In a perfect world, everyone should celebrate this multiracial society. However, the world does not look at all marriages as love between two human beings. The color barrier in interracial marriages becomes the overwhelming subject at hand. A few hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Americans are still preoccupied with race. Contrary to popular belief, America is still one of the best multicultural and multiracial societies in the world. However, this may come as a shock to most but as recently as 1966, 17 states actually had laws against interracial marriage. And all of the states regulated marriage between whites and other races.
The Supreme Court eventually overturned every states anti-miscegenation laws (laws against interracial marriages) in 1967. Loving vs. State of Virginia involved a case where a white man and black woman won the right to return home after having fled their state to avoid a year's jail sentence for getting married. But as late as the 70's at least twelve states still had laws forbidding marriage between whites and other races. Talk about Over-Criminalization! What does law have to do with love between two consenting adults?
Considering all the biological differences within the human species, these are at best superficial and expert scientists cannot explain with any significant set of differences that distinguish one racial group from another. Both racial and cultural differences put pressure on the relationship. With two different cultures, a family often has difficulty understanding the differences. Many times, such differences are not even recognized and unexplained. This poses an even greater problem with intercultural marriages. Do couples need a PhD to figure this out? It seems society's leading PhD's can't account for these differences much less normal couples. I think parents just want their children to be happy and in a racist society, they know the reality of racism.
Americans do not accept the children in society because people do not know how to treat them. Unless interracial families live in cosmopolitan cities where interracial marriages are becoming more common, they face challenges mono-racial couples don't experience. In raising such children, the parents need to realize the child needs to embrace both cultures and teach him or her who they are. Most Americans would like to consider themselves as modem idealists who are not prejudiced. Americans do not mind the idea of interracial marriage but when children are involved the issue changes. This issue may prove to be one of the few times Hollywood and the media can set an example for accepting people of all race, culture, and background. Such cosmopolitan views prove idealistic with respect to reality. But again, we know that life is not like Hollywood portrays it to be.
Society cannot place these children in one class such as black or white. Labeling them would rob them of their individuality. Persistent thinking is that these children of interracial marriages are black. It is important to state that not all blacks embrace interracial marriages. Black parents object as much to mixed marriages as do whites. They feel that the person entering such a relationship is trying to deny his heritage and will lose their culture and identity. This is similar thinking to other intercultural marriages. However, the intercultural marriages such as Asian-Americans are accepted to be an assimilation of melting pots. African Americans also resist it because of the shortage of marriageable black men. Additionally, black women feet betrayed or deserted when a black man marries a white woman. Black activists feel mixed marriages weaken the African-American solidarity. Fact is: These multiracial children need to grow up in an environment where they can experience life through both parents.
In America today, there are 242,000 black-white couples; almost four times as many as in 1970 (Interracial Baby Boom 54). This increase has placed pressure on the Census Bureau to consider adding the category "mixed" to its racial classification category to describe the children of interracial marriages. Multiracial individuals and their parents are demanding the 18-year-old method of classification re-examined. The Census Bureau will not decide until 1997 and then the change would take affect in the 2000 census. Only four states require a "multiracial" category on their school form. It is still primarily a black-white issue. Half the female Asian immigrants are married interracially, but many don't consider that an interracial marriage. Black-white marriages receive the most negative reaction because of the 40-year history of hostility and tension.
The upward trend of children born from interracial marriages could show a sign that the social meaning of mixed birth is undergoing change in the United States. A multicultural society shows how much diversity is in America. People from all over the world have immigrated to this country. Everyone should be excited about the fact that so many cultures are sharing their way of life with us. As the children of today grow up they have to have an open mind about the people around them and what they can learn from them.
Let us not forget the great philosopher, Socrates (469-399 B.C.E.). No one can contest the contribution he has made to modern philosophy. His teachings and theories that are still widely accepted today were considered criminal during his life time. Socrates was considered a criminal for having the skill of critical thinking. Unfortunately, Socrates was so ahead of his time, it has taken many years before he was accepted. Similarly, the social and sometimes criminal injustices that are experienced by interracial couples will be slowly incorporated in society. Only time will tell.