Interracial marriage & tension in USA vs Taiwan

I read this letter today to a webblog in the USA. Brings up some interesting points. Comments?

headline was:
and the letter was not signed, as is usual for that particular weblog. But letter is legit, I assume. - M

Dear Editor:
I’m afraid that you’ve only hit one side of a very complex issue. I don’t believe that the mixing of black females with white males is going to improve the racial situation as much as you’d like to believe. I’ve been involved in a couple of interracial relationships; in my experience, both whites and non-whites have reacted negatively. Among Asian American men, there is a great deal over “white men stealing their women,” to put it bluntly. For whatever reason, Asian American males are less likely than Asian American females to have non-Asian partners, and this fuels resentment. Those Asian women who choose to date non-Asian (usually white) men are called sellouts or worse. The non-Asian male is said to have some sort of fetish. Admittedly, some of this is true, but not in most cases. Comments from non-Asians are not quite the same, but there remains an air of suspicion. As for half-Asian kids, or Hapas, they don’t really get a break either. People from both sides pressure them into identifying with only one race or the other.

It’s not all bad, and I certainly don’t let this deter me from dating whoever the hell will date me, regardless of race, but the tensions are real.

I have a fetish…it’s called yellow fever by some. To me, I simply prefer Asian women. I find them more femine and more alluring. I always have since I was a little boy watching Asian films on the local, non-major TV station. I have dated many more white women than Asian and have not made this selection of preference due to some inadequacy on my part. I also am not blind and yes I’ve seen Asian women that I would find undesirable. I live in the US, met my wife in the US, and do see very little but exisitant predjudice against my wife and I. Ya know what? I could give a rat’s ass. Same attitude that if I would have if I was single and moving to Taiwan. Though I highly doubt that I’d move just to meet women. So my question is this…am I just a sick, sick bastard?

Well, something I would like to know is how foreign/taiwanese couples see the situation here. A bit overbearing treatment by my wife by the police once, that’s it so far. Moreover, some people tend to believe that my wife is the maid, when she’s walking my dark blonde youngest daughter (but that doesn’t really count in my view).

I often get mistaken for the maid too. Honestly, I think my husband is a bit embarassed to introduce his wife sometimes. His family made a big thing about him marrying someone “not Chinese”, reminding him that someday he would find himself living in Taiwan and people would treat him differently. I think he never really believed that would be true, but very often, you can see the surprise on people’s faces when they’ve spoken with me on the phone, and then meet me in person.

I had one female caller ask to speak to my “master”. :unamused:

Another young woman, after chatting with me for at least half an hour, said in surprise, “Oh, are you his mother?” referring to my litle boy. I said, “yes, didn’t you hear him calling me mommy?” And she said, “Yes, but I thought you were the nanny and he just called you mommy.”

I’ve told quite a few people that because I still find it so funny. :laughing:

Ha, my wife’s been asked that more than once. But after that I’m hard pressed to think of any situation like the OP mentions.

My guess is that the original poster was in Hawaii, from the use of the term Hapa. Hawaiian s are almost as racist as Taiwanese and a lot more aggressive. I would like to move there with my family but from past experience know that every time I walk down the street with my Chinese wife, we would be harassed by some of the locals. In the continental US I have never had a problem. Most people don’t even notice, or pay attention to such things as mixed race marriages. I have dated African American women before in the US and did encounter a few strange looks but nothing else. I think it has a lot to do with the location and local culture.

Same here, and my wife really hate to be called the maid. :imp:

Me on the other hand has been “accused” of being English teacher several times :shock: , and it seems that some folks here don’t grasp the idea that foreigners can do other jobs in Taiwan than being English teachers. :unamused:

In Thailand, Indonesia and Philipines, the locals assume my wife is a local as well. I tell her she should be flattered, but she dislikes the idea :x :x

When we visit my homecountry, we now and then get the smug “how much did you pay for her - could I borrow here for a couple of hours?” Assuming she is an “imported and paid for sex-toy” :imp: :imp: :imp:
Those guys normally ends up with two black eyes, broken nose and mashed balls :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:

Well, in Denmark most people didn’t know too much about Taiwan. (Guess SARS, Typhoond and big earthquakes have changed that). When she told them that she was from Taiwan, most people thought that she meant Thailand. She did not like that one bit.


When we visit my homecountry, we now and then get the smug “how much did you pay for her - could I borrow here for a couple of hours?” Assuming she is an “imported and paid for sex-toy” :evil: :evil: :evil:
Those guys normally ends up with two black eyes, broken nose and mashed balls :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:[/quote]

Are you seriuos … where are you from?
Remind me never to settle there with my future Taiwanese wife

Asian females have problems with those perceptions in most of North Europe. Not too bad, as most won’t ask you if you need a bit of “variety”, however they’ll stilllook a bit down on you.

It is a small country in Europe, and it happens now and then in pubs/bars, when the “barbarians” get too drunk.

My wife actually love to visit my homecountry despite these episodes. We just have to stay away from certain areas and situations.

I think I will leave it with that piece of “information”, to keep my anonymity.

Ooh, Lichtenstein :x Man I hate those racist Lichtenstinians!


Ha, I wish I had a dollar for everyone who asked us, “so how are things in Japan” :?

This is more funny: I used to be a member of the liberal party of denmark. Last time I was in taiwan, I wrote tonnes of pieces to their various magazines - 1-2 of them got “promoted” to orientation papers for the parliamentary group (who didn’t have all that many observers here - and I got the 1996 presidential election right). When I returned back to Denmark, a former govt minister wrote to me thanking me for my good pieces on Thailand(His secretary must have taken leave that day).

To tell you the truth, coming from a family where probably about 1 out of every 5 of my living relatives is in an interracial relationship/marriage or the product of one I sometimes tend to be neglectful of the fact that they are of either culture. I just see my cousins and my brother and sister as being who they are and not as being black or white, but just themselves. I love my white relatives who have married into my family as much as I love my other relatives like my sister-in-law, my dad (who still treats me as if I were his own daughter even though he and mother separated over 15 years ago), and my favorite uncle. I have dated outside of my race more than in it, but I think that’s because the only other african-american male my age from my hometown drooled a lot when we were in elementary school together and other african-americans when I got into high school and college segregated themselves into black organizations and cliques whereas I joined groups and made friends based on my interests and not my skin color. Besides, you can’t help who you are attracted to. I know that when I went out with an ABC friend here in Taiwan a few times, we got some funny looks, but most of them were directed at him. I think that here interracial dating is more acceptable but in the US, because of all of the racial issues and problems, it’s a much more volatile situation. I can think of numerous examples of ugly racism rearing its head with interracial relationships, both romantic and platonic.
One example that always stands out in my mind from the US was when I was working at a department/grocery store. There was an older black woman who would sometimes say hi to me when she saw me. One night I was talking to her and a white woman passed holding hands with a black man. After they passed she went on about how she hates seeing couples like that because it’s a crime to the children and it messes them up with deformities because they were abominations and they would never be accepted by either race. Then she joked that I should go get that guy and show him what a real woman was. I looked at her and told her that neither my brother nor my sister had deformities nor my cousins and that it seemed that the guy was pretty happy with the real woman that he was with already. I never spoke to her again.

In Taiwan, I have also seen some interesting examples of how people here can perceive interracial dating with Taiwanese-foreigner couples. I have an African friend who lives down south that I met because she suprised to see another black woman and stopped to offer me a ride. She is the widow of an aborigine, but told me that she would never set me up with a Taiwanese man because she didn’t trust them although she herself had married one and had three children with him. It was so strange to hear such a contradiction that she loved her Taiwanese husband but would not trust a Taiwanese man or want to let someone else date one.
When I first came to Taiwan, I had to commute to Hsintien from the brown line which was about 45 minutes each way. One night after having one of those I hate Taiwan days from everyone staring and whispering and pointing at me, I was practically daring people to sit next to the black foreigner on the train. One woman did and asked me after a little while, “Are your eyelashes real?” I guess she was impressed with how long they seemed or something, but we wound up talking for most of that ride in English and Mandarin and finally we came around to my learning Chinese and she said, “You know the best way to learn is by dating a Taiwanese man.” She then tried to set me up with her son. This totally made my day because it felt like at least one person on the whole island thought of me as a person and not a circus exhibit. She apparently had no problem with interracial dating.

I think where you are in the US plays a huge role in how they treat you as an interracial couple. Even in my midwestern town of over 50,000, there were very few interracial couples in my high school, but lots of them outside of the school in the community whereas you would think it might have been the opposite. I just read an article last week about a school in Georgia that is holding a student-organized whites-only prom because the kids there don’t want any chances of interracial couples dancing together. This high school also has two senior class presidents: a white one and a black one. This is in modern-day America. And the students accept this. One student said she was going to the open prom and the whites-only prom because she had some friends at one and some at the other. Nobody even questioned it. :shock: Mind-boggling.


Excellent post. Your story above reminds me of a similar experience. We used to live on Pittsburgh’s North Side, which was somewhat of a depressed area. There were whites and blacks living on the North Side harmoniously. So harmonious, that it was common for families to sit out on the front stoops on summer evenings. Often, the whole street, blacks and whites, would congregate at one particular stoop and just enjoy the cool of the evening and each other’s company.

One night, while we were all sitting around, one of the many black-white interracial couples walked by. After the couple had passed, comments were made by several of the blacks and whites present… comments regarding the dangers and inappropriateness of interracial marriage very similar to what the old woman in your story made… And everyone seemed to be in agreement. I looked at them and asked what they thought of my marriage, to a yellow girl.

They all looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “oh, that ain’t the same thing”. Go figure.

Mind boggling indeed. And incredibly petty and stupid also.

wanna end racism? simply acknowledge the fact it doesn’t exist. it is a vestige of sloppy logic from a by-gone era. there is only one human race and we are all members of it. as long as we keep letting dead people prescribe our vocabulary we’ll keep falling into the same logic traps that they died in. refuse the “r word”.

hawaii is the poster child for interracial marriage, people really dont care what you are…people arent as quickly categorized into one or the other the way they are in other parts of america. Here is a good example…my high school (in honolulu) probably about 1/3 of all students were hapa (half asian/half white)…there are almost no hapa people in california in comparison to hawaii. If you want racial tolerance, at least for mixed people (they arent too big on whitie over there), go to hawaii.

Why are Euroasian kids called hapas, and what does it mean?

I read a previous post about “every time being on the street” getting weird looks in hawaii…that is a total crock…I grew up there, and I can tell you 90% of the racism is directed towards white people…not towards mixed people or mixed couples. It seems in hawaii more people are mixed then not mixed, I have never heard someone act weird about an interacial couple. Many of my close friends are mixed, the only time I hear mixed people complain about racism is on the “mainland” where they have to choose to either hang out with just white people, or just asians because they have no other appropriate niche. People dont act all weird around people with ambiguous ethnicities in hawaii, they dont say “oh well what are you” like they do in california and other places. I think boomer or whoever probably went to waianae or somwhere crappy in hawaii. saying hawaii is mean to interaccial people is like saying harlem is mean to black people.