Any Montana bees? I have a question about interracial relationships.

posted 3 years ago in Intercultural
Post # 3
Member
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

@shadowedpixie:  I’m not fron MT, but I did live there ( briefly) a few years ago and truthfully, it is probably going to depend a lot on the individual person you encounter. The good thing about a lot of Montanians is that they pretty much don’t give a damn what you do as long as you’re a productive member of society and stay out of their business. It isn’t the most diverse of places, but Kalispell is a hot spot tourist destination and leans a little more liberal than other pockets of the state, so I think that people might surprise you with how open and accepting they can be. People can be assholes anywhere, so if you do encounter it– just remember that their behavior doesn’t represent every single person in the state. 

Post # 4
Member
8907 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Hey there!  I’m from Wyoming and I lived in Montana (Missoula) for several years.  Kalispell is SOOOO pretty, lucky you!

Kalisbell is kind of middle of the road for this issue.  Larger college towns like Missoula or Bozeman would be the most likely to have it be a non-issue, as they’re more cultured / diverse due to the college influence.  Really small eastern Montanan towns probably don’t have a single black person living there.  Kalisbell is in the more “Californicated” (ha, no offense to you) portion of the state and so people are more exposed / open-minded.  But it’s also quite a small town.  I honestly wouldn’t be suprised if your bf is one of a handful of black people in the whole town.

But in general, yes, people tend to be really friendly and accepting.  I would be really surprised if you experience any overt racism.  However, don’t be offended if you get a lot of curious looks.  I am a flaming heart liberal and try to be really open-minded, and I still occasionally catch myself looking twice at a black person in my town because they are like 0.5% of the population.  (Please nobody flame me for being “racist” – I’m just trying to be honest about what it’s like to live in a very white but friendly/accepting area.)  So anyway, you will probably get more looks than your average couple, but it’s bound to be truly out of curiousity rather than disapproval.  (People here are also more open about interacting with strangers in general, as you noted.)

However, due to this lack of diversity, there’s definitely a chance your guy could suffer from unconscious / accidental racism.  There are studies showing that in homogenous places, people tend to be unconsciously wary of people unlike what they’re used to, etc.  I would really hope that wouldn’t affect his chances of getting hired, etc.  The fact that he acts / sounds / etc “white” will definitely help him.  (Disclaimer again – I know that sounds bad but it’s true.)

Anyhoo, that’s my two cents.  Feel free to let me know if you have any specific questions…

Post # 5
Member
536 posts
Busy bee

What does acting, dressing, and sounding REALLY white look and sound like?  I’m assuming you mean he speaks the King’s English and dresses like a normal American citizen?  You do realize that by labeling that as “white” behavior, you’re just reinforcing stereotypes about “typical” black behavior, right? 

I’m going to edit my own post to remove some of the snark because I don’t want you to miss the core message I’m trying to convey. 

Post # 6
Member
25 posts
Newbee

@spezia:  +1

 

you referrring to the stereotypical “black guy” seems indirectly racist in itself. not sure if you meant it to come out that way but that was extremely distasteful in my opinion. 

are you relating to acting really WHITE to being intellectual, or a redneck/country? You see my point here. Where Im from Some might say “acting WHITE” could be “acting” educated or acting like you live in a trailer park. there are two totally different sides of the spectrum

either way I think you should be careful of labeling him as a non stereotypical black because whether you mean it or not, you are contributing to that stereotypical role OP.

Post # 7
Member
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

@spezia:  

@ihatebees:  

 

Y’all are being a little rude to the OP. You know what she means, and she obviously isn’t trying to throw in racial undertones– I’m sure there was a better way she could have worded it, but she didn’t… move on. So either answer the question about the social climate in Montana or don’t– but don’t turn it into a bashing on the OP for asking a really uncomfortable, but not totally inappropriate question. Cali to MT is a big leap, and she is trying to take this sensitive subject into account. Sheesh.

Post # 8
Member
4043 posts
Honey bee

@spezia:  Actually, I know what OP is talking about because as much as people may not want to admit, some people treat black people differently if they dress/act a certain way. It may be 2013, but it happens. So you can refrain from your harsh comment/judgment.

@shadowedpixie:  OP, my father is black and lives in Cali, and acts/dresses just as you described. He has actually had people tell him, “Oh you act so white,” or “I am not usually friends with black people, but you are so different.” It’s horrible, but it happens (still to this day). 

As far as your original question, I am not from MT, but as other PPs have stated, it will likely depend on where you are living and who you encounter. My mother is white and my dad is black, they have encountered racism and judgment everywhere from Lousiana and Georgia, to California where they live now.

 

Post # 10
Member
536 posts
Busy bee

@Mrs_Amanda:  No racial overtones? The entire post is about race.  For crying out loud, it’s in the title.

I’m sorry you were offended on the OP’s behalf.  I wasn’t aware that pointing out stereotyping language is considered “rude.”

@bmo88:  Your anecdote about people saying your father “acts so white” exactly proves my point.  The OP essentially said the same thing about her boyfriend.  Why is it horrible when said to your father directly, but not horrible when the OP says it on the internet?

 

Post # 11
Member
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

@spezia:  I’m not offended in the least. I think you’re just looking to pick a fight where there isn’t one to pick.  Anyone who reads her post knows what she’s trying to say,  if that’s over your head then that’s not my problem. 

Post # 13
Member
4043 posts
Honey bee

@spezia:  Because she was using it as a description to give us a sense of his personality. She wasn’t saying it as something racist. Saying, “I am only friends with black people who act white” is racist and rude. 

You can feel free to intrepret it however you want. But you are straying away from the point of this post.

Post # 16
Member
536 posts
Busy bee

@shadowedpixie:  I completely understand. I am biracial and in an interracial relationship in the bible belt, so I get it. Note that I never called you racist; I really don’t think you are. I just think we all need to be mindful of how we perpetuate stereotypes.  Good luck in Montana… I’m sure you’ll encounter some ignorance (it is everywhere) but if your relationship is strong, you will be fine.

 

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