Interracial Relationships and JWs

by HiddlesWife 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • HiddlesWife

    I've noticed that within the past couple of decades, I don't see a lot of interracial relationships (IR, for short) in the org.

    I, myself, was involved in an IR over 2-3 decades ago and was engaged to get married [my ethnicity is: African-American and Latina; my ex-fiance's ethnicity is: Scottish and Italian]. He broke off the engagement, after three years of friendship and two years of dating, because his uncle and another brother (who was a temporary volunteer at Bethel) pressured him to end our relationship [P.S.: His mother was quite close to my mother, one of my sisters and one of my close cousins. Also, his other four siblings wanted us to get together; these persons wholeheartedly approved of our relationship.]

    While dating and preparing for the wedding ceremony (both of us were in good standing status), my ex's uncle was very influential and was putting a bug in my ex's father's ear that,"IR couples have a lot of problems; they should not be getting married at all", plus: "Their children will be in for a big world of hurt, since there are so many worldlings who hate non-whites and whites getting together, like same race folks do", and other similar comments. Furthermore, the T.V. Bethelite was stating rhetoric like: "JWs are always having problems from the world. IRs would cause us to receive more persecution from people who are prejudice and are not serving Jehovah. He [my ex] doesn't need to deal with any more troubles!". There was so much pressure placed daily on my ex by these idiots to the point whereby he would postpone various scheduled appointments, plans and even phone calls to me! Eventually, when he did contact me one evening--approximately six months before the wedding date--to inform me that we should break up. After pleading to him and trying to change his mind, he just said that he "couldn't handle all of the things associated with our relationship". In fact, he made the comment that if we were to continue on, "one or both of us to get disfellowshiped!". This remark, even to this very day, hits a resonating cord with me that something was not right in Denmark re: his dealings with his uncle and that so-called Bethelite.

    My family members, plus three elders and a MS, whom I was very close to (in the cong. I was associated with at that time) made arrangements with the CO (who was assigned to us then) to have a pow-wow meeting with my ex's elders in order to resolve the situation. But, alas, the BOEs of his cong. refused and made remarks like "engaged couples break up constantly; this would be a waste of precious time", and "Who cares! We all as elders/servants have more important matters to attend to!". This all added to the heartbroken state I was trying to recover from. Moreover, a Bethelite from one of my potential bridesmaids' cong. came over to me (a couple of months later) to "console" me with an article about what the org thinks about IRs. It was an older WT article (perhaps 1970s). It was stating, in a paragraph he highlighted in yellow, that it would be of the best interest of the IR couple to thoroughly think through to see if getting married is beneficial--especially since they may incur persecution from others, particularly people who are not serving Jehovah, etc. His "bringing this to my attention" was also a shock to the system; I couldn't at the time believe that Bethelites were partial when concerning IRs as well [S.N.: The BOEs in my former cong were multicultural (i.e., A-A, Latino, Asian, Indian, etc.); the BOEs in my ex's cong were 80% caucasian and 20% multicultural; also, the "helpful" Bethelite was caucasian himself.].

    I can't help but think how this org could be considered an "international brotherhood". Many years thereafter I have noticed, including while residing in another city in the southwestern United States for almost a decade, the IR couples look like they are dwindling. On the other hand, I notice that the people outside of the org are doing their own thing--and not letting others dictate what they do and who they love in their private lives--dating and marrying interracially. One small example: one of my 1st cousin's daughters (A-A and non-dub) got hitched in early 2002 to a young man who is a mixture of Italian/Irish/Welsh/Belgian/Japanese. They are still together, successfully raising two adorable children (both my 2nd cousin and her husband are college grads working and employed at prominent companies in the southeastern region of the US). Furthermore, this evidence I found while googling IR info: I don't know if any of the individuals there could be in the org, but this represents that relationships of that caliber shouldn't be something that Jah disapproves of ("from Adam, one man, came all men", if I'm quoting the scriptural text correctly).

    Sorry, everyone, for my rant, but this issue has been on my mind for a very long while. So, what do you all think about this? I would like to hear any and all opinions/thoughts on this matter. Thanks.

  • sir82

    In my experience, it is generational.

    JW congregations were segregated in South USA up until the early 70s in some areas. Old-school JWs are typically against interracial marriages.

    Younger JWs typically have little or no problem with it. In fact, I'd say interracial marriage is more common among JWs than the population in general. I don't know of any studies which back up my anecdotal assertion, though.

  • Londo111

    This was the stance at one time in the organization and my parent's sentiments were like (discouraging me to date anyone black, while swearing up and down were not racist). But from the 90's onward it seemed interracial marriage was more common than any other in my area, including mine in 2001.

    It seems Anthony Morris's family have an interracial marriage and in the publications nowadays seems positively portrayed from the illustrations of married couples.

  • OrphanCrow

    Milshon Masara (L) posing for a picture with guest speaker Geoffrey Jackson and his wife Loraini Jackson

  • EyesOpenHeartBroken

    I am in one and I have seen a lot of IR marriages in JW land and it has not been an issue. Of course, we are west of the Mississippi....

    Almost 2 decades ago, I visited the Deep South (USA) and I was shocked by the undercurrent of racial prejudice. So I'm sure geography plays a part.

  • James Mixon
    James Mixon

    When I was serving in Central America with 4 other couples from the US one day

    the conversation turned to IR couples. There were two white couples, two IR and the wife

    and I black. My family and one of the white couple were the only ones with kids and our kids

    were the same age, we both had a boy and girl. So I ask him one day, how do you feel about IR

    marriages? His concern it would be difficult for them, this was in the early 70's he told me he

    would try to discourage it. I respected that because my mom felt the same way especially in the 70's.

    If my mom was still alive today she would have a heart attack, my family today my nephews, nieces and sons

    it looks like the United Nation, but they all reside in California.

  • Gefangene

    It may be an usa thing.. but not sure.

    I personally know loads of IR couples in the org. Just to name a few that spontaneously come to my mind


    German nigerian

    Ukrainian palestinian

    Nigerian malaysian


    Lebanese armenian

    Lebanese german

    Egyptian australian

    Irish (black-) south african.

    German pakistani

    British turkish

    And the list goes on

    It seems the common jw belief helps them overcome traditional cultural differences. .

  • WTWizard

    How can they say anything when they don't give people a damn choice? They are supposed to marry within the jokehovian cancer, and that limits their choices. And, in too many situations, people are forced against their desires into inter-something marriages because of this. You often see "sisters" that are way older than their husbands, who are supposed to take the lead, for the same reason (when the men are older, there tends to be fewer problems because they are supposed to lead). The issue with this is, if the husband is barely 18, and borks a major decision, the wife (who could be much older) has to uphold this bad decision without trying to undermine it.

    With interracial marriage, both parties need to thoroughly research what can result from it. There will be incompatibilities, and they need to know what these are and what to expect. What health problems can result from race mixing? This results from two conflicting strings of instructions from DNA, and you had better be aware of what can result before you get there. Are you willing to research the dominant culture, and integrate with it, before getting stuck in a marriage that you might regret 10 years down the road? Are you genuinely attracted to this person, or is it simply you don't have many viable options? The same is true with Jew/Gentile marriages. Are you aware of what problems can plague such marriages, and are you ready for them? Biased or not, if you are not ready and you are simply going for it because of "political correctness" or because there is no other choice, you are probably going to be in for major hardship you didn't foresee.

    And, when the religion forces marriages between two people that are not really attracted to (interracial or not) because there is no other choice, or fails to give the couple a chance to really know each other before marriage, they are asking for Trouble. It is the religion's fault if major fighting happens, adultery results because of dissatisfaction, or children are born that neither parent really wants. And this religion should be held accountable for such, regardless of political correctness factors.

  • Sevan

    I've seen a lot of interracial and inter-ethnic couples in the hall. I've never heard anything negative against it. I lived in California. I don't know if that makes a difference. I'm sorry about what happened to you though. On the bright side, at least you are free to make your own decisions now.

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