Love does not see color; it does not judge, discourage or hate based on the shade of your skin, your father's skin or the skin of the fathers who built the foundations of your culture.
Love should not be confined to the parameters of skin color.
About 1 in 7 of married people in the United States in 2008 married a spouse of a different race or ethnicity than themselves, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
There are many other components to a relationship that are more important than race. Take my relationship for instance. My boyfriend and I have similar tastes in music, a deep love for muscle cars and a natural affinity for food. We seem compatible right?
What if I tell you he is white and I am black?
Does that change your opinion? It shouldn't.
Being an interracial couple does not make us the X-Men of the dating world. We are not mutants. We feel and experience the world the same as other couples. We go about our daily business like any other black or white couple, while paying no attention to the fact that our skin colors do not match. If your opinion of my boyfriend or I changed negatively after finding out that we are an interracial couple, than you're one of the people who make our relationship difficult.
About 39 percent of whites, 37 percent of Hispanics and 28 percent of blacks are not accepting of interracial relationships or marriages, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Fueled by their disgust toward races that intermingle, the individuals of this select population make interracial couples like us feel flawed, inadequate or inferior.
My boyfriend and I have experienced such feelings. Waves of humiliation washed over us at a restaurant as we sat awkwardly like elephants in a room full of mice, attempting to ignore the judgmental stares and glances of the people around us.
Was there something disgusting on my face? Did my boyfriend have an unpleasant smell lingering around him? No. The people around us — mostly white — were staring simply because he was a young white guy who was out on a date with a young black girl.
No individual should have to endure a situation as painful or uncomfortable as that. People like that make me want to stay in the comfort of my home when I have the choice of perusing a local hot spot or mall. People like that make me want to use the drive-thru instead of walking in to order food. People like that make me wonder how my future children might be treated if they were half black and half white.
For me, dating outside of my race is not some teenage form of anarchy or disregard of authority. It is a part of who I am, how I feel and how I choose to express myself.
The good news is that some people my age feel the same way.
Nearly 1 in 4 teenagers believe interracial dating is “no big deal,” according to a Gallup Daily News poll. Teenagers plunging into the dating pool do so to test the waters, figure out their likes and dislikes and see what personality types mesh with theirs. They don't do so to be judged about whom they decide to like, love or have relations with.
Treat others as you would want to be treated. If more people lived by the Golden Rule, interracial couples in Oklahoma and around the globe will have the courage to cast off their inhibitions and let their true colors shine.