Monday, October 26, 2015

Interracial marriage: a big deal now?

Interracial marriage was indeed a hot-button issue in America—in 1958. With the aptly named Lovings—a white man, Richard, married Mildred Jeter, a black woman—in violation of Virginia state statutes against miscegenation. Undoubtedly 57 years ago racial tension was a seemingly insurmountable issue reflected by novels like To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and in film with “Guess Whose Coming to Dinner” (1967). Contrast that to 2013 when a record-high 12% of newlyweds married someone of a different race, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data. So, in light of a factually-supported more open cultural dynamic why is Washington Post columnist Lonnae O'Neal—apparently stuck in a time warp—writing about it in now?

As Bob Dylan prophetically sang of social mores in 1964, “The Times They Are A-Changin.'” And they have to an amazing degree with a black man cooling his heels in the Oval Office for 7 years and minorities at all levels of American society. Today, for example, it would be unconscionable for public opinion to condemn interracial marriage or children of mixed parentage (who tend genetically to embody the best of both). And while there will always be unfortunate, isolated circumstances to this obvious societal trend (as the divided family Ms. O'Neal highlights) one must recall that gay marriage has recently been embraced in all 50 states. In any case, however one evaluates others' marriage choices, to be black in America—compared to past generations long gone—is beautiful.

Naturally, per First Amendment guarantees of free speech (which in particular protects unpopular views), differences of opinion are healthy in a democracy and all should be respected. Therefore, individual bigotry is to be pitied as a throwback exception to our society's 21st century rules of widespread tolerance. Ms. O'Neal's bumbling attempt to trumpet the rare exception as more than it is is nothing but the vain creation of a tempest in a teapot.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

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