I don't understand you black doctors and other blacks like you. It seems as if you are always trying to appease white people.
I'm referring to all those letters you get from white women and the problems they encounter with their black men. You should tell them what they were getting into before they started. Ninety-nine percent of interracial marriages are sexually motivated -- and that's not love.
Those white women send you that trash to print, so they can irritate other black men and women or black people in general. We see enough negativism and we need more positive insight. -- C. S. Dear C. S.:
You are strongly prejudiced against interracial relationships and you stereotype black-white couples.
Many people, both black and white, believe the sole motivation for interracial liasions is sexual. You have been conditioned by society to be preoccupied by the sexual component of black-white relationships.
Interracial couples have chosen their respective mates for a variety of reasons -- some wise, some not so wise, and some simply human. Unfortunately, your self-righteousness will keep you from developing a different perspective.
Your irritation over a discussion about an interracial romance is understandable, in light of our cultural fear of such unions. You would like to put the subject to rest and talk only about black people. The issue, however, is not going to disappear and will continue to be a very real one for many people, black and white.
The purpose of our column is to answer questions and address concerns from all segments of the population. We never intended this to be a black forum directed at black issues. Nevertheless, we do address many letters from blacks about male-female relations, the black family, children, community and politics.
Frankly, we would like to see more mail coming from the black community. The more letters we receive, the more we can examine those issues of greatest relevance to black people. We urge you to write again, and please encourage your friends to also. Dear Doctors:
Our 15-year-old son is seeing a psychiatrist and refuses to let us talk to him. In fact, he says if we even call him on the phone, he will stop going, because we are always interfering in his life.
Two years ago, he started becoming rebellious -- smoking marijuana, staying out late, and always arguing with us and his younger brother and sister.
He has been seeing this psychiatrist for about a year, and at first, he seemed to improve. He calmed down, was paying more attention in school and we were very happy that his grades were better.
But in the last three months, he has suddenly changed. He's arguing again and accuses us of treating him like a child. He won't obey and has recently been truant from school.
We are very upset and want to find out what is going on -- that's why we want to talk to the psychiatrist. We don't want to be nosy and interfere with his therapy, but we do need help in knowing how to handle him.
Should we call the psychiatrist anyway and risk his quitting? We're very worried about him -- Mr. and Mrs. P. K. Dear Mr. and Mrs. P. K.:
You have a difficult dilemma. However, there is certain information you omitted that would have helped us give you appropriate advice.
For instance, did you talk to the psychiatrist when your son began therapy? If you did, perhaps you may recall what the understanding was about your "involvement" with his treatment.
Did the psychiatrist indicate that he might involve you at some point? Did he or she suggest that you call, if there is a serious crisis or emergency with your son? Frequently, these issues are discussed early in the therapy of an adolescent, in order to head off the kind of situation you now face.
Teen-agers who are searching for autonomy and independence are particularly concerned about privacy and noninterference from parents. They often have an exaggerated need to have control over their own domain, because it helps them to feel grown up.
We do not know your entire family situation, so it is difficult to assess whether your son has grounds for distrustful feelings about you. Are you over-controlling of him? Do you baby him? A little self-examination might help you to answer these questions.
I would suggest that you talk to your son about what is happening and that you carefully listen to what he has to say. You can take the approach that you want help for yourselves and the family, to ease the tension in your home. Suggest that perhaps you may be at fault in some ways, and would like to learn how to get along better with him.
Perhaps this tack, delivered with sincerity, will sway him to permit you to call his psychiatrist. You should reasure him that you and the therapist will not violate the confidentiality of their relationship.
If your son still refuses, we would not suggest that you call the doctor at this time. Your son may be seeking to leave thereapy for other reasons and will use your "interference" as the rationale.
We think you should consult another physician or psychologist to help you resolve this impasse. Often, therapists treating family members may confer if all participants agree.
Perhaps your involvement in this way will provide the help that you and your children need to cope with problems that are likely to emerge in the future.