In this age and era of multiculturalism, you would expect most of the people to have embraced interracial relationships and couples. Sadly, some of us are still lagging behind.

Our question this week comes from a multicultural man. His grandmother is Indian making him part Indian. Well, his girlfriend recently went “Eew” in disgust when she saw an interracial couple on TV. She might have even added that the interracial couple grossed her out. The guy is wondering if he should keep seeing her or dump her, seeing as he mixed race; typically making their relationship a mixed one.

The Question:

Me and my girlfriend, let’s call her Lucy, have been dating for about a year. We’ve been pretty happy together, not that many fights or incidents–until yesterday.
We were at her dorm room and were watching this reality show on television (while drinking wine, so we were kind of tipsy). In the middle of the episode, a mixed-race couple appeared on screen. The guy was white, and the girl looked Pakistani or Indian.

Lucy made a face and said something like, “Eww”. I was pretty confused and asked what was wrong. She was like, “He could get any WHITE girl he wanted, why did he have to go with her? These kinds of couples are gross. ”

So at this point I’m pretty shocked. Since I’m also sort of drunk, I was at a loss for words. I reminded Lucy that I was a quarter Indian myself (my grandmother is Indian). Since she’s white, I told her that we were technically in a “mixed-race relationship”.

Lucy replied that it didn’t matter because I “hardly looked Indian”. She then said, “Don’t worry, you could pass as Italian or something.” I was like, WTF? When was I worried about it??

I told her that I never thought she would be so bigoted. I then excused myself, saying that it was late and that I had class tomorrow. I ignored her texts all day today. I told one of my friends what had happened and he suggested that maybe she was just drunk and not really thinking straight.

I don’t know what to think. We live in the UK, a pretty multicultural and diverse place. I’ve never heard her say such racist remarks before. Granted, I’m from London so I’ve basically assumed that everybody is accepting and tolerant. I’ve dated a few non-white women before, which she’s never commented on. Lucy’s from a smaller city where there are less non-white people, so I suppose she’s not exactly that exposed to multiculturalism yet.

However, I’ve thought a lot about what Lucy’s said, and it still bothers me. Should I break up with her? Am I overreacting?

My Take:

Christelyn Karazin is the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed. She also operates the popular blog, Beyond Black & White, and operate the first forum dedicated to black women interested and/or involved in interracial relationships.