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Mixed Couples

August 19, 1994

Re "Mixed Couples: What Are the Issues You Have to Deal With?" Voices, Aug. 8:

I am a Heinz-57 American of Irish/Scandinavian/French descent and my husband is African American. We have raised six children. The issues that have arisen during our 20-plus years are far outweighed by questions we have been asked like: "What's it like being married to a black man?" "Do these children belong to both of you?" "Did you meet your husband in the U.S.?" etc. I often tell people that love sees no color. I did not go out searching for someone black to marry. I fell in love with a beautiful, wonderful and caring person with whom I have shared many things--from the birth of a child to the tragic death of a child. This man is our tower of strength, source of wisdom and always gives us his unconditional love.

I'll tell you what it's like being married to a black man. It's heartbreaking when we go into a restaurant and the waiter refuses to look at my husband but asks me instead what we want to eat. It hurts when we're standing in line at the grocery store and the checker smiles and speaks to everyone except my husband. It was agonizing when my 17-year-old son asked us to sell his 1994 truck because he was sick of being stopped by the police and asked, "Where did you get this car, boy?"

Interracial marriages can be wonderful as well as heartbreaking. Let me offer this word to your readers. When you see someone who looks different than you, please try to do as Martin Luther King Jr. advised--judge him by the content of his character instead of the color of hisskin.

MOLLY BYRD

Alta Loma

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