Dating Panel Part 1

College campus students are sitting around in a horseshoe, deep in discussion.

JOHN: That’s not what I said, I’m just saying that I wouldn’t date a white girl, that’s all.

CALLIE: And why not?

JOHN: We’d be too different, they couldn’t possibly understand my experience.  What do white girls know about discrimination?

CALLIE: Well in most parts of the world, if not all, women are still second-class citizens.

ANN: I think what John is saying is that here, in middle-class America, women aren’t subject to the same type of discrimination that he is.

JOHN: That’s what I’m saying.  Maybe other guys can look past that, but for me it matters.  Race is such a part of my reality that I don’t think I could relate to someone on that deeper level, if it wasn’t something they had to think about.

CALLIE: Don’t you think you’re limiting yourself though.

JOHN: No, there are plenty of non-white girls and I doubt I’d be attracted to a white girl anyway, or that one would be attracted to me.

ANITA: Famous last words.

JOHN: What?  Why?

ANITA: Oh.  Um, it’s just that when my dad first came to this country, he thought blondes were ugly.  He thought they were anemic because their hair and skin were so pale.

JOHN: What’s your point?

ANITA: He ended up marrying one.  My mom’s as blonde and pale as they come.

(Everyone laughs)

ANN: It’s not that I’m against interracial dating or marriage.  It’s find for other people, but I wouldn’t want my kids dating outside their race.  I wouldn’t let them.

MARCUS: Is that really your choice?  What if they love the person?

ANN: I wouldn’t let them.  You don’t understand, they would stand to lose their entire cultural and religious community.  Family is everything.  You can’t go against family, and I want my children and grandchildren to know their culture, their religion.

CALLIE: What makes you think they’d lose it.

ANN: My parents broke the mold, and the family almost deserted them.  The only thing that kept it together was religion.  If they hadn’t been the same religion….Well, I don’t want to risk it.

ANITA: If my parents had given into pressure, I wouldn’t be here.  And is it really worth it?  If people are going to be that prejudiced do you really want to stay in contact with them?  Is it worth it?

ANN: Maybe not to you, but it is to me.  Besides, what about the children?  I wouldn’t want them to grow up like I did, confused.  Or have to go through what my father did.

MARCUS: It's a different world now Ann.

ANN: Is it though? I see how people look at my family in certain parts of this country. Nothing's changed.

ANITA: The assumptions.

JOHN: People still question how my family is a family.

ANN: Mine too.

ANITA: And mine.

MARCUS: But who else is going to change it but us.

JOHN: You really think our generation is that much more progressive.

MARCUS: I really do.

JOHN: I don't.

MARCUS: You're a cynic.

JOHN: Probably, but it doesn't change reality


Asha SundararamanComment