Category Archives: Relationships

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

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

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

Gone With the Wind or “ElastaGel’s Story”

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a wannabe writer / journalist.  As I begin writing this “Special Edition” post, (note that it’s today’s second) Que is doing what she can to stop the press, and supress free mediaUndaunted, my journalistic integrity is stronger than my fear of sleeping on the futon with the dogs tonight!  So I’ll continue as though I was writing this piece for my local paper…

Police are baffled by a gruesome discovery along State Route 50 this evening.  A man walking his dog near the road discovered what appeared to be human hair!  The hair, reddish brown and permed was discovered around 6pm.  Approximately 12-inches in length, it is believed that the dog was lured to the scene by the strong scent of geri-curl.  

This reporter has traced the hair back to “Que” (ZebraCouple, dark half).**  Witnesses say she was in the passenger seat of a top-down, doors-off south bound Jeep Wrangler around 5pm.  As the vehicle crossed over the Interstate, blustery winds whipped the loosely clipped hairpiece from the nub of her own real hair.  The lovely & lustrous locks did a single loopty-loop around the inside of the Jeep before going airborne.

“I thought a bird had flown into the car,” Que’s husband, clearly shaken later stated.  “I had a split second where I might-coulda grabbed it,” he added, “but if it was a bird, or worse–some kind of flying rodent— I didn’t want any part of it!  I offered to go and try to rescue the piece, but rush hour traffic that time of day would’ve made that a perilous mission.  In other words, hairy.” 

The couple was seen a few moments later pulling into the parking lot of the local hair store, presumably to pick out a replacement piece for the roadkill-locks.   

** The original owner of the hair is believed to be an Alaskan Inuit woman named ELastaGel which, translated means, “I have no need for hair, I’m an Eskimo.”

So okay, for comedic purposes I’ve buried my lede, and the whole “police are baffled” thing makes no sense.  And forget about the Inverted Pyramid.  It’s about as inverted now as that tire-tracked weave will be round about midnight.  Just having a little fun at my great-sport-of-a-wife’s expense.  We had a great laugh over the whole thing, watching it whip about, and then back into the traffic behind us.  It was gone with the Chicago Wind.

One last note.  This is a great little insight as to how people of different cultures EVENTUALLY come to terms and understanding of the issues of their partners.  About a half-hour earlier, I’d warned Que that she might need to press her head back against the seat to “keep it on” so to speak.  If we get any closer into one another’s bizness, we may even buy a weave we can share one day.

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Interracial Vacations

I preface what I am about to say with the by now familiar disclaimer, “These things are true of all relationships, not just interracial ones…”  But the vacation issue–that is, how to spend precious time off and much needed time away from work and worry– often is an area of minor disagreement for this black-white loving pair.

This author, (the pale half) leans to the outdoors; especially to camping, fishing, relaxing under the stars and, yes, sometimes the bugs and howling things.  Getting my wife (dark half) “out there” among the wildlife is like pulling gnat’s teeth.  Her idea of a vacation is an antiseptically clean hotel room, or better yet a cruise cabin where the only wild life one sees are the folded towel bunnies left on the made bed.  Waking up on a dry tent floor & rolling up my sleeping bag cost very little and make me a happy camper.

Don’t get me wrong– I’ve been on a couple of cruises; loved them!  But as we’ve grown older and further from our dating, “must impress / best behavior” days, I get my vacation-way much less than before.  In my mind, overnight and long weekend hotel stays outnumber weekends on the “wild” side at least two to one. 

The Zebracouple spent a few days in a semi-wooded, semi-residential area of south-central Wisconsin last week.  We enjoyed a beautifully appointed, tastefully decorated, quiet, clean cabin generously donated by a loving friend.  Within five minutes I announced to Que that I’d be returning this winter to pen my Great American Novel there.  (I later stated that I could live there.  Meant it.) 

I know she had a good time, (due in-part to the Direct TV hook-up), but she was freaked out by the caterpillars that crawled all over the outside (OUTSIDE) of the cabin.  Not a single caterpillar was spotted inside the cabin the entire time we were there!  Ants, yes, a few, but nothing else.  My wimpy Royal Caribbean wife was completely pre-occupied by the bugs whenever we left the cabin; couldn’t get to the Jeep fast enough to escape the danger! 

We both suffered a few bites of one kind or another.  One little something got her in the finger and the digit grew to about twice its original petite size.  Me, I’ve been bitten before, (even freaked out a little myself this year when a wasp or hornet stung me in the head); but this lil bug bite, whatever got her was just one more fly in the ointment- detracting away from the smell of the pine, the bright morning sunlight through the tall trees, the birdsongs, and the gentle evening breezes.  It was a beautiful relaxing setting and though there was a firepit, there was no way my African American bride was going to sit “out there” for any length of time.  “Too buggy.” 

There, I did it.  See up there in that previous paragraph?  I played the race card.  I made the point that my black wife is no outdoors—-woman.  It’s okay, I love her to pieces anyway!  Who knows, I maybe even love her in some weird way because she is a wimp about such things.  Makes me feel “MANLY.”  A little lonely sometimes too, truth be told because I do love nature a lot.  Wish she did too.  But I can still get some of that on the high seas whenever we can scrape up enough cash for a big boat ride.

Is the whole camping thing a black-white issue?  I have to say that I see mostly only white people when I’m tenting, or fishing.  Why is that?  I know black people fish.  We live in the suburbs of a large metro area and I see black men and women fishing often in forest preserve area ponds and lakes.  I never see them up in Canada or Wisconsin or Minnesota where I’ve fished.  What’s up with that?

Tell us your side of this.  Maybe you can help convert my wife.  Maybe your comments will only cement her belief that she ought not stray more than 20 miles from the nail or hair store.  But we’d still like to know– How will other IR couples spend their vacations this year?  Do you, becasue of the whole mixed ethnicity / culture thing, have any leisure / vacation time conflicts?  How do you resolve them or compromise?  Weigh in.  Looking forward to your comments.

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Loving Day

Now there’s a holiday I would’ve missed 10 years ago. For anyone interested in the Interracial “cause,” yes Loving Day is a holiday– at the very least it is one of those days with plenty of good reason for pause and relection. For on June 12, 1967, the United States Supreme Court ruled for Mildred and Richard Loving and struck down Virginia’s 305 year old law against miscegenation, (the cohabitation, sexual relations, or marriage of persons of different races).

Here’s a link to an interactive map which shows each state and its progression from “territory” through legalization of mixed marriages:

Ours is not a history site, it’s blog. But there’s so much more to this decision than just the court’s ruling in Loving V. Virginia. Note the timing. Wasn’t the Civil Rights Movement in full swing by 1967? As we pay mindful tribute to the Lovings, we cannot forget that, great as their struggle was, that they were standing on the big shoulders of others with courage, vision, and big dreams!

I have a tendency to take some things for granted. Certain rights feel like they’ve always been there and always will be there. I guess it’s because this was really so recent in our history, 41 years ago. And at the risk of sounding flippant, I know that it sometimes takes way too long in this country to right tragic wrongs. But I am glad that we live in a country where we can have our say, argue and protest, write to congress, vote people in, vote them out. In America we can voice our opinions. Like Amy Grant says, “It takes a little time sometimes to turn the Titanic around. Read the Lovings’ story, that’s just what they helped do.

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