Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 26, 2014

Pioneering family in interracial marriages

By Vicki Tillis | Dec 06, 2013

Last week, I took a few vacation days to spend time with my daughter Kendra, who is home visiting for Thanksgiving and an early Clark-family Christmas dinner.

Being home on a weekday gave me a chance to watch some TV programs I normally never watch, like Wendy Williams’ talk show, where I learned Kanye West thinks he and his baby’s mama, Kim Kardashian, are leading the way for American’s acceptance of interracial relationships.

What?!

Yes! He really thinks that! In an interview on Washington’s 95.5 WPGC radio station, he said, “… there’s a white woman that’s getting talked down to by her friends because she’s dating a black guy. Now you’ve got a point of reference, that you can say, ‘Well, actually this couple right here [meaning himself and Kim], that’s dope.’”

There have been plenty of interracial relationships before Kanye, a black music star, and Kim, a white reality television star, including Kim’s own sister, Khloe, who is married to (and now, I think, divorcing) a black NBA star, Lamar Odom.

I know I’ll never use Kanye or any of the Kardashians as “a point of reference” for interracial relationships or any other scenario because they don’t have any influence on my life because, frankly, I don’t really care what they’re doing.

Not to mention, Kim got pregnant with Kanye’s baby while she was still married to basketball player Kris Humphries, and the baby girl — just what kind of name is North? — was born before Kanye even proposed marriage. What kind of example is that for teenagers, young adults, anyone?

Yes, Kanye and Kim are an interracial couple, and they have a biracial daughter, but so what? That describes a lot of people I know.

At my mom and dad’s Thanksgiving table last week, we had lots of diversity.

My sister Diane is dating a Mexican, and he and his son came for dinner. My niece is married to a Thai-Cambodian, and they have the cutest little biracial boy. My two biracial kids have a black father. In fact, Thanksgiving would have been Kenny’s 54th birthday, so in his memory, we all had a shot of his favorite Crown Royal whiskey.

My kids’ aunt — their dad’s sister — is married to a white man. Grandma Tillis’s brother married a Japanese woman, and they have a son just a few years older than Kendra.

A cousin on the Wharton side of our family married a Filipino girl, who already had a son, and she and my cousin now have a sweet little daughter together.

A cousin on the Clark side of our family married a girl from Thailand, and they had a boy and a girl, who grew up, married white spouses and now have their own families.

And the list continues!

So, no, I don’t think my family will be looking up to Kanye and Kim. We’ve been paving the way for acceptance of interracial relationships for quite a while already.

 

–Vicki Tillis is The Fairfield Ledger lifestyles editor

 

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