Wife is “white”, at least visually.
I am “not-white”, at least visually.
There are those who look upon Wife differently because she chose to marry a “not-white”. Some look down on her because she married “outside her race”. Some look up to her because she married “outside her race”. Regardless of which way they look at her, they look at her differently because of her choice… or rather, their perception of her choice, because they see her skin color/ethnicity/race vs. mine, see our colors don’t quite match, and thus different regard.
Either way, it’s discriminatory behavior.
It’s curious I don’t receive the same regard. I mean, I did the same thing: married someone “outside my race”. I’ve had people publicly praise Wife for her action, and when I point out I did the same thing, I watch their brain lock up and reboot because they never considered the reciprocal. Is it because I’m male? Is it because she’s “white”? Is it because racial issues (supposedly) only flow in one direction?
That’s more discriminatory behavior.
Even more curious is when people look at me, they only see the half of me that’s Asian. They don’t see that white girl married a white boy, they see white girl married “something else”. Note you can only consider me “something else” if you look at me. My name is rather “white”. My voice is rather “white”. My attitudes tend to be rather “white”. For most people, the only indication I’m “not-white” is the slight squint in my eyes, the slightly darker skin tone, and some other physical features. And somehow in the eyes of some, it’s those few features that wind up defining me — not my mind, my heart, but my squinty eyes. It’s those features that, to some, define at least part of the relationship between Wife and myself.
Why do some people only see part of me? Why did they choose to see that part, and not the other part? Or that they choose to only see part of me, and not all of me?
Again, discriminatory behavior.
I grant, ultimately this is human behavior. We’re all guilty of it. I’ve come to accept it, and in fact sometimes I like that I look different be it due to ethnic background, my long hair, or my choice of clothing — especially because my looks don’t jive with who I am versus the stereotypes and preconceived notions some people have about folks that look like I do. It offers me a chance to see how a person really is. Do they look inward at the person? Do they stop at the shell? Are they blind to race and color? Or do they view the world and everything in it through a constant filter of racism, injecting race into every matter and issue and problem in the world?
If you want people to stop caring about race, you need to stop caring about race — period. The first step is to admit your own prejudices and faults, because you probably aren’t as progressive as you think you are.