Jill Scott, singer and actress, recently published an opinion piece in Essence Magazine, reflecting on her feelings about interracial relationships…
My new friend is handsome, African-American, intelligent and seemingly wealthy. He is an athlete, loves his momma, and is happily married to a White woman. I admit when I saw his wedding ring, I privately hoped. But something in me just knew he didn’t marry a sister. Although my guess hit the mark, when my friend told me his wife was indeed Caucasian, I felt my spirit…wince. I didn’t immediately understand it. My face read happy for you. My body showed no reaction to my inner pinch, but the sting was there, quiet like a mosquito under a summer dress.
I thought her essay was honest, sensitive and valid. Love is complicated when you cross lines. Our relationships have consequences in a very imperfect world.
It’s a deep subject for dialogue, and this brief post before work is just a headline. However, I have to say I’m shocked.
Jill Scott truly touched the third rail. The hostility, viciousness and hatred displayed in the comments to her article are a shocking wake-up call to me, and can only be personally hurtful to the writer, who was honest and generous enough to take the risk of speaking out on a tough subject.
I am fortunate enough to live in a diverse neighborhood and work in health care, which lets me meet daily with people from many different backgrounds. It’s easy to forget that our nation has never had a time of truth and reconciliation, and unhealed wounds remain. Then I read the accusations of racism aimed at a Black woman who simply spoke her mind, and I know that we have a long way to go.
As the white partner in an interracial marriage, I am not indifferent to our history or the ongoing rating of all women, according to race, class and appearance. All’s fair in love and war, they say. I said yes to love, but no choice we make is for ourselves alone. Still, we only live once and have to decide how to to be true to ourselves.
People will always love across boundaries, and perhaps that is what will save us in the end.