Kevin is a colleague at work. He is an African American. Like most blacks, he traces his roots from the 250 or so years of slavery. You would relate this was the reason behind abolitionist or anti-slavery movement in the U.S back in the 1830s. And like any well-learned black in the US he understands the pains his ancestry went through in the hands of ‘white’ colonial landowners.
Just a brief of it; this was a dark period for the Negroes. Besides forced work in the farms, they were often whipped, shackled, hanged, beaten, burned, slayed, branded and or imprisoned. The punishment was not only meted out in response to defiance or apparent infractions but at times performed to re-assert the dominance of the masters. And yet nothing compares to sexual abuse.
Despite his learning and socialization with many whites, he understands this not just as history but the feeling among his folks back in his hood, Hawaii. So what makes this our story today? Kevin is in love, with Jude, a blonde hot bombshell. They have been in a relationship for three years and Jude wants this to take the next step. But Kevin is dragging his feet. He harbors fear.
Recently he had a little chat with his father. He asked if he, Randall (55) would accept his wife were she to be a white, which indeed the girlfriend is but Kevin did not dare tell him. He sought instead to find out if Jude would be accepted in the family knowing his father though very open minded, often treats them (whites) with suspicion. And so does his friends and extended family.
Even though Randall said he would respect Kevin’s decision, he made sure to warn him just in case, his sentiments seemingly not very different. “Son, native whites have a problem and this could affect your relationship in the future. They are extremely self-involved and inconsiderate of other people besides themselves. Besides, she would leave as soon as bad times hit,” he said.
“They (whites) are uneducated about our ways of survival and would not bear the complexity of it. They do not understand our history and think us mere radicals or stupid activists. Honestly, I don’t think we need a republican in our family, someone who doesn’t understand or give a damn of Obama-Care. Most importantly, I’m growing old and I don’t want to leave behind a group of immoral brats. You’d do better with a lady of our own, who will ensure continuity,” he lamented.
“I know you and always respect your decisions but you heard him. I wouldn’t stand mayonnaise every day for dinner you know. I’m afraid he’s right. Kevin, no white women eeh!” joined in his mother (48). So that was it; the writing on the wall. It would not be easy for Jude and this pained him because he so happened to be in love. Next, he would find out what his friends think of them.
He frequented clubs where his local folks hang out. And in most cases shared the same table with a pair or two of interracial couples. At first, this seemed cool. He noticed she felt much better and comfortable but soon this turned out to be a problem. They often told of adverse experiences and spelled a timid future. While they spoke reality, it hardly gave room for love and personal values.
Kevin’s African American friends, however, were a divided lot. While some made discriminative remarks about Jude, others were creepily fascinated by their relationship to the point they sought a step-by-step guide on how to find and maintain interracial partners of their own. At first, it was interesting and they laughed about it but later they got bored and always escaped such company.
Unlike most interracial couples, Kevin and Jude did not have language barrier, they both spoke in English. However, despite their rather equality in class and education, they often saw things from different perspectives and often had to remind themselves that their difference was not the reason for underlying issues (mostly cultural differences) they had to resolve from time to time.
Along with cultural differences such as how people communicate to each other, new intercultural couples also face the challenge of conceptual differences as a result of different backgrounds and worldviews. Even though an entirely different topical issue, one’s view of a man/woman’s place and roles in the family often differ depending on their character, background and personal beliefs
When we caught up with Kevin, he was a depressed man. From the look of things, he would have to choose between his family or girlfriend. He wished he would find a way soon to explain things to his father, Randall and mother, Rachel. Even though he says he does not care what his friends think of the relationship, he wishes they’d understand and not hurt Jude with stereotypic remarks