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My Madame Noire Column: The Best (And Worst) Places to Swirl in the U.S.

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Interracial dating has gotten easier over the decades, and MOST places you go with your rainbow partner won’t get you chased out of town by an angry lynch mob. But some places in the U.S. just seem to be a bit more open–or downright blasé–about interracial partnerships, while others are…well…a bit more conservative, or downright hostile.

If you’re looking to get your swirl on, keep it on, and then set some roots, you might want to survey these top spots:

1) Honolulu, HI: The birthplace of our president is one of the most multi-racial, multi-ethnic states in the Union. Yes, it’s expensive, but think about how much money you’ll save now that you’ll never have to go on another vacation.

2) San Diego, CA: The beautiful scenery, laid-back attitude and Bohemian feel of San Diego is wonderfully romantic for the full spectrum of melanin. Not to mention the plentiful restaurants, beaches and art galleries give you no excuse for having a boring date.

3) Minneapolis, MN: Venturing out of the west and into the midwest, the land of the Twin Cities is remarkably open to interracial and intercultural relationships. It is also one of the most physically fit states in the Union. So feel free to jog a blue streak with your rainbow mate!

4) New York, NY: Unless you’ve got a Smurf growing out of your forehead, there is little that this multi-just-about-everything place that would shock or surprise. New York is the “Paris” of the U.S., and its location–just four or so hours across the pond–gives an international feel and welcomes all cultures and creeds.

Other interracial friendly places include Portland, OR, Denver, CO, and San Francisco, CA

But best to use a little caution in the pool you swirl in these places:

1) Phoenix, AZ: Someone on my personal blog had this to say about Senator John McCain’s territory: “I lived there from ’90-’97 and can tell you it was worse than any place I’d ever lived in the South. My first day on my job, I put up a picture of me & hubby [of a different race] and came back to a small crowd whispering and in shock.” Ouch.

2) Houston, TX: Having lots of family all over the Lone Star State, I can testify that Texas hasn’t quite yet reach a full-fledged “state” of acceptance. When I went to visit my cousins and pass around a photo album of me and my white husband, there’s still a fair share of snickering.

3) Atlanta, GA: Here’s what one resident had to say, and it ain’t so peachy: “For [black women dating non-black men], this is like Hell itself, and people will be very upfront about their disapproval and those people are all black.”

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