Relationships. All of us (whether we want to admit it or not) have had them or want them at some point in our lives. The truth is that no man is an island and we need something called love to survive. Unfortunately, the ideas of misguided generations have created barriers to what kind of relationship one should have. One of the largest barriers is labeled race.

When thinking about the concept of diversity the United States of America should be at the top of the list. There’s a good chance that you can find someone of almost any culture and/or race right here in the United States. It is true that America has had its share of racial tension, but that should be in the past right? Wrong! In a way, I feel that even though some areas have been legally corrected, many of us are emotionally separated. We are separated because we don’t understand each other, and therefore, this makes us scared of each other.

In my twenty years on this earth, I have heard many excuses as to why two people of different races couldn’t possibly fall in love or love each other properly. Some say, the two individuals wouldn’t have anything in common. Others worry about the social pressures and being stared at. They say “What about the kids? Won’t they be confused?” Then the rest fail to give reasons because “That’s just the way it is.” We do not realize that these problems are only problems because we have made them this way. We would understand each other a lot more if we actually sat down and talked. You may find that you have more in common than you think.

It seems as if people already have in mind who they are going to date or end up with. They start naming all of these physical features and most of the time their ideal person is the same race as they are. I understand that people have their personal preferences, but what if we put them aside for a second? If we just focused on personality traits we would find ourselves opening up to the idea of people who may not exactly look like us. I’m not saying completely disregard the people of your own race, but be open minded when considering potential partners.

America has had an increase in interracial marriages since the first epic ban was lifted on June 12, 1967 in the Loving v. Virginia ruling. For example, black/white marriages have increased from 65,000 in 1970 to 422,000 in 2005, according to Census Bureau figures. Sociologists at Stanford University found that out of the 59 million marriages in America in 2005, that at lest 7 percent of them were interracial marriages. From these numbers it looks as if younger generations are becoming more accepting of each other and willing to try new things with different people.

We have come far as a country but that doesn’t mean we do not still need to strive for the better. Tension towards interracial couples is still prevalent in some areas. I believe this is due to lack of experience with other races and the misguided teachings of older generations. For example, Bob Jones University of South Carolina just lifted their ban on interracial dating in 2000. I was rather shocked when I read this. It hurt to see that a university which is supposed to create diversity and openness was condemning people from loving each other. A year later 40 percent of the voters objected when Alabama became the last state to remove a no-longer-enforceable ban on interracial marriages from its constitution. In Cleveland, two white men were sentenced to prison earlier this year for harassment of an interracial couple that included spreading liquid mercury around their house. From these examples we see that some people today are still filled with so much hate. When it comes to interracial couples, you may not be burning their houses or protesting their funerals, but a harsh word or objective stare still makes you a condemner. It is common for people to bring their injustices back to God and justify what they are doing by biblical principles. No matter what god, spiritual being, or lack there of you believe in, I highly doubt any doctrine would support this kind of behavior.

I do not believe love has a face, color, or even sex for that matter. How can you ban something so beautiful from the others? Anyone in this day and age would be lucky to find true, unconditional love. I think any kind love should be embraced by all, no matter the packaging.