From my interview with author Dora Love, wife of Sam Cacas.
You and your husband have made quite a splash in the Blasian world, and on the international level, no less. What’s it like seeing yourself in various media?
It’s a good thing that people can see us or other Blasian couples globally. When people read about us they realize that it’s a perfect match. It’s not that we fell in love because we each wanted to date another race. It was because we had a lot in common and had some of the same goals. There are more Blasian relationships out there in the world than people realize. So, I hope our story resonates with people globally.
What does Blasian unity mean to you? Why do you think it is necessary?
I think Blasian unity means blacks and Asians living together in harmony, understanding each other’s history, and having an open communication for the social good of a community. This means that ideally those two groups would be able to use their commonalities to improve their political and social communications. For example, there was an April 2010 murder that occurred in Oakland, CA where two young black men beat a Chinese man and later died. If there was some social organization in place for these two young black men to vent their frustrations, maybe this tragic incident would not have happened. All I know is that the elder Chinese man should not have been beaten to death. One minority violating the rights of another minority is immoral. This is just one example of why Blasian unity is so important.
While pursuing Blasian unity, what types of criticism have you received?
In my early interracial dating days, I dated a man from Afghanistan. We received stares from black men at night clubs. I really didn’t let those stares get to me. As I recall, the women were more conciliatory as if they were in agreement with my dating choice.
When I have mentioned that I’m married to an Asian man, people of all colors just nod as to say they are acknowledging my answer. Immediately after that they always ask how we met. I wonder why they have to know how we met. What business is it of theirs? But, I’m polite and answer. After I tell them that we met from a personal ad, they say, “Oh” as if there couldn’t have been any other way that we met. I don’t get all bent out of shape by people’s reaction. It’s part of what I go through.
My husband and I have had societal criticisms from Chinese people who stared at us while we were in Chinatown, San Francisco or African American men in Oakland, who spat on the ground before while we passed them. That was a little uncomfortable to be around. In Oakland, this could have been dangerous depending on if the men wanted to cause bodily harm.
In addition, my husband and I lived near San Francisco’s Chinatown which is historically a city within a city. It has its own culture and remains a bit isolated from the rest of the city. So, when my husband and I would shop or walk around people would stare. Some would turn around after they passed us. (Sam would turn around to confirm this.) Many merchants would start talking to him in Cantonese or Mandarin. When they found out that he was Asian American, they apologized for making that mistake. When I’d go alone, no one cared whether I was black or female.
In general, we pay attention to people but don’t react to those who stare or try to mock us. We often hold hands while we are walking down the street. We show no shame. We love each other and are proud to show it.
What were your initial Blasian experiences like?
I had a few relationships with many Asian people in the Midwest, where I was raised. However, I didn’t have any Blasian experiences with men until I moved to California. That being said, my first experience was with a Vietnamese guy that I worked with in San Francisco. I liked that he was very open about his life. We talked all of the time during breaks at work. He even invited me to a party, but not as his date. Other work colleagues thought we were dating. We weren’t. The relationship never developed beyond work buddies. Soon after that, I posted a personal ad in a free newspaper in San Francisco where I met several men. Some of them were Asian. One in particular was a Chinese man who wasn’t more than 5’2” tall. He might have been short, but he was a very funny and generous man. That relationship didn’t go any further either.
Black women are notorious for not wanting interracial relationships. And yet, as I’ve been saying to others, I’m astounded at the way black women are responding to the Blasian world. What are your thoughts on that?
They are open, but not pursuing a Blasian relationships. I’m not surprised. The more black women read about or discuss the topic, the more they become informed and more curious. I think the amount of Blasian relationships are probably on the increase due to more blogs and social networks online.
What do you think may cause a black woman to hesitate from pursuing a Blasian relationship?
This is only my opinion, but it may be hard for a black woman from certain backgrounds (i.e., a preconceived notion of that Asian men don’t like black women) that prevents her from pursuing a relationship. Maybe they have self-esteem and/or body image issues that they think may keep Asian men from liking them. You can only know by getting to know Asian culture. Not by sitting on the sidelines guessing. You’ve got to get in the game, so to speak.