The Melting Pot: Interracial Marriages Essay

This essay has a total of 1273 words and 6 pages.

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,
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