Trying to overcome the racist within
While I'm away, readers give the advice.
On dating outside your race • I never considered myself a racist and I promise you many of my friends are of just about every race and color in the world.
Then one day my daughter introduced me to her new boyfriend.
He was about as nice a guy as you would ever hope your daughter would bring home. He was African-American. It was then I found I indeed did have a problem.
I banned her from dating him. That is not a good thing to do with a 16-year-old, but I could not help it. I spent days meeting with my priest, discussing it with a counselor, then went back and swallowed hard.
I told my daughter I would no longer prohibit their dating. I explained that I would never be able to fully accept it, but I would not forbid it.
I made this young man welcome in my home, we sat and talked about many things. I promise I was able to get him to feel comfortable around us. Time passed by and they stayed together.
One day, at his house, I was talking to his single mom. I could tell she was uncomfortable with me there. Finally I asked her how she felt about his dating a white girl, and she poured out to me that my daughter was the most wonderful person in the entire world, a real treasure ... "but she is not black. I am sorry, I am old-fashioned I guess, but I am not happy with my son dating a white girl."
We both laughed when I told her I felt the same.
They went off to college, drifted apart and are now both dating someone of their own race.
The problem is not with the girl (in your column) (http://wapo.st/XhUjce), nor was it with my daughter or her boyfriend; it is with a generation of us still holding on with all we have to what we were raised to believe. I hope they can forgive us.
On figuring out what to do with knowledge of someone's infidelity • My life works better when I don't judge. Or gossip. I'm working on it.
Carolyn Hax's column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
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