We should all be so lucky to find love. It’s not the kind of thing that happens every day or to everyone.
When Heather Boyer’s daughter posted a photo of herself with her new boyfriend to Facebook, she was lucky to have a mother who understands that love is love and the way you feel about someone and the way they treat you are the most important things.
Unfortunately, not all of the Mississipi woman’s friends could come to terms with the interracial relationship. Boyer received a disturbing text after her daughter posted the photo.
In a Facebook post, she said:
“Today my daughter changed her profile picture. After maybe 5 minutes I get a text… ‘I didn’t know she was dating a black boy, did you?’”
Boyer said she thought about how to respond to the text all day.
In the end, she didn’t respond to the person who sent it, but instead made a public announcement to say that she did know, she was in no way concerned about the relationship, and that she was happy for her daughter:
“Yes in fact I did know, but the color of his skin doesn’t define who he is. What does define who is he is how he treats my daughter. I see my daughter dating a boy that comes to my house and shows me nothing but respect (a big deal in my book).”
And she spoke from the heart about not only her daughter’s boyfriend’s character, but how race does not define a good relationship:
“I see my daughter dating a boy who takes her to church with him. Every Sunday. He plays in the band, she sits with his family. How many young men these days make church a priority? None of the others have.
He doesn’t hit her, cuss her, lie to her, or make her cry. Would I rather her date a white boy that did, to keep from her dating another race? Absolutely not.”
The post has garnered over 1.3 million reactions and 319,000 shares on Facebook. And it’s clear why when Boyer not only stands up for her daughter but displays her happiness that she has found something not everyone is so lucky to have:
“And I know people have their own opinion, but at the end of the day, the fact that my daughter has someone that loves her and treats her like a queen makes me happy. That’s something I’ve never had in my life and I’m glad she does.”
Of course, support poured in from around the world for Boyer and the happy young couple. People congratulated the proud mother for defending her daughter, her boyfriend, and shutting down any criticism of their relationship based on skin color.
The issue of interracial relationships (and especially marriage) was taboo for a long time in the United States. In Mississippi, a 2011 poll of Republican voters showed that 46% said that interracial marriage should be made illegal again in the state.
Nonetheless, the U.S. came to terms with some of its racist past back in 1967 when the Supreme Court made interracial marriage legal all over the country.
Since then, public approval of interracial marriage rose from just 5% in the 1950s to around 80% in the 2000s. But a 2018 YouGov/Economist poll found that 17% of Americans still oppose interracial marriage (and we imagine interracial relationships in general, although the poll only asked them about marriage).
In any case, we think Ms. Boyer’s acquaintance will likely back off any more questions she has about the relationship from now on. And hopefully, they will think twice about trying to draw attention to the color of someone’s skin rather than the way they treat people.
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