Category Archives: interracial

LOUISIANA JUDGE BARDWELL RESIGNS

Happy are we to see this thing come to a sane conclusion.

Most of our reader are doubtless familiar with the story of Keith Bardwell, the Tangipahoa Parish Judge who refused to legally validate, (sign) a marriage license to a ZebraCouple.  Yesterday, Bardwell resigned.

Here are the high(low)lights– the quotes attributed to Mr. Bardwell throughout his Waterloo: (Bold, italicized responses courtesy ZebraCouple)

“I’ve had countless numbers of people that was born in that situation, and that they claim that the blacks or the whites didn’t accept the children. And I didn’t want to put the children in that position.”  Has anybody at all come to this man’s defense?  Have any of the “countless” come forward to thank Bardwell for his wise counsel?  And OMG, can a Judge PLEASE go back for some night school English!!!?

“I needed to step down because they was going to take me to court, and I was going to lose.”  Man knew he stood no chance in a court of law, but wasn’t smart enough 1) to use proper grammar, or 2) to just let the matter go.

“I would probably do the same thing again.”  : “Now when I nod my head, you hit it.”   No surprise here.  Judge would do it all again.  Resign again too, I s’pose.

“I found out I can’t be a justice of the peace and have a conscience.”  Don’t you learn, pretty early on as a Judge, that “JUSTICE” needs to be blind; i.e. without conscience?  Applying the laws fairly and evenly, disregarding your conscience (and personal baggage)?  I picked up that much watching Perry Mason and Matlock!

“No regrets.”  I’ll bet he regrets it when he learns his sweet Tangipahoa Parish pension checks aren’t in the mail! mailbox

“It’s kind of hard to apologize for something that you really and truly feel down in your heart you haven’t done wrong.”  Huh!?  He feels down in his heart that he didn’t do this wrong?  Not what I think he meant to say.  Hey– what if what the Judge really meant to say, way back at the beginning of all of this was, “Yes!!  Yes we DO do Interracial marriages”?

You see, all this was was a giant misunderstanding.

Former Judge Keith Bardwell’s misunderstanding of the terms fairness, equality, and oddly enough– Justice.

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Filed under bigotry, black and white, interracial, INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE, prejudice, race, RACE MIXING, Relationships, Uncategorized

SHE speaks!! (Well, writes anyway)…

Hello to all (2 of) our readers!  (You KNOW who you are!!!)

Has anyone out there seen Chris Rock’s movie, “Good Hair”?

When I first saw the previews for this movie I thought, “Jay (the white stripe in the relationship) has got to see this!”  I thought maybe it would help explain the many BLACK WOMEN’S HAIR questions he’s had throughout our nine years of ZebraBliss:  Why do you wash your hair so rarely?  Why all the trips to the salon?  How and why do you sit for nine hours getting braids sewn and glued in?  Why are you constantly changing your hair style?  Is that your real hair?  What about hers– is that hair real?  It’s a seemingly never-ending list of curiosities he has about my (our) hair.  Worst of all, he says my natural hair is GREASY, and he mostly avoids touching it when I come to bed with it tied up.  (White people wash their hair most every day to get that greasy feeling out.  He doesn’t get it that that is natural and healthy for our hair.)

I’m really hoping that this movie gives him more insight into the issues and complexities of African-American women’s hair.  If anyone’s seen this movie, please drop us a line.  We’d like to know your thoughts on the movie, hair in general, and how other IR couples tangle on this subject.  I’m happy Rock made this movie.  Just seeing the previews made me realize how much time and money I was wasting in the chair, and on fake hair.

So I’ve decided to go natural and get locks– Thanks to Chris Rock…. and my husband!

Any of you ladies going natural too?

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Filed under black and white, interracial, INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE, love, Relationships

Moving on… some random INTERRACIAL stuff

As promised, I’ve returned to Zebra-Press to get a few thoughts down.  One of the problems, and reasons our posting slowed waaaaaay down, (okay stopped) was that issues, topics didn’t pop to mind often enough.  If this was a blog about, say, Michael Jackson— coming up with stuff over the last bunch of months would be easy.  But our topic– Interracialism isn’t exactly on everyone’s minds these days.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, Topic shouldn’t need to be on everyone’s mind– just some local loyalists. Oh.  You’ weren’t thinking that?  I guess that was me then.  Then I agree with me.  How very astute I am!  This is a blog.  It needn’t have “mass” appeal.  Just appeal enough for the good few who check in here.

My apologies again for the aloud thinking… and for yet another public apology.  But I did want to sort of warn that today’s (first real) post (back) may be a bit of a winding road.  So off we go…

My wife and I are considering writing a book about: 1) Interracial Relationships, and 2) our Relationship, although we haven’t yet decided which, (1 or 2) we will focus on more.  We have begun some preliminary research, and there is no shortage of material “out there,” difficulty will be sifting through it all; finding our focus (and voice); and, this should come as no shock– staying on track!  Yeah good luck on that one I can almost hear you saying.  Oh– that was me again.  Oh, okay and you way over there in the corner in the U.K., I see your cyber-raised hand.  Yeah, I know it’ll be  a stretch for us.  But we’re supposed to stretch in life.  Helps us live-grow-thrive.

I mention this very stretchy, lofty goal of ours not to make the public commitment goal-gurus suggest we should make before embarking, but because I / we’d love to have some of you come along with us on our book journey; that is, there might be a place in our discussions for a story of yours– or an anecdote, or, (with your permission of course) your accounts about what a “Zebra” life is all about.  And what it’s not about.  Who knows?  Maybe the opportunity to share 5-minutes of your passion as we do here, and hope to do on a little bigger scale someday soon.

As I’ve said, we’re really in the very early stages of thinking and working on this.  And admittedly, this has to be something mostly from us.  But I can not envision such an effort happening without significant input from others like us.  I’m thinking that effort might be in the form of survey questions, funny or uplifting stories, maybe an ugly scary story about racism.  From the get-go here we’ve welcomed your input on all of this– that will continue– with arms wide open.  If you are interested in possibly sharing a line or two for inclusion in, who-knows-what-we-may-end-up-with, please contact us via e-mail at: zebracouple@comcast.net

In the meantime, while that is simmering, we are serious about reviving ZebraCouple’s (Blogging in Beautiful Blah-Blah-Blah) Weblog.  That will continue.  Hopefully we (looking not just at you know U.K., using super-cyber vision to look all around the globe <wow!  Lots of Interracial Couples on the planet.  WOO HOO!  Way to go!!>) can build this spot back up, and even stronger, bigger (faster) (Remember Lee Majors as the Six Million Dollar Man?)  Sorry.

We can do this.  All of this.  Refocusing now, (like the laser beam that threatened Earth in that one $6mm Man episode) Sorry again.

One last FYI and note:  Previous posts have discussed some…. welcomed I’m sure…. and certainly never discouraged ANYONE from visiting and commenting here in ZebraLand.  Inclusiveness has to be a hallmark of this site.  But I’d like to spend a line or two (or three) at this point on a caveat:  Going forward, I’d really like our blog to stick to her Black-White Roots (Thanks Alex Hailey)– that is– we are an Interracial couple of the Black-White variety.  I learned very early on here that that means so much more from that global perspective.  And I’d never really thought about that before, what with my little Mid-Western perspective here.  I am thankful for the many comments and check-ins we’ve received from everyone… from all the different colored Dots and ethnicities around the sphere.  Going forward we’re certainly not going to close anyone out.  But while (I suppose) there are Interracial issues everywhere, the kinds of issues we know, and seem to discuss here, (Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle, L.A., etc) — I don’t believe anyway– are the kinds of concerns or topics a Japanese woman with an Englishman– or an Indian woman with an African man for examples would care much to discuss.  Again, I for surely wouldn’t discourage anyone from checking us out.  I just want to reiterate that the focus here will be back to Black and White (you know– like the Zebra) issues.  Not to be snobbish, or divisive (if that’s even possible in an IR Blog), it’s just what we know best.  We’ve said this before, we’re neither relationship nor Interracial experts.  But we’re learning.  So much for that.  (Kicking the soap box back into the corner.)

We have some other thoughts and ideas about Black-White Interracialism in our heads too that we’ll be working on, but as always, please send us your thoughts on ANY of this dribble.  Your ideas, comments, and suggestions too on how we can make this a better place in cyber space for people who don’t have the same color face.  Ha ha– a little bad poetry for enjoyment before I go.

Thanks for checking us out.  Thanks in advance for taking the time to leave a comment or three.  Don’t be such a stranger!  Come back.  Take part in this.  It’s the Internet for Pete’s sake, it’s supposed to be INTERACTIVE.  (Okay, maybe not quite that “interactive.”)  ZebraCouple’s Weblog: Interracially Interactive & Intelligent.  There.  Now I can leave you with a joke:  What’s black and white and has three eyes (“I”s)?

You know how some people close notes and letters with the word, ‘Peace?  I’ve just come up with a totally unique and appropriate closing for our posts…

Stripes Everbody,

Stripes

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Filed under black and white, interracial, INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE, love, race, RACE MIXING

SHAME ON ZEBRACOUPLE

……… for neglecting this blog.

There are no excuses, no good reasons, no answers at all beyond life and laziness.  To those of you who’ve stopped by here– only to see the same NY Times post up here since, well, last winter– we are sorry.

We are back and recommitted to the discussion of Interracial Relationships.  Obviously the one we know best is our own, but as we’ve done in the past is solicit your experiences, victories, concerns, frustrations, ideas, opinions, and feedback.  Our original intention hasn’t changed any: to provide a blog-forum for anybody with any thoughts on any aspect of Interracial living.

We appreciate all the people check out our little cyber-spot here, and especially those of you who leave a comment or two.  Until you’ve tried this, you don’t realize how important that feedback is.  I promise you this ZebraCouple fans– whether we get 1 visitor a week, or 100– we’re here to stay this time.

Even though we mostly just feel like a regular couple going through this life, when you really think about it, we (all of us IRs) are still somewhat unique in the world.  Sometimes we forget that there is much we have to say.  We forget that the world needs a place like this little blog to read a little bit about the tiny demographic we try to represent.  Other IR couples need a place to sound off.  And those out there still clinging to outdated ideas need some place they can come to learn about the beauty we’ve all opened ourselves to.

Those are the reasons we started this little black-white chat box.

Please don’t give up on us.  We will be posting for real & regular very soon…….

ZebraCouple

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Filed under black and white, interracial, INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE, race, RACE MIXING, Relationships, THE COLOR LINE

CHURCH: HIS OR HERS, BOTH….. OR NEITHER?

Quick question for you all today: 

Any of you have any issues when it came to choosing a church home?  Until recently we’ve struggled just a bit to find a place that splits the balance between the type of church & service I was accustomed to, and the kind my wife was most comfortable / at home in.

I’d like to hear your stories.  Have you had to compromise or settle?  Or did everything fall into place for you, no issues whatsoever?  How did you resolve any issues, such as: too white; too loud; too quiet; too “crazy;” too much or too little of this or that?

I’m thinking about writing an article to help those, like Que & I who had to search a bit for “just the right mix.”

Please, let’s hear from you………

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Filed under black and white, CHURCH, God, interracial, love, stereotype, WORSHIP

DIAGNOSIS WINTER

Much has happened since our last post.  I suppose I got a bit discouraged.  I’d hoped that readership here would be much higher than it had been.  I was “posting my brains out,” and comments were few and far between.  I was, (still am) very passionate about this topic (“Interracial-ism”) – and I know writing about it here is both good for me, and good for the collective “us.”  In my mind, I envisioned this great, big Zebra community of folks, sharing and discussing the racial and interracial issues of our time.  Don’t get me wrong– I’m very grateful and excited every time someone takes the time to respond to a post, or share their story, opinion, etc.  Each one is so very unique and interesting.  For that reason, (and of course aspirations of fame <fortune-HA> and social popularity) I’d love to have more traffic here.  Unfortunately, not posting in blogging is akin to doing what Plaxico Burress, (New York football Giants) did a few weeks ago when he shot himself in the foot, (well, leg – but close enough for this literary analogy!  Regardless, I thank you for your understanding and patience.

World’s teetering on the brink of economic ruin.

The United States has elected a black man President.

I can’t find a job that suits me to save my life!

Today, our state Governor was arrested on various corruption charges.  Imagine such a thing happening in Illinois!

My wonderful, beautiful wife underwent successful breast cancer surgery.   She’s fighting through all of the post-op pain, etc.

I’ve read back over that last item several times for the last two days now <the magic of cybertime– yes two days have passed as I work on this “WINTER UPDATE.”>  It’s funny, (actually not so funny–) “My wife battled breast cancer,” makes you pause, and put things into perspective.  NOTHING much else matters after that.  Which is why I’ve struggled to continue on after writing the words.  None of this is very important when your partner and mate for life takes ill.  Not politics, not sports, nor the daily complaints, the accumulated toys, bills, and other stuff of life.  Only my wife matters.  The importance of everything else faded off.  Two things became more important to us.  Just two things.  Relationships with our God, and with our families.

In a way it’s very sad that it took cancer to bring us closer to our people and our Maker.  Human nature no doubt.  But on a more positive note, we are so much more grateful and thankful for both after all of this.

We are both looking forward to a happier and healthier 2009.  I will spend more time here in Zebra-land, whether our “circulation” hits a thousand, a hundred-thousand, or hovers right around a hundred.  We started this Black & White blog to dialogue the many issues that we face day in and out; not to become the next Google.  And this post is about breast cancer– my wife’s breast cancer.  Not about my writing, readership numbers, or anything else.  I digress.  (What else is new?)

The diagnosis hit like a ton of bricks.  Discovered during a self-exam and missed by routine mammographies, the doctor had 95-percent assured us that the mass would be benign.  When she said the words, breast cancer, I felt the life go right out of each of us.  She cried, I remained stoic, focusing on anything remotely optimistic I heard.  In the end, there was good reason for positivity.  By herself, (and I have to add by God’s grace and mercy) Que found  a mass missed by the high-tech machines women are told from early on can save their lives.  Nothing against those machines, I guess it just proves you can’t rely too heavily on them.  Gotta do the due diligence ladies!  Do those self exams, Que’s living proof that they matter.  Her cancer was categorized the very earliest stage there is– I forget the letter-number designation, S1-A maybe? 

The months since the words were first uttered (September) have been a whirlwind.  A blur.  Reality you hope you might somehow wake up from.  I think it will be years before we get really good perspective on it all.  For now, this is my perspective.

My wife is recovering from her surgeries and, within a few weeks she’ll be back working.  I’m sure that’ll produce more discomfort, stress, and tax her even more.  We know she needs to get back into her life.  What I don’t know is how all of this will affect her, long-term.  How it will change her mentally, etc.  Decision making; will small things once sweat over become negligible, or will even smaller stuff get the best of her?  Knowing Que as I think I do, she’ll not change in that way at all.  Regardless, I’m there for her– as she would be for me. 

As this is a blog about stuff that happens to us, (US = what I consider a fairly normal Interracial Couple), please feel free to respond in any way that you’re moved to respond to this.  And while flexing the censorship muscle is not me at all, I do ask that comments lean to the positive end of the blogo-spectrum.  We’re not gloom & doom people and we won’t tolerate it from you either!!  Just kidding.  But not.

Cancer obviously reaches across and through all racial and ethnic lines, but do different cultures deal with it differently?  Do some groups respond and treat it a certain way, while others go at it another?  What about reactions?  And reactions  of friends, family, and co-workers– Do those vary by ethnicity?  I’m guessing not, as I’ve said a hundred times here, people are people.  But you know as well as I do that different cultures have different ways of dealing with “stuff.”  Let’s talk about all of this.  It’s interesting.

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Filed under black and white, breast cancer, interracial, Uncategorized

Family Friendly? Or not-so?

I know I’ve said before that Que’s African American family really loves me, cares for me as much as they can, given the fact that I’ve come into their already-pretty-well-developed-lives just within the last decade.  I mean, it isn’t like we all grew up together and bonded that way.  They love me as I love them, and as much as we are capable with our limited histories together.

The family members I’m speaking of here are those in our lives pretty much daily.  Her Mom and sisters, nieces, and Dad, for the most part.  My sister and my kids love my wife as her people love me.  A lot.  They love her because I love her.  Her relatives love me because she loves me.

Move beyond that inner circle though, and things change quickly.  And the Interracial-ness of us just may be the reason why.  I’ll explain.

I don’t usually go to too many larger gatherings of my wife’s family and / or friends.  I just don’t feel all that welcome there, when the core group– that “inner circle,” (IC) either isn’t there, or is preoccupied with aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces, and grand babies they don’t see as often.  When that happens– when that inner circle of those who genuinely care for me forget about me (and of course this happens, I don’t expect them to babysit me!)  When they move about to mingle, I’m kind of left there by myself.  And every time this has happened, probably a half-dozen or so in our history– no one has come forward to talk to this light-skinned stranger to the rest of the family!

I used to sit looking as confident as I could at first, self-assured; don’t need anybody by me, talking to me to enjoy myself.  That lasts about 5-10 minutes.  I’ve already started sending out friendly smiles left and right to curious people who are looking at me, but who never come over and chat.  What’s up with that!?  There are far more of you, than there are of me– and I’m the new person in the family– am I wrong to hope that others will approach me?  Will see that I’m floating there all by myself in a strange and dark sea?  I’m shooting out the friendly inviting smiles.  Do I have to do all the work?!  Well I really don’t have the confidence for that.  (I really don’t have the confidence to even sit there.  That was an act, you knew that!)  

Sometimes, if there’s a punchbowl or a buffet line, I’ll go back and grab another something to nibble on…. (pretty sad, huh?) just to busy myself.  Pretty soon after all of this, somebody from the IC usually returns.  If it’s my wife, I dryly say to her, “Thanks for not leaving me alone,”– a reference to the unfair promise I usually wrestle from her before agreeing to attending said event.  If it’s anybody else, they’ve usually come back because they’ve seen me floundering there by myself.  They feel bad for me, and I feel bad that they’re leaving long lost relatives to pacify me. 

The way I deal with that now is, I usually don’t go to her family meetings with expected attendance of say eight or more. 

Okay.  You can say I’m being immature.  That I should grow up, get out and glad-hand, be bold and go around and introduce myself.  But that’s not who I am.  I’m really pretty shy ’til I get to know people, and they me.  And it’s one thing to say that– quite another to do it when you aren’t sure how people feel about you; how they feel about the whole dating outside our race concept.  Mom & Dad love that their daughter has a great guy– her true love and soul-mate.  The rest of the fringe family—– not so ecstatic I sometimes sense. 

My family’s too small to flip this around and see how it goes for Que.  We’ve never had a gathering of my peeps over six people really (Christmas).  I could maybe see the same thing happening to her if my old family (especially my older relatives.  Definitely old school.  Might have been pretty cold.)  But I always say that my Mom & Dad would’ve loved Que, just as I do.  I wish they could have lived long enough to meet her.

So what about everyone else?  How do our IR friends handle this social spousal separation, (or bf / gf separation?)  Am I the only one with this problem?  Do I need to, like I said you’d say– just grow up?  Or do some of you empathize with this issue?  Anyone else know this feeling, of eyes watching you, but not reaching out to try to get to know you?  Black people have HUGE families.  And HUGE family gatherings, way more often than most white people that I know do.  I think that it’s great.  I really miss the days when my family was big and the get-togethers we used to have.  White people may be starting to do family reunions more now, thanks to black people– but that’s another post.

Lemme hear ya on this issue of outer circle acceptance, rejection or indifference.  Inner circle = great people.  Beyond that, I don’t know.  Might be great people, might not be.  Should I push?  Or am I right to expect or hope one or two might approach me?  Should I just be happy that we’ve got a great IC, and let everyone else keep watching from afar?  What kinds of circles do you all have around you?  Big, friendly IC’s?  Big friendly OC’s maybe?  We’re curious.  Do you do that, “Don’t leave me alone here,” thing too?  Or don’t have to?

And what should I title this post– so that lots of curious people come visit, read and comment?  Because I think it’s a good one; an issue that has IR ramifications / complications written all over it.  What do you think friends?  Tell us your familial tales (yes, I think that’s a made-up word.)

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Filed under bigotry, interracial, love, race, Relationships, Uncategorized