Disowned Over An Interracial Relationship In 2012

Ashley Miller relates an astonishing, awful, anachronistic conversation she had with her stepmother:

I’m sorry to be doing this over the phone, your father has forbidden me from seeing you in person.  I’m sorry, he just cannot support your lifestyle anymore, he will not be speaking to you again, he asked me to tell you.

That was my stepmother, the day after Thanksgiving, the day after she discovered I was dating someone.  Someone who was not white.  Someone who was black.  Someone who was sitting in the next room and knew what the phone call was going to be about before it even started.

Your father wants you to know that he still loves you.  But you’ve gone too far.

She won’t say the reason.  She won’t acknowledge that it is a race thing.  Like not saying “because he’s black” makes it not racist.

Your lifestyle is just not OK with him, he has bent as much as he will bend.  He has bent so much and you haven’t bent at all.

I insist on clarification, “My lifestyle?”

Yes.  Your father is an old Southern man, he was raised like that, he was raised to believe that races just don’t mix.  It was the final straw.  He loves you, he just doesn’t like you.

“So, this is entirely because he’s black?”

I told him it didn’t matter to you, that all you cared about was that someone didn’t believe in God and nothing else.  But he just can’t bend anymore. You knew this would be his reaction.

I was admittedly worried he’d disapprove, but then he’d meet the boyfriend and like him and it would be fine.  Also, my boyfriend isn’t even atheist.

We’re not telling you what to do.  If you love him, you should be with him.  But I’m going to stand by my husband, just as you some day, if you get married, will stand by yours.  We both love you, he’s just not going to talk to you.  Maybe, in a long time, he might change his mind, but I don’t think so. I think it was too much.

Read Ashley’s whole heartbreaking account.

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • http://www.emilyhasbooks.com/author/bridget/ Bridget Gaudette

    This bothers me on multiple levels. Being a Black person (who happens to be in an interracial relationship) I am SO angry that the level of melanin in my skin is enough to cause this sort of reaction. Is Ashley’s boyfriend an upstanding citizen? Does he treat Ashley well? That’s all that should matter. Would she better off with a White guy who’s an asshole? Fuck that.

    My parents disowned me, too, so in a way I feel Ashley’s pain: http://www.skepticmoney.com/grieving-for-the-living-how-religion-poisons-relationships/

    • Andrew Lane

      I agree because I am a white man who is in a relationship with a black woman who is Nigerian and we recently had a daughter, my girlfriend is not a citizen but she not an illegal either. My sister does not accept the relationship based on this whole citizenship nonsense and has abandoned me, told me had no family and worse this happened only 5 months after my mom died. My girlfriend’s parents accept me. I feel your pain and Ashley’s pain as well.

  • Mike aka MonolithTMA

    Heartbreaking and sickening. Any parent that makes this choice should be ashamed to call themselves a parent. Disgusting. I feel awful for any child that has to go through this.

    • Andrew Lane

      I agree because that parent acts like a major bully.

  • vetri

    I don’t think we can blame your dad for what he did. As your step-mom said, that is how he was brought up in Southern US.
    Before starting love if anybody was attracted to opposite race just for the sake of their skin color or features, he/she is a racist who is being narrow minded.
    I believe you are of that type like millions of Americans. If you haven’t given importance to appearance, you might have gotten Asian or Latino or white guy who is the best sole-mate for your entire life. Your dad might have approved any non-Black (I am not sure).
    I am not saying that your love with your black man is not genuine. It must be true, but it need not be life long because first step in your love was just physical attraction due to skin color.
    1000s of white women and black men couples being ended in divorce at a rate which is multiple times higher than same-race couples. They also loved their partner just like you do now.

    What if, you or those divorcee were never attracted to skin color or features?
    Any racial preference in dating is also racist [including white men just for the sake of same race].

    As you knew, your mom brought you to this world and you dad took care of you right from the sec you arrived to this world.
    Please don’t be like majority of stupid Americans, you should try to bend in favor of him.
    In my opinion, you and your boyfriend separate temporarily for 3 months and test your love if it was mere interracial attraction coated with induced love.
    Even after three months if you both feel the same, you and your boyfriend should live together forever and pray to god for your Dad’s change of mind.

    God Bless you!

  • jess3a3

    Blacks have the highest rate of poverty, joblessness, divorce and incarceration in America- your dad is doing you a favor.

  • Andrew Lane

    Ashley, what your father did to you was wrong, cruel, selfish, immature and prejudiced and he acts like a major bully. It does not matter what he was raised as, it does not make that right for him to disown you. I am a white man and I am in a relationship with a black woman who is Nigerian and we recently had a daughter, she is not a citizen but she is not an illegal either and as a result my sister turned her back on me based on citizenship nonsense. Your father seriously needs to get his act together real quick because who you choose to date especially if your loving man is black is none of your father’s business and is your God given right.