Interracial – what is that, exactly?

So what does the term ‘interracial’ mean to you, as it applies to marriages and relationships? Is it truly meant, and used as such, to mean between two different races? Or just two contrastingly different colors of people?

Last night was the last night of HIST2302. They did the last of the class presentations to finish off the night. One of the presentations was on interracial marriage. Sherita, a black girl with biracial kids from a white ex-husband, covered the issues facing interracial relationships, how it was outlawed at one time in many states, and how biracial kids have to cope. Yeah, okay all that info was interesting, fine. The one thing that I began to think about during and after that presentation was, what exactly does interracial relationships, as applied to society, really, truly mean? Is it something labeled for black/white couples? Is it for different races/ethnicities only if there is enough of a difference in skin tone or facial features? Is it only if there are two conspicuously different cultures involved?

In the mainland US, okay, yes we see a lot of Black/White, Black/Asian, White/Asian, White/Hispanic, couples. Think about those racial groups. You conjure up very different and easily identifiable differences in each that mark them as separate from the other. Skin color. Language. Recognizable features. Very likely very contrasting neighborhood origins for the most part. Well… what about, say, here in Hawaii, Chinese/Japanese couples? Filipino/Hawaiian? What about my wife and myself, Filipino/Chamorro? Granted, I am Chamorro in background environment and self-identification of culture, but by blood I am Filipino. Does that mean my kids are technically biracial kids? Did they miss out on some biracial upbringing trauma because they are a mix of black hair and brown skin with black hair and brown skin as opposed to mixing blond and afro black and white with black skin tones?

As far as I can tell, in real terms as applied to everyday REAL life, interracial means two people who look different. So the label “interracial” is totally inaccurate. And it’s only an issue concerning mainlanders for the most part. Well, except for that Isei mother-in-law of a husband darker than their Japanese lineage (not just black… usually their rule, from what I’ve heard is don’t marry anyone darker than you).

11 thoughts on “Interracial – what is that, exactly?

  1. Interesting observation that most don’t even think about but you’re right. So I googled race vs ethnicity, which is what you post about… Hmmm.

    Race refers to a person’s physical characteristics, such as bone structure and skin, hair, or eye color. Ethnicity, however, refers to cultural factors, including nationality, regional culture, ancestry, and language.

    There was more to that google result, but that’s the jist…

  2. Interesting indeed. Solely based on my personal experiences and definitely not speaking for the whole, it seems that only the black and whites are categorically preoccupied with interracial-ness.

  3. Only outspokenly on the public eye (black and whites). Asians are more quiet about it, but just as bad. Older migrant Japanese for instance with J-A children in the US. Their rule of thumb is don’t marry someone darker than you (directed to their children).

  4. Sirena I heard that before, I think my wife told me about that, hearing or talking about it with co-workers. I didn’t know if it was really a thing or just one family maybe…

  5. We brownies are no different. Some Chamorros’ mentality about marrying other races, I heard stories about like after WWII what they used to think about Chamorro girls marrying haole service members, many will deny but cannot hide the truth. To this day Chamorros and Filipinos, on surface oh yes all is ok with that but give it time and listen to the back room talk.

    Same shit different mouth.

  6. Ron, you sure as f*** don’t need to lead me into that example 🙂 Many Chamorros have their own set of ignorant themes. I’ve seen or heard that within family circles, me being Filipino by bloodline and wife being Chamorro. And a family member, her cousin, Chamorro raised in CA, looks down at her for marrying “Tagalo”. Motherf***er yet I can speak better Chamorro than he can, grew up on the island unlike that pau-aso who forces the Chamorro accent and umbre’s and lai’s and fan’s to attempt to fit in.

    Many are like that. I have many examples. They’re all full of shit Chamorros. I’ve met some who talk shit about Filipinos in front of me and then either forgot or discover that I’m Filipino by blood and all of a sudden say “oh but not you bro you’re Chamorro to me”. WTF is that? I have to qualify in your eyes to be exempt from the shit talk target?

    The very fact that Chamorros call all Filipinos Tagalo, most knowing that Tagalo is an extracted word from the dialect Tagalog, and that there are many Filipino dialects. My parents are Visayan not Tagalog. I’m still called Tagalo even tho people know when I tell them the difference. So it’s like them saying yes bro I know I’m smarter than that but I feel more pride in pretending I’m stupid. Or… maybe no pretense there.

  7. Ignorance, lack of diversity education, and racial discrimination perpetuated form the older generation to the younger. In some,. not all. Typically the ones who never left the island or spent any considerable time living off island to experience more than opinions 30 miles long and 8 miles wide. That’s what I say.

  8. Ey lanya man I login here on invite and I find you guys talking about me doot what is that, I cannot help my education lai sorry if I offen anbodies umbre. Nanga fan sa chechetun I pugua gi nifen-hu. Hayi gai toofbrush yan pepsodent sa taya guini, I wonder where it went… 🙂 😉

  9. Okay, dudes and dudettes this was just my takeaway from a class observation I once had. Goddang the conversation went from a takeaway to it got away… someone start a separate post if we really want to continue.

    Tank you lai!

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