A couple of weeks ago, I posted an entry in honor of Mildred and Richard Loving, the Virginia couple whose court case led to the 1967 Supreme Court decision barring prohibitions on interracial marriage. A recent Gallup Poll on the subject illustrates how far we've come, but also underscores the remaining challenges:
• Among all Americans, 77% approve inter-racial marriage between black and white people, while 17% oppose it. In 1958, only 4% of Americans approved of such relationships, so you can see the sea change on this issue. 1983 marked the first time less than half of all Americans opposed interracial marriages.
• Among whites, 75% approve of interracial marriage between black and white people, while 19% oppose it. 1 in 5 is still a fairly large number of people opposing interracial romance between whites and blacks, so this is where we need to continue the struggle.
• Among African Americans, 85% approve of interracial marriage between black and white people, while 10% oppose it, or about 1 in 10. In all categories, African Americans show greater acceptance of interracial marriage.
• Not surprisingly, younger people are more accepting of interracial marriage between black and white people than older people:
• Interestingly, about 75% of all black-white interracial marriages feature a black man and a white woman. Only about one-quarter of those marriages include a white man and black woman. In part, this helps explain higher rates of opposition to interracial marriage among black women.
It would be interesting to compare these numbers with data on other combinations of inter-racial relationships (white-Latino; white-Asian; Asian-black; black Latino; etc.). Is the acceptance in these categories the same or significantly different than the data on black-white relationships? Why or why not? Also, inter-racial relationships are also a bit tricky in that many people say they don't have a problem with dating "across the color line," but they would not or have not done it themselves. So, does this indicate an underlying resistance that might not show up in the numbers? And, with all racial polling, we have to take the results with a grain of salt. White people, in particular, like to tell pollers what they think they want to here, regardless of what they actually might think.
Nevertheless, overall, positive data on this issue...