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My eyes and heart tend to steer me in that direction.I can't pinpoint physical features or characteristics of black men because that's not only wrong, it's just not the entire case. Have I come across one that's caught my attention? I have strong Mexican men in my life, too—my father and my two brothers—that I hold close, respect, and admire.This week, we're publishing some of those responses as part of a conversation about race and relationships.Thirteen years of dating boys outside my race and it took sitting down to write this essay to have the first, real conversation with my parents about interracial dating.The majority of what my parents know about other races they've learned through media or second-hand stories.Stories, which laced with racial stereotypes, were told continuously that they became truth.She mentioned how the majority of stories of heartbreak and depreciation I shared with her in my younger days—one of which was physically harmful—involved black men. I was attempting to find love in a person I found attractive, consequences and all.I kept getting hurt by guys, a lot of which had to do with my belief in fairytale love. And although I've gone through bullshit in various relationships before, as many have, my hope is to find my own 'media naranja.' My mom knows about most of the men I've dated, but she's only met the guys that have changed my life significantly, which I can count with one hand.
Then, when I was five-years old, they moved to Tracy, about an hour drive east of San Jose, where the population was, and remains, predominantly white.This past April, a Hispanic father attacked his 14-year-old daughter after she chose a 15-year-old black guy as her dancing partner for a pre-quinceañera party.In Georgia—where the Hispanic population has increased 130 percent from 1980 to 1995, and became the third largest state with migrating Hispanics and Latinos—there's been numerous hate crimes between Hispanics and blacks.What's crazy to me is that both groups, Mexicans and blacks, have been marginalized historically, and dealt with levels of oppression by systems, yet tension is between individuals.But it's not only about where and how it started; it may not even be right to think it started from any one place.
But I've never dated someone of my own ethnicity: Mexican. And I would say Colombian, but that courtship never blossomed into much after he came over my house and serenaded me with his acoustic guitar. Time and again, after being introduced to a black guy I was dating, my mother either let out heavy sighs or foretold my future under her breath. My dad used his seasonal, strictly temporary passport for work and came to Arizona to pick fruit.