Quasjale Selders, Ndeya Lewis, and Kaila Kelly
Living in the South, it’s not common to see an interracial couple. Racism and discrimination make it difficult for society to accept two people of different racial ethnic groups being together.
People in interracial relationships can end up cracking under the pressure from others, and they sometimes abandon the relationship.
Others stay with their significant other, even if it means sustaining the judgments of being in a “different” relationship. One example of someone who stayed in an interracial relationship despite the prejudice of society is Mr. Oatis, the behavior counselor at New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School.
Mr. Oatis is a black man from Louisiana, and his wife, who also works at Sci High, is a white woman from Canada. Seeing them in school everyday, they both seem like happy people. They are especially fond of boasting about their baby. The two met after Hurricane Katrina, when his wife took part in the volunteer work to rebuild the city.
Mr. Oatis said, “If it wasn’t for Katrina, I would have never met my wife.”
In American society, some people are not accepting of interracial relationships, believing that if someone was to date outside of his or her own race then the relationship goes against the norms of society. The outsiders do not think how their judgmental opinions may affect the people who are actually in the interracial relationship.
If an interracial couple was to walk down the street, some of them might feel the judgment and pressure to conform from the people around them. In response, Mr.Oatis smiled and said, “We were not raised to not like people based on how they look.” People should not judge a person based on their skin color, but rather base their judgments on the person’s character and how they express himself or herself.
When a family member is in an interracial relationship, both families have the option of approving or disapproving of the relationship. When asked how his family and his wife’s family felt about their relationship, he explained that he was lucky that his mother didn’t see color, and that she only saw happiness and the smile on her son’s face. As his mother always said,“If you like it, I love it.”
His mother believed, “It wasn’t about race, it was more about, is this the lady you want to marry?”
Many people like Mr. Oatis are in an interracial relationship or marriage, but society can view these relationships as abnormal. In spite of this, there are a small number of people who can find happiness and beauty in all relationships. No matter who you are or what you like, it is possible to find acceptance and love in someone, even if they have a different skin color.