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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

Panel discusses interracial couples

    The night after the country elected its first multiracial president, over 80 Tufts students came to Sophia Gordon Hall for a discussion of interracial relationships. A five-person panel explored a variety of issues and provided personal experiences with interracial dating.
    Senior Greg Chambers started off the night by tying together interracial dating and LGBT relationships. He said that today's political efforts to ban gay marriage have parallels with interracial marriage bans from years ago.
    "Today, a gay relationship in San Francisco is very different than a gay relationship in rural Wyoming, and the same applies for interracial relationships," Chambers said. "We should be careful to classify others as deviants just because society has labeled them."
    The second panelist, Michael Richardson (LA '08), talked about his personal experience as a half-black male who has been dating an Asian-American girl for the past three years.
    "Even though my opinion on interracial relationships is that they're great, they definitely have their own set of problems," Richardson said. He recounted how his girlfriend's parents reacted when they discovered that she was dating someone of a different race.
    "When she told her parents, they flipped out. It was crazy," Richardson said. "They threatened to pull her out of school; we had to talk to deans, we had to talk to police officers, she had to change her room."
    Richardson said that over time, things have smoothed out. "It's gotten a lot better just because I think that they've come to realize that there's nothing they can do," Richardson said. "Even though I still haven't met them, I'm making progress little by little. Yesterday, her dad asked her how I was doing, which, trust me, is a big deal."
    In one of the last presentations, Sue Lambe, a half-white, half-Asian doctoral student from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, talked about her past relationship with a black man.
    "I had a lot of challenges with [my ex-boyfriend's] family because I heard a lot of racist things from them about Asians," Lambe said. "It was difficult when they said things that invalidated my experience, but at the same time I understood where they were coming from.
    "My view of interracial relationships is that they're wonderful and great and there's nothing wrong with them, but it's always important that people in any type of relationship be mindful of who they're dating and why," Lambe continued.
    Freshman Carrie Hui was surprised by the night's stories.
    "Even though I've seen many people in interracial relationships, I never would have imagined what so many of these people have been through to be with someone," Hui said. "It's really inspirational and makes me think about the stories other people have about their relationships."
    The panel was organized by the Multiracial Organization of Students at Tufts.

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