Like so many other SHSU students, I also went to hear Quanell X speak. Although I disagreed with most of the speech, I wasn’t particularly outraged or infuriated by his comments. This is probably because, as Roye Barber stated in his editorial, I have heard it all many times before.
I fully support the right to free speech, even when I don’t agree with the speaker’s views. I know everyone is probably sick and tired of reading, hearing and talking about this issue, so I don’t really want to drag it on and on. I do, however, feel I have an important point to make, one that hasn’t been discussed yet.
As I sat in the audience listening to Quanell speak, I noticed how he addressed the crowd. He kept saying, “White people, you should do this,” and “Black people, you should do that.” I kept wondering, “When is he going to speak to me?”
You see, I am biracial. My mother is white and my father is black. As I sat in that audience, I felt like a true outside observer. I didn’t feel as if I belonged to either group he was addressing. I guess in a way, I felt like I was above all that. The world I live in, and really the world we all live in, is not just black and white anymore. In actuality, it hasn’t been for quite some time. There are so many different and beautiful shades of gray we need to consider.
My parents met and fell in love when they were teenagers, and they got married in 1967. At the time, they lived in Missouri, and in that state, interracial marriage was illegal. Bound and determined not to let anyone stand in the way of their love, my parents drove to Kansas and got married there. They are still married today. So, Quanell, how do you explain that? Can simple lust and curiosity last 36 years, against all odds?
Many people, both black and white, were against my parents’ relationship, and obviously many still are. My parents had to overcome all kinds of obstacles to be together. My mother, when she was in high school, would get nasty phone calls from her white “peers” in the middle of the night. They would call and say, “Yes, may I speak to the n——lover?” When I asked what she did, she told me she would respond with, “Yes, Speaking!”
I dare not even begin to discuss how many times my father has had to endure the “sell-out” comments from the black community. I applaud Roye for the courage it must have taken to write that editorial. A black man who admits he has dated and still dates white women is taking a huge risk. It’s so sad to me that after all this time, we’re still hung up on race issues.
And if I had a penny for every time I’ve heard this statement: “I’m not racist; I just don’t believe in race-mixing.” This is completely ridiculous. To say that someone shouldn’t date a person of a different race is to suggest there is something wrong with that race. As far as I’m concerned, we are all part of one race: the human race.
Yes, I know racism still exists, but how can you accuse the world of something you are also guilty of? You can’t fight racism with racism. Quanell X may be trying to accomplish positive things for the black community, but he is going about it the wrong way. Segregation is not the answer. Education, tolerance, support, love and acceptance of diversity-let’s focus on these instead.