The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a column recently by Carolyn Hax of the Washington Post. Her column entitled “Tell Me About It” contained a letter from a woman who moved to this country 20 years ago with her parents, who she says “have retained a lot of the customs from back home.”

The letter entitled “She’s Keeping boyfriend a secret” goes on to say that the woman has been in a relationship with a man she loves for 2 years. “I can’t say enough great things about him or our relationship. Here’s the problem. He is an African-American and I am not.”

According to the letter writer, his family has met her and approves of their relationship. However, she “has not breathed a word of it to her parents.” She writes ” I truly believe my parents would be thrilled with this wonderful man if they would only look past his race.”

I just have a few thoughts about this very sad situation.

First, I am sure that her parents came to this great Country 20 years ago with her in order to experience, enjoy, and take advantage of all of the personal freedoms and individual rights that place America at the pinnacle of the world. This is one of the ultimate ironies of racism! America stands for liberty and justice for all. Yet, some, who might either be 20 year immigrants, people who refer to themselves as “real Americans,” or those who claim to be quintessential patriots, to name a few, ruin lives, relationships, and loves with the bitterness and hatred of racism.

Second, one of the things that The Family Meeting will always stress is the responsibility upon those of us who know and believe that our similarities far outweigh our differences to be a voice of tolerance, a willingness to learn, and of peace. This approach will help us all to better understand each other, empathize with and respect each other, and yes even love each other.

Third, tomorrow is the day that we celebrate love. Whites, Blacks, Asians, wealthy, poor, and people from every walk of life will celebrate their relationships, marriages, and love for each other. For all of us celebrants, the key word is “love” and the concept has no color or prejudices. The best Valentine’s Day that this woman can give her boyfriend, and in this instance, more importantly, her parents, is a public statement of her love for him.

Her parents might just get the idea! And the idea is love, let’s share it, not just tomorrow but everyday.

Who knows…….her parents may just figure out one day that accepting and growing to  love all people and in particular their daughter’s boyfriend because he is a gentleman, apparently comes from a loving and accepting family, and loves and treats their daughter very well…………just might be the American thing to do!   

Read, learn, and share…………Have a Family Meeting!

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