"I’m ashamed to admit that right now I wish I wasn’t black. I
hate being deemed “not good enough” because of it."------------------You got it backward. If he would do that to
you, he's not good enough for you. You deserve a REAL man, not someone
Angela,I have to say these columns are some of the poorest
"Ask" columns I've ever read. I doubt the authenticity of some of
the questions and even if they are real, I've never seen such cherry
picking of the most bizarre questions from any sort of "ask" columns in
my entire life. I know you really want the viewership, but there is a way to do
that through quality advice and thought provoking questions, rather than pick
these outrageous questions I call into question for real in the first place.
Even if they are legit - it seems that the "shock factor" is really all
this column has going for it. Anyone can copy and paste shocking
titles like that. Just some food for thought Angela
Evidently these so-called traditional family values folks don't know their
European genealogy or their own DNA too well. In European Royal circles, it was
quite common to marry off your third or fourth son or any daughter to the
Royalty in adjacent Countries. If one traces British Royalty from the Middle
ages one line at least ends up in the Islamic Sultanate in Majorca in the 800s.
Who I would imagine were only a generation removed from North Africa. The Roman
Empire were also masters of enslaving nations and carrying them off to some
place or another in their Empire. Whose to say there weren't African
servants in Londinium after the Roman Legions overran most of England after
Julius Caesar and their descenadants DNA resides in the UK still. The Black
Irish? Dear LW, I recommend you catch the movie, "Belle", whose future
husband values her as a equal if not a superior. That is the type of guy you
want to marry.
I find it funny that Angela might not think that one's family's
opinion about one's future spouse might matter. The family's clearly
wrong, but the approval of parents is a HUGE factor in serious dating. Usually among the LDS it's not the race, but their activity in the church
that is the distinguishing factor as to whether the family gets behind their
child's choices. Personally I think great things can happen by
breaking down preconceptions and standing up for the ones we love, and also
tolerating our family's odd predelictions as well.
For what it's worth, I dated an LDS girl whose parents had a similar
reaction to my own ethnicity. Her brother briefly dated a woman of color: same
reaction. Decades later, gotta tell you: we dodged a bullet by not marrying into
that family. Thank goodness.The letter writer doesn't even need
to swear off interracial relationships: just understand that you still find
people like this, and you should not let their opinions reflect on your worth as
a person or an LDS woman. Plenty of other level headed folks out there.
Well, haven't Mormons been taught to marry within their race?And before anyone attempt to deny it, I'd suggest you go study what some
of your past "prophets" have said.
Not sure why anyone would question the authenticity of the advice sought in this
column. I think someone got up on the wrong side of the bed. Can't say
that I've seen every one, but I've seen quite a few and each one has
raised an issue that I think is fairly common-place.As for his one,
family hand-wringing about interracial relationships has been going on
forever.Thirty-five years ago both of my parents counseled me not to
enter into an interracial marriage, emphasizing that it would cause me, my wife
and any children from the marriage unnecessary hardship because of what others
thought and how we might be treated.Didn't seem like a very
good reason at the time (after all I'd grown up in areas of the country
where Mormons were a small minority, so wasn't much concerned about others
who chose to "look down" at me).Thirty-five years, four
children and six grandchildren later, I'm happy to report all's well.
I know my parents are glad I didn't choose to take their advice. We all need to have experiences that help us grow.
I dont' have a problem with race at all but I honestly might have a problem
with my child marrying someone of another culture. Not because I think I'm
better than anyone else- not at all. Simply because there are a lot of inherent
issues to overcome in a marriage as it is between people of the same culture
(religion, economics, philosophies on child raising, etc etc) without also
trying to deal with the differences (that can be mild to stark) between cultures
such as sense of humor, language barriers, food differences, what family time
means, how free time is spent, food differences, etc etc. The list is endless.
By the way, different cultures can be and often are between people of the same
skin color. Can people make those differences work? Sure. Some can but I
wouldn't recommend it for my own child. No doubt some will be quick to say
I'm a racist and if they do, they didn't read or understand what
I'm saying. I've travelled to many other countries and cultures and
anyone who says we are all alike has their head in the sand.
Skin color itself shouldn't matter. Now, there might be cases where
cultural differences could cause or exacerbate relationship issues, but ethnic
DNA or skin color shouldn't be a stumbling block. Cultural differences
could happen even between people of the same skin color.I can
understand how some families might have strong feelings about interracial
marriage. Hopefully they will move past such things and learn to value people
for their character more than the color of their skin.In regards to
the girl dumped by her boyfriend because of race, it isn't a reflection on
her personal character or qualities. Move on and find someone else who values
your character and isn't hung up on skin-deep issues.
Someone needs to watch "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." It's
a dreadful shame that almost 50 years later this is still an issue.
This girls "race" is none of the families business. If they don't
love their son enough to embrace and love the wife of his choosing it's
their problem. They have no business even sharing their opinion as narrow and
bigoted as it may seem.I feel sorry for anyone that marries and conducts
their lives on the wants and wishes of "mom and dad".
I've heard a very similar story, about a beautiful girl of African ancestry
that all the guys in a student ward thought was gorgeous, but they wouldn't
date her because of what their parents might think. This was in the past five
years.I thought that stuff was behind us.My own
experience has been fascinating. I left the LDS church in the 70s primarily
because of the racial issues, married an African American woman in the late 80s,
and we have four wonderful children. One of our sons decided to become LDS,
which I wasn't crazy about, but I supported him and continue to support
him. The LDS Stake President at the time tearfully told me I had no
idea how much healing my son would do within the Church *because* of his skin
color.I was dumbfounded by that remark, but I suppose it makes
sense, given the history, perhaps some collective and individual misgivings,
etc.Progress is definitely uneven.Angela - I think your
column is great. Keep up the good work.
If he can't face up to his own family, he ain't worth your time
When you marry your spouse you also marry your spouse's family. I remember
when a close friend broke up with his fiancee. He felt that he loved her, but
the more he interacted with her family the more he realized that he could not
bring himself to have them as in-laws. Another friend married despite the
disapproval of her in-laws-to-be. Now, years later it has all worked out. But
she has always felt less than full approval from her in-laws.A
family member had some of his children marry spouses that he felt were less than
ideal. But he told me that once a child has made a decision, the parents'
only options are to either seek to improve the relationship or else to make it
worse.I'm as dubious about the comments against inter-cultural
marriage as I am about opposition to interracial marriage. My parents came from
dramatically different cultures, countries, and languages. Yet they have
provided a wonderful life for me and my siblings.
RE: Sports Are Great, Even if they are legit - it seems that the "shock
factor":I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and
white.(1 Nephi 11:13), and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were
white, even as Jesus.(3Nephi 19:30)The Doctrine did not originate with
President Brigham Young but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith…we all
it is due to his teaching that the negro today is barred from the Priesthood.
The Way to perfection, pp 110-111, Joseph Fielding Smith. Yet,,“ behold, a(black Christian) man of Ethiopia,(Acts 8:27) Ethiopians are
mentioned 40 times in the Bible, a Jeremiah asked, "Can the Ethiopian
change his skin ..." (Jer 13:23). "Simeon” a black Christian
man( Acts 13:1).
Marriage is difficult enough without additional pressures. I think everyone
here is being very politically correct about this subject, but I have seen many
interracial couples that have had many more struggles than they would have
otherwise. Many have said that if they had it to do over, they wouldn't do
it. I wish this woman all the best, but anyone who goes into this realm is
setting him/herself for a lot of hurt.
Donn,I think that you are commenting on a different article.
Race may be the excuse this family is using, but this sort of thing is not
always race-based. I married the girl of my dreams 43 years ago, against the
wishes of my mother (who never liked the girl I loved). We moved away from the
family and created out own family in an environment of total commitment to each
other and genuine love. My advice, if this guy is so tied to his mama's
apron strings that he would allow this to happen, he isn't worth a second
glance. Would he stand up and defend you no matter what happens in life? I
suspect not. I'm inclined to give him a chance to reconsider his position,
but I'm not sure he's strong enough to make a decision and then stick
to it forever without glancing back toward his family and having second thoughts
somewhere down the road. I think it's best to leave him looking at your
MJF: there's a difference between parents saying, "Make sure you
understand the challenges you might face in a marriage like this," and
saying, "What will people think at family reunions?" The first is a
reasonable point, and not necessarily tied to race or color (as Bifftacular also
discussed). The second is naked racism, and shameful.
Cultural issues more than race issues are a big factor in interracial
relationships. If a person of one race is raised in the culture and race of
another, I think they would have less of an issue than if they married someone
from the race / culture that they were raised in verses one that more closely
aligned with their race / color. (I hope this makes sense).I do
know that there are issues that many have with interracial marriages. I have
cousins that adopted children of other races and our grandmother expressed some
concern about this in private. I corrected her that this wasn't what Jesus
taught or the LDS church teaches today. I think she was a little shocked that I
had no issues with the adoptions and the children growing up and marrying with
in the community.I have daughters and I would be very concerned
about them marrying someone from different races if not raised in the Gospel,
not because of different races per se, but what we have seen as a prevalent
attitude among many of different races in the US to women and morals. Still I
would be supportive.
Angela, I love your column –don’t let anyone discourage you in it!
This question and your response is particularly helpful. Too many, particularly
in our LDS culture and faith, quickly say and assume of themselves (in words)
that they are not racist or bigoted in any way. In my experience, racism and
bigotry are always rooted in, and thrive in ignorance. And ignorance, more than
anything else, is a factor of our experience. It would be rare for one with
limited experience (limited exposure or interaction with others of different
races and backgrounds)to not have some measure of bias --just by virtue of their
ignorance. This young man's parents probably do not see themselves as
racist (even after this experience)but this experience (perhaps their first time
ever having to deal with such an issue) clearly exposes both their ignorance and
the racism that has grown there. Angela, your sharing this is helpful to all to
consider just how they would handle this situation and explore just how deep our
personal ignorance goes before painful personal experience, like this one,
exposes that for us. Loved your response! Thanks for that!
Chris B, I am always cautious when some one says "go see what past prophets
have said about that". Although not a terrible thing to do, but be
cautious. First, they are dead, and that status means what they said is less
relevant to what those who are living are saying today. Second, if what those
who are dead taught is relevant and stands the test of time, you will find those
prophets who are living quoting from them and promoting those same positions
today. I am not aware of any teaching from living prophets that would suggest
that one should not date or marry outside of our own race. So, it begs the
question: Why aren't living prophets teaching that? With regard to some
issues of our day, it is good advise to let dead prophets die and pay attention
to the teaching of living prophets. And the living prophets will introduce us
to the most relevant and helpful teachings of dead prophets and, conversely,
will shield us from some the more extreme teachings of dead prophets by not
repeating them (and admittedly, there is some of that in our history).
I would recommend the movie "Belle" to this girl for a beautiful
portrayal of a girl faced with a similar situation centuries ago. It's
based on a true story, very touching and thought provoking.
Dear Broken Heart: Your boyfriend did NOT break up with you because of your
race--but because he valued his parents' approval more than his own
judgment. Parents will pressure an adult child to forsake their sweetheart if
they don't judge said person to meet their expectations. The excuse can be
race or age or religion or job or which side of the tracks the family grew up
on. If you had married this guy, you would be constantly subject to
the inlaws' meddling. Where you two lived. If you were "allowed"
to work, and at what job. If you were "allowed" to go to college or to
get an advance degree. If you were "allowed" to make more money than
him. Whether or not you chose to have children or how many of them or whether
you would breast feed or how you potty trained or if you wanted to send them to
preschool or homeschool (or not). You dodged a bullet. Please
don't ever look back.
You have only two choices dear heart! Because you cannot choose to not be black
- I'm so sad you feel that way. Heavenly Father made Black Orchids so we
wouldn't have to only look at white orchids. But your only two choices as
I see it: 1) The boyfriend will have to stand up to his family and if necessary
get them and their racist attutudes out of your lives. 2) Find a different
boyfriend who loves you for who you are. Racist don't get better, it
usually gets worse! Don't be made to feel "less than"
The Pharisees ... came unto him (Jesus), ... And he (Jesus) answered and said
..., Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male
and female, and (JESUS) said, For this cause shall a MAN leave FATHER and
MOTHER, and shall cleave to his WIFE: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Therefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined
together, let not man (mother or father) put asunder.this isn't
abt race or culture, rather being adult, responsibility for one's actions,
beliefs, thoughts, feelingsmove to chile for job, health, or
adventure in creating your own life, and see if their opinions are still
important at 10K miles distancehave an ADULT son or daughter? let
him/her be an adult exercising responsibility for his/her choices.
fiance-fiancee are not accountable to mommy-daddy, pappa-granny, etc. parent
should advise, but NO Guilt Trips allowedCount Yourself Blessed in
this circumstancehoping for your happiness but not necessarily with him
I write on my blog Mexican Vanilla Love my experiences being in a biracial,
bicultural, and bilingual marriage. My marriage has universal aspects, unique
challenges, and great benefits that others don’t have the privilege to
experience. It is my wish that others wouldn’t talk about how my marriage
is more doomed to fail because I’m white and my husband is Mexican. In my
opinion it is more likely to succeed because our cultural differences have
strengthened us and made us a better team. As members of
Christ’s church we should love all of God’s children but I have seen
many instances where LDS families have rejected the idea of having someone of a
different race or culture marry into their family. This disappoints me deeply.
Clearly, the young man in the letter above does not have enough character to
marry this young black woman. I would advise her to move on and find someone who
will not only love her but stand up for her and their union together.
Angela asks a very important question: AGESi keep wondering what is going
on in this "relationship"who are these people: "machure
kids" or adults ?"girlfriend" ? or fiance ?you believe YOU love himyou believe HE loves youor is
it a "long-term" friendship between a boy and a girl that began in
"kindergarten" ?the "boy-man" said a mouthful;
HARKen to his words
To "Chris B" the LDS leaders have warned the church about cross-cultural
marriages. Not because of any racial issues, but because the stress and
difficulties of merging 2 cultures at the same time 2 people are learning to
live with eachother.
My wife and I are both Caucasian, but there was still so much culture clash
between life as she was used to it and life as I was used to it, that the first
year we were married we were both thinking of divorce. We didn't; we
stayed together; and we found ways to make things work. Still, a biracial
marriage would have the potential for YET MORE culture clash; that may be why
some people avoid it. I personally didn't care; the first woman I fell in
love with and wanted to marry was black; unfortunately for me, she had decided
she would only marry a black man, so I lost out.
My wife and I had a similar situation--but we married anyways. 15 years later
and the siblings all accept us, our friends accept us, and we've both
learned a lot about living with each other's culture and background.Parents who don't accept a healthy relationship like Broken Heart
are like family members who don't accept the Gospel when we become
converts. We still love them, give them their space when they need it, pray
that they come around in time, and welcome them with no bitterness or grudges
when they finally do accept the Gospel.
Quite frankly, our Irish and English inbred genes could use new genes from
somewhere else in the world! What I told my six children was to marry
people with strong faith that they loved, from families where they liked both
parents. I loved my husband, his mother and his siblings. His father? Nobody
liked him. As my husband got older, he became more and more like his father. And
his siblings? Their spouses all had to deal with the damages of the emotional
abuse of this father.My oldest daughter had her heart broken by a faithful
young man. His family did not like my daughter. She waited more years than she
wanted to, but the man she married is so totally right for her. And her in-laws
all love her.
43 years ago, my fiance and I, with a shared faith, met his parents. I left for
bed. Then his parents expressed grave concerns: "she is from a divorced
family". As he tentatively responded I realized I couldn't marry
someone unable or unwilling to be true in the face of parental displeasure. Nor
could I marry into a family that was unable or unwilling to see me as a distinct
human being, but only as the damaged product of divorce. I believe he and his
family learned a valuable lesson from that experience. Within 5 months he
married my best friend and roommate, a remarkably brave young woman who left her
deeply troubled divorced family and chose a new faith. 8 years later I married a
wonderful divorced man whose family did not share values that we based our
relationship on. Over the years, we have often reflected that we raised one
another, leaving the traditions of our fathers to become more like the One we
choose to follow. Take comfort that things will work out as you look for the
good and keep your own side of the street clean.
I think that your boy friend betrayed you from the beginning. He knew from the
start what to expect from his parents. he was a lien to you all along than let
his parents blow you off so he could be their little boy. He'll always be a
young thing and cannot leave his mother.
Hey Chris B, read up on what Spencer W. Kimball said about it. It might
enlighten you. By the way there has never been a ban against interacial
marriage in the Mormon Church. It was just discouraged for possible cultural
effects on children.My daughter is married to a Tongan. He's a
great guy and I love him and his family. I also have the cutest grandchildren
RE: Crimendelsiglo ... Have ye not read, that he which made them at the
beginning made them male and female, and (JESUS) said, For this cause shall a
MAN leave FATHER and MOTHER. True,Ephesians 6:2,3. Honor your Father
and Mother”[not Mothers/ploygamy],which is the first commandment(Not a
suggestion) with a promise. God distinguishes father and mother from all other
persons on earth, chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the
highest place in our lives next to God..
FlashbackWilford Woodruff once said that if a white person marries a
colored person then both of their blood must be spilled. That isn't just a
'suggestion' as you claim.
From the current canon of LDS scripture:21 And he had caused the cursing
to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become
like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and
delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did
cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.2nd Nephi 5:21Is
the problem the boyfriends family, or is it what they have been/are being
taught?"We recommend that people marry those who are of the same
racial background generally, and of somewhat the same economic and social and
educational background (some of those are not an absolute necessity, but
preferred), and above all, the same religious background, without
question” (Marriage and Divorce; in 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year
[Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1977], p. 144).Taken from
"Choosing An Eternal Companion" Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3
I really, really hope that the boyfriend’s family were not members of the
Church. I really, really, REALLY hope that that is not the case. This is beyond
ignorant, shameful, tragic and infuriating.