Ever hear the expression "black and white town"? I heard it when we ventured out of SoCal and into the Midwest, where I was raised. It was used after I commented that the place where we were visiting seemed to be all white (and my family is not). I was told "the whites come out during the day and the blacks come out at night". I thought it was a strange answer, then I found out it was an accurate statement.
My grown, married kids now live in that town, that area. Racism is rampant. I left. They're still there, seemingly by choice. I don't get it; I raised 'em better'n that. My (future) husband and I left for California right after I graduated from high school.
As for grandparents, my mother wouldn't acknowledge my kids for years. When I was pregnant with the first one she actually offered to have the[ir] father killed. How it escaped my notice all the years I was growing up that my mother was talking one thing and living another I don't know, but once I figured it out I was glad I had only picked up the "good". It was no better on my husband's side; my MIL didn't want "that white girl" riding in her car. She tried to get us to give up that baby for adoption, she threatened to have him taken away. To the day she died I was never accepted, and this was an "educated" woman!
Metatron: You wrote "How did this happen? A rebellious teenage daughter dating a black guy, I'd wager.... " It couldn't have been love, eh??? And what makes you so sure it's the guy who is black?
You also wrote that "As late as the '50's, lynching still existed - but today is different, remarkably so." Really? As late as the late '80's we had to leave a Southern state because the local JW's warned us that my oldest son was about to be lynched (for real). His "crime"? He went out in field service with a white sister while her husband was at work. In that same town my oldest daughter was denied service at the local lunch counter while in the company of her mother (me), another (white) sister, and that sister's little daughter, same age as my girl. The waitress wouldn't take her order, wouldn't serve her food, but served the rest of us. The sister recognized what was happening before I did and got us out of there. We came back to SoCal (where all that matters is the color of your money; "Green Power").
Wish we'd stayed in CA, but no, my mother claimed she needed help so back we went into another part of the country where we lost property to the threat of arson, simply because we were willing to accept business from anyone who cared to do business with us. That was unacceptable in that large, Midwestern city; the blacks were supposed to stay East while the whites lived on the West side of town. How do you fight (and win) when attitudes like that are ingrained in communities for generations? We left 'em to it; we moved.
I don't think it's any better today. I'm still in telephone contact with some of the people I knew from "back there" in the Midwest. Every now and then I go back to visit. One by one, though, I'm losing those "friends" as unguarded comments make it clear that they never "approved" of my family composition.
Another phenomenon is the "choosing" that a lot of teens and young adults go through: my own daughter (same one mentioned earlier) differentiates between her two sisters and categorizes the younger one as "white". She pretty much rejects that sister on the basis of her color. Same two parents, same house, same upbringing, but that daughter has internalized the notion that color makes a difference. She's pretty much rejected me as well. I've talked to kids at a Midwestern university who told me the troubles they were having coming to terms with their parent's decision to become a couple, and how they, too, basically rejected one in favor of the other based on how they perceived themselves in terms of color or race. Again, prior to that discovery I was oblivious!
Can't we all just get along???