Contemporary Essays: Confronting my race & my heart
Sanne — Louise de Bruin
222

As someone who is white and not really knowledgeable regarding the term pro-black I am not sure I can add to this particular discussion. Still as someone who dated people with a wide variety of ethno-regional backgrounds and who had many physical characteristics in odds with traditional ‘Western’ futures I want to comment on your article. While part of this comment might read as a criticism of your article it in no way tries to undermine your experiences in regards to relationships or any of your experiences related to your complexion.

You start the article with referring to the ‘age of change’ which you separate from the increasingly hostile political climate. While not really sure what you refer to I think that a recent change is that ‘inter-racial’ relationships have become more commonly accepted in society. Not to say that there are no systems of oppression of influence in these relationships or to state that this means that this is any indication that there are no struggles within an ‘inter-racial’ relationship especially for darker woman. What I don’t believe is that this phenomenon is not merely the result of an increased fetishization of racial-ethnic minorities in the Western society.

As you describe pro-black (for you personally) as the advancement of any type of black person I missed any reference towards the increasing number of people who are the result of ‘inter-racial’ relationships. Especially in the case questioning of what constitutes being black and the issues within relationships by framing the discussion and solution black-and-white I think the position of this important group within this discussion is neglected. I concur that people with a darker complexion are especially impacted by negative notions about this group within all Western societies. At the same time many of these issues go beyond complexion and impact people with physical traits outside of the tradition Western ideal type. While I understand that your personal experiences make you connected to a specific group I don’t see why your advocacy should be constricted to a specific group affected.

While I think we all should try to identify systems of oppression, who it is that benefit from these and how they affect others and ourselves. Defining certain values carried in society as systems of oppression can cause a dilemma in this regard. Homophobia for instance as a system of oppression (especially in the discussion of color) seems to be an especially interesting dilemma. The push for the acceptance of homosexuals is often seen as a form of cultural neo-colonialism and an Western ideal with little support outside of it.

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