The curse is that those factors establish tradition.
I've experienced my share of racism and have had racial slurs thrown in my direction. I've overheard conversations about me where people spewed hateful words because they didn't think I knew English.
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.
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.My mom knew her father wouldn't approve either way. She knew if she wanted to be with my dad, she'd have to runaway with him. Despite not knowing she was pregnant with my older brother at the time, she hid in a bunk in the back of my father's van and they crossed the border together.They settled in a largely Mexican neighborhood in San Jose, California.I've dated other races aside from black men—my first and only boyfriend of two years was Korean. "My parents, I should say, have never forbidden me from dating black men, or a man of any race, but their silence, more so my mother's, has been felt—it rendered each guy invisible.But I've never dated someone of my own ethnicity: Mexican. And I would say Colombian, but that courtship never blossomed into much after he came over my house and serenaded me with his acoustic guitar. Time and again, after being introduced to a black guy I was dating, my mother either let out heavy sighs or foretold my future under her breath. My dad used his seasonal, strictly temporary passport for work and came to Arizona to pick fruit.But it's not only about where and how it started; it may not even be right to think it started from any one place.There's a myriad of factors that are both onset by personal experience and exposure to what people see on television or read in the news.Stories, which laced with racial stereotypes, were told continuously that they became truth.Those "stories" tell of black men leaving their women, and of black men being promiscuous and violent. While problematic, my parents' thinking was the thinking of their time.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.