Today in the Statesman, USU's student newspaper, there is an article titled "Interracial dating becoming more common." I'm a bit perturbed that it is implied the article will discuss interracial dating, when in reality it is discussing the potential for personal growth and/or problems in intercultural as well as interracial dating. Race and ethnicity and culture are different-- the statesman should know this.
I'm no stranger to the idea of interracial and/or inter-cultural dating, and have in fact experienced personal growth and problems because of it.
I've dated African, Latino, and your run-of-mill Utahns. Black, White, Mixed race. Muslim, Catholic, Atheist.
Me: White Utahn, raised Mormon, no religion
I think the first time I really considered the impact of an interracial/intercultural relationship was when I thought of children being involved-- what happens when you combine a relatively atheist mother with a Muslim father, and thrown in some pretty dark skin and pretty light skin? Mom and dad may get along just fine and understand how they coexist happily with their differences, but the resulting implications for a child searching for his or her own racial/cultural/religious identity is a lot of potential confusion. I did most of my research on the subject from sociology & psychology scholarly journals, and in the end I felt more educated about my decision, but no less confused.
What's the big deal about race anyway? Because I live in a place where I'm NOT the minority, and discrimination against me is rare (although it has happened), I forget the reality of racial discrimination. I wouldn't go as far as saying I'm blind to race, it's just that skin color means nothing to me other than what it is-- color. Yes, I do think dark skin is more attractive than this pink/white crap I'm stuck with, but I'm not going to pick and choose friends on the basis of race.
We are all individuals. Ancestral heritage may determine our physical appearance, and race may affect the way we are treated, but culture is what really defines us. And interracial/intercultural relations really are no big deal.