Question of the Week

Question of the Week: “I Asked My White Friend to the Prom … Now I’m Scared of the Fallout!”

Back to regularly scheduled programming…

I love this girl and this question–so smart and well on her way to happiness. I gave her my two pence already, but I brought in relationships expert and enemy to the Black Church (ha!) Deborrah Cooper, who runs Surviving Dating, and should have her OWN nationally syndicated radio show. Take a read at about Deb has to say, and then let’s lend this little chicky our support and sisterly advice.

I’m Anzu, I stumbled across your blog a few days ago and have been addicted
ever since, truly funny stuff. I’m writing because I did something a while
ago without considering the repercussions of my actions and your blog really
helped me begin considering them.
I’m an 18 year old high school senior who has crushed on white boys most of
my life, from Aaron Carter to Dylan Fergus. However, I attend a school where
interracial dating is pretty much non-existent unless you are a group of
black boys and a white girl in the locker room (its really very disgusting
the things one witnesses in high school these days, smh). Anyway, I’ve had a
crush on a friend of mine for the last four years and I finally got up the
courage to ask him to prom and he said “of course.” 🙂 However, I did this
on a whim, never actually considering some important factors that could ruin
a perfectly awesome night, i.e. how my family would react (which has not one
interracial relationship in it), how his might react, and how the kids at my
school might react, besides my closest friends. It’s not that I particularly
care about their opinions on who I like or date, it’s just that some of them
are rather bold and blunt, and I would not want anyone saying anything or
doing anything that might embarrass my date or make our night wicked
awkward, Do my concerns seem valid? Should i feel compelled to explain my
choice or just let it go and remain happy with my decision? Has anyone else
(either you or anyone who replies on the board) been in a similar situation?


Anzu, there are three things you have to come to terms with here.

#1 Acceptance of yourself and confidence in your choices. This is the rule mature people with high self esteem operate under. Honey, no one in this world is going to live your life but you. To me, that means once you make a decision about what you want, and you make a choice that meets your needs, you have no requirement to think about other people. Their thoughts and opinions about your choices and actions are wholly unimportant.
#2 You cannot control anyone but yourself. You are about to go out into the world soon, leaving childhood and childish thinking behind. In the world where we are no longer protected as a child, we will interact with many different types of people. Some will appreciate the culture, foods and races of the world, and some will not. Sexism, racism and prejudice of all sorts are, sadly, an integral part of the society in which we live. Many of the people you will come into contact with professionally and socially will be petty, jealous and hateful. Understand that the only person you can change or make be, do or not be or not do anything is yourself.
#3 Leaders are mavericks and must be unafraid to go against the grain, to initiate change by challenging long-held belief systems and the status quo. If you are going to involve yourself in interracial relationships, you must have a thick skin, and the courage to handle nay-sayers and critics you will inevitably encounter. There will be awkward situations and people being wicked or downright rude. You must not let them detract from your goal, which is your own brand of happiness.
Anzu, you have liked this boy for four years. As long as he is a respectable young man that treats you well, presents himself as having good sense, and most of all – wants to go to prom with you, I see no problem here. You must remember the parameters of your “relationship.” You merely asked him to be your date at the prom… not to be your boyfriend, not to get busy, and not to become your husband. Perhaps under these circumstances, worrying about what people will think or the fact that your family has no interracial relationships is a bit premature?
Bottom line, that he is a wonderful person who you have fun with is the only explanation of your choice you need to feel compelled to provide anyone. So go to your prom, have a great time, and send us a picture!
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