Interracial couples discuss racism

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Christine and Nathan Haug met while both were serving missions in Oaxaca, Mexico. When they started dating, they experienced much opposition.

“(People) kept saying that they saw me with somebody that was darker, that had similar features to me,” Christine said, “it was sad to hear them say, ‘oh no, he’s going to be boring, he’s not going to know how to dance.'”

Nathan added that it was a weird experience to have people telling them they shouldn’t be together.

“It didn’t put me off from dating her or discourage me, but it definitely was a trial that I don’t think either of us saw coming,” Nathan said.

Ben Parker shared several experiences he had growing up with racial profiling.

“I remember growing up,” Parker said, “my sister and I would be followed around in grocery stores very deliberately.”

Parker said the way he dresses has been influenced by his experiences. He has found he’s treated differently, if he wears a hoodie versus how he’s treated if he wears a button up shirt.

Despite the racism they have experienced, each of the five couples interviewed expressed optimism for a solution and suggested different ways to work towards eradicating the problem.

“Treat it like an illness,” Chelsea Weenig said, quoting comedian Trevor Noah. She suggested, instead of banning people for saying racist remarks, educate them and foster an understanding of why racism is wrong. Above all, Weenig believes racism, as a form of hatred, should be fought with love.

“Just take the higher road,” Weenig said, “I don’t think people initially want to hate, but I think they’re taught that.”

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