It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white

I just read this article on ESPN.com. Read the whole thing if you like, but here’s part of it:

NEW YORK — Yankees star Derek Jeter is the latest athlete to receive a threatening letter warning him to stop dating white women.

The letter was mailed to Jeter at Yankee Stadium and called him a “traitor to his race,” according to a story in Monday’s editions of the Daily News. It warned him to “stop or he’ll be shot or set on fire,” said a law enforcement source who the newspaper did not identify. It was not clear whether the source was speaking on condition of anonymity.

Jeter, whose father is black and mother is white, has been linked with women of various racial and ethnic backgrounds in New York’s gossip columns.

In the last three years, 60 similar letters have been sent to professional black athletes and other well-known black men across the nation, including civic and business leaders. Those receiving the letters include Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor and the parents of tennis player James Blake, according to the Daily News.

“The wording is very similar to letters that have been sent to other prominent people across the country,” special agent Scott Wilson of the FBI in Cleveland told the newspaper.

Now this is bothersome on a number of levels, obviously. But incidents like these hit home for me for a few reasons, including…

1) I’m half black and half Korean
2) I historically haven’t dated black women

This is by no means to say that I would not date a black woman. I will never declare that I “only” date women of one race or another – why limit yourself? I grew up in predominantly white Northern VA., went to predominantly white elementary and junior high schools, and then to a predominantly white high school. You take a guess at what women I’m going to be prone to pursue. I went to a “historically black college/university” and, in going from being in the minority to being in the very very large majority, discovered that I can indeed be attracted to women of any race. All of that not withstanding, old habits die hard.

However, a traitor to his race? I don’t get it. First of all, there are probably very few people in this country who can claim to be 100% one thing or another (Native Americans come to mind), so of what race is Jeter? Yeah, I check the “African American” box on forms and, if pressed to identify myself as one race it would be that, but does that mean I’m only supposed to date women of that race? No. Of course not. This is one misguided individual who, if the feds are correct, has made a bit of a practice of criticizing blacks who date non-blacks. Personally I have to question the legitimacy of Jeter being a “traitor to his race” for dating white women. Is he not half white?

I trust Jeter won’t let an idiot like that affect his dating practices much like I wouldn’t let him/her affect mine. I caught a little flack for my preferences when I was at NSU from both the men and women (mostly the women – a topic for another post) but that hasn’t changed me.

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