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Love sees no color

May 14, 2015

 

CODY SEXTON

Managing Editor

Frededreia Willis, a sophmore jouranlism major, enjoyed quality time with her boyfriend, Stefon Thomas-Dunham, a freshman mechanical engineering major, at Starbucks–Photo by Devin Dronett

Frededreia Willis, a sophmore jouranlism major, enjoyed quality time with her boyfriend, Stefon Thomas-Dunham, a freshman mechanical engineering major, at Starbucks–Photo by Devin Dronett

 

It is said by many that love is blind.

 

With racial issues in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, to watch the news these days is almost like looking back in time to the years of the Civil Rights Movement.

 

Even with popular shows like “Scandal” and “The Originals” featuring interracial couples, it does little to combat the image of racism alive in the media.

 

However, with these recent incidents threatening to undo what equality has been achieved, some progress still remains untainted by racism.

 

As the generations change, many people are distancing themselves from the beliefs of an older world where interracial couples were unheard of and are more accepting and less prejudiced. Even places stereotyped as being racist, like small-town America south of the Mason-Dixon Line, are breaking free of preconceived notions.

 

Brandon Frierson and Sarah Comeaux have been together for over three years. He is a black man and she is a white woman, and they say they are in love and are not bothered by anyone’s judgment.

 

“Sometimes people stare, but I really don’t care,” said Comeaux, a senior family and child studies major.

Brandon Frierson, a senior construction engineering major, and Sarah Comeaux, a senior family and child studies major, have been happily together over three years–Submitted photo by Jennifer Haberkost

Brandon Frierson, a senior construction engineering major, and Sarah Comeaux, a senior family and child studies major, have been happily together over three years–Submitted photo by Jennifer Haberkost

 

Comeaux said there have been few instances when her relationship with Frierson, a senior construction engineering major, has been an issue.

 

“There was one time at a bar back home when a man was staring, but these people we were talking to told him if he had a problem he could leave,” she said.

 

Lately, the subject of race has played little role in their relationship, but when the couple first got together, it was members of Frierson’s family who seemed to be hesitant of him dating a white girl.

 

“It was really the females of my family,” he said. “The males said it was unexpected, but funny.”

 

Though some would expect the members of the white family to take a greater issue with an interracial relationship, Frierson said it is usually black females who have the issue with it. He said growing up his mother would truthfully joke about dating white girls.

 

“She would say, ‘If they can’t use a comb, then don’t bring them home,’” he said, recalling his mother’s words. “But I think she was just protective because I’m her firstborn son.”

 

Comeaux said her family had no reservations about her dating a black man, because she is not the first in her family to do so.

 

“There are biracial kids in my family,” she said. “At first I think they thought I was just taking after my cousin, but as soon as they met Brandon, they approved of him as a boyfriend because he’s in school and has goals.”

 

When the couple talks about children in the future, they never worry about what it would mean for their child to be biracial.

 

“With the way things are these days, it’s not really as big of deal anymore,” Frierson said.

 

Some people think children born to parents of different races will grow up having identity issues and not fitting in either world. What is more bothersome is when these people feel the urge to share their unwarranted concerns with people in an interracial relationship.

 

Stefon Thomas-Dunham, who was born to a Trinidadian father and Italian mother, said the feeling of not belonging to either world is untrue and it has more to do with the way to act around certain family members.

 

“You can hear a change in the voice, accent or attitude,” said Dunham, a freshman mechanical engineering student. “But sometimes you have to change so it’s easier for them to understand.”

 

Dunham’s girlfriend, Frededreia Willis, is a black woman, but he never thought of their relationship as interracial.

 

Willis, a sophomore journalism major, said she disagrees.

 

“I like to take pride in his background,” she said. “He’s not just black; he’s half Trinidadian and Italian. I don’t want to just clump him together with a whole group.”

 

The couple has a lighthearted approach toward race in their relationship, often making jokes with each other.

 

“Sometimes I’ll try and speak Trinidadian,” said Willis, as she mimicked the accent, while Dunham stifled a laugh.

 

Due to a more tolerant society, the number of interracial couples in the United States has reached an all-time high. In 2010, the Pew Research Center reported the share of new marriages between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from each other increased to 15.1 percent.

 

Love might be blind, but it should not have to be.

 

Email comments to cls068@latech.edu.

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