April 5th, 2012
11:10 PM ET

Parents confront interracial dating views

In 360's ground-breaking study on kids and race, teens talked candidly about interracial dating. What they said begged for a response from their parents, so Anderson and Soledad O'Brien sat down with their parents.

Learn more about "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture"

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Filed under: Kids on Race • Race in America
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Gracie

    I'm a white mom of biracial (black) sons. Here in California, rarely an issue. And when dating a girl who's parents may have an issue it is swiftly brushed under the rug by her parents once they discover their father is a physician. Which of course summarizes what we all know: race is seldom an issue when money is involved in our society of greed and selfishness. The bank account we hold tends to become our race, not our face. It's additionally difficult for my sons to navigate.

    And let's all be honest here. Had Treyvon been one of my sons, Zimmerman would be locked up. Thing is, Treyvon IS my son, our countries son.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  2. Yuveth

    I think that this study that you've done is very eye-opening. Not surprising, but interesting.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  3. Robbie W

    I enjoyed the discussion on interracial dating. I am a black female age 65 and my first exposure with interracial relationship occured in 1968 when my father died. my oldest brother, whom was in the military, came home with a white wife. my famuly adored her. they decided to reside in my brother's home town, but when my sister in law started working at a local restaurant , her employer discovered she was married to a black man, she was fired.
    So, you can see who had the problem with interracial dating.
    This is 2012, I have a 8 year old interracial grandson and my husband has an white daughter in law and inter racial grandson.
    I have no problem with a human being because of their race because God made us all in his image and I believe that the racial issue will ALWAYS be a problem for some people.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Carrie Brannon

      Robbie, God Bless you... My Mom was in her 90's when she passed. One of her best friends was a black lady her age. They were friends for a long time up until Daisy passed away. Her son Walter continued to visit my mom a couple times a year until she moved.
      I was born in 1963. I remember seeing the 'Colored' fountain next to the "white" fountain at Woolworth's. I thought, being a kid of maybe 5, that meant the water came out in colors! When mom explained to me no, it isn't any different, it was the same exact water, I remember asking why there were two then, and my mom just said because some people don't see the good in others because they can't see past the color of their skin. Thank God for people like you, Daisy, and my Mom, or this world would be a much worse place to live!

      April 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm |

    This is a great topic to share with Todays American Youth and their Families.... However, Anderson Cooper you overlooked one key group in this study.... children and adults of mixed race with their view points and history on growing up in a multi-racial, multi-cultural and or multi-religious Home.... i.e., my family. Christian\Buddhists, European\ Asian and Adopted siblings from a past marriage. Life is not just Black or White.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  5. chico

    perhapd people of different backgrounds really can't get along and all the struggles of equailty and equal rights were for naught.

    April 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  6. Lilah

    These parents' responses are prime examples of covert racism that is plaguing our society today! Hellooooooo!!!!! The fact that they felt the need to have a talk with their kids about their boyfriends or girlfriends of different races sends the message to their kids that it's not okay, and it is, in fact, something that they need to "have a talk" about. We all know what that means when our parents say that to us. Jimmy's parents say they had the intention to make sure that Jimmy didn't feel that there was something wrong with his own race, but you can tell from Jimmy's comments that that is not the way his parents presented it to him. Clearly the message that Jimmy took away from that conversation with his parent was "Why are you dating white girls?" as if he shouldn't be doing it and he needs to explain himself. And Luke's parents! I'm sorry, the guise of "there may be some cultural differences there and we want to make sure you've thought about them all" is hard for me to buy. Even if those were their genuine concerns, the reason that they were bringing those concerns up with their daughter was because her boyfriend was black. Sitting your kids down and saying: "Your boyfriend is black, so we need to talk about these things" sends a strong message that there is something wrong with it. These kinds of conversations between parents and kids are exactly the reason why kids were exhibiting such racial biases in the answers to the study questions!

    April 7, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  7. Norma Tyler

    Color dont have anything to do with the color of our skin we all have the same blood running through our body,but some people dont see that these young people dont care wake up it 2012 Jesus made use who we are live with and deal with it

    April 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  8. Patty

    Reality is that, there are many different races and people do speak different languages and eat different food, pray to different kinds of god and have many different ethics and values. Worse yet, etiquette may be different or clashing. There is certain fear about crossing those borders and it is valuable to discuss such concepts. But in a high-school environment, same school district, same community .. it is not that difficult to get to know other families and make intelligence choices rather than worry about just race factor. Not like pen pals where kids write to kids in other countries and make friends, get to know the culture..

    April 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  9. David H. King

    Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's, the issue of race has been debunk by many experts including political pundits,psychologists,religilous leaders,socialologists,etc. Yet, we still find ourselves rehashing old arguments about this subject. Race is a myth. The main reason will still have racism is because the older people of the baby boom generation continue to teach their children about myths concerning skin color. They continue to teach their children about the superiority/inferiority complex between whites and blacks.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Lisa Flowers

      Thank you! I teach high school, and I am always disappointed when I ask my students how many races there are. I'll get all kinds of numbers, 2, 3, 4, 5; but I rarely get 1. The fact is that there is only 1 race – HUMAN. The problem with race relations in America is that we, as a nation, still use the word race as though it the correct term. There are still forms in schools, doctor's offices, and job applications that ask for race. And then we have conversations with educated adults – like the one here – and they try to pretend that they don't have any issues with poeple of varying cultures. Want to know the truth – go to their house for a party and see who shows up. Most people in America today live near and work with people of varying ethnicities, yet they choose to socialize with a vary narrow ethnic set of friends. Why is that? Because we still have ethnocentric issues in this country. As long as we identify people by skin color, we will have issues with ethnic relations.

      April 7, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  10. jani

    Love the survey, but u forgot about 1 thing...dah...What about true love? RYBW

    April 6, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  11. DanekaS

    Appreciate this special – it's always helpful to see abstract concepts lived out in real life. Would love to see Asians, Hispanics, Polynesians included more in this conversation to understand the construction and consequences of race in more than a black-white dichotomy.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:00 am |