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I was out on a date. My date was a black woman I had met at a bar. We had known each other for almost five months. She was big-boned, but she wasn't necessarily fat. She was a lighter-skinned version of Oprah Winfrey . I didn't realize that until one of her friends mentioned it at a party.

She called me up one night and asked did I want to go downtown. I had nothing else to do, so, I went.

We decided to go to Yab Yum. Yab Yum was a well-known downtown Orlando coffeehouse. Yab Yum is now called Harold and Maude's.

The night was going well. We listened to live jazz and blues. We drank some booze. She drank wine and I drank Rolling Rock. The night was going well until we got on a certain subject.

"I don't see why a black man would want to date a white woman," she said.

"I've dated white before," I said.

"Whyyyyyy, Patrick?"

Before I could answer, she kept talking.

"Was she Jewish?"

On and on she went, and for that reason, I didn't call this woman back for a very long time. Regardless of color, I can not tolerate racists.

Why did I call her back, anyway? I was bored.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 1.3 million interracial marriages in 1994. In 1970, there were 310,000 such marriages. Of the 1.3 million interracial marriages in 1994, 296,000 were black and white.

Most focus on interracial marriages has been on black and white. However, recent studies have shown that when compared to Hispanics and Asians, blacks are the least likely to marry outside of their own race.

Often, I think about my ideal wife. I think about this because one day--when I get over my growing misogyny--I will eventually get married.

My ideal wife would be a thickly curved soul sister with Queen Latifah's attitude. Queen Latifah is one of those sisters who has a very confident aura about her. That's the kind of personality I like.

To give a visual of my ideal wife's body, one should look no further than Vivica Fox. Miss Fox was the black stripper in the movie Independence Day. She has those thick curves that exist in most black men's fantasies. Oh yeah, and Vivica got a big butt, too.

So, that's my ideal wife--Vivica's body and Latifah's attitude.

Even though this is my ideal wife, this is not what I'm restricted to. I believe I can find love and a big butt in other races, too. (No, I am not restricted to big butts, either. I was just kidding about that part.)

According to a USA Today/Gallop poll, 57 percent of all teens around the country have dated a member of another race or ethnic group.

The most common myths about interracial marriages are those of rebellion, status gaining, moral degeneracy and self-hatred. However, psychologist Maria Root says this:

"The fact is that individuals in interracial couples are attracted to each other for the same reasons that individuals in same-race couples are. They consistently state that they get married because they like and love each other."

Psychologists have also said that due to the common bond they share in their unique experiences with society, some interracial couples have strong relationships.

Then, there's the question of children. Of course, other children tease them just like children make fun of someone for being fat, a minority or a nerd. Still, biracial children were found to be just as mentally healthy as other children.

Seeing how members of their own race treat them, who would blame those that date or marry outside of their race? White culture tends to glorify the anorexic blonde woman and despite the new emergence of black pride, blacks still look down on dark-skinned blacks. Sometimes, I don't blame these people for dating or marrying interracially.

Why look down on a dark-skinned black woman for marrying a white man when black men didn't want her from the beginning? Why look down on a perfectly healthy brunette for marrying an Asian man, when white men want a skinny blonde woman? If you didn't want the person from the beginning, why complain? It pisses me off when people pull this.

Another thing worth asking is what fuckin' business is it of other people, anyway? If two people of a different background love each other, they should be together.

One incident that has always stayed with me: I went to a nightclub called Heroes one night. Heroes is frequented by blacks. It is located in Eatonville, the nation's oldest black community.

I was dressed nice, and I wasn't carrying a gangsta attitude. Still, when I asked some lady to dance, I was turned down three times. That got to me.

I knew that skin tone wasn't the problem. I know it wasn't looks because I know I can't be that ugly. It might have been the dreadlocks, but I think the real problem was status and money. Heroes is also frequented by players on the Orlando Magic basketball team.

Prior to going to Heroes, I had run into an attractive white redhead at a theater party. I knew Red for quite some time but had never asked her out. That night, Red did the asking-out. We had exchanged numbers before we went our separate ways.

After seeing what I went through at Heroes, I called Red the next day.

Remember when Sistah asked was the white girl Jewish? No, she was a redheaded Catholic girl.

Neither Sistah nor Red are any longer in my life. I found that both women needed psychological help. Through experience, I have found that no race of women nor no class of women or background of women has the patent on crazy. A psycho is a psycho.

The question still remains. If I found love and a big butt with a woman of another race would I marry her?

Yep ... as long as she ain't a Republican. •

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Other MindPower columns by Patrick Scott Barnes: