The new Samuel L. Jackson movie “Lakeview Terrace” opens tonight. I was able to catch a free sneak preview of the movie Tuesday night. (Yes, it was an official sneak preview and not a bootleg DVD from a barbershop). In the movie Jackson stars as a hyper-aggressive police officer who’s pissed off because his new neighbors are an interracial couple of a black woman (Kerry Washington) and a white man (Patrick Wilson).
Though the movie felt a bit “made-for-TV,” it was still good — entertaining from start to finish with great acting. The most interesting thing about the movie, of course, is the issue of interracial relationships. While I’m sure not every interracial couple has a crazy, racist cop terrorizing them, even in 2008 being in an interracial relationship will still get you dirty looks and, at times, even harassment.
I have a confession. Though I’ve always been cool with the idea of interracial dating, when I was in college I always felt very uncomfortable when I saw black men with white women. But not because I was a racist. I was uncomfortable because every black man I knew personally who was dating a white woman would say they were doing so because black women didn’t know how to treat their men. And that hurt like hell. So I stupidly assumed that every black man in an interracial relationship felt the same way.
But I was young and dumb. You live and you learn. Now I celebrate all happy and healthy relationships regardless of color or anything else. In fact, I now often find myself encouraging my friends who are considering dating someone outside of their race to just go for it because, as Washington says in “Lakeview Terrace,” you like who you like.
There is a notion, however, that black women are resistant to the idea of dating outside of their race. Comedian Chris Rock has joked about it and Soledad O’Brien explored the topic in her CNN Special Report: Black in America, The Black Woman & Family. While I do have black gal pals who date outside of their race, I have plenty who refuse to do so.
Magazines for black women like Essence often feature stories reassuring black women that there are still plenty of black men out there looking for a beautiful black woman to make his wife. And that’s great. Really. But what if Mr. Right is white? Or Indian? Or Hispanic? Or Asian? Or Middle Eastern?
Yeah, I know I’ve found “the one” and he happens to be black, but trust me, if Edd happened to look like Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke instead I would have just as happily accepted that ring.
But what are your thoughts on and experiences with interracial dating and marriage?