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Inter-racial Relationships

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Gosh...golly, where did all the birds go?


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I don't see anything wrong with lesbians of color, specifically African-American lesbians dating outside their race. I do agree that a large number of them do opt to date women of other racial/ethnic backgrounds, but that should not be looked downed upon, it should be celebrated as it is a sign that interracial dating is not as taboo as it used to be. I choose to only date white or hispanic women and have learned so much from the different cultures. Interracial dating should not be looked at as a curse, but as a healthy learning experience.


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seems like i missed a lot of....interesting....dialogue? it seemed to start out that way. *laugh*

in any case, i'll just say this. as a mixed woman who is of a lighter complexion, i have no problem whatsoever comprehending the privilege that comes with it -- including the privilege of choice (read: i can choose to claim being mixed race or not). i am a mestiza/latina/quechua of peruvian and european descent (some closer than others). no matter who i date it's interracial. i will also say that after so much exposure to blatant racism (from one half of my own family), and growing up in a white community, i have made a very specific choice to only date people of color. not only do i find that i connect better with other folx of color, but i have also found that i have little patience for white folxs who cannot, and will not, accept the place of privilege they come from.

and i'll state one of my biases upfront: i love me some mixed folx. they get special privileges from me *laugh*. some of the most evolved and prolific individuals i have ever met have been mixed and i appreciate the perspective we can, and do, bring to the table. i also believe that perceived mono-racial folks get a whole nother level of privilege not acknowledged much in communities of color. *sigh*

that all being said -- i understand the difference between culture and race. and race and ethnicity. and race and skin tone. ethnically i am many things. racially, i am only two -- native and white. culturally, i have been raised with my white family and with mi familia latina -- and even though my latin family is peruvian, because i grew up in an area that has a large puerto rican community i feel less peruvian but more pan-latina. i don't feel puerto rican at all. i'm just familiar with the culture. but culture also goes beyond race/ethnicity groupings -- i also feel that there's a middle class culture, and a lower/working class culture and i've had a taste of both of those too.

i think i'm going too deep for my first post. *smile*

most importantly -- these are things that i claim. this is how i self-identify. i can pass, but i sho as hell am a woman of color. that is most obvious when i'm on the dance floor. *cracking up* please know this post is being made in all seriousness but also with a big ol smile on my face.

anyhoo -- some of the things that bothered me about the exchange that happened some months ago was that domino was attacked for simply stating who she believes herself to be. the other thing that was a little disturbing to me was, in fact and quite honestly, that a white woman would claim she is black. i wish there had been a more constuctive way to discuss this, but it is what it is. or was. certainly, i can understnad how someone could say that they were raised black culturally (though of course, that in itself is an interesting generalization -- what is "black culture?"). the thing is -- being raised one thing culturally does not then make someone that thing racially or have the same experience as someone who is of that race or skin tone. when you walk into a room are you perceived as white or black? it's as simple as that -- not right, f*cked up -- but it's like that. i'm latina, but fully aware that i am perceived as white. i can't do nothing to change that. and believe me, there was a point in my life i literally prayed to god to change it.

so, actually, that whole exchange brought up something truly interesting though, didn't it? i mean this is a forum for "Issues Specific to Lesbian / Queer Women of Color" and wasn't that one of them?

certainly some of the things i think we could talk about: appropriation, internalized racism, meeting each other's families when in interrational relationships, homophobia in our respective communities, how religion/spiritual beliefs play a part in who we are and what role we play in our communities, how we connect with each other coming from different socio-economic backgrounds....come on folx, i know we have more to talk about. don't let that exchange kill the conversations we can have.

lady k


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I'm happy to see more mixed race people speaking out. Coming from a father who is black/italian/native american and a mother who is jewish/russian/irish I know all too well about discrimination from family, especially my black side of the family and their colorism issues. I was always lighter than them and they treated me horribly because of it. But my mother's family accepted me and always have and therefore I feel more comfortable around them. I don't think we can help who we are attracted too. And I think choosing to date/sleep white has nothing to do with the media images of beauty because the last time I checked Tyra Banks was the highest paid model in the industry--one known for underrespresenting women of color, and Opera is a world wide icon. So with that said all my hispanic/latina and white women holla at me :D


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Oh Lord...What have I started?!?


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Oh Lord...What have I started?!?
whatchu mean?


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huh. ok.

in all honestly, sankofa, though i understood your outrage at a certain somebody's perception on her childhood and identity, i would have most definitely been offended if somebody called me 'confused,' among other things.

i'm all down for talking about real issues affecting real people, but i don't believe in name calling in order to get my point across.

good luck in your journey,


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Wow, good topic, and so much needed...

I can understand where several are coming from here, so I'll mention a few things,

as for embracing whiteness, I understand intellectually, not personally because I am white, what you are saying ZimbaBwe{interesting choice of sign on btw} about white priviledge, the Irish/Italian (of which I am both and Slavic) and the assimilation into Amerikkkan culture, etc. Will add, however, that Irish and Italians still have tensions, both sides of my family, screwed up for sure, use slurs against the other, and my ex-husband was British, and his family hated the fact that he married a dirty nasty Irish...(which, btw, in case we've forgotten, Northern Ireland is still under rule of British Imperialism),

I will also add, to the account that white people can move anywhere, well, true but not always true, Poor white people, who are looked down and discriminated against (I call it the silent racism within race/classism, etc) do not have that mobility, not to say its the same, as black oppression, it isn't, but it doesn't mean its not there, etc.--but you are right on about urban stratifications, etc {Piven & Cloward, good read, on ghettoization, etc, and yes, regentrification, which is going on in all cities in US, what I call 'economic cleansing' is not even blinked at, by many who assert anti racism and anti sexism, classism, etc...

And I don't think we should forget that the Chinese were too brought here, as slaves and forced sexual slavery (railroads, mining, etc), [btw, the article on Asians, porn, etc. was in Bitch magazine, and interesting too, is the demand for Slavic women, Russian Brides sights, Lenin would roll over in his grave, uh hum] and the slavery And Genocide of the Native American Indian (my second daughter, half Cherokee), and the slavery of the Mexican Americans, and Latinos, [which is still going on today, exploitation of immigrant labor, and colonization of Mexico via Nafta and Latin America, via support of puppet regimes, etc--are you aware that once a year, there is this so called roundup, where Nazi and white supremacists go to border in Arizona and shoot immigrants, and US gov winks at it, and that its commonly spread among males in US, that you can go to Mexico/and borders, and rape Latino women, because they are poor and will do anything for money, etc., and raping of prostitutes is very common, etc who have no choice but to sell their bodies, to eat, feed their children, etc...]

and I do want to add, that we live in a nation of Cultural Imperialism and one that continues to colonize Latin America, Africa, Middle East (and Iraq is sheer BRUTAL colonization, pure and simple, and lets not forget Afghanistan, where we were supposed to be these all great liberators, ha ha, and yet, the educational aid, that US promised girls and women, never arrived...hmmmm) and that we do all 'benefit' from this geopolitical racism, take a look at the goods you buy, made on the backs of the poor, majority non-white exploited labor, big majority FEMALE labor and yes, its its outright slavery [big percentage in US borders in fact] --

so in looking at racism in the community here, etc., how do we begin to confront the reality that not all is as rosy as we would like for it to be?

And while racism has been by rar perpetrated by the Euro centric and white race, we can't overlook that racism is also within other nations, in other words, xenophobia and nationalism, chauvinism, etc...yet today, its mostly under the umbrella of US consumerist corporatist fascist hegemony...

so, yes, this is an issue that really does need to be brought out more and discussed more, and you are right, how do we move beyond, change it, etc...and I think, first we have to see the racism in ourselves...(and you can add classism to that as well), because yes, we are and have been conditioned, we are bombarded with it with media images every day, etc...for example, someone mentioned Tyra Banks, beautiful woman, and I am not bashing her, but I have to say, that I do have a problem with the media concept of beauty, (particularly in that they sell goods that are produced by people in developing nations, non white, under horrid conditions, or take the diamond industry, sustained by the blood of thousands (and the rapes too) of children and women, African-Congo, etc, and do we balk? no, in fact, its hardly mentioned, in either feminist or lesbian communities)...

so do we have a problem with racism, yes you bet we do...not only racism, but classism, cultural imperialism and this awful patriotic kind of superior nationalism that is responsible for the misery of thousands upon thousands...

and to deny this, and then to say, we love women,

I have to wonder.

Because, the effects of all of the above are felt by women, everywhere, but more on women of color. So, how do we begin to change this (I think for whites, we have to confront whites, people of color already know they are discriminated and oppressed, white people, for the most part, are still in denial of this fact...and I won't Even go into the privilidge of class within capitalism here...both domestically and internationally...

I guess, from where I am coming from, it doesn't really matter how much so called liberation or sexual freedom, etc., I have, or am able to have...because, as long as their are women who are enslaved by patriarchy, misogyny, capitalist exploitation, etc., and that our priviledge comes or is sustained by that,

well, that so called freedom and liberation is nothing but an illusion...because that same system, stratifications still exist, and actually are increasing in power...(white nationalism is on the rise in Europe, Russia, and in America, and its racist, obviously, and very misogynic, and very homophobic)...

so what is to be done? And what messages do we send when we only date white women or vice versa, is it attraction (based on social conditioning as one said here) or is it backlash, or something more?
"Both the oppressed classes, women and the immediate producers, must understand that their emancipation will come from themselves. Women will find allies in the better sort of men, But the one has nothing to hope from man as a whole" Eleanor Marx


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Hi everyone,

first let me say that if I tend to bring the political alot into my posts, its because its my life's work and passion, so its kind of a habitual tendency of mine. Secondly, I do work on issues that pertain to labor, women, and human rights so I do come across many campaigns, legislation (both domestic and internationally) that address lesbian and bi sexual issues, and I'm positive you are aware of many of them...

the state where I live, job discrimination and housing discrimination is a huge problem, and it doesn't look like its getting any better (housing discrimination is a problem too for pregnant women/single mothers, but very difficult to prove).

But I remembered this book, from the FSP, and thought some of you may be interested, it is a Marxist analysis (but you don't need to be or even agree with Marxism to benefit from the book--as a Marxist myself, I don't agree with everything in the traditional male-oriented Marxist field--in fact, I critique the theories of Marxism (traditional/revolutionary) and the weaknesses and/or lack of female representation, in other words, take for instance, that every applied socialist/communist nation, and while many progresses were made for women, women still did not hold high positions in office, there were women commissions but they were always under the guidance of the male dominated politburo, thats only one example...

and the same applies to race and sexual orientation, etc...anyway, this book has many contributions by lesbian women and lesbian women of color on the issues of liberation and struggle for racial equality. I posted this here, rather than the book topic because of the topic that is being discussed here. {link at bottom} -- also, a good book (to really help those to understand the struggles and the different perspectives, such as nationalism vs communism vs unity, etc., "Black Liberation" by Frederickson (can't recall full name of Author), but its comparison between US and South Africa...probably one of the best analysis of all the movements, conflicts (including Ghandi's influence in South Africa and the conflicts that arose between different segments), while its not a women's studies book, it is a good book to aid in the understanding of the divisions within communities via Balkanization under colonization, and I found it very insightful into understanding Black Nationalism, the disagreements between nationalists and integrationalists, etc...and it really sheds some light on many of the facets and conflicts that do arise, and that have been mentioned on this issue of interracial relations, dating, etc (although the books of course are not about dating but still, knowledge does bring understanding).

Revolutionary Integration
A Marxist Analysis of African American Liberation

By Richard Fraser and Tom Boot

Reader comments

"A wealth of information about the perilous and often horrific circumstances of African Americans as they/we struggle to gain the most basic of human rights. I was stunned to read of the lesser known, yet huge, contributions by Black women, lesbians, and gays… Connects the disenfranchisement of Blacks in America and the rabid, rampant Capitalism which characterizes our every experience." -- Laura Love, acclaimed singer-songwriter, African American feminist and author of You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes.
"This is an important resource book for college/university/public libraries as a source of information on specific movements, events, persons. Ideologues will view it as a bible; practitioners will use it as a reference." -- Preston Wilcox, Harlem grassroots community defender, historian, educator

"Captures the rich diversity of forces involved in the revolutionary struggle for Black freedom... It reveals the dialectical interdependence of the civil rights movement and the labor movement in both the North and the South. …Reaffirms the necessity for forging a strong link between a worker-led antiracist movement and an interracial struggle to end the exploitative capitalist order." -- Melvin Leiman, Marxist economist, author of The Political Economy of Racism

“Dialectics of Black Liberation,” the book’s first section, was written amid the explosions of the 1960s and offers a vivid, contemporary view of the Black movement as it took on the full fury of the segregated South. Socialist theoretician Richard Fraser challenges the then-prevailing view on the Left that African Americans were a subjugated nationality whose struggle mirrored that of European small nations. Instead, the author argues, racism against Blacks and other people of color is a distinct form of oppression that is intrinsic to U.S. capitalism.
Part two, “Revolutionary Integration: Yesterday and Today,” was written in 1982 by African American radical Tom Boot. Boot begins by reviewing the Left’s record on the question of Black liberation. He evaluates the state of the Black movement in the 1980s, including discussions on the emergence of African American feminists and Black lesbians and gays. In a new introduction, Guerry Hoddersen says, “Revolutionary Integration tells the history, but it is more than a history book. It is a handbook for revolutionaries.”

http://www.redletter...ntegration.html (from the Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women)
"Both the oppressed classes, women and the immediate producers, must understand that their emancipation will come from themselves. Women will find allies in the better sort of men, But the one has nothing to hope from man as a whole" Eleanor Marx


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browsing through literature, found another (I will have to get this book also) book, that some here may be interested in, from RedPress (on the FSP, "Freedom Socialist Party") RedPress link at bottom, if you want to browse through the catalog. BTW, I am a director of an organization where I live, we work on labor/immigrant issues, and women issues and we hosted the International Caravan for International Justice in our state/city (Caravan from Juarez, Mexico, speaking and demanding justice for the 300+ victims [bodies found so far, over 1000 missing] of Femicide. Anyhow, there is also protests and activism on behalf of the victims of Femicide in Guatamala [one woman a day found dead, signs of rape and torture] and also, in Canada [indiginious women raped and killed], these are hate crimes and the governments are not acting on the promises to deal with these crimes against women. If you want more information, history and/or how you can get involved, email me and I will send info and organizations in your area, to you, etc. Or just ask on here and I'll post them. [get used to it, lol, I am always encouraging women, well, everyone, to get involved, active, particularly on issues that effect women in general -- you know the personal is political and the political is personal, and even if you can't get involved -- and no judgment there, I can't get involved with every issue either -- its still good to be aware, because these things do effect us all, in one way or another, especially violence, it touches all of us or our loved ones at one time or another...and I find, when we speak out, even if its just to someone on the street, we are building awareness and that, instills empowerment in each of us...and who doesn't need empowerment, you know, and I'm a big believer in the power of women to change the world -- did you know, nearly every revolution, movement, peace movement, etc., has been sparked to ignition by women?]

Voices of Color
Reports from the Front Lines of Resistance
by Radicals of Color

Edited and with an introduction by
Yolanda Alaniz and Nellie Wong.
In this optimistic new anthology, writer-activists explore their experiences as African Americans, Chicanas/os, Asian Pacific Americans, and Native Americans and provide fresh outlooks on issues ranging from personal identity and interracial solidarity, to the realities of confronting racism, sexism and homophobia at work and in the movements for social change.

$12.95, 160 pages, ISBN 0-932323-05-7

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Here's what readers say:

"Stimulates the kind of thought and discussion which form the basis for commitment and action. A good tool for study groups and discussion groups." HATTIE GOSSETT, educator, jazz performance poet, author of Presenting Sister No Blues

"Voices of Color writers give ample responses to teach that Truth and History will pave the way to liberation and justice." YURI KOCHIYAMA, human rights activist

"This book is a good read. It has voices we seldom hear. My people, write on!" BLACKBERRI, black gay singer/songwriter/activist

"I urge everyone to read it...each article is a pearl of historical information. We need to be continually reminded that the war to overcome racism, sexism, classism has not disappeared. Protection from predation for all is our common struggle. Our elders tell us that women can and must save the world. This book will be a useful text for recruiting women of all colors." JANET McCLOUD, Sapa Dawn Center pioneering activist for Native women and fishing rights, Tulalip Tribe

"This anthology by radical writers is refreshing to read in an era that denies exploitation. Highly recommended to the Chicano and Latino audience. Our voice is loud and clear." RODOLFO F. ACUÑA, Professor of Chicana/o Studies, California State University at Northridge

Red Letter Press home page http://www.socialism...e/bookstor.html
"Both the oppressed classes, women and the immediate producers, must understand that their emancipation will come from themselves. Women will find allies in the better sort of men, But the one has nothing to hope from man as a whole" Eleanor Marx

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