Allie Dowdle, 18, began dating her boyfriend, Michael, about a year ago, Elite Daily reports. Dowdle is white and Michael is black.
After Dowdle showed her parents a picture of Michael, they said she wasn't allowed to date him. Dowdle continued to see Michael, and at Christmas, Michael tried meeting them. As a result, Dowdle's parents cut her off entirely.
Now, Dowdle is worried she won't be able to afford college. She's set up a GoFundMe page detailing the feud and her current lack of resources, which has raised more than $17,000. The description reads,
Hi, everyone! Thank you for taking the time to read this. My name is Allie Dowdle, and I live in Memphis, TN. I'm 18 years old and a high school senior at a local private school, where I've maintained a 4.0 GPA since 9th grade and have taken 5 AP courses. I've jumped at every service opportunity available to me and completed a 2 month surgery fellowship this past summer at Regional One Health in downtown Memphis. My education has always been extremely important to me, which is why I am willing to share my story:
About a year ago, I told my parents that I'd started dating a boy named Michael, pictured with me above. Hoping to share him with my family, I showed my parents his picture, and the conversation was over before it even began. My dad did not give me an option: he told me that I was not allowed to see Michael ever again. Why? Strictly because of skin color. It wasn't a quiet "no," either. I'll never forget the yelling my parents did, when they expressed how disappointed they were in me, that I could do so much better. I did not know what to do. I couldn't comprehend how someone could be seen as less because of pigment. I still can't comprehend it, and I never will be able to.
Michael and I continued to see each other, but discretely [sic]. Over the past year, I've fought so hard to make my parents see Michael as a human being instead of just someone who is African American. I've advocated as best I know how. Finally, about a month ago, Michael and I approached my parents, but their response was much more drastic than I could've ever expected. As I am 18, my parents have chosen to no longer support my future, stripping me of all my resources including my personal savings, my car, my phone, and my education and leaving me on my own to pay for college. Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to attend college if I cannot come up with the money somehow. My parents also got involved with my school in attempt to get me removed from the organizations I've been a part of, like Coexist and Facing History and Ourselves, clubs that essentially encourage valueing [sic] and treating people equally.
I've applied and received some scholarship money through financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study, but I still need at least $10,000 to cover the first year of my remaining out of pocket tuition for college by May 1st. I've been applying for scholarships and have tried to get a job, but I am still living under my parents' roof because I have nowhere else to live, and my dad has done everything in his power to make the world difficult for me. I am not able to get a job because I do not have consistent transportation available.
All of this because I love another human being, as I was taught to do. How could my love for another person be wrong because of his skin color? And why would that make me unworthy of a future I've worked so hard for? Because my parents have listed me, their own daughter, as someone who is not worthy of their time and money, I have turned to the public for support. It hurts me to have to ask for money, as I'd rather be out working for it myself, but I currently have no other options. Even the smallest amount helps. I cannot express how much your time and money means to me. I can assure you that I am doing everything in my power to create a future for myself, but it has come to the point where I must ask for help.
According to the New York Daily News, the girl's father, Bill Dowdle, said he and his wife only disapprove of Michael because she began dating him in secret, and that he still loves Allie — but he also said there are "issues" with interracial dating in the South, and it's not his "preference" that his daughter dates a person of color.
Dowdle's campaign, titled "Say No to Racism," has faced backlash from GoFundMe users, who question whether donating money for a white girl to attend college is really combating racism.
"This whole campaign is steeped in privilege," one user wrote.
"I'm not really sure how sending a white female to school is against racism?" another user posted. "Like how is her going to school benefiting anyone in the black community...it's wonderful she wants to get an education by [sic] the title is slightly misleading."
"This sounds like a painful family situation, and I really do sympathize with you," another user wrote. "However, you still have a lot of advantages and privileges to help you move forward in life, even without your parents' money."
Dowdle's troubles with her parents are sad and disturbing; however, one can't ignore the overwhelming odds minorities face every day — obstacles that certainly aren't limited to familial pressures.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Jose Luis Gonzalez