Saturday, June 02, 2007

83% - Approve Interracial Dating

From the Pew Research Center courtesy of Eschaton:

More than eight-in-ten Americans (83%) now agree that "it's all right for blacks and whites to date," reflecting the most dramatic change among the racial attitudes tested in Pew polls--as recently as 1987, the public was divided virtually down the middle on the issue, with 48% approving of blacks and whites dating and 46% disapproving. Age is an important factor in attitudes toward interracial dating. In this regard, Pew surveys since 1987 have documented two complementary trends: Each new generation is more tolerant than the one that precedes it. At the same time, members of each generation have become increasingly tolerant as it ages.

Click here for more.

Okay, this is good news, especially because there is no good reason to be opposed to interracial romantic or sexual relationships. Absolutely none. Yeah sure, I've heard the old "I just don't think that's how God meant for it to be" line, but putting aside any problems I have with authority-driven morality of the sort associated with religion, it's utterly clear that there are simply no verses in the Bible even coming close to such a thought.

I mean, there's some Old Testament stuff about staying away from the people of Canaan and all, but the irony there is that the Canaanites were essentially the same race as the Jews, and like both Arabs and Jews, spoke a Semetic language--Yahweh's problem with the Canaanites was that they had other gods before Him. A former student of mine, a friend actually, told me recently about a Bible verse dealing with the yoking of oxen that's been thrown about in defense of romantic apartheid, but really, people aren't beasts of burden. Well most people, anyway.

The most interesting argument I've heard was on Maury or Oprah or somesuch back in the 90s: some African-American women were asserting that black men abandon the black community when they become romantically involved with white women, and that this greatly hurts African-Americans overall. Like I said, it was interesting, but struck me as more of a media creation that has little correspondence with reality. Sure, countless numbers of black men have been pulled away from the black community, but it has way more to do with the War on Drugs, which greatly disproportionately targets men of color, and the racist US judicial system, than the sexual lures of white chicks.

And it's barely even worth mentioning the sympathetic-sounding but obviously racist "children from mixed marriages will face taunting and cruelty while growing up" argument. I'm not even sure that really happens so much anymore, but clearly such an assertion is a blame-the-victim thing. The problem there isn't mixed marriage; it's the cruel racist taunters.

Like I said, no good reason.

So this is good news. The old farts are dying off, and the younger old farts are softening their attitudes. The young get it, and that gives me hope for the future.