Interracial Marriage Paper

Word Count: 1697 |

Interracial Marriages

Imagine a fifteen year old Caucasian girl named Mary goes up to her mom and says “Mom guess what, this really cute boy just asked me out!!!.” The mother is so excited she asks “well what’s he like?” “He’s funny, smart, and really tall and oh he’s black.” The parent will most likely react in one of two ways. She will either be ok with it and happy her daughter found a nice boy, or she will be shocked and scared for her daughter. She will try to talk her out of it, and give her a million reasons why it won’t work. Mary won’t understand why her mom is reacting like this. She cries at night in confusion, because she knows he is a nice boy, and she doesn’t see how what his skin color is has anything to do with it. Younger generations don’t see the controversy of this; they see love as color blind. Eventually, the mom meets the young man her daughter desperately fights for, and realizes he’s not such a bad kid. No, he might not be the one, but he’s the one of today, and maybe next month too. Despite all the new freedoms we have, there are still people who have strong feelings against our attraction to people who look different to us. Over 40 years ago, there wouldn’t even be the consideration or eventual acceptance of interracial marriages, as most people feared the consequences of it. Now most of the world has flipped completely and we don’t have to worry about the law when we date outside of our race. In a way, the term race is being questioned due to the steady climb in interracial couple numbers. Interracial marriage has come a long way sense the passing of the law in 1967. But what are the real facts behind it? Is the mother right for worrying her daughter is doomed to a life of non-acceptance, or is the daughter on the right path with the rest of her generation? What is the life of an interracial couple really like, and what does Mary really have in store for the rest of her life? There are plenty of statistics and opinions, laws and complications. There are also plenty of celebrities in everyday spotlights that have overcome color barriers and have lived to tell the tale. People are always worried about the effect it has on the kids and curious if it ever really does work out. But if we take it back to the beginning, at the Loving v. Virginia trial, you would see how far our society really has come.

Richard Loving was a White man living in Virginia. He and his black wife, Mildred Jeter, were from Caroline County, Virginia. Instead of being able to be married in their home state, they had to travel to Washington D.C, where they were married in 1958. “When they returned home, they were arrested, jailed and banished from the state for 25 years for violating the state’s Racial Integrity Act” (NPR). This act was to prevent that white and non whites should not marry. To avoid going to jail, the Lovings returned to D.C and left their hometown. They lived there for 5 years with their 3 kids. But still they longed to return to their family and friends in Caroline County. “The couple then contacted Bernard Cohen, a young attorney who was volunteering at ACLU” (NPR). “The young couple wasn’t looking to win any civil rights movement, they were just in love, and didn’t want any interference from officialdom” (Cohen). First, Cohen and another lawyer challenged the case to the original judge, Leon Bazile, who upheld his decision. The case then moved all the way up to the Supreme Court, where the case was argued to Chief Justice Earl Warren. The Supreme Court struck down Virginia’s, and 15 other states, ban on interracial marriages on June 12th, 1967, with a unanimous vote, and overturned the Lovings conviction. “Warren stated that ‘the restriction served no purpose other than that of racial discrimination’ and therefore violated the equal protection law clause of the 14th amendment” (NPR). Even though this clause was ratified in 1868, it took a century for the court to prohibit laws banning interracial marriage. Despite this, Warren also said in his deciding statement that “Under our constitution , the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the state” (Warren). After the ruling, now known as the Loving decision, the couple Moved back to Caroline County. Loving vs. Virginia is a constitutional icon now, but people still report resistance, socially and even in the church.

The judge Leon Bazile, who first ruled that the Loving’s could not live in Virginia, stated that “Almighty god created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents… The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” This is not true, in fact some believe it’s the complete opposite. People confuse the views on interracial marriage as frowned upon, when in reality “God smiles when seeing a white Christian and a black Christian, for example, enter the covenant of marriage” (Bradley). “That is, it is not just to be tolerated, but celebrated. This is extremely controversial since it is opposed by people from all sides” (Piper). “Christians remain among those who seem most resistant to intrerracial marriage in America” (Bradley). As true believer is Christ, Christians should know that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all on in Christ Jesus” (Gal, 3:38). Yet we still set our standards for marital unions that go beyond what God set forth for unions with his own son. “without interracial marriages, Christian churches will likely remain separate but equal like they were in 1967” (Bradley). There are 4 key observations that prove Godly acceptance. “1) All races have one ancestor in the image of God and all humans are in God’s image. 2) The Bible forbids intermarriage between unbeliever and believer, but not between races. 3) In Christ our oneness is profound and transforms racial and social differences from barriers to blessings. 4) Criticizing one interracial marriage was severely disciplined by God.” (Piper) The real struggle in the Church should not be what the person you marry looks like, but what they believe in. Everything else is irrelevant in God’s eyes. “Christ does not call us to a prudent life, but to a God-centered, Christ-exalting, justice-advancing, counter-cultural, risk-taking life of love and courage” (Piper).

Among the struggles of Christian acceptance, there are plenty of other obstacles to overcome. The struggles are usually due to external sources, rather then from the actual two people in the relationship. Acceptance is one of the main factors with the struggles of being involved interracially.“Relationship struggles with interracial marriage are caused by members of one of the partner’s families, or both families, or even friends, and can wreak havoc on the union between two people who love each other” (Unknown). Most people say that if they dated outside of their race their families would be the ones with the problems. They avoid the struggle by just dating men/women in their race. The parents pass off their ignorance as preserving their culture. These parents and grandparents who have an objection were born during or prior the banishing of the law preventing these relationships. “Many just do not grasp the fact that, in this day and age, freedom of choice and independence is stronger than it has ever been”(Unkown) “The geographical location where a couple lives can also create relationship struggles with interracial marriage” (Unknown). Interracial couples will notice a difference from living together in Los Angeles to living in Alabama. Los Angeles is more prone to seeing multiracial children and interracial couples, whereas Alabama still struggles with large racist groups. Not until 2000, did Alabama become the last state to overturn its anti-amalgamation laws. Think about how long its going to take that region of people to get to where the rest of the country is today. The problems seem to reside in the more rural or “mainly white” neighborhoods. In more diverse neighborhoods, couples report much more tolerance and less sideways glances. The discrimination is not only from white families. The perception of the “white man” in the black race is still something totally different, according to Dayln Ward, a black female from Alabama dating a white man. She receives more ‘flack’ within her own race about dating a white guy than from the opposite race. It’s an ongoing battle of acceptance and overcoming negative stereotypes as well. When dating outside your race, people always assume the worst for your significant other. If you’re a white girl dating a black man, they assume he will leave her on her own with 8 kids because “that’s just how it goes with them…” is what you’ll hear. Or for the Japanese-Black couple, traditional Japanese families don’t understand whats wrong with all the nice Japanese girls. Pre-judgment is hard to overcome and is ultimately the root for most non-acceptances in families. Any bigot or racist can come up with something negative. The key to overcoming these obstacles is self-confidence. “If you are not a strong person – mentally and emotionally – then interracial dating is best avoided.”(Cooper).

If you are one of the lucky ones who can tolerate the ugly stares and convince your family and friend to accept the life you chose, couples report you are in for a life full of love and bliss. The couple tries to see qualities about their partner that goes on beyond physical appearance. No matter what color the person may be, you can love the person for who they are(Stokes). Love is color blind, so people, like a student from University of California, say “it may be hard for society to accept, but easy for me because I am not dating a race, I am dating a person(oracle) When you are with someone of another race, you go through many hardships, so the couple becomes closer. One of the great things you can gain from interracial marriage is learning about a new culture. When you are dating someone of another racial origin, you may be able to learn more about that person’s traditions and customs.

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