I was the naive one running toward any mirage of love I could find.When it's more than one black guy I've had bad luck with, others—in this case my parents—see a pattern.Once, in 2011, my then-boyfriend and I left a photo of us, taken at an event, at a bodega by accident.When we came back to retrieve it, the guys behind the counter, which looked to be Latino, handed it to us ripped in half.Then, when I was five-years old, they moved to Tracy, about an hour drive east of San Jose, where the population was, and remains, predominantly white.
My dad knew that in order to ask for my mom's hand in marriage, he had to have a house ready for her. He also knew that the American Dream was the dream he wanted to achieve for them. She's always said that he's 'mi media naranja' (a Spanish saying for soul mate).
One thing I took away, but have yet to fully unpack, from my recent conversation with my mom is that I fear I may have heightened stereotypes, too.
She mentioned how the majority of stories of heartbreak and depreciation I shared with her in my younger days—one of which was physically harmful—involved black men. I was attempting to find love in a person I found attractive, consequences and all.
And, really, it roots deeper than my parents, my grandparents, and their parents before them.
Racial tension between Mexicans and blacks, especially on the west coast and in some parts of the south, is tied to an ugly history.