the BLOG of stuart mcdonald


The Biggest Reason You’re Not Married
February 26, 2010, 11:11 am
Filed under: Relationships | Tags: , , , , ,

There are certain questions that I can’t stand to answer. Partially because the answer will bring no benefit to the questioner, and partially because the question itself makes certain implications. My favorite (or perhaps least favorite) question of this type — “Why aren’t you married/dating/in a relationship?”

We all love to get that question, don’t we? Whether it’s family, parents, old friends we haven’t seen in a while, or maybe a new acquaintance (but I hope not a date, lest they’ve forgotten their manners), they all want to know why we haven’t been “snatched up” into a relationship.

I’ve been guilty of asking this question before, as I’m sure you have. When I ask the question, it’s really a less offensive way of saying, “What’s wrong with you? Where are your defects? Do you have a personality disorder? There must be some logical explanation as to why someone hasn’t decided they want to spend the rest of their life with you? What’s the problem?”  That’s the backhanded brilliance of the “why aren’t you” question — it says all that and more in such a way that people often don’t have a decent answer. Continue reading



Are Interracial Relationships Biblical?
February 23, 2010, 11:11 am
Filed under: race, Relationships | Tags: , , , , ,

Last week I talked about how interracial dating can go wrong by citing a certain website that is designed exclusively for those desiring only interracial relationships. I noted how this can allow people to develop unhealthy, racially-based fetishes. Since then, some have brought up the question of whether or not interracial dating is Biblical. This argument is not only easily dismantled, but in fact, racist in and of itself.

In order to properly talk about interracial relationships, we must define what race is. The best definition I have found comes from Dr. Mikhail Lyubansky, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Illinois. He defines race as a “classification of human beings into politically motivated socially constructed categories based on arbitrary phenotypical combinations.” In other words, there is no lasting, biological condition such as race (other than, of course, the human race) — it’s strictly based on societal norms at a given place and time.

Using that definition, we understand that interracial relationships involve two individuals who don’t have similar phenotypical features (in terms of race, we often think of skin tone, bone structure, and hair texture). Continue reading



Do You Have These Red Flags In Your Relationship?
February 19, 2010, 11:11 am
Filed under: Relationships | Tags: , , , ,

RedFlags

In every dating relationship, the time comes when we must examine the other person’s character, integrity, and personality in order to discern whether or not we want to spend the rest of our lives with them. During this examination, we sometimes easily spot things that send up what is often referred to as a “red flag,” or a warning sign. But sometimes there are blatant things that we simply overlook for whatever reason. I know I’ve done it before and chances are that you have too.

So in hopes that we can all learn from my mistakes and hopefully be more aware these flags in the future, I’ve compiled the following list of a few of the major red flags that I look for when considering a relationship with someone. While these are all important and should be examined at some point in the relationship (preferably sooner rather than later), they are listed in no particular order. Continue reading



When Interracial Dating Goes Wrong
February 16, 2010, 11:11 am
Filed under: race, Relationships, Think About It | Tags: , , , ,

mixed couple

While browsing YouTube the other day, I noticed an interesting ad, placed below a video entitled, “Single black women find the search for love is especially difficult.” The ad pictured a Black woman with a shirtless White man next to the text, “AfroRomance — Where love is more than skin deep.”


I didn’t want to assume that it’s placement was intentional, so I refreshed the page at least half a dozen times, even closing the browser, opening it back up, and going to the page again, and each and every time I saw the exact same ad. I even went so far as to have four other people check the page, but we independently saw the same thing. No matter how we tried, there was no escaping AfroRomance.

It seemed that YouTube, with it’s consistent ad placement was saying: “Hey Black women, you know your pickings are slim with all the black men being either unemployed or incarcerated. Not to worry, come try out this interracial dating site and find you a nice White man!” (Ok, perhaps that wasn’t the intent, but that’s certainly how I took it.) Continue reading



Love…
February 14, 2010, 9:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others.

Love isn’t always “me first.”

It doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins or mistakes of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, but rather it takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always and always looks for the best.

It never looks back, but keeps going to the end.

Love never gives up.

(1 Corinthians 13 Message Translation)




My Thoughts on John Mayer and the “Hood Pass”
February 12, 2010, 10:10 am
Filed under: race, Think About It | Tags: , , , , ,

In a recent interview with Playboy magazine, John Mayer made a few comments that caused a bit of an uproar and plenty or backlash on Twitter. It seems that more than a few people have wanted my thoughts, so here’s my obligatory “the White boy speaks out on John Mayer” post.

But before we get started, if you haven’t already, I’ll let you read the full interview for yourself (here) and then come back and join us.

Obviously his use of the n-word was out of line for the simple reason that he’s White. Whether he has a “Hood Pass” or not, he is still a White man in America using an incredibly powerful, racially charged, derogatory term that comes with, at least when said from the mouth a White person, years of oppression, slavery, and notions of inherent inferiority attached to it. A “hood pass” may give you a pass to come into someone’s community but doesn’t change the color of your skin. Continue reading



My Racial & Ethnic Identity… And Then Some.
February 10, 2010, 1:22 pm
Filed under: My Life..., race
Headed into Boston

In Race and Ethnic Relations Sociology class, we were given an assignment to write a paper (of 2-3 pages — I wrote 5) in order to answer 3 questions: 1) How do you identify racially and ethnically? Who are you? Who are your people? 2) How do you explain the origin and emergence of racial and ethnic diversity and stratification? 3) How do you explain the continuation of racial and ethnic diversity and stratification? When I mentioned the essay initially, I had quote a few people who wanted me to share it, so behold, below is my response:

Check The Top Box, Or Something Like That: A White Man’s Racial and Ethnic Identity and Ideas on the Origins of Race and Ethnicity

Identifying my race  has never been complex or difficult; it’s actually rather easy. I’ve always been able to check a single box — usually the one at the top — and keep things moving.

To look at me, you’d quickly assume that, because of my pale skin which, even in Summer, rarely tans, my blue-ish/green-ish/grey-ish eyes, and my straight, brown hair, that I am a White American man. And you’d be right. No secrets here. Nothing ambiguous to discern, discover, and detect.  Only the obvious. But how I identify myself ethnically is another story. Continue reading