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Friday, July 01, 2011

To follow up on a post from yesterday, it was put to me whether culture rather than race explains the data on evangelicals and interracial marriage attitudes. I can't say; I didn't study the poll. [Then why'd you use it to bash evangelicals?--ed.] Because it's easy, and they deserve it. [You are one.--ed.] That may well be true. Anyway, my first sense is that most of the media can't research itself out of a wet paper bag. Nor does anyone actually have any idea what an "evangelical" is. Besides all that, I still say that evangelical church culture (read: "white") is more racist than not. You're still weird if you date or marry interracially. Even if noone would say it outright (and plenty would). And I'm mainly speculating about St. Louis, Missouri here. That bastion of Southern pride. [sarcasm]
Whether we can use "culture" as a valid filter for exclusion in the romantic pool depends on what we mean by it. Values? OK. It is really important to agree on most if not all of those. But one could easily use it to exclude people based on skin color, and with "plausible deniability," as they say. But we've got more questions to ask. Which cultural expressions are intrinsic (or perceived to be intrinsic) to the non-white identity? The intrinsic ones, are those judgments valid? Would this render those practices beyond refermation or criticism? (It certainly seems like many of us [whites] are disallowed from making such judgments.) At the risk of sounding like a deconstructionist here, can we validly accept a hierarchy of goods a la St. Thomas, if everything we put at the top is white and European?
The other elephant in the room is that we know we're mostly talking about Black culture here. Granted, it's not cool for anyone to date outside their "race," but this is the one that causes the most trouble, it seems to me. I could be wrong.
Alright, I admit it: I had two moments in my adulthood where I was confronted with my prejudices here. The first was during the Bush presidency, when Condi Rice (a black woman) was our Secretary of State. MSNBC was obviously flummoxed; I mean, what do we do with this person? Anyway, they interviewed Condi's best friend, an extremely well-credentialed history professor at one of the universities in New York. She began to speak, and she talked "white." Perfectly. I looked away, just to test if I was hearing what I wanted to hear. Nope. And I was stunned. It wore off, but you get my drift. When was the other time? Oh, crap, I forget. I hope a certain type of speech is not the test for authentic "blackness," because speaking as a white guy, I do judge people to some extent on how they speak. It's not as though I can't speak, oh, let's call it ghetto slang. I used to translate for the teachers in school. Side note: In my experience watching white people interact with black people, whites don't listen; they interrupt, they don't exhibit patience when confused. I've heard people utter entire sentences that the other person didn't hear or take account of, because of their condescension and inability to speak the language. That's not to say we shouldn't strive for some standard form of English, but I hate when communication fails. And people are people, made in the image of God, even if we determine in the end that some are beholden to an anti-intellectual (and destructive) culture. Wait, what is this post about?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I now have sound on this computer! And my music is all back! I've gone YouTube crazy. And for a lot of stuff I don't actually own. George Michael, Michael Bolton, Dru Hill, New Edition, Deborah Cox, etc. It's been awesome. Don't dare ask me why I'd date a black woman after you watch Lark Voorhies ("Lisa Turtle" for you Saved By The Bell fans) in the "These Are The Times" video. And of course, that tune was a huge hit for Dru Hill, and yes, it was written by Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds.
Anyway, what I came to talk about is a recent study reporting that 17% of white evangelicals believe that interracial marriage is inappropriate, in contrast to 8% percent of the white population in general. What? I thought evangelicals were supposed to understand the love of God better than those liberals, and heaven forbid, Catholics? I guess not.
In case anybody cares, I'd just say that I find a lot of black women attractive. Hey, I'm still probably some kind of racial neanderthal, but popular black culture has certainly helped. My first celebrity crush was Brandy. I don't know the difficulties with other ethnicities, but I wouldn't care. Who are these people? [Does that girl from high school count as a celebrity?--ed.] No, Rissi wasn't famous then. She was in the sense that I couldn't talk to her. Her husband is a lucky man.