Do you think then that it's valid to see cultural differences as possible stumbling blocks to marriage?
Yes - good play bcspace! Try to get a black person to say that, then you can post forever about the CoJCoLDS not being racist because it counsels people not to marry outside their cultural and racial background.
You know I (my parents) participated in what Texas called the Pacesetter program in elementary school. IIRC it was supported by Senator John Tower, a super conservative as you may recall. The effect was that we white students were bused to a predominantly black school and the best teachers in the district were stationed there. I'd say it was a 70/30 ratio in favor of black students. I remember at the first recesses all the whites stood to one side and all the blacks stood on the other, but by the end of the year and in the subsequent years, we played together and no one differentiated. There were smart black kids and the stupidest idiot black kids. There were friendly black kids and blacks who were bullies. But there were the same types of individuals among whites as well. Overall, it was good times. We benefited from the best education Texas public schools had to offer (back in the 70's when public schools were still pretty good), great after school elective programs (the planetarium was my favorite), and I still maintain friendships, many of them black, from that era.
In high school, many of those friends remained and the school was mixed. I dated as I mentioned in my previous post, some black girls. I also dated white girls as well.
I served for 6 months with the first missionary from Kenya in a Zone Leader companionship. We were in LA and his brother was serving in D.C. at the same time. He told me he was very disgusted with blacks in America; their ghetto attitude and tendency to pull each other down and not get along with other races (he couldn't believe that in America there were still race issues). Lots of the same kinds of observations that Bill Cosby later stated publicly. But being in the parts of LA we were, he only saw the ghetto side, which frankly is prevalent through the country but there are other sides as well. We were going to room together in college but I ended up getting married right after I got home.
In my younger college days, I managed apartments and rented to blacks and whites. In terms of say, rent payments or disturbing the peace, there were bad apples on both sides ( I really hate differentiating between skin color), but whenever I had to come down on someone for non payment of rent or disturbing the peace, I could almost always count on the race card being played if the tenant was black. A few notable exceptions, but not many.
I also worked for a customer service department and rose to a supervisory position. I hired and fired. Again, whites and blacks and good and bad apples on both sides. Again though, if I had to fire a black person, I could almost always count on the race card being played.
I'd say too many blacks and whites haven't lived together long enough to understand that people are essentially the same everywhere no matter what the culture (a politically manufactured one pervades "black America" unfortunately).
In short, I reject the notion that because I am white, I can't be critical of black culture. I blame it on the Democrats and their ambulance chasing cronies (like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson) and some of their churches who want to keep blacks angry and in poverty in order to buy their votes or maintain their lifestyles I also completely reject the notion that I am racist in any way.