Wednesday, March 16, 2005

More on Interracial Marriage

Via Black Feminist, I stumble upon this article on interracial marriages:

Cultural Taboos resist change

Movie actor Taye Diggs, a black man, received death threats concerning his interracial marriage to Broadway star Idina Menzel, a white woman and winner of last year's Tony Award for best actress in a musical.

The letters threatened the castration of Diggs if he didn't end his marriage. It also threatened death for Mensel and the bombing of New York's Gershwin Theatre, where Menzel was performing in the musical "Wicked."


Attitudes toward interracial relationships in general may have changed -- 4 percent of Americans approved of such relationships in a 1958 Gallup poll, while 70 percent approved in a 2003 Gallup poll -- but among those people still struggling to accept marriages between the wide variety of races and cultures in America, unions between black men and white women remain the unions hardest to accept, experts say.

Curious, as always, about the other 30%.

Negative attitudes toward such relationships range from those of white men such as Shawn Walker, chief operating officer of the white-supremacy group National Alliance, who sees the unions as the destruction of gene pools, to those of black women who denounce the unions for depleting the supply of available black men.

Black Feministe tackles this one. This is another one of those false equivalences. She rightly argues that Black women should not be compared to white supremacists, they are coming from very different places.

No other racial group in America has a gender ratio as disparate as the one in the black population -- there are 1.7 million more black women than men -- yet U.S. census figures from 2000 showed black men were 2.8 times more likely to intermarry with another race than black women.

In 2002, according to census data, marriages of black men to white women were 2.4 times as common as marriages of white men to black women.

Now, I did not know that. But can we avoid the foolish causality statements?

Anyway, the article goes on, you might want to read the whole thing and Black Feminist's post on the article.

Watching these discussion on interracial marriage is like looking in a portal and seeing a parallel universe in a time warp. Somethings sound reasonable, other things, make you wonder. IR talk is one subject area where the maxim that says, "opinions are like . . . behinds, everyone has one," holds. In addition to the 2 million and one opinions out there are a wicked admixture of stereotypes: black woman are raving jealous loud mouthed looneys who hate white women, black men need white women on their arms as status symbols, white men hate the white-woman-stealing black man, white women are clueless prizes for the taking, and gosh, those confused kids. BTW, Latinos don't exist . . . excuse me? . . . Asians?


Blogger John B. said...

As a person involved in an interracial relationship (a marriage of almost 16 years), I have seen societal attitudes change quite a bit over that period of time, for the positive.

Not everyone, black or white, is accepting of interracial relationships, but the accepting numbers keep growing! Racism will always be with us on earth, unfortunately.

11:08 AM  
Blogger John B. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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Blogger John B. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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Blogger Ono said...

Removed posts were duplicates (don't worry, I haven't started censorship):)

Geez, John, you're quite the veteran. My wife, who is white, and I have been married 5 years and dated for about a year. We haven't had bad experiences, but then again, we've avoided potential hotspots, so those Biloxi, Mississippi vacations are on hold for now.

We did drive through Texas, Tennessee and Virginia on our way back to Maryland after our New Orleans honeymoon: we even stopped at Cracker Barrel, world remowned for its (mis)treatment of Blacks, and it was all good.

In fact our wierdest experience was in Western MD as we stopped for breakfast on the way to Ohio and . . . South Bend. The locals were not pleased.

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