Sunday, October 25, 2009

Interracial relationships at Rhodes, practical or just mere speech?

By Debra Chitadzinga
Best described as a mixed bag and this suggests diversity in thinking, values, beliefs, cultures, attitudes. The other factor that determines so many things though often avoided is difference in skin colour. It is often predictable what transpires in the minds of these vibrant students but one cannot leave out the issue of love and relationships. This is to some extent overrated, because the topic brings people to talk about their preferences, expectations, characteristics and qualities that they expect “Mr Right or Miss Right” to have. One wonders if race is not such an issue then why does have to be strongly emphasised in this? That just shows that interracial relationships at Rhodes are just mere speech.

In as much as we have been made to believe that race is nothing but just the “colour of the skin” this has proven to be more of a theory than a reality. I have discovered that prejudice; pride, bigotry, stereotyping, differences in cultural and ethnic backgrounds and family reactions are some of the factors surrounding this issue. Some students have an element of pride in them that stems from their social statuses. It seems one’s social status determines whom one dates on campus. There seems to be a tendency of associating race and social statuses and this helps to explain, why there are few inter-racial relationships. Other students prefer to date who is familiar with their cultural values so that they can have more of similarities than differences. This results in students choosing partners from their own races and less if any interracial relationships at Rhodes.

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