BC hosts a panel on the experiences of interracial couples

Mark Armendariz-Gonzales, Reporter

BC hosted a Zoom panel, where three women discussed the positive and negative experiences, they’ve dealt with being in an interracial relationship on Oct. 21.
The online panel was organized by the Latina Leaders of Kern County and the BC student organization Latinas Unidas.
The panel was moderated by BC Director of Communications and Community Relations Norma Rojas-Mora.
The three women who took part in the panel discussion were Sandy Woo-Carter, Maria Wright, and Carla Barrientos. All three women spent the panel answering questions and telling stories of how being in an interracial relationship has affected them both good and bad.
Woo-Carter is a Chinese woman who comes from immigrant parents and married a white man.
Racism is something she has dealt with her entire life. Over time, she has learned that it is ok to relax and set up boundaries.
She says she has experienced racism everywhere. Whenever she is out with her husband, she says they are constantly being stared at by other people. With these stares, Woo-Carter can feel and sense their critics and thoughts.
“Can we see two people of different races as equal?,” Woo-Carter asked.
2020 has brought a lot of pain on a national scale for her, due to the treatment of Asian Americans. Many Asian Americans are being targeted and blamed for the pandemic.
This type of treatment has made her afraid to go buy groceries with her family or even just go walk outside.
Even though 2020 has been hard for her, she is happy that this year has brought racism and many other issues to light.
“We have progressed, but we still have many miles to go,” Woo-Carter said.
Barrientos is an African American woman who is married to a Mexican man.
The couple has been married for 10 years and in this time have experienced racism from others.
When the couple bought their home, they were told by a neighbor that they should have checked the neighborhood demographics before moving in.
Although Barrientos has faced her share of racism, this has not stopped her in life. She has an incredible support group of family and friends that support diversity.
“You need to filter noise and know you are there for a reason,” Barrientos said.
The biggest hurdle in her relationship has been the language barrier.
The majority of her husband’s family speaks Spanish and although she can speak a little, she can’t hold deep conversations with them.
This hurdle has made her even more motivated to learn to speak Spanish.
Barrientos’s advice to young interracial couples is to be open with one another. It is important to share your culture and learn a new one.
“They can face whatever comes their way due to the love they have,” Barrientos said.
Wright is a Mexican woman and is married to an African American man.
The couple met during high school and have been married for almost eight years.
She was asked once by a coworker what did her father think of her husband due to the fact that he was African American. Wright thinks it is unfortunate that people still have this type of mentality.
Wright is a former undocumented citizen and racial tension is something she has experienced throughout her life. She knows that there will come a day when she will have to have a conversation about racial tension with her own son.
“I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle to change the status quo,” Wright said.
One positive though is that she sees more interracial couples now than she saw in the past.
All three women did express the faith they have in future generations and these generations need to keep the conversation going.