Interracial couples believe that discrimination is coming to an end at SHS

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Illustration by Jacob Bledsoe

Walking through the halls of SHS, students are more than likely to stumble across multiple couples. With America taking on the nickname of the “Great Melting Pot” for its widespread diversity, it is easy to find people who have found love with someone of another race, religion or even ethnicity.

Although it may not seem like a big problem today, there are still people who look down upon interracial couples. Two SHS couples opened up to share their experiences with being in an interracial relationship. However, they have not experienced any negative or racial reactions.

“My race hasn’t really affected our relationship at all, that has never been a problem between us,”  sophomore Grace Branson said.

Branson and Jared Stanley have been together for nearly seven months. Branson is Chinese, while on the other hand Stanley is caucasian. The couple’s parents have no issue with them being together, and are accepting of their teen’s significant other. Branson says that her parents do not view her and Stanley’s relationship as interracial, because ethnicity does  not matter to them. Branson’s parents care about how Stanley treats her, instead of appearance.

“My parents really like her,” said Stanley. “They always invite her to dinner with us and are asking me about her.”

Both Branson and Stanley mentioned that they see each other as more than just a boyfriend or girlfriend, but they see one another as a best friend that they can confide in.

“I just appreciate everything he does for me,” Branson said. “He’s the one I go to when I need someone.”

Stanley and Branson share the opinion that what matters most is on the inside of a person, not what is displayed on the outside. They believe that if a person has good morals it should not matter their ethnicity.

“Racist people are out of line,” Stanley said. “Color isn’t what counts in a person. If someone is a decent human being and is kind to people, I think they should be able to look past skin color or ethnicity.”

Seniors Elijah Walton, African-American, and Alexa VanBaale, caucasian, have recently started dating, and also have not experienced any kind of discrimination because of being in an interracial relationship. .

VanBaale explained that her mother has no problems with her dating Walton because she has known him for a while. She believes that her friends want what is best for her.

“My friends are supportive because they want me to be happy,” VanBaale said.

Walton says his parents are not racist or discriminant either, so whatever girl he likes, his parents like too.

Although these students’ relationships do not represent all couples at SHS, Stanley believes that discrimination here at SHS is fading away, and is almost completely gone as a whole. VanBaale agrees with Stanley, and believes that it is disappearing mostly in the younger generations.

“I’m sure discrimination towards interracial couples is still around in many places,” Stanley said. “But I haven’t seen any here at Southport, and I’m glad about that.”