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Old 12-25-2014, 09:12 AM
 
Location: La Grande, OR
1 posts, read 3,253 times
Reputation: 10

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I am a white male from Oregon. I have recently become engaged to a beautiful black woman from Kenya. The plan is for her to move here to La Grande, OR. It is a small community and my question is.... If any one has any thoughts or experiences with the acceptance of interracial dating and marriage in this area or any of Oregon?
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Here in the Portland area, interracial relationships are common and accepted among all but the most reactionary, and even they usually keep their mouths shut. You will rarely get a second glance from people around here.

La Grande is a much smaller town in eastern Oregon. It's a college town, and therefore can be expected to be a bit more cosmopolitan than other nearby towns. I have never been there, but looking at the demographics, your fiancee will be one of the few black people in town - city-data's own page on La Grande says that blacks form 0.5% of the town's population. So you might get some curiosity from those who just haven't seen very many black people, but I don't think you'd run into any overt hostility.

Last edited by JMT; 12-26-2014 at 06:25 PM..
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:12 AM
 
Location: Houston
1,257 posts, read 2,364,328 times
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It has been many years since I lived in La Grande. Outside of the college crowd you might get some raised eyebrows. I had long hair in school. People shouted at me from their pick ups to get a hair cut. At this point they wont say much... to your face. Add kids to the mix and Portland starts looking friendlier.
My opinion only. I did however live in La Grande.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,792 posts, read 10,581,020 times
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What I have found to be true is that my family's reactions to my interracial girlfriends and now my interracial wife, trump anything that any random stranger might say or do. People worry about strangers who, for the most part, do not care a hang what you do in the slightest. Family is very different. I also have not overlooked the point that the o.p. has already gone ahead and proposed marriage to the Kenyan. What if I told him that he and her will occasionally be at the wrong end of thrown soft drink containers, rooster tail spray from pick-up trucks, hostile gestures and poor service in general from a variety of places? These are all part and parcel of going against accepted societal norms. If such things happen in Salem, Hillsboro and Forest Grove (but not Portland), then I can only suspect that they can also happen in La Grande. And? What? If La Grande it is, then La Grande it is. How he acts in these situations will be the biggest part of whether she regrets it or not.

H
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:03 PM
 
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I grew up in small town Oregon and in your case I doubt anyone cares. Were it the reverse, in small town Oregon, I think there'd be some problems.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,665 posts, read 18,050,097 times
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I recall auditing an employer in Hood River many years ago. I looked at the census statistics for minorities and asked the employer how they succeeded in recruiting Blacks (is was agricultural related, lots of Hispanics and Asians). They told me that virtually all the Blacks in their community were related to a couple who moved there right after the Vietnam War. They were so nice the community adopted them, so to speak, they were theirs and no body was going to mess with them. Some of children in the family married local Caucasians and all was well.

So, basically, you can be an exceptional family in Oregon and if you involve yourself in the community your neighbors will form a wall of good will around you.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:15 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
26,146 posts, read 34,638,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt6729 View Post
......... the acceptance of interracial dating and marriage in this area or any of Oregon?
I don't care where you go in the world, there is the possibility of running into an inconsiderate jerk or two. But generally, Oregon is live and let live.

Move there, fit yourself into the community and the culture. Be polite and pleasant and you won't have any problems with the locals. People who move to small towns and immediately expect everyone else to comply with their outsider standards are the ones who have trouble with the locals, and that doesn't have anything to do with race.

I suggest that you refrain from telling the locals how things were done where you came from. That is generally not well received and has nothing whatsoever to do with race.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:50 PM
 
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Having lived in La Grande in the 80's and early 90's I can say at that time the town was very intolerant and redneck to anything slightly out of white, rural, american "norm". I went to high school there and at the time there was 1 african American and a couple mixed race children who's parents went to my church. Mom white and dad black and they did not have the easiest time dealing with the locals opinions of thier family.

I would recommend moving to the Portland or Eugene area to avoid ignorance and potential future bullying of children you have. I was beat to a pulp my first day of school there after moving to town from Eugene. I was called a "valley person" and never fully accepted in the community having not been born there. The town is also predominately Mormon and they protect their own, meaning if one of their kids wrongs yours, they will cover and stand up for thier child regardless of their behavior. Unless you are bound to La Grande by some phenomenal job I would say move and then bring her over from Kenya.

La Grande is also extremely homophobic, again if it's out of white, rural, american "norm" they have issues.

It has been over twenty years since I lived in La Grande and I can hope it is a better place but my overall observation of La Grande is time stands still there. The friends I have that also left the community have the same observation.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,100 posts, read 24,548,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.c.m.j View Post
The town is also predominately Mormon and they protect their own, meaning if one of their kids wrongs yours, they will cover and stand up for thier child regardless of their behavior.
Sounds pretty much like parents of most religions or no religion at all, to me.
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