"Racial Identity Reflection: 'Both'"

This past month, a Louisiana judge denied a couple a marriage license. This seems potentially normal enough, but this particular case was interesting to me because the reason he denied their bid for an official union was because they look like my parents.

The judge's rationale was that the children of an interracial union would be unnecessarily burdened by being born half-black and half-white; that they would suffer an identity crisis of sorts - that they would be accepted in neither race community. "I don’t do interracial marriages because I don’t want to put children in a situation they didn’t bring on themselves,” he says.

Reading the article brought me back to May 2006, when I traveled with a group of students down to New Orleans, Louisiana, for a week, to do Hurricane Katrina relief work. While there, we met an amazing old man named Gary, who was taking six months of his retirement to fly down to New Orleans and volunteer full-time doing hard labor for people he'd never met.

I don't know how we got on the topic. Maybe it was my friend Jimmy, who as a half-white, half-Korean may have been discussing his upcoming engagement to a half-black, half Puerto Rican woman, and how their kids, if they chose to have them, would be something akin to multi-cultural superheroes. However we started talking about it, though, Gary, fully aware of our respective ethnic heritages, shared his opinion on inter-racial relationships with Jimmy and I - namely that he, like the aforementioned judge, and for the same admittedly good-hearted reasons, was against them.