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Politics

The colors of romance aren't what they were

Marc Munroe Dion on

"I have black friends." "I don't see color." "All lives matter." "I never owned a slave."

Yup. Yup. Yup.

You're a leader in the civil rights movement. Accept the thanks of a grateful nation.

"Shoot a few of 'em. They'll stop rioting." "Send in the Army."

Yup. Yup. Yup.

You love the troops, the flag, law and order, and death. Accept this Bible as a token of our national appreciation.

Here in the middle, where we try desperately not to blind ourselves with loyalty, we know we're as endangered a species as a bear living on land with shale oil underneath.

This seems like a good time to pick a side, too. Go all in. Your country needs you and, if you're white, picking a side is as easy as looking at your skin.

But consider.

Right now, here in 2020, you've got a better chance of having a biracial grandchild or great-grandchild than ever before.

"Biracial" is a word social workers made up because people with degrees in social work kept gagging on the phrase "half black." Half black was what we said when I was a boy in Missouri, or at least that's what we said when we weren't saying something much, much worse.

Still, words aside, all you have to do is take a look around and you'll see that our kids and grandkids are cheerfully violating the old rule against having children with black men and women.

 

The culture is always a couple dozen steps ahead of the people who think they run the culture and, as old, fat white guys argue about the confederate flag, romantic relationships are being started up everywhere between black and white.

And you? Well, if you're white, you might want to think about that situation before you declare your everlasting loyalty to paleness.

"I don't know what they're so mad about," you holler at the television screen. "Slavery has been over since the Civil War. What was that? Four hundred years ago?"

But even as you say this, your daughter, cute little blonde Madison, is in her bedroom, thinking romantic thoughts about a kid in her science class named Michael, whose skin color is considerably darker than anyone in your family has ever been.

Oh, yeah. In night clubs and Amazon warehouses, in classrooms, and in the break room at Target, eyes are being rolled, sighs are being sighed, and hands are reaching for other hands, black on white, white on black.

Be careful which side you choose because you may not be able to stand on that side forever.

One day, maybe six years from now, you're going to take little granddaughter, Skyler, to the park, and she'll call you "Nana" or "Pop-Pop," and you'll be melting like a Popsicle on a hot sidewalk.

And someone is going to say something because your little Skyler isn't white, not as white as they are, not as white as you. Somebody is going to take their child by the hand, and lead him away from Skyler because Skyler has skin the color of smooth caramel, but you know Skyler also has your Polish grandfather's green eyes, and your Irish mother's way of tossing her head when she laughs. And she has Michael's nose, the broadest nose ever seen in your family, and you would die before you saw her hurt.

But you will see her hurt, more than once, and Pop-Pop won't be able to stop it, not all the time. When you pick a place to make your stand, pick carefully.

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To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, a multicolored consideration of America, is a collection of his best columns. It is called, "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America." It is available in paperback from Amazon.com, and for Nook, Kindle, GooglePlay and iBooks.

 

 

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