BY BRITANI BEASLEY
Interviewees: Darlisha Farmer and Simeon Bradshaw
As we grow up we find ourselves being judged by our income, jobs, families, friends, etc., but why must skin color be added to this list? It seems as though interracial relationships are viewed much differently today than they were 30 to 50 years ago, but how true is this concept? After reading a few articles on interracial relationships, I wanted to see how progress seems to be going in our area and on our campus community. To satisfy my curiosity, I interviewed Darlisha Farmer and Simeon Bradshaw, a couple who attend McKendree University.
Simeon is a junior at McKendree University, majoring in religious studies and history, while Darlisha is a senior studying business management and marketing. The couple met on campus through the Gospel Choir and have been dating for 5 months. When I asked what their first impressions of each other were, Simeon said, “I thought she was absolutely beautiful.” Darlisha said, “First laying eyes on Simeon, I thought he was very well-dressed and attractive.”
How does your family feel about your partner’s race?
Simeon: My parents are totally okay with her race.
Darlisha: Because my family is already interracially broken in; with my uncle being married to a Japanese woman and my mom having dated a Caucasian man before, everyone was pretty ok with his race.
Do people stare or look at you funny when you go on dates?
Simeon: Yes, we do get looks sometimes. Generally from people who can’t believe what they are seeing.
Darlisha: Absolutely! We get looks all the time. Not any dirty or disrespectful looks. Glances and stares because it is something “out of the norm.”
Has anyone asked you questions about your race, referring to the future? If so, can you tell about this time? How did you react?
Simeon: No, most concerns are the cultural differences.
Darlisha: I’ve gotten questions from friends about when we will be having kids. Only out of excitement for mixed children. My reaction to those questions are always calm because I know my friends obviously don’t mean any harm.
Simeon: Nothing in life is easy. Dating whoever you love should not be based on color or race. It’d been harder for me to date in my race due to a lot of the mindsets and I am not attracted to my race in the same capacity.
Do you feel that our generation is more open-minded about interracial relationships than our parents? Grandparents?
Simeon: I do feel they are more opened minded. However I believe they are still in shock especially depending on where they come from and their backgrounds.
Darlisha: Absolutely! In fact, if you look on social media sites you see pages aimed toward promoting interracial relationships. Twitter pages such as @SwirLove, @wmbw_Love and @BasedSwirl are all pages ran by people from our generation.
Where are you from? Do you feel that your hometown community welcomes interracial relationships? Why/Why not?
Simeon: I am from Troy, Ill. This is a 97% white town; therefore, they are still learning to adjust to other races and blended families.
Darlisha: I am from East Saint Louis, Ill. I believe as whole, the community may not be welcoming of interracial relationships. I believe they are just closed minded on a lot of things included that. Comments you may hear from someone would be, “They’re taking our women/men.” I also believe that the younger generation from my community, specifically girls, are interested in being with a “thug” figure. I’m not degrading or downing my community, but I believe that until they become more mature, they will continue to be closed minded to things like interracial relationships.
Are your friends open to your partner’s race?
Simeon: Absolutely, and they are very supportive.
Darlisha: Yes! Everyone loves him.
What do you feel is the most difficult part about dating another race?
Simeon: Learning the backgrounds and different mindsets and trying to understand the cultural differences.
Darlisha: This doesn’t pertain to us, but I think disapproving families would be a huge difficulty for interracial relationships – especially parents. When something like that happens, it causes a lot of stress on couples because it’s really a decision of if you’re going to choose family, or your loved one. In most instances that I know of, the relationship ended because a family was unaccepting of the fact that love sees no color.
What do you think is the most rewarding part about dating another race?
Simeon: The rewarding part is after you overcome the difficult part and finally understand the cultural back grounds and mindsets. It makes falling in love that much easier.
Darlisha: I’ve always believed that knowledge is power. Being able to learn cultural differences is amazing. Being able to have an open mind in this relationship is definitely a good thing.
Simeon: I love her smile and the valuable time we spend together.
Darlisha: I love that he has strong relationship with God. I whole heartedly believe he was placed in my life to change me for the better and for that I am forever thankful.
If you could share one piece of information to those who disapprove of interracial relationships what would it be?
Simeon: Love is more than color. Happiness is more than color. Life is more than color. Color is just that, a color, but it is not the heart or soul of the individual.
Darlisha: Don’t miss out on true love because of what society thinks is wrong. Love is in fact color blind. #SwirlWorld
What are your thoughts about interracial relationships? Do you have any questions regarding interracial relationships in our society? We would love to hear from you, email the McKendree Review at firstname.lastname@example.org