A couple of years ago I introduced a certain blog to my friend because I'd seen an article that I thought he'd like, then promptly forgot about the blog. About a week ago, my friend sent me a link to this same blog, and though I thought the article he linked me to was pretty funny, it's another article I came across that I felt deserved some mention here.

The name of the blog is I Date White, and the particular post is titled Question From A 15 Year Old. The question posed, which I have to post here otherwise anything I say won't make sense, was thus:

"I am 15 year old white female, and my parents don’t care if I date, but when I became interested with a half black boy and he asked me out they forbade me to date him. They said that they didn’t have anything against the boy but that I didn’t understand how society and other people would treat us and that they were looking out for my best interests. I wanted to know, is this normal?"

What struck me about this issue wasn't the question so much as the fact that the parents statement sounded like the kinds of statements I used to hear when I was a kid back in the 70's. I didn't date until I was in college, and let's just say that I didn't go to either a high school or a college where there was much of a racial mixture. Therefore, when I did finally start dating, I dated outside of my race, and really didn't think anything about it. I was a military kid, where that sort of thing happened on the base so often that it never occurred to me all that much that it would be such a big deal off base, even though I didn't see it happening on TV at the time.

The strangest thing to me was that I remembered my parents, though I'm not sure which one, saying something similar to me before I even started dating, while I was in college, when I brought home a bunch of female friends and one other male friend before we all went on a two week long college choir tour. At the time I thought it was a strange statement with our background, but I'd put it aside, and when I was finally having my first real date they never said anything, but the memory came back to me at the time and I always wondered how they would handle it. They handled it just fine, as did my girlfriend's parents, though I understand they did tell her something similar at the time.

So, as I read this particular question and blog post, I once again came to this question about just how far we've really come in this day and age when America has elected a black president, while at the same time small towns in Texas like Tenaha are pulling over black drivers and taking their money and property for no reason other than accusing them of being drug runners, never filing charges, and not being contrite while they're now facing a class action lawsuit. In our supposedly diverse world, though I know there are pockets where there are few minorities across our country, is this really still as big a deal as it was 30 years ago? And why?

This is why I say there still needs to be a conversation about race, and why I said a couple of weeks ago that Attorney General William Holder was right when he said America was a nation of cowards when it came to talking about race. He probably should have said "issues regarding race", but either way, this is a conversation that's going to have to take place one of these days, and I hope it takes place within the administration of President Obama.