Sunday, June 6, 2010

Interracial Marriages on the Rise: Racism on the Decline?

I have always wondered why interracial dating was such an issue for people. Of all the things that make up a person in this world, race just seemed rather superficial. I remember walking with a friend in 1990 who had moved to California from Houston. He noticed an interracial couple from across the street and said to me, "ya'll allow that here?"

I was thrown back by the question. It never even occurred to me that I would care about an interracial couple, especially if it did not include me. Why would I care what two other people do, as long as they are consenting adults, in terms of their dating? At that point in my life, I had dated a couple of Hispanic females, a Black female, and a couple of Asian females, so I really didn't get why it would be an issue at all.

Today, I am happily married to a wonderful Filipino woman, and the interracial nature of our marriage does lead to some interesting moments, but it also broadens us both. Apparently, we aren't alone in those thoughts. CNN reported that the Pew Center did a study that found interracial marriages are at an all time high (for as long as they have tracked it).

Of course, there are regional and educational differences that aren't surprising. If you live in the Midwest or the South, you are less likely to interracially marry. If you have a college education, you are more likely to interracially marry than someone who doesn't have one. And each of those makes sense, especially when you see where the internet becomes pervasive in life (more educated, more economically prosperous communities).

The Pew study pointed to the internet as one possible explanation because it allows you to get to know someone, many times before you even know their racial background. With more and more people meeting on the internet and building relationships there, they may find their interests match up before they even realize the race.

The 21st century is finding technology is allowing us to broaden what we are exposed to in terms of culture and race in ways that we have never been exposed before. We can walk right into another racial or cultural area without feeling the physical threats we might have felt fifty years ago, and it is exposing how silly some of our old attitudes were.

The result may be the end to much of racism (though it may take time and may never completely be ended) because the only solution to racism may be upon us: Interracial reproduction. As we go through generations of interracial reproduction, someday we may not be able to tell what race someone is because they are heavily mixed. Imagine the day when race becomes irrelevant.

Sure, we will probably find other ways to become biased through different ways to evaluate status or create hierarchies, but at least one may well be on its way out. It is about time.

1 comment:

Aine Butler-Smith said...

Great topics you have posted here Tony. I'm now following you and look forward to future posts.