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Old 10-08-2013, 09:12 PM
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Yes, the topic kind of came up as one of a couple of (very interesting) topics, and the group voted for the race/poly topic. I was rather pleased about that, but then I thought later, "I have no idea how to address this topic!" So I was even more pleased to discover that it's already been talked about quite a bit on this forum. That's what I needed ... different points of view and perspectives and food for thought.

I'm sure we'd get along well if I lived in your area in Philly, and I'd enjoy your Conversation Cafes. Alas, although I'm on the cusp of moving, my direction isn't to be east/northeast but rather north/northwest, to Seattle-ish where my older brother and his wife live. We get along so well with those two, love the ambience of the area (yes even that dubious weather), and look forward to the fact that Seattle seems to be one of the big "poly centers" in the United States. Other cities with large and well-organized poly populations are Los Angeles, Austin (Texas), and Boston. Anyway, my V definitely has Seattle on the brain right now.

I am interested in the idea that lots of black folks practice polyamory in essence, but think of it as "weird" when called by that name. I wonder what they feel the difference is, or is the difference merely that polyamory is something "that white people do?" When you described "black polyamory," I heard all the essential elements that polyamory calls for -- romantic/emotional involvement, commitment, and most of all consent. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, ain't it a duck? Strange. Some kind of gap in perception is at work here, do black folks realize how like them polyamorous whites really are in that respect? I suppose as always the missing link is communication between the races. If we all really understood each other, we might all have an "aha" moment.

Could the disconnect be rooted in the fear of "mixing with the other race?" Are white people somehow "feared" amongst the black community, because of the awful way whites have treated blacks in the past? "Whites can't be trusted ... If it's something whites are doing, it must be alien and weird and something we'd want no part of." Could that be part the problem?

Alas, I can't imagine any way any white peoples could make up for the sins of their ancestors. Slavery and all it entails is such a vast and mind-boggling sin, it's just impossible to imagine any restitution that could fix it in the present. As yet another unfair element in the story, the onus seems to fall on black folks to forgive white folks even though white folks don't deserve it. I guess I'd compare it to the holocaust in WWII. How are the Jews supposed to forgive the Germans? The damage the Germans did is permanent; it reaches through each successive generation. In which case, forgiveness is an undeserved gift.

And then, forgiveness is generally assumed to come paired with the restoration of trust. It's one thing to forgive someone (relinquish any ill will held towards them), but it's another thing to say, "Well I will trust that person again. I will let them be a part of my life." Why should black folks trust white folks?

All this is complicated, of course, by the fact that many white folks (e.g. my father, I'm ashamed to say) cling to their prejudices against black people, and aren't willing to relate to black people eye to eye. Black people certainly remain disenfranchised as a whole in our society. So how do you extend trust in that kind of environment, just for the sake of a few whites who don't have the traditional prejudices?

One hopeful thought is that maybe *polyamorous* whites are more trustworthy, because they tend to have more liberal and open-minded views. How often would you see a polyamorous white person who had a distaste for black people? Not very often. For the most part, polyamorous whites are progressive and sincere about wanting to get along with all races. *If* this idea can be noticed by the black community, we might all have a better chance of getting together -- and helping each other. To be white and polyamorous is not to comprehend how hard it is to be black in this world. But it's a start. At least polyamorous whites have a glimpse of what it means to be in the "margins of society."

I am reminded of the phenomenon I've often heard of where quite a few gay folks strongly believe in monogamy and strongly condemn polyamory. Sometimes marginalized peoples (whether marginalized by life choices which they can choose, or by race which they can't choose) miss the potential of "outcasts helping each other out."

The more I think about it, the more I suspect that blacks and whites (perhaps especially blacks and polyamorous whites) need to find a way to communicate with each other more. As communication is considered to be so important to relationships by poly folks, so communication is also probably the key to healing the large-scale wounds of the past, and making trust and forgiveness possible. After all, the thing that usually drives individuals apart is the difficulty in trusting and forgiving.

I have two younger brothers. One of them is having a terrible time forgiving the other because when we were kids, the older brother ostracized the younger brother and made him feel like he was totally unwanted -- as if the older brother would have liked to see him erased from existence. Today, that wronged brother is having an epic struggle inside with forgiveness, and an even greater struggle with trusting the guilty brother again. After all, the two brothers have such opposite personalities. One (the ostracized brother) is intensely emotional and person-oriented. The other is coldly logical and data-oriented. Does that "cold brother" deserve forgiveness? He doesn't have any great sentimental feelings about the idea. Does he deserve to be trusted, after the depth of the wounds he inflicted?

So there are many sins-of-the-past hurdles to overcome, and many differences-in-life-and-culture to overcome. The sad thing here is that if very different/diverse peoples could get together, imagine how much they could enhance each other's worlds and perspectives!

Perhaps that's one of the reason why multiple poly groups (from far distant localities) are becoming increasingly focused on the racial divide that echoes itself in polyamory. And it's appropriate that "white polyamorists" seem to be more more obsessed about it than "black polyamorists." After all, "the white guys" are the ones that need the trust and the forgiveness. It's a type of yearning, if you will.

@ london ... interesting the ideas of "partial consent" and "the monogamous partner is always non-consenting." I would venture that sometimes such is the case, but not always. From the people I've met and talked with, it seems that some folks can be monogamous but poly-tolerant, sort of in a live-and-let-live type of a way. This says nothing about how many such monogamists (and mono/poly) couples are out there, and how the numbers are affected by race and culture. But I believe it's possible for some monogamous people to be okay with their partners being polyamorous, if said partners are extra considerate and make sure the monogamist's needs are met. Not to act like a know-it-all; I only speak of what I've encountered on poly forums so far.

It sounds like some black cultures live in a state of "half consent" with respect to polyamory. The monogamous woman in a marriage technically goes along with the husband's other girlfriends and at least allows some of them a place in family functions, but not all of his girlfriends.

I am observing, by the way, that not all black communities are alike. It depends largely on what part of the world they live in, and what part of the world's many cultures they're affected by.

We can definitely agree that if a monogamous partner means/feels "No," he/she should say "No."
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:24 PM
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Yes, black American culture is quite different from Caribbean culture, although some common themes can be observed. But, again, it's religion mainly.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:28 PM
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I think, poly or not, we all bring our prejudices into every aspect of our lives. Here in Philly, the poly group is mostly White but its not because they haven't reached out to other races, it because other races haven't wanted to be a part of their particular circle. I don't know why, really. Fear? Distrust? Hate? Probably all those things. My wife and I, being an interracial couple, have pretty much just been shit-out-of-luck LOL when it comes to poly and/or swinging. Blacks have issues with her being White, or have all these really oppressive stereotypes about her as a White Woman, or vice versa. So, yeah...Philly is not the place for poly.

I still think MOST people, of all races, just cheat and have affairs. Poly demands that you show up as a whole person, be honest, be respectful, and deal with your shit on a constant basis. I don't know that a lot of people are ready or willing to do the work. Hell, truth be told, we're not really ready for it so we are doing the monogamishlike thing again LOL.

You talk about forgiveness? I feel like that can only come when people are ready to just say "Okay, some bad shit happened back in the day but we can make new choices and move on from here." I don't know that many people, again, are ready and willing to do even that. Our hate and fear keeps us safe, or at least makes us feel safe.

Good luck in Seattle. My wife is from Redmond, actually...well, sort of...
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:33 PM
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I think a great part of it is level of risk.

We talked about this A LOT when my friend committed suicide.
She was:
female (a minority)
black (a minority)
gay (a minority)
had mental health issues (a minority with a HUGE stigma attached)

It was discussed that with each additional minority status, the risks increase for any given person. The amount of mistreatment increases, the ostracization (spelling?) increases etc.

For many minorities, black, latino, oriental, etc in the US; the risk of being openly poly is too high. Especially so because they are already struggling with low income issues too.

What a person is willing to do and what they are willing to do when it risks the safety and security of their family is very different. ESPECIALLY when that risk is already in their face.

In my social psych class this semester we were discussing the fact that someone with a minority status of any kind is always conscious of that. So for example, men aren't conscious of the risk of being raped whenever they walk down the street, but women are. For many racial minorities, the risk of ostracism, fired, mistreated etc for doing ANYTHING "out of line" with the norm is TOO GREAT to risk.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hades36 View Post
Blacks have issues with her being White, or have all these really oppressive stereotypes about her as a White Woman, or vice versa. So, yeah...Philly is not the place for poly.
That is shitty! Just shitty.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:45 PM
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@ london ... amazing the magnitude of influence religion (in its many forms) exercises over people all over the world. To the extent that "polygamy" can be holy in one culture, and unholy in another culture, and the religious authorities are the persons pulling the strings.

Re (from Hades36):
Quote:
"My wife and I, being an interracial couple, have pretty much just been shit-out-of-luck LOL when it comes to poly and/or swinging."
Gads, I would think being an interracial couple would make you "SOL" in so many settings and aspects of society. Black and white people alike are prone to "agree" that "we shouldn't mix our races" and all that. Stuff like, "It dilutes our culture if we let it get mixed in with a person of the other culture, and then we lose our identity" ... etc.

I know that a lot of black people rightly feel like the white race stole their culture when we forced them across the sea from Africa to America. So, African culture is fiercely guarded, and not to be mixed, mingled, an corrupted with with white American culture. After all, "If they take away our African heritage, what do we have left?"

But the damage has already been done. Black people already live in America, against their ancestors' (and perhaps their own will), and guess what, American culture has infiltrated them. They could all return to Africa tomorrow, and they wouldn't quite fit in because they've truly become "African American," instead of just "African."

It is a unique thing to be a black person in America, an experience that couldn't be duplicated anywhere else in the world. In some ways, that is a bad thing, but perhaps that cloud has a silver lining. To me, black people have, to a large extent, made the best of a bad situation, and as a result, we now have a new culture in the world that is imbued with much that is good and irreplaceable. Yes, America has far to go in the way of learning how to make black and white cultures work together in symbiotic fashion. But it's still a dream one can envision and hope for in some future generation.

It saddens me that people don't realize the immense positives that an interracial coupling represents. What better way could there be to express a promise that it's possible for diverse cultures to mingle and share and not lose their identities? I guess some white people think that black people will "ruin our white culture" as well. It's all so silly and so sad. We all have in common that we are all American. Can't we connect in that way and still let each other be individuals? After all, one black person is as different from another black person as is one white person from another white person. We all have our individual cultures that we've accumulated throughout our lives. Don't we all need to share our unique persectives in order to function as a society at all?

I guess most white people are "afraid of polyamory," just as are most black people, while ironically everyone leans towards polyamory in their hearts, with all the affairs and stuff that occur throughout the United States and the world.

Re:
Quote:
"Our hate and fear keeps us safe, or at least makes us feel safe."
Yeah, change of any kind is pretty frightening ... even change for the better ...

Re:
Quote:
"Good luck in Seattle. My wife is from Redmond, actually ... well, sort of ..."
Cool beans.

@ LovingRadiance ... sorry to hear about your friend that did herself. I know a few people that followed the same path. So sad and shocking; they seemed like such cheerful people when we were in middle/high school. I think we underestimate how much pain people can hide inside themselves.

Everyone has a desire to fit in, no matter how much of a misfit they are. And everyone is expected to fit in, no matter how impossible it is to change the basic facts of who you are. Hence the fear some poly people live in of having their children taken away, etc.

People especially need opportunity for decent employment, and this is a heavy burden laid on black people's shoulders. It is laid on white polyamorists' shoulders too to a lesser extent, but as you said, who could possibly afford to bear both burdens.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:45 PM
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I normally just read people's responses but, I had to comment on this one.
Mostly it is my opinion but, it also has a look in to some of black cultures mindset
without being to general. (You know, this is what all Black Americans feel).

My major points are as follows
  • Terminology ignorant
  • Feeling Segregated
  • Multi-partner relationships Vs Mono
  • Going to meetings – Trust and Locations

Terminology
When I began learning about this lifestyle it blew my mind. It was an eye opener to say the least.
I thought to myself is this what I've been doing most of my life and I didn't know what it was or what to call it? I think we as Black Americans think of these type of relationship as either being a player or a Hoe (Whore). Not really something that is shown in a positive light.

I have been in multi-partner relationship since I was probably 8 years old. Varying for MFM V-type to several MFF's in my teenage years. I didn't have any other type of consensual poly type of relationship until I was in my Mid 20's

Feeling Segregated
When I began studying this lifestyle in college I thought that it was just whites who partook in the terminology of Polyamory lifestyle. After atching many movies on the subject that was the consensus I arrived at.

To make matters worse, well... at the time before I realized it didn't matter.
I noticed a trend that poly's were pretty much pagan. Coming from a Christian (Southern) background.
That was a big No No! This had to be of the Devil LOL. It wasn't until I read the liberated Christian website and looked in the bible myself to find out that God never looked down on multi-partner relationships. He even gave guidelines on what is expected if you partake in this lifestyle. Granted it was polygyny, but you get the point.

Sometimes we as people will look for our own to validate or calm our minds. Kinda like whites going to the ghetto to hang out or do missionary work. It may make you feel safer to know someone else is there that's like you. Well, It's like that when we (blacks, or at least for me) sometimes travel out to the country or the woods. As long as I you see another black face out here then maybe I won't get hung. I watched too many movies like Mississippi burning and such growing up.

Multi-partner relationships Vs Mono

As I mentioned before, I've been in these type of relationships and they were nonsexual. I think my first was a MFF with my first love and her cousin. We all went to church together. My first love asked me to go out with her cousin too because she liked me.

Next was a MFM V-Type. Me and a friend shared a girl. We would take turns kissing her. Sometimes in front of each other and sometimes by ourselves. I think I was around 7 or 8.

I didn't have another multi-partner relationships until my teenage years. I wouldn't have any girlfriends for months or years. When I finally got a girlfriend, I always end up with two or three (although 3 was rare). Talk about time management. Try juggling 2 or 3 girls talking on the phone!

Without going into every scenario, it is an spoken and unspoken rule that you should grow up and settle for your one true love. One can't be a player forever. I never considered myself a player, but that's what you're labelled as if you have multiple girlfriends.

And yet, those types of relationships continued for me. One type was a MFMM and it was interracial. All the males were black and the female was white. She was gorgeous! A 10 in my book.

Of course when my mother found out she gave me the never trust them (white girls) talk. “They'll get you in trouble. Stick with you're own. Too many black men have been killed or put in jail for dating or having sex with them. You don't want to die or go to jail do you”?!

Granted there is some truth to it, so it was enough to keep me from pursuing it in those days. At least publicly. (Personal experience too long to go into for this post). Not to mention you would be labelled a sell out by the black girls in school. Gotta love the mind control of early years.

Going to meetings – Locations
I have looked at going to meetings just haven't been able to. I have noticed that many of the places that have a big poly community are places I've visited and didn't know it. Austin, Raleigh, Tampa, Orlando, Philly, etc. With the exception of Philly (mainly because I didn't know about it when I was there) I found out about the meetings either too late or I was leaving to head home the day of the meeting.

Also, when I came to visit Santa Fe, and Albuquerque. It was nice to see the Native Americans selling their artwork and the Hispanics doing their thing along with the Whites. However, there weren't many blacks there.
I did wonder if there was a poly community. I didn't bring my laptop so there was no way for me to find out. Far be it from me to just walk up to a stranger and say “Excuse me, are you poly or do you know of any poly groups in town”?
When I got home and looked on this site I noticed kdt26417 was from Albuquerque. I thought “Damn, there went my chance to talk with someone who's poly”.

Although I have lived in another part of the country, I do live in one of those southern states, kdt26417 mention. Right now, I'm looking to get out of the south to broaden my perspectives so to speak. I'm researching to see where I think and feel I belong. I've looked at Ohio, Seattle, Colorado, Texas (I know it's still the south, But it's not deep east south) and places that I thought I would never live.
Mostly because I'm in the technology industry. Tech industries can be centrally and heavily populated in some of the mentioned states. Including but not mentioned: Arizona, Nevada, and California.

Almost enough to say that tech heads, technocrats, tech geeks, and nerds are more open to this type of lifestyle. Maybe it's more of what kdt26417 mentioned
Quote:
“My question is, why does most of the poly population seem to be drawn from Caucasian (read: white and of European descent), and even especially well-educated and well-off Caucasian peoples?”
Maybe it's because some well educated whites gravitate towards and dominate these fields.

Trust
Sometime I wonder if poly meetings are a front to get your name in a database for future nefarious intentions. You know, reserving our own little room in the Ministry of Love (Modern day FEMA camps) lol.
But seriously, that's how the Gays, Gypsy's, Jews, and Japanese were rounded up in WW2. Census data.

As far as trusting whites or anyone for that matter. You have to be willing to open up yourself to different cultures to dispel the lies of the majority. As I was growing up it was a common belief that whites had it made just because they were white. It wasn't until I went to college that I saw that statement/belief was a lie. I watched poor whites have to drop out of school because they couldn't afford to go any longer. I also met one of my life long friends during that time (Nothing poly, just a good friend). Whenever I begin to become programmed by the TV to think about whites in a negative way. I think of him and his family, or I'll go and visit him to keep myself grounded.

It's the same way with the Hispanic culture. I have great Hispanic people that I can look at and talk with to dis-spell the lies. Which are they are all illegals only here to drain the economy and steal jobs. I get to personally see hard working people trying to have a better life. Not in criminal activity or into drugs or gangs.

I guess that's it for now. If I think of any more I will add an addendum.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:30 AM
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Good, well-organized post, free.

Re: Terminology ... I actually get the impression that African Americans tend to be "more poly" than white folks, or do white folks just hide it a lot more? Either way, both races obviously tend to think of anything outside strictly-obeyed monogamy to be slutty (even if, or maybe especially if, consent is involved).

Re: poly movies ... they do seem to feature all white actors, don't they. Although as I mentioned in the OP, Hollywood almost never employs black actors, for any kind of movie, especially when it comes to who plays the main character. Oh sure there's exceptions like Django, but come on, that's a movie about slavery in the south. How were they going to not feature black actors in that show?

Interesting proposal that polyamory may be more of an "IT industry animal" than it is a "racial animal." I suppose any line of work that exercises objective thinking in the mind will encourage the worker to figure things out independently rather than just "go along with whatever everyone else seems to be doing."

Very interesting point about the tendency for polyamory and Pagan sects to intersect. Have no idea how to "solve that problem." Does it help to say that there's exceptions to the rule? I'm an atheist, for example. On the other hand, how many Latter-day Saint polyamorists are you going to find? Um, none?

Like you said, though, Christianity isn't necessarily as opposed to polyamory as it professes. Yes, we're now talking about patriarchal polygyny, but how blithely Christians take the Old Testament for granted! Good God, how many wives and concubines did Solomon have?

Re:
Quote:
"Sometimes we as people will look for our own to validate or calm our minds. Kinda like whites going to the ghetto to hang out or do missionary work. It may make you feel safer to know someone else is there that's like you."
Mmmm, well it's true that Latter-day Saint missionaries work in pairs. So you always have your missionary companion (usually white like you) standing by your side.

Re:
Quote:
"As long as I you see another black face out here then maybe I won't get hung."
Yeah, a slight problem there ...

Re:
Quote:
"Me and a friend shared a girl. We would take turns kissing her. Sometimes in front of each other and sometimes by ourselves. I think I was around 7 or 8."
Awww, that whole visual is cute and appealing. If only adults could be as innocent as kids ...

Re:
Quote:
"Try juggling 2 or 3 girls talking on the phone!"
Heh ... well certainly that would be a challenge, but here I think we've touched upon something the races have in common. Polyamory almost always presents a challenge when it comes to juggling multiple partners. Hence the tendency for successful poly families to rely on the good old calendar to hold everything together.

Re:
Quote:
"Without going into every scenario, it is an spoken and unspoken rule that you should grow up and settle for your one true love. One can't be a player forever. I never considered myself a player, but that's what you're labelled as if you have multiple girlfriends."
Ah, but that too is really a multi-racial problem. White folks also tend to excuse a certain amount of "youthful indiscretions," as long as one ends the story happily by eventually marrying their one and only monogamous partner forever and ever amen.

Re:
Quote:
"And yet, those types of relationships continued for me. One type was a MFMM and it was interracial. All the males were black and the female was white. She was gorgeous! A 10 in my book."
A 10 with a thing for black guys. Man, am I turning all shades of green ...

Re:
Quote:
"Of course when my mother found out she gave me the never trust them (white girls) talk. 'They'll get you in trouble. Stick with your own. Too many black men have been killed or put in jail for dating or having sex with them. You don't want to die or go to jail do you?!'"
Hmmm. That's a tough one to argue with. I guess any time a white and a black person hook up, it's always "the black person's fault." Since white people are "naturally so much more virtuous than black people." Sigh, that really sucks. "To Kill a Mockingbird" comes to mind.

How sad is it that one of the few things whites and blacks seem to agree on is that the two races should shun all romantic admixture. Wow. And then it sucks to be a child of a "mixed marriage" of course. Then you don't belong anywhere. So stupid; doesn't have to be that way; heck mixed-race kids are some of the most beautiful people we have (in my opinion).

Interesting that Raleigh, Tampa, Orlando, and Philly have a big poly scene going on. Maybe it's spreading to more cities? I will say that even a lot of "mostly non-poly cities" are starting to sport at least one local poly group (Albuquerque being an example).

Ah, alas, I will only be an Albuquerque polyamorist for a few more months. After that, I will become a Seattle polyamorist (and they have a number of poly groups, so who knows which one I'll eventually join). FWIW, though, Albuquerque will continue to have a poly group after I'm gone. Their yahoo address: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/albpoly/

Santa Fe has had a very active poly group for a long time, but we (me and my two poly V companions) never got into it because, hey, why drive to Santa Fe when you can meet up in Albuquerque.

Re: New Mexico ... yes, alas, is one of the many Western states with a low percentage of African Americans. There's a few here, but not many. Mostly our challenge is to develop relations with Hispanics, Latinos, and Native Americans here.

Re:
Quote:
"Sometimes I wonder if poly meetings are a front to get your name in a database for future nefarious intentions."
Really? I guess that's possible. Doesn't seem very likely though. I know it happened in WWII, but I think America and Europeans both learned some hard lessons from that appalling war. Yes, that might be naive on my part. Just sayin', it seems like a reach.

Re: white privelage ... true for some whites, but it's very fair for you to point out that most white folks are just blue collar Joe's who have to worry a lot about piecing (and holding) together a moderate standard of living. Lots of people are taking hits from the poor state of the economy right now.

Re: various minority races perhaps especially Hispanics ... definitely not given a fair shake by your average conservative white American. But that's just it: A lot of white Americans are becoming liberal nowadays, and shaking off the lies that their ancestors taught them.

I guess in summary, there are a lot of racial problems that (still) need to be solved. But it's comforting to know that people are, slowly but surely, getting there (as a whole).

I really enjoyed the movie "Malcom X" (own a copy), and was moved by the fact that earlier in his activist career, Malcom's answer to the white girl's query of, "What can I do to help?" was, "Nothing." And yet approaching the end of the movie, we saw that Malcom had an epiphany about that and speculated that white and black people can work together after all -- yes, and even share a love for one another.

Perhaps the question the white polyamorous community needs to ask is, "How can we help?"
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  #79  
Old 10-10-2013, 12:43 AM
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It's so interesting reading all of this.

I grew up (I am white) with a sister who is half white, half black. I remember as a child being jealous of her because she was so beautiful and I felt boring in comparison.

But-I also have a number of black male friends, all of whom are married or hooked up with white women... It seems very much "normal" where I live. In fact.. it's common.

I was raised RLDS (there is a difference-but no point in going in to it here)-which I find HILARIOUS.

Free-awesome detailed explanations.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:34 AM
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To LovingRadiance and ktd26417.

Thanks for appreciating the read. I originally was going to post it privately to ktd. But, I thought how many times have I read someone else's post and it helped me. Or, made me say "Someone else understands! I'm not alone."

So I hope my words can have that affect for someone else.
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