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According to Lucas, (he is white, Watts is African-American) officers asked him, “How do you know her, what relationship,” he went on.“They were questions that quite frankly made me feel like that they were questioning me being like the client of a prostitute.”A friend of mine said she has a stock reply ready whenever those who are not in uniform ask a similarly offensive question: “How did you two meet?” the implication is usually not one of pure curiosity, but incredulity.The translation can often be read as: “I’m sorry but how on Earth did you two end up together?
Every couple, regardless of racial makeup, will hear this question countless times through the duration of their relationship.At a recent dinner party a white guest mentioned how frustrating it is to hear how his wife was treated one way at a store or in other customer service settings before his arrival, and another way once he appears. And there are still houses of worship in which interracial couples are not welcome.In 2009, in the second term of the country’s first mixed-race president, a justice of the peace declined to grant an interracial couple a marriage license.Such stories seem a world away when you consider the ubiquity of mixed-race couples in popular culture today, including Kim and Kanye, Tiger and Lindsey, and of course the New York Mayor and First Lady.Not to mention the fact the current president is the product of a mixed-race union.
But when you are part of an interracial couple, it’s how it’s asked, where it’s asked and whom it’s asked by, that usually sends a signal that this isn’t just another nosy inquiry from your elderly aunt (who wants to make sure you’re not trying that new fangled online dating stuff).