Stereotypes and Stereotyping - My Boyfriend, the Half-Breed
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Stereotyping - My Boyfriend, the Half-Breed
I sat across the table from my dad while he stared at me with a disbelieving look on his face. My mom sat to the right of me with tears in her eyes. She could see my pain as well as my dads, and she knew the war that was about to start between my own father and me. My brother sat to the left of me making comments that only made the situation worse. I could feel myself dying inside as my heart began to break. I had no idea how to deal with the situation that I had gotten myself into. My new boyfriend was mixed in races, and my dad was totally against it. I sat there crying while trying to make him understand, saying things like, "Dad, he's a person not a color." But, it was like talking to a brick wall. My dad was brought up with the belief that races do not mix under any circumstances. I did not realize that dating someone whom was not completely of my race would tear my dad and I apart. We had talked about it before, but I did not think he would react the way that he did. The words and fights that followed tore me apart. I went from being near perfect in my fathers eyes to being a "spoiled, selfish brat" whom supposedly only cared about myself. I could not believe those words were coming out of my dad's mouth. Things got so bad that I did everything I could to stay away from home for as long as I could. I even tried to move out. I got yelled at every time I walked through the door. I went from being great to not being able to do anything right, and it all happened over night. To make things worse, some of my friends started to look at me in different ways too. If I wasn't around, they would say things like, "I can't believe Lori is a nigger lover." Others talked about me and said what I was doing was immoral.
According to a large portion of society today, immorality is the act of doing something that is not traditionally done.
Another way to look at immorality is to say that it is doing anything that goes outside the realm of what society says is "normal." In my opinion, it is doing something that is wrong in the eyes of God. Immorality has a countless number of characteristics that go along with it. People who are stereotyped as immoral are thought of as being trashy or bad. Sometimes, people are thought to be involved with illegal drugs or partying nonstop, all the time, along with living a life that is indecent. People place other names along with the immorality stereotype. Some of these examples would include: "slut," "dike," "alcoholic," and "pothead." "Immorality" is similar to a blanket statement. Once again, in my case, I have been labeled as a "nigger lover" along with immoral. People who are labeled immoral are not expected to have qualities such as sophistication and intelligence or to be hard working and religious.
Most people place me with the immoral stereotype because I am dating a guy of mixed races. Graham and I met in junior high when he moved to my hometown of Moweaqua from Decatur in the sixth grade. By the end of our eighth grade year, we were the best of friends. We always sat together on the bus, in class, and assemblies. Graham got home from school around 3:30, which was about the same time I did. If he didn't call me, I called him, and we always talked until about 4:30 or 5:00 everyday, without fail. After our eighth grade year, we lost contact with each other and did not talk much through high school until our senior year. In the years that we didn't talk, we both dated other people and found out how much those people could hurt us. Our senior year we had three classes together, which was the first time we had classes together since junior high. We were instant friends all over again. It was like we had been together the whole time. Our friendship started to get back to being that way it was in junior high. We started calling each other every night, and before I knew it we were going out. It was great; I was dating one of the best friends I had ever had. I knew that my family and some friends would have a problem with it, but I figured they would get over it. If they couldn't get over it, I thought they would at least work with me and give Graham a chance. I was wrong. Through the beginning of our relationship, I did not tell Graham about the fights I had to have everyday in order to stand up for us. After all, Graham had never gone out with a girl for more than a month, and I did not think our relationship would be any different. I also did not want my family's racist feelings to hurt him. I figured that in a couple of months everything would blow over. Once again, I was wrong. One month turned into two, two months into three, and three quickly turned into six. After six months of fight after fight, I could not take it anymore. One night on the phone, I broke down and told him everything. We decided that we couldn't turn away from each other now and that we wanted to work things out. It has been almost eleven months now, and nothing is getting any better with my family. I had no idea that racial tension would run so deep that it would hurt me and my family like this, not to mention what it has done to Graham. What all these people do not realize is that they are actually pushing Graham and me closer together. Because of all that we have been through with my family and friends, we tell each other everything. We know things about each other that no one else knows.
Although I am dating someone that is not completely of my race, it does not mean that I am immoral. As a very hard working person, I go to school and work every day, and the only time I miss either one is if I am sick. I have never smoked pot or tried any illegal drugs, and whenever I party, I make sure that my hangovers do not interfere with school, work, or any other obligations I have. I always try to have a good attitude and respect for other people. I am an intelligent person and can do almost anything that I put my mind to. When my dad told me that I only cared about myself, he was wrong. If I only cared about myself, I would have broken up with Graham so that I did not have to go through all of this. I just feel that it is more important to stand up for the right thing, and sometimes that has to hurt. The Bible even says that it is okay for people to be with other people outside of their own race. The bible says that it is wrong for people to be with others outside of their own tribe. In this instance, tribe means "religion" or "species." The Bible also says that one day all races will become one. God would not have put all the races and colors together if he did not want us to all be happy together.
Ultimately, there are a lot of consequences and feelings to deal with when someone does something that most people look down on. My parents look at me differently and my friends do too. People think and act like I am a different person than I was eleven months ago, but I am not. I'm still compassionate and caring, and I would do anything in the world for almost anybody. It is a painful situation to deal with, I am being torn between two sets of people, both of whom I love very much. The problem is that my dad is too closed minded to even try. I wish and had thought that I was more important than that. I try to cope with the situation the best way I know how and I still try to talk to my dad, but it is useless. I always try to talk to Graham too. I listen to him, and he listens to me. When we talk, it helps, because he makes me feel safe. I know that his family likes and cares for me. They will take care of us and be there for us anytime that we need them, but most of my family won't be. The situation is even more difficult now because Graham and I are going to the same college together. We spend more time together than we ever have. We are also closer than we ever have been and have no plans of leaving each other. If I could give people advice in this area, I would say that honesty is a very important thing to have. There are three things that people really need in a relationship. Communication and honesty is a huge thing, along with laughter and support. Even when Graham and I are mad or upset about something, we can always make each other laugh. I try to believe that time will fix things. I think that life is in Gods hands, and he will make things work out in the end.