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The Melting Pot: Interracial Marriages

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The Melting Pot: Interracial Marriages

To be or not to be? Once again this is the question. In the past, social scientist and society in general, categorized people involved in interracial romances as disturbed, or they labeled these relationships as acts of rebellion, or attempts to move up on the social ladder (Majete 2000, 1). Today this no longer seems to be the case. However, this can still be quite controversial. Part of the reason for this controversy begins with the fact that there were laws barring intermarriage between persons of color and whites in forty of our fifty states until 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that these laws were unconstitutional. Once this law was lifted the number on interracial marriages continually began to increase. After the desegregation in the 1970's colored and whites were able to attend school, work, and general activities together. This allowed everyone to get to know each other and eventually to begin to marry.

Interracial marriages accounted for only thirty- three percent of all marriages in 1980 according to the 1980 census. Despite the small amount this was an increase from 1970 when it was only nine percent. However it is seemed to be believed that the actual percentage is much greater because many couples either find the census difficult to use or refuse to report this on such forms.

Social scientist have come up with their own conclusion on why races mix and marry. They say blacks want to get even with the dominant culture and whites want to atone for past racism. They have even went as far as to say these couples were pathological.

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According to a research done by an instructor in the department of sociology and anthropology at Baruch College of the City University of New York, found that out of the over two hundred surveyed, almost three-quarter of the black families do not have a problem with their children marrying outside their race. Black families are normally more accepting of the interracial relationship and the white partner than white families are of the black partner. Often the couple lives in a black or integrated community because of the disapproval they experience in all white communities. In a majority of the relationships the initial responses of the white parents were hesitation or rejection, but they eventually come around once they realize that the couple is serious about their relationship. Eighty percent of the parents expressed concern about the children's acceptance in society (Majete 2000).

On the contrary, seventy-five of the couples state they have positive relationships with their parents and in-laws after the marriage. The parents were overjoyed at their child's decision.

Is interracial marriage the key to healing the racial strife in America? Not according to one author who also served as a speech writer to President Clinton. He states, "...while interracial marriage is a powerful symbol of love transcending racial barriers, it does not have a substantial effect on racism" (Liu, 1998).

The number of mixed couples has increased from 150,000 in 1960 to 1.5 million in 1998. The number of multiracial kids has also increased to more than 2 million. Fredrick Douglass states that miscegenation is the only true path to interracial healing. But, you

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have to ask yourself, what the problem that intermarriage is supposed to solve. Eric Liu, a former speech writer for President Clinton and also a present author states:

If the problem is strife between races, well sure, biracial couples are powerful

symbols of life beyond pure hostility. But generally, biracial couples aren't trying to

save the world: they just happened to fall in love. And their mere existence doesn't

do much to alter the social circumstances--from residential segregation to media

stereotypes to campaign rhetoric--that can generate racial hostility. (1998 10)

There are so many facts represented by each side. Here are two of them. Biracial marriages will not help to put an end to racial tension I this country or any other country. Also, children from biracial marriages are looked at differently because they are not one solid race.

On the contrary, here are two facts of why we should allow it. Biracial marriages help ease the tension of racial diversity. Also, the right to marry whomever we please is our right as an American citizen.

It is opinionated to believe that blacks only marry whites to get ahead or get even in life. And vice versa that whites only marry black because they feel guilty of their fore fathers. It is also an opinion that



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