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These relationships are caring and genuine, and surely bring happiness to the individuals involved in them.
I have even dated outside of my racial group, and I married someone who isn't black -- a Native American man (with, I must add, distant French and African ancestry).
Genetically speaking, there are no racial categories; race is merely skin deep.
Dating and marrying across racial lines should therefore be natural, common and acceptable. This is the United States, where a deep-seated notion of racial difference has been the rationalization for oppression, the rallying cry for discrimination against people who are not white.
I wish my male relatives luck and joy in their relationships, but I also feel a pinch when I watch them with their girlfriends.
It is the same sharp tug of disappointment that gets me every time I see a black man with a white woman on his arm.
Last holiday season gave me plenty of food for thought on this all too familiar and often uncomfortable racially-tinged question.
Another of my male relatives brought home a woman for Christmas who seemed like a modern-day, socially progressive southern belle.
She was blonde, full figured, outgoing, and outspoken with a saucy southern accent and friendly, expressive manner.
One of my male relatives brought home a date for Thanksgiving who could have been Barbie's twin sister.
She was blonde, thin, big-bosomed, and even had a Germanic name.
Race and the characteristics that have come to represent it -- like skin color, eye color, and hair texture -- would not be factors in matters of the heart.