Son Needs to Stand Up to Parents' Racism
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Dear Christine,

I am 23 and am very close with my family. My parents are pretty laid-back about most things. But…

For the past two years, I’ve been dating a 24-year-old girl who went to college with me. She’s great. She’s educated, a hard worker, a great cook, witty, affectionate, and giving. My parents would love her if she wasn’t white.

All my life they’ve warned me that if I ever came home with a white girl, they’d disown me.

Either I can keep seeing her behind their backs, or I can break it off before they find out and find a black girl.

What are you thoughts? -- CASUALTY OF RACISM – TORONTO, ON

Dear Casualty,

You’ve got an education; you’ve got a great girl. Now get a spine!

Come on, man, you’re an adult. You failed to mention a third option—to live your life the way you see fit.

I appreciate the respect you have for you parents, but respect at your age need not mean fear. If you want to try to get them to accept your girlfriend, tell them how great she is. Describe her magnificent traits. Let them talk to her on the phone. Don’t mention colour—just see what they say about her and how happy they are to know you’re with a wonderful girl. After they say how happy they are for you, then tell them she’s white.

I’d like to be a fly on the way for the discussion that follows.

Your problem sadly demonstrates that racism is still alive in your family’s home—as in so many North American homes. It will take courage to discuss the issues of race and where they really stand; however, parents’ primary concern should be that the person who loves their child treats them right and makes them happy. If this girl is doing that for you, I’d like to think your parents would be willing to meet her.

If, however, you’re not truly serious about this girl—or you can’t find the strength to deal with your own parents—it’s best for you to end it before it gets any more serious.

Only an extremely strong couple can deal with the attitudes and prejudices that go with an interracial relationship. Think hard before you put yourself and her in the line of fire.

Dear Christine,

What’s up with today’s lack of chivalry?

At the mall the other day, a twentysomething-year-old man walked right out in front of me as I approached a door, then let the door close in my face. Bang! I dropped my bags.

After I chased an orange and a can of tuna across the floor and picked up my bags, a nice looking thirty-ish man came along. As I was opening the door, we made brief eye contact. I was sure he was going to take the door from me to allow me to pass through. Well, you should have felt the breeze as he flew by me while I stood holding the door, fumbling with my bags.

I’m in my early thirties, and I get asked out by men in their twenties and thirties all the time, but I prefer to date older men because of the lack of gallantry in younger ones.

I’m not talking about equal pay for equal work or anything like that. I’m just talking about common courtesy, proper manners, maybe a little respect for a lady. -- NOSE OUT OF JOINT – LONDON, ON

Dear Nose Out of Joint,

Excellent rant! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

And now that we’re on the topic, allow me to add: Women don’t want to be treated like equals. We want to be treated better!

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at:

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