Humans are like birds of the same feather, we flock together as one ‘kind’, from colour to character, background to belief. But what happens when you decide that the opposite sex of the same race is no longer on your radar and you look outside your racial group, do you become a traitor of your own race? Let James Lewis, the author of Sellout tell you more.
“Over the last few years, strong racial overtones have overshadowed the word (sellout). For example, black men who grew up poor, then suddenly became wealthy, are often called sellouts if they marry a white woman, especially a blonde.”
Pause. What’s a sellout? Surely not another business strategy guidebook. How about when someone betray his or her’s principles for reasons of expedience. So is interracial relationship a manifestation of a sellout? It depends what your definition of principles is.
The truth is, Sellout reflects the struggles and consequences of present-day interracial relationships. It is also the first baby of James, a freelance writer from Virginia whose passion for writing dates all the way back when his peers were still watching Bugs Bunny.
Side track a little, James’ works had previously appeared in several publications such as Zane’s Caramel Flava, Chicken Soup for the Soul and Don’t Forget Your Pepper Spray.
After being in the Navy for twenty years, he retired and joined hands together with two other authors to form The Pantheon Collective (pantheoncollective.com).
Back to the topic. There must be a reason to everything. James said he met people “who claimed to have ‘given up’ on the opposite sex of their own race.” And the reasons vary: “Black men are players, white men are boring, black women too bitchy. White men are hicks.” So does James think the same way?
“Media plays a huge role in perpetuating negative stereotypes. Rappers are often portrayed as players and thugs. It’s a form of branding that is inaccurate and misleading. As a black male, I’ve grown tired of images that promote racial inferiority, especially in areas of intelligence. Not all black men are players, criminals, lazy or superior athletes.”
And James is right – the media is an influential factor that could decide the fate of black-white pairing. It is pretty upsetting when there is a imbalance in the media portrayal of events. He also added that there are black men who are dedicated fathers and are in long-term, committed relationships. “These men do exist; they just need to get the spotlight, too. Besides, every race has “players.”
In the history of interracial relationship, one main reason why an interracial relationship could not take off is due to family disapproval of miscegenation. “In the eye of many people with strong allegiance to their own race, marrying or dating outside the race is equivalent to abandoning the race.” James thinks this kind of male-female combo might be an ultimate taboo to some.
But at the end of the day, James feels that love from parents should be unconditional. “We love who we love.”
When asked if he considers himself as a sellout, James confessed that he had dated outside his race before and been called a sellout as well. But he finds beauty in every race and he had no major problems. “I would never “diss” the women in own race because of a bad experience with one or two of them.” And he is not lying. James is currently in a relationship with an African American woman.
He shared that the current situation is a “melting pot” for interracial couples in California, where he lives. “People seem to have a higher tolerance for interracial relationships here.”
“Despite the fact we no longer have Jim Crow laws, there are still many areas in the country where simply walking with a person of another race could mean trouble.”
Something came into mind when James mentioned the above. It is not just race. In fact, religion and beliefs matter a ton. Say the case of muslims being together with non-muslims. Is that a forbidden fruit as well?
James pondered. “It’s a tough one. Just as there is plenty of stigma related to black-white pairings for reasons that date back to the slave trade, religious friction has been around for even longer.”
Surely the world is becoming more open-minded. Interracial marriages are on the rise since 2000 in both UK and US. Given the rate of migration around the world, will the future still see the purebred relationships as majority in this world? No one really knows but James believes the future would be more tolerant as other nations “embrace” and “integrate”.
Should there be a democratic society that advocates equality then there is nothing wrong about interracial relationship. Yet these pairings face tougher challenges because they are convicted sellouts. But love is a free entity, bestowed to every being of all kinds. Besides, love knows no border. And you can’t stop others from falling in love with one else. It’s a natural phenomenon. The adrenaline in your body kicks in and you have to be true to your senses.
Alas, how should we feel about his book? “Although my story focuses on black and white relationships, I believe all races in the British and European can relate to discrimination, stereotyping, guilt (of dating outside the race), excitement of the “forbidden fruit”.”
By all means, take the free advice from James that “couples themselves should ultimately decide the outcome of the relationship, not the people who oppose it.”
Sellout is now out on Amazon, get your copy now!
Read more about James Lewis at http://www.jameswlewis.com
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