I am not really a big movie watcher, although I do enjoy catching a good flick from time to time. Yesterday afternoon I happened to be just relaxing and watching a little TV, though. I was flipping through the channels and came upon a movie on HBO that I found interesting. Honestly, I had no idea what the movie was, or anything about it, but I flipped onto it at just the right time and what was happening caught my attention.
As it turned out, the movie that was playing was called “Something New,” and it starred Simon Baker and Sanaa Lathan. Honestly, I had never heard of these people or this movie before, but I am glad that I watched it. What was the movie about? Well, let me give you a little bit of the plot. It was basically about a black woman (Sanaa Lathan) who was a professional lady. She was an accountant in a major accounting firm, a highly proficient accountant at that. As part of the movie, she hired a man to do some landscaping work at her house. It turned out that he was a white man, and more than a mere landscaper, he was a “landscape architect” and a very successful landscaper at that. From the start, it was very obvious that the connection between this man and woman was much more than just a simple employee/employer relationship. It wasn’t just a sexual thing either. It was obvious that there was a potential of love between them. The man was inclined to sort of “let nature take it’s course” if you know what I mean. The woman, though, was very uptight about the idea of dating outside her race. She fought off her desires for this man for a long time. Her family was very well to do, and they always talked bad about other black people dating outside the race. This had kind of conditioned her to feel that it was not right to do so.
As the movie went on there were so many situations where circumstances seemed to pull these two people apart. Many of her black friends were very suspicious of this “white guy” dating their friend. There were constant struggles between them, almost always dealing with race. In the end, the couple did overcome the struggles and married, but it was not an easy thing to get to, it took a lot of work.
I really enjoyed this movie, because it made me think a lot about the relationship that Feyma and I have had over the past 17 years. There have been times when we had to deal with racial issues, although not too often. When we lived in the USA there were 2 or 3 times when we were obviously discriminated against in restaurants where they even refused to serve us. Thankfully, these incidents did not happen very often, and all in all we rarely felt any kind of discrimination in the States. When we moved here to the Philippines, we have also had isolated incidents of racial discrimination here as well. Again, we are thankful that such incidents have been very rare here.
I guess that our experience is that for the most part, racial discrimination is a thing of the past, with very few people still having those kinds of feelings. For those of you who read this column and are also involved in an inter-racial relationship, what are your experiences? Have you felt discrimination in your life?
I know one thing – my marriage to Feyma has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. Even if we had experienced a much greater degree of discrimination I would do it all again, no doubt about that. Thankfully, we have only experienced enough discrimination to let us know that it still exists.