With Meghan and Harry’s wedding making the issue of interracial marriage a household discussion, the video ‘Is Love Color Blind?’ is making sure no one forgets it either – it’s a heart breaking but poignant story about the severe emotional consequences of choosing cultural tradition over love.
In the wake of the Royal wedding it would seem as though the world is finally beginning to embrace the idea of interracial marriage. Watching Meghan and Harry tie the knot felt a lot like watching Obama’s inauguration – a true ‘remember where you were when it happened’ moment.
But just when it feels like our society has taken a massive leap forward, unfortunately, a closer look at the reality painfully reminds us that we still have a way to go – Donald Trump’s presidency taught us that.
But the issues surrounding interracial love isn’t as clear as right and wrong. It gets murky when culture and tradition begin to play a role. While many interracial celebrity couples have their relationships analysed and scrutinised in the public eye, they are often vindicated by the praise of millions of adoring fans and supportive journalists.
This is sadly not the case for your everyday Priya and Steve who fall in love in what should, by now, be an open and accepting society. During my years as a lecturer, I’ve seen countless interracial relationships blossom only to end abruptly and painfully. Why? Family traditions and strict marriage guidelines – essentially, don’t marry outside of your culture/religion/race.
Amongst white families, you’re likely to spot the old fashioned ‘right wingers’ a mile away – and yes, there are plenty of them. The bigger problem though, is amongst Asian families.
Within Asian communities you’ll find outwardly liberal and open minded people, but when it comes to their future son or daughter-in-law, the attitude is very different. Suddenly, skin colour becomes a huge barrier.
Let’s not beat about the bush – this is racism, whichever way you look at it. It’s kind of like not hiring someone because of the stereotypes associated with their skin color. But actually, it goes even deeper than this – it’s a tradition that solely aims to maintain a pure bloodline.
And if you think this problem will go away with future generations, I’d say we’ve still got a way to go. If you ever get to candidly speak to young millennial parents in Asian communities in the UK and the US, you’ll see that those same racist attitudes are more common than you’d think.
The positive is that we are getting there, just much slower than we should be.
If we move away from discussing this on a political level though, and look closer at the direct affect it can have on people’s lives – the outcome is usually heart breaking. ‘Is Love Color Blind?’ tells the true story of a young couple who, by all rights, belonged together, but because of ‘culture’ and ‘tradition’ were destined to lose their one true love. It’s up to us to make sure this all too common story becomes a thing of the past.