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Melissa Clarke
Professor Deby Dagher
UWRT 1102
6 April 2015

Societal views on interracial marriage

Since the sixteenth century, before our laws of today were ever dreamt of,
there were laws of segregation of races in place to keep one race separated from
the other. As the centuries rolled on, these laws were fought in order to maintain
equality among races. One of these laws expressed the illegal act and forbiddance
of individuals of one race to become romantically involved with another individual of
another race. The term miscegenation refers to the intimate involvement of two
individuals from different races, primarily relationships involving Caucasians and
African Americans. In an article entitle Interracial Marriage Law- a Short Timeline
History, the author of the Article Mr. Tom Head gives a brief history of the laws
passed throughout the centuries that have forbidden individuals from marrying or
becoming romantically involved with another from a different race. As many
believed that the law was unconstitutional and many attempts were made to repeal
the laws forbidding such relationships, the law stood firm for almost three hundred
years. However, as years have pass, has the anger and discrimination towards
interracial romantic relationship truly subside? Are there conflicts that still linger
from our past and if so, is it possible to fix the underlying issues?

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Going back to the beginning, the disapproval of interracial relationships have
been very apparent throughout the years. It was during the nineteenth century that
U.S. Supreme courts began to rule in favor of interracial marriages such as the
famous case of Loving v Virginia, in which a newlywed couple was charged with
breaking Virginias law against interracial marriage and were asked to leave the
state and not return together within 25 years. The constant fight to earn their rights
to be married despite their racial backgrounds and live in whichever state they
pleased led to the overturn of laws that banned interracial marriages throughout the
U.S. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not
be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. 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. (Chief Justice Earl Warren, 1967).
With the over turn of the laws forbidding interracial unions, the increase of
interracial dating and marriages have been on a constant rise. According to the
2010 US census, interracial and inter-ethnic marital unions between opposite-sex
individuals have increased 28 percent between the years 2000-2010. The
acceptance may be due to the various cultures in the western countries. A current
day view of this change is depicted through New York Citys current Caucasian
mayor Mr. Bill De Blasio, who is not only the first Democratic mayor of the city of
New York in the last 20 years but he is also married to a African American Woman
with whom he shares two children. In an article written by Ms. Peggy Drexler in the
CNN news, she states A 2007 Gallup poll found that three in four Americans view
"family values" -- which they identify in the context of a political campaign as the
family unit, family structure or strong families -- as extremely important in
determining their vote..De Blasio was smart to call on his family, interracial or not.

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Was it a political move? Perhaps. And the fact that it worked ultimately says far
more about the voters than it does the candidate. Her statement through the
findings of the poll suggests that a large population were not afflicted by the
choices to vote for Mr. De Blasio because of his interracial marriage.
However, as the acceptance of interracial relationships grows, there still
remains a small percent of individuals whom choose to remain on the side of
illegalizing interracial marriages, primarily in a few of the southern states. The
Gallup poll also states that while 96% of blacks are in favor of marriages between
African Americans and Whites, only 84% of Caucasian individuals accept it. Within
the recent years, television ads have proven that interracial marriages, especially
those involving an African American and a Caucasian, has some negative residual
impact on our society. An ad depicting a married couple and their young child
consisting of a Black male and a White female with a biracial child was chastised so
much that it sparked a national debate and awareness in the matter. Celebrities
such as Mrs. Tamera Mowry- Housely, Dianne Farr and Chris Noth have all been
victims of the racial backlash because of whom they have chosen to marry. I,
myself, as an individual whom has chosen to be involved in interracial relationships,
have also encountered conflicts from others that do not accept my choice in this
manner. Throughout the years, my family and close friends have accepted my
decision; however most of the conflicts I have experienced have come from my
peers, all from different races. Their reason for them not fully excepting the idea of
interracial relationship is mostly based upon the negative history formed behind the
topic and what roles their ancestors played in the ban against these types of
romantic relationships.

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In a study performed by Adam B. Troy and Jamie Lewis Smith (University of
Miami) and Jean Phillipe-Laurenceau (University of Delaware) on interracial and
intra-racial romantic relationships concluded that in regards to the genders and
race, African American men were more in favor of interracial relationships while
Caucasian men and women were only slightly less favorable. The least to condone
these relationships were that of African American women. When families and
community values were proposed in the study, most Caucasian individuals felt as
though members of their families would be more opposed to interracial relationships
compared to African American families. The study relays the small percentage of
individuals that are still against the union. And I truly feel as though this information
is insightful when addressing this issue. Nonetheless, the increase of those that
accept it have far suppressed the ones that dont.
In an effort to change the restrictions on individuals whom have chosen to
marry someone from a different race, century old laws were overturned. With the
growing acceptance and popularity of interracial marriages, the cultural and racial
segregation will continue to filter out. Even though studies have proven that there
are some who are against the marital unions of two different races, the record
increase of the acceptance level has shown that the United States has and will
continue to integrate various racial backgrounds and cultures. In an effort to keep
this increase on the rise, we must learn to accept individuals and love for what they
truly are and mean and not discriminate on those whom choose this lifestyle. The
laws have evolved and in due time the controversy and conflicts over interracial
unions will continue to diminish.

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Work Cited

Head, Tom. "Interracial Marriage Laws History Timeline." Interracial Marriage LawsA Short Timeline History. Tom Head, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015.

"United States Census Bureau." 2010 Census Shows Interracial and Interethnic
Married Couples Grew by 28 Percent over Decade. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015.

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Drexler, Peggy. "Opinion: Meet the De Blasios, the New Face of America - CNN.com."
CNN. Cable News Network, Nov. 2013. Web. 07 Apr. 2015.

Newport, Frank. "In U.S., 87% Approve of Black-White Marriage, vs. 4% in 1958." In
U.S., 87% Approve of Black-White Marriage, vs. 4% in 1958. Gallup, June-July 2013.
Web. 07 Apr. 2015.

Troy, A. B. "Interracial and Intraracial Romantic Relationships: The Search for


Differences in Satisfaction, Conflict, and Attachment Style." Journal of Social and
Personal Relationships 23.1 (2006): 65-80. Web.

Peer Review

My peers have provided me with great feedback for my paper. They both felt
as though the essay was very good however they both agreed that I should have
added more of my personal experience within my paper. I took their opinions and
reviews into consideration however I felt that I didnt want too much of my personal
experience to overshadow the information and story of my paper. I wanted to shed
light on the history of interracial relationships and how they have affected

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individuals throughout the nation. However, it is clear that my readers would
appreciate more of a personal approach within my essay.
The feedback I gave to one of my two peers was to revise their text to allow
those that may not know of the topic to further understand it. Their essay was
written for someone who is very familiar with their topic however the ones that
arent, would have a very difficult time relating to the topic. My suggestion was to
incorporate similarities in a typical everyday lifestyle that most readers can relate
to. For my other peer review I felt as though his essay was very informative and fit
the profile of an exploratory essay. He provided just the right amount of information
about his topic to keep his reader engaged and informed without overloading his
paper. Because of this, I felt as though his essay was a very good essay.