Why Are Interracial Relationships Still A Big Deal?

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 01/13/2014 | 03:00 PM EST

Tamera Mowry-Housley breaks down while talking about Internet racism over her marriage

Actress and reality star Tamera Mowry-Housley recently opened up about some of the Internet racism she’s experienced because her husband is White. Mowry, 35, broke down in tears when discussing some of the horrible comments and messages she receives on social media.

“I’ve never experienced so much hate ever in my life. I get called, ‘White man’s whore,’ the new one, ‘Back in the day, you cost $300 but now you’re giving it to ‘em for free.’ Stuff that, me as a person, could never even fathom,” Mowry said. “I can’t even think of these words. It’s very hard for me to think of it because I’m a product of it. My mom is a beautiful Black woman and my dad is an amazing White man. I grew up seeing a family. I didn’t grow up seeing, ‘ooh a ____ with a white person!’ So it’s very shocking to go through this.”

Tamera also revealed how people used her sister, Tia Mowry, who is married to a Black man, as a way to further ridicule her interracial marriage.

“This was the big one. They say, ‘Oh Tia’s a true Black woman because she married a Black man.’ Oh? I’m lesser of a Black person because I married White?” she said.

As shocking, and even heartbreaking Tamera’s revelation is, it’s actually something we see more often than we should in the supposed “post-racial” America we live in today. Though interracial relationships have been legal in the United States since 1967, it has remained a sensitive topic, particularly in the African-American community.

Even though interracial marriages in the U.S. are at an all-time high (about 5.4 million couples to be exact), there’s still a pushback against people who date outside their race. But why exactly is interracial dating still a big issue in America?

Though a 2011 Gallup poll found that more than 85 percent of people approved of Black-and-White marriages, there are a barrage of blog posts, social media comments and kitchen table talk that says otherwise - and it’s coming from both sides of the spectrum. However, in the Black community in particular, people of color appear to take more issue with seeing their own in an interracial relationship. This can be attributed to many things, including self-shaming and other post-slavery and Jim Crow complexities that continue to influence the way in which Blacks engage society and each other. But until we, as a multi-racial, "free" society, can learn to embrace each other’s humanities, despite race and, or life choices, something as trivial as interracial dating (and racism) will always be an infective sore that never gets attended to.

What does one lose by seeing someone share in a common love with someone of another race? Nothing. Opposition to interracial dating or marriage is ludicrous, especially when you think about so much of this country’s racial ambiguity and the many interracial relationships that have occurred over the centuries. This is nothing new, and quite honestly, no one is 100 percent anything these days. So for those who still take issue with people who are “down with the swirl,” as Wendy Williams would say, should go find the nearest time machine...or just deal with it.

Love is love, and the pigment of one’s skin should never play a factor in what we consider love to be.

Why do you think people still make such a big deal about interracial dating?

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