with our ‘mixed-race’ baby in a pushchair. For some reason, I had been walking ahead and did not properly register this fleeting incident - but my wife recalls that I was (unusually!) smartly dressed on this occasion and reckons that my (deceptively!) affluent appearance may have aroused jealousy in this individual.

In truth, it’s probably due to the poverty of our emotional relationship that we have not aroused ill-feeling amongst racists - I’m sure that we would have experienced racism, as a result of our relationship, had we been truly in love and had habitually expressed loving feelings in public.

Although, I cannot honestly deny that racism still coloured my character at the beginning of our marriage (and must have played some part in our troubles), I would not attribute to this (waning) character trait the fundamental reasons for our unsatisfactory and mutually-exploitative relationship - because good old-fashioned emotional immaturity was at the root of our problems. We had both had brief ‘mixed-race’ relationships before meeting each other and I had also previously been platonically involved in a very close (though rather emotionally dysfunctional) ‘mixed-race’ friendship (with a black woman) for about seven years - so, in retrospect, I now consider that I was already undergoing a process of prejudice-purgation that has continued to this day.

(During this particular friendship, I remember that we regularly socialized at venues which were almost exclusively patronized by black people and where I was sometimes the only white man amongst hundreds - at the time, I found this sort of experience rather uncomfortable, but, given the discomforting day-to-day experience of black people in a white country, it I now appreciate that it was most educational. Although a self-confessed racist, my friend had a ‘talk-to-everyone’ policy and she found me to be a willing apprentice - she really delighted in her obsession for investigating, confronting and confounding the idiosyncrasies of multi-racial inner-city life!)

People often suspect that the acquisition of immigration status lies at the heart of many ‘mixed-race’ relationships - but when in a married relationship, it is a normal duty to help one’s partner overcome unfortunate problems - of which racist immigration hurdles are an example. In any case, the bestowal of immigration status is not a ‘gift’ from one partner to another - but the cancellation of a negative situation. No British citizen should consider that he has done a partner a favour by helping that partner to acquire immigration status - if so, that British citizen is complicit in the UK government’s exploitative racist policies.

I cannot remember having any serious arguments with my wife about culture and I can only remember objecting to circumcision - when this subject was raised in respect one of our (male) children. When my wife realized that I (an uncircumcised man without any resulting problems) was steadfastly opposed to circumcision (because it is a form of mutilation, purely custom and without any medical rationale), she agreed to leave the child uncircumcised - and has subsequently had no regrets. Phew!

I am led to understand, by my wife, that African people do not generally approve of ‘mixed-race’ relationships, but I have never known an African to have expressed such sentiments to me - our social life has always been very much Afro-centric and, as a family, we have always enjoyed the freedom afforded by the culture of African parties. The people with which we have previously enjoyed friendship have included some ‘mixed-race’ families and many inter-tribal African families. Neither my wife, nor I, have, as a result of our relationship, ever suffered any disapproval from our respective families - but it must be said that, with the exception of my wife’s younger siblings, our respective familial links have not been at all close; this degree of estrangement has been either emotional or physical or both and has also been due to the premature death of my wife’s mother. My parents take an interest in their grand-children and stay in regular contact - but we do not enjoy a truly close family relationship and I could not claim to know their real feelings about our ‘mixed-race’ marriage, I just know that they accept it. I have sometimes felt that my parents have a better relationship with my sister, her husband and their children - but such feelings of discrimination amongst siblings must be common to many families - however, I did once notice that they expected stricter domestic standards of my teenage step-child than they did of their teenage grand-child.

Here are some of the reasons why our ‘mixed-racialism’ has (thus far) avoided racist attention:

1. We have always lived in a multi-racial, inner-city borough - well within Frank TALKER’s beloved ‘circle of wagons’! We’d never consider living anywhere different in the UK because living in a predominately white area would inevitably expose the family to racism and cause psychological stress - especially for the children. I’ve always noticed how first-generation adult immigrants (who have been brought up in non-white countries where they have not been alienated from wider society as a consequence of skin colour) are generally far better emotionally and psychologically equipped to deal with the UK’s white-racism than their British-born children - whom, all-to-often, they end up burying. I have been told that, in Africa, (despite the fact that ‘mixed-race’ relationships may meet with disapproval) there is a more pragmatic acceptance of ‘mixed-race’ children and little alienation of ‘mixed-race’ people - although this is apparently not always the case in some rural communities. It is said that this African pragmatism makes for a better environment for ‘mixed-race’ children when growing-up.

(Secretly, wouldn’t we all like to see the day when the world has grown out of racism and a redundant Frank is left TALKING to himself in an empty lecture theatre? Then, we’d have sufficient grounds to have him committed to an asylum for the insane! Afterwards, his works could be exhibited in a museum as a curious reminder of the ‘bad-old-days’! Unfortunately, however, I envisage that we will have to heed hard his all-too-wise-words for a very, very long time yet...)

2. Our relationship has not been anything of which to be jealous.

3. Neither of us has been professionally or financially successful.

4. My wife is a bit of a ‘pipe ‘n slippers’ woman and we have never got out much as a couple - except for visiting our families and attending African-style family parties at friends’ houses. I’m not exactly a die-hard raver myself!

5. Our children do not feel alienated because they go to a ‘low-achieving’ school which has few white pupils - but which has many pupils who are from the families of a wide spectrum of first-generation immigrants and non-white ethnic minorities.

(White people seem to be more concerned about ensuring that their children attend schools which are ‘higher-achieving’ - and so, leaving aside the question of the UK’s racist state-educational infrastructure, this means that there is no obvious problem of white-racism in the playground.)

6. Our marriage has occurred during a period when political-correctness has been at its zenith and generally, therefore, people have been reluctant to voice negative opinions about ‘mixed-race’ relationships - but this, I believe, will now change.


General Thoughts

It’s worth noting that, in this area, there are a fair number of ‘mixed-race’ children, but there are not that many ‘mixed-race’ couples to be seen in the street - this is probably because, like all couples with children, ‘mixed-race’ couples tend, due to child-care arrangements, to go out separately during the course of day-to-day life. Like many couples, ‘mixed-race’ couples are only seen together in the home or when socializing with their friends; I would reckon that it is the younger ‘mixed-race’ couples (possibly those without children) who are more likely to be seen together on the street - and in the pubs and clubs. Another point worth making: in the countryside there is likely to be a very high ratio of white to non-white people - with the result that non-white people will have very little choice but choose white partners.

Having developed a bad national reputation, the local council has launched a campaign designed to encourage people to ‘love’ this area! I imagine that it is only middle-class property-owning white people who would support such a self-conscious cosmetic exercise - because black people are going to stay here amongst their own, whatever the image-problems.

As I would not want to give a ‘mixed-race’ couple cause to feel self-conscious, I try not to stare at any such couple in the street - but (apart from the fact that I am rather inquisitive!) I find this self-restraint difficult because I catch myself wondering how self-conscious the couple is feeling and whether this ‘sort’ of relationship is a new experience for the couple in question. To these couples, I could be just another racist white man! So just who’s really self-conscious?! Spending time in public as a ‘mixed-race’ couple must be a rather distant memory for me - but, when I am in this situation, I always have children to look after and I find that there is little time to think about such trivia.

Sometimes I see a white man with several ‘mixed-race’ children and I wonder how life has been for him...either good or bad, I suppose.

Recently, whilst walking home from school with my child, I met a black child in the care of a pleasant middle-aged white lady and we chatted briefly because the two children are classmates at school - I also know the child’s (‘mixed-race’) mother and have met the child’s black father. I didn’t understand the relationship between the middle-aged white lady and the child, but I didn’t like to ask. A day or two later, whilst collecting my child from school, I met the black child’s mother and I also noticed the middle-aged white lady in a classroom - so I assumed that the old white lady must be a classroom assistant. When the mother called over the middle-aged white lady and introduced her as ‘mum,’ I was completely shocked and embarrassed! It looks as though I still have a great deal to learn!

When young, we must all have had the experience of visiting a friend and realizing that the friend’s family-lifestyle was totally dissimilar to our own. All families can be very different from one another - black families can differ greatly from each other, as can white ones; in their propensity to be different, ‘mixed-race’ families are no more unusual than any other.

Although it must be patently obvious to a child with parents from different ‘races’, I have found myself in the odd position of feeling duty-bound to ‘explain’ (!) to my children that racism is a pernicious myth - but I then have to warn them that they will inevitably be treated, by many white people, as non-white inferiors!

I have recently become aware of the fact that, over the last decade, all my friends and neighbours have ‘turned’ black! Nevertheless, many of my male friends seem to choose white women as partners and I have noticed that my wife’s best (black) friend tends to have white boyfriends. I cannot say that I am in contact with any white friends and so I must be exercising a form of ‘anti-white’ (defensive) racism when interacting with others - though this has never been a conscious decision. I must somehow be putting off white people from befriending me. I am currently considering looking for a ‘token’ white friend! However, when I look at a sample-group of people (eg. politicians), with which white people would I choose to socialize? Ken Clarke, perhaps? Does my attitude perhaps fit the definition of ‘inverted racism’ about which this (rather interesting) character Frank TALKER has been known to speculate?!

Update: I now have one white friend!

 
At 11 February, 2008 09:59, Blogger dating said...

To be successful in online interracial dating it is important to be very exact about what you like and dislike right off, and choose people who share those interests.

 
At 13 February, 2008 03:27, Anonymous sensible shoes said...

dating,

your advice is very sensible, but surely this goes for all dating not just interracial dating - whatever that is?

 
At 13 February, 2008 03:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Blogger dating, you are an anodyne androgynous so-and-so, given that your profile seems to have gone missing...however...I've absolutely NO interests whatsoever - so we should get along just fine. Fancy mating?

 
At 13 February, 2008 04:07, Anonymous Miss Match said...

February 11, 2008 1:59:00 AM

According to this theory, those whose sole interest consists in dating others who come in a different colour will find their relationships get date-stamped very early - because they'll obviously have no interests at all in common.

 
At 13 February, 2008 04:31, Anonymous mister taboo said...

miss match, I think you're missing the point - I just enjoy interracial dating full stop and so do the women I go out with. I also happen to prefer the company of other men (errr...heteros clearly) who go in for going out with checkerboard chicks. I'm white and I even been known to do the odd honky bird too, even tho' that's not strictly speaking 'interracial' nookie...but then I always was a bit of a rebel me... and anyway, we usually find we've got some things that are different...so we just play around with them a bit and enjoy them together.

 
At 13 February, 2008 04:52, Anonymous non-tinctural wanker said...

My God, you all sound completely bonkers, and that anal anorak dating sounds like an especially boring old blogger, sensible shoes too. Go on! Get in there mate!!

 
At 13 February, 2008 05:01, Anonymous black bird with a big b said...

My ideal (first) date:

snuggling up on the sofa with a nice white guy and slipping the full-length Roots into the home entertainment centre.

 
At 13 February, 2008 14:05, Anonymous knotty prob said...

You so full of good ideas, bbwabb! I must try that sometime!

 
At 13 February, 2008 18:28, Anonymous from robben island with love said...

I've always fancied a crack at that Winnie Mandela myshelf.

 

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