An Interview with the King
In February I wrote the article An Interview with the Queen, where I interviewed my mom about her experiences with interracial relationships. It was pretty well received, so I figured:
So this will be an interview with my dad, using the same questions I did with my mom (consistency is key). So let's do it!
SH: What is your name?
MH: What? You're not even a sophomore yet and you don't remember my name? Are you doing pot?
SH: I'm trying to plumb the depths of your mind, here. Work with me.
MH: O.K. let's start again.
SH: What is your name?
MH: That depends. If you were my teacher at some point it's Maurice Haynes. If you're my friend from back in the day, Mykal. If you're my patient it's Dr. Haynes. If-
SH: Ok, we got it. You got names. Why do you think you're so open to dating interracially?
MH: I most certainly am not open to interracial dating!
MH: I would never date a tree or a martian or a sponge. Only the human race. I'm from Jamaica. Our motto is "Out of many, One people." We are, at least we were, a cultural melting pot. You'll find quite a bit of ethinic diversity there based on the history of Jamaica's colonization and later indentured labor opportunities. You'll find descendants of Spain, China, India, Portugal, South America, Germany Syria, you name it. That being said, I grew up around friends of different ethnic origins. Color was not an issue. It was all about personalities. I wasn't dating Indo-Chinese, black, white and hispanic; I dated Sandra, Andrea, Cathy, and Gillian. My parents didn't even blink. My mom's grandfather was a straight off the boat German. Anyway, when I came to this country in 1987, I didn't have blinders when it came to whom I chose to call friends or dates.
SH: When was your first interracial relationship?
MH: There you go again with that word. *Laughs* ok. Back in Jamaica, or here?
MH: 1965. I was 5 years old. Her name was Ramina Singh, and she was either from India or Pakistan.
SH: Playa-playa. Here in the U.S?
MH: Yo' mamma.
SH: How did you meet and start dating?
MH: We met in dental school in 1987. We were just friends then, and we had significant others. I used to shoot her every morning before classes started, but that was as intimate as it got. It started off funny, but escalated into all out war. Her Iranian friend Lobat became a casualty of war. We ran into each other in post grad classes and started dating casually.
(Sidenote: If you want to know what he means by "shoot her," I explain with an anecdote from my mom at the bottom.)
SH: Did you see a difference between dating interracially and dating within your race?
MH: Not at first. Like I said, coming from Jamaica I didn't think about that really but gradually you can't help but hear the opinion of others. There maybe an occasional questioning look like "are they together?" But quite honestly I don't go looking for that. The biggest difference between dating anyone and dating Beth is that she can't dance a lick. I have removed clubbing and partying as an outlet of release to protect fellow party goers. Thank your lucky stars your dad passed on the boogie gene to you. But what your mom lacked in the party department she more than made up for it in the intellect and humor department. I never get bored with her.
SH: Aw how nice. Did you two face any blatant discrimination or prejudice?
MH: Until I read your mother's account about some misguided KKK youths on the highway in Virginia holding up a KKK sign as they drove by. I couldn't really hone in on one blatant thing. I actually laughed at them that day. Your mom has a memory like an elephant except when it comes to turning off lights. I do remember going to the movies with you and your mom in Hawaii. I think I had her ticket or something but the attendant assumed that she wasn't with us. Your mom was barking mad. LOL
SH: How many interracial relationships have you been in?
SH: Can you describe your second one?
MH: I'd rather describe your mom. In dental school I had a ritual before exams. I would study with Bob Marley's music before blasting in the background. Then on the day of exams I'd stick a cassette in my walkman and listen to music. On one such occasion your mom stopped me in the hallways and asked me what I was listening to. I plopped the headphones on her. She was shocked at what I was listening to, but then smiled. Joshua Tree by U2. Like I said, we weren't dating in dental school but I think I may have jumped on her radar that day. We found out that we had a lot of music in common. Coming from Jamaica, I listened and liked everything from Reggae to classical with pit stops in rock, heavy metal, calypso, new age, disco, you name it. Early on in our relationship, I enjoyed schooling your mom in the art of reggae. Now there is hardly an old school reggae artist she doesn't know or can't recite their songs. Makes me smile when a Jamaican asks her who her favorite singer is, and she asks "Dancehall or lover's rock?" Because her answer will be "Bounty Killa or Beres Hammond." But Bob transcends them all.
SH: Were any of your friends skeptical of you dating her?
MH: Not one. My parents loved her. There may have been one or two frenemies that warned her I wasn't the settling type, but your mom saw through all that.
SH: That's interesting. She said that there were stereotypes in the world that black people were players. Did you feel you fit that stereotype?
MH: I wouldn't place that trait on an entire race for obvious reasons. It should be blamed on testosterone and immaturity. I played around. Come to think about it, your momma might not be your momma! Just kidding tumbleweed.
SH: Lort. Final question. How do you feel about the wider acceptance interracial dating?
MH: No doubt it's on the rise. You go to the mall and you see quite a few especially among young folk. At least that's my experience in Maryland. I'm not sure if that's indicative of the rest of the country. I see it as progress. I see a dialogue being played out generationally. Maybe one day everybody will look like everybody and we'll find something else to pick on people for.
There you have it, folks. Tune in next week for more awesome content on Mulattea. Comment below and let me know what you thought of this week's interview! Below is some bonus content explaining how and why my dad shot my mom.
Why My Dad Shot My Mom
This might sound weird to readers who have never heard this story before. Here is the story told by my mother:
We used to play a game of assassin. We would use our fingers as guns, yknow? At first it started out slow, he would hide around a corner. Or he'd wait outside the elevator.
He usually won, cause I wanted to play, but I underestimated how inventive he could be. Then, it escalated. First it was, he'd get me in the locker room. One time he got me in the lobby- I couldn't even get in the building! That's not even the worst one. This is the worst one. It's like a game of hide and seek that isn't a game anymore and you're terrified.
The two of us would get to school earlier and earlier so we could shoot each other. Our class started at 8, and I got there at 6 IN THE MORNING. I enter the dental school, I'm slinking around like a crazy person. I take the elevator up- no sign of him. So I pressed the 5th floor button and got off on the 4th floor so I could take the stairs and come up behind him and shoot him. But I got to the 5th floor and he wasn't there! I thought "Maybe he overslept and I'm finally early enough to beat him." So picture this: I'm at school 2 hours early for class. The room is completely dark. I look through and the desks are all empty. I walk in the center aisles and suddenly I hear "BOOM." I jumped out of my skin! He was in the WALL! HE WAS HIDING IN THE FREAKING WALL! I didn't play that game anymore.