I pity Ta-Nehisi Coates and anyone else, white or black, who truly believes that love cannot exist between two people of different races (“Love Knows Color,” 11/21). If you want to call me an idealist for believing so, then I will wear that label proudly.

I am a black man who would give his life for his white girlfriend. Why? Because she treats me with honor, love, and respect. Sure, she’s not black—so by definition she will not experience firsthand the problems unique to being black in this country. But at least she is open-minded enough to listen and try to understand when I share my problems with her.

I entered into this relationship knowing that there would be pitfalls. It both amazes and amuses me to see that many of those I had thought were my friends would alienate me.

My choice in companionship is nobody’s business but my own. Glare at me, suck your teeth at me, whisper about me behind my back, pour soda on my car, or even key it (all of these things have happened to me, by the way)—even call me “Nigger” or “Uncle Tom” to my face. It won’t change the fact that I am in love with the woman that I am with, and I refuse to stop seeing her because you can’t handle the fact that I’m with her.

I suppose, by Coates’ reasoning, that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was also an idealist—after all, was it not his dream that one day little black boys and girls would join hands with little white boys and girls? When Dr. King was assassinated, I had not even been conceived and was thus robbed of ever being allowed the honor of witnessing him speak. On that note, I ask you yet another question: Now that the little boys and girls of Dr. King’s era have grown up, should we not also do what comes naturally to men and women?

Washington, D.C.

via the Internet