Interracial couples on how they're talking about race, love, and Black Lives Matter: 'The conversation took a far deeper meaning'

Relationship Dating Couple Marriage Interracial Facetime Long Distance Partner Date 3
Crystal Cox / Insider
June 12 was the 53rd anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage in the United States.
It is in the midst of a global settlement of racial relations after the death of George Floyd, who started a nationwide discussion of racism and privileges.
Insider spoke to two couples in interracial relationships about how they met, fell in love, and how the race has affected the way they navigate the world together.
Bedford and Chelsie told insiders that different experiences, such as being run over by the police, led them to have larger races in their relationship.
Bree and CJ told insiders that the recent wave of civil rights demonstrations across the country had inspired them to speak on their social media platforms and to their families.
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The murder of George Floyd, a black man who died when a Minneapolis policeman knelt on the back of his neck, has sparked a global conversation about racism, anti-racism, racist prejudice, police brutality, how non-blacks understand their privilege, and how effective and be a real ally.
But for many interracial couples, discussions about race and privileges have always been part of their lives.
The ongoing protests, which demand change and recognition, continued into June. This coincides with Loving Day, which Loving v. Virginia recalls the Supreme Court case in which marriage between interracial couples was legalized in the United States in 1967.
According to Pew Research, interracial couples in the US make up 17% of the newlyweds annually, and the demographics of couples on TV and in movies are changing.
Insider spoke to two couples in interracial relationships about how they met, fell in love, and how the race has affected the way they navigate the world together.
Bedford and Chelsie didn't talk much about races when they started dating, but they do now
Chelsie and Bedford there
Chelsie and Bedford there
Chelsie, 30, and Bedford, 35, told insiders they didn't think much about races when they started dating. While Bedford is black and Haitian and Chelsie white, both grew up in Utah, which is 90.7% white, and both have a Christian background. Bedford said that this could have influenced their conversation about the race as a couple. The only big question Chelsie asked at her first meeting was how Bedford would respond to having a son who had been a deal breaker with other dates.
"Of course it was just an automatic because of our upbringing and maybe even because of the place we grew up. 'Oh, I'm black, it's white,'" said Bedford.
While both of their families welcomed each other, some people were still making micro-aggressive comments about their relationship that put the breed at the forefront of their thinking.
"Shortly after we made an appointment, someone gave me a comment saying," Well, your kids will never look like you, "Chelsie told Insider.
"I thought 'Isn't that crazy?' and he said: "This is actually not crazy. For this reason, some people have already separated from me. Just because their children will never have blonde hair and blue eyes, their genetics do not necessarily show through like this. '"
"After this conversation, I feel that it opened doors for us to have more conversations about these things."
Since their marriage in 2014, they have three other children and are now working together as content creators.
Bedford: "The first time I was run over was a big deal."
Chelsie and Bedford there
Chelsie and Bedford there
[This transcript was edited from a conversation between Canela López and Bedford and Chelsie Dort.]
Bedford: I had been so technical about tags that I was wrong. But with the expired day, seven policemen came who were handcuffed and taken away in the parking lot.
We all met in a restaurant and I was stopped about a block from the restaurant, my family is there, their family is there, we were all together for our birthday.
I remember somehow getting upset and my family said, "You need to calm down. The last thing you can do is bring some kind of emotion and intensity into this situation."
Because I know that cops are mostly afraid of pulling people over, and some of them are afraid of me. When I came in and my wife wanted to fight, scream, scream, be emotional, I said, "No, it'll be a lot worse if we don't keep our heads up."
I remember talking to them afterwards and she said, "Is that really the case?" And I said, "Yeah, that's why I behave the way I do when the police are there."
When we had these conversations, I thought it was an eye opening. Now she realizes that this is everyday life. It's not something that happens every now and then or once a week. There are things that I think about and I am aware that because of our relationship, she is fully aware of them.
Chelsie: I took the time to do some research.
The Dort family
Chelsie and Bedford there
Bedford: The unrest is taking place and we are aware of it. It is disappointing that there is unrest, but only because there is unrest only when people are not heard. I understand that people are frustrated when things break down, but at the end of the day it was hundreds of years of a population group, a group of people who were not heard.
I think one of the biggest things she was afraid of [Chelsie] is what it looked like for other blacks when we all got into an uproar. And there were negative things that happened to people who had nothing to do with it or protested peacefully just because they were black in an area.
We had a conversation and she said, "Are you scared?" and I'm not more scared than ever and I think that was a turning point for her when she realized, "that's the restlessness you feel all the time, that's how you feel."
Chelsie: I said to Bedford, "My fear of the riots is that the police are only more afraid of you." Because we talked once and Bedford said, "You know, it is difficult for a police officer in this situation if someone approaches you. How much time do you give him to find out what his intentions are?" And that's what scares me because I thought, "Well, you have good intentions."
First, when the riots started, I said, "I hate that, it makes it worse," because that's my experience and my fear as a white mother of people who fight power with power. But then, after having some time to research and think about it, I said, "Well, sometimes you can only do so much before you feel like you're cornered and then you fight your way out." I think some people feel that this is their only option.
Bree and CJ Koegel met Wilhelmina Models in 2016
Bree and CJ Koegel
Christie Caiola
Bree Koegel, 31, met CJ, 35, her present husband and soon to be the father of her first child, through her work as a fitness model for Wilhelmina.
Bree and CJ told insiders they spent the first few months of their relationship deeply talking and building a strong friendship. While their conversations often focused on serious issues, the race didn't come up immediately for the two.
"This isn't the first interracial relationship I've had, and Bree knew it," said CJ. "I think there was a lack of us between her and me to go into some of those deep conversations because I think we both automatically felt like we were on the same principles."
CJ: "When I listen to Bree speaking, I've learned how to uncover those microaggressions that I haven't seen in the past."
[This transcript was edited from a conversation between Canela López and Bree and CJ Koegel]
CJ: There are people in my family that I don't see eye to eye on these issues. So I had these conversations with my family members, my parents.
I look at it from my perspective and said, "Well, if I have things to unlearn, better believe that the people above me in my family have things they need to relax because they do a lot Things went through this world too. "

I watched after my conversations and saw how certain things were handled. They are simple things that I saw in my father's car on the way to the store, and when he turned on the car, it was on a history channel station that was based on learning about the inequalities of the black community.

It is difficult to look at your family and see things that you know need to be changed. There are some people in my family who didn't go to my sister's wedding because they didn't want her to marry a black man.
You see that and it is disheartening, but at the same time, just like I have a voice in everything else, I have to stay with that voice and keep that guidance, even if I know that these conversations will be difficult, but I know that they will happen have to.
Bree and CJ Koegel
Christie Caiola
Bree: I could see that CJ was paralyzed in thought right after the video footage of Ahmad Arbery showed up.
Bree: He said, "I don't know why it affects me differently. I know this is happening and I know we have seen injustices in the film before, but it feels different."
I said, "I think it's because we're going to have a son soon."
At this point, the conversation was of much deeper meaning, as it was more than just "what do you think?" Was. It was like, "So what are we going to do? And how are we going to be part of the change? And how are we going to make this world better?"
To see George Floyd days later and the reaction of the whole world, it suddenly no longer felt taboo or aggressive to post about it. It was like, "Oh no, you know what? This is not just a problem in our relationship to address it, it is a problem that the world has to address. If we can expose our conversation to the world and help them, this to move." Together with them, this is definitely our platform for this. "
I think it was really interesting as a black person to zoom out and zoom in. Because I said to CJ, there are days when I'm just exhausted and I think, "I need to break one." And then he takes up the gap.
I think that these conversations with me are now being strengthened and now, without really giving a Cr-P about insulting anyone, I will change the way we engage in this world for the better. And it will change the way we engage as parents for the better. As scary as it was, I'm looking forward to the revolution because it means for our child.
Continue reading:
A couple married in the middle of a protest against Black Lives Matter after their coronavirus ceremony was canceled
Some public health experts support protests despite the risk of coronavirus: "The predominance of whites is a deadly public health problem."
A mother and daughter who have just graduated from medicine start their careers as doctors at the same facility
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