No, Interracial Love is Not “Saving America”

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-06-14 01:25Z by Steven

No, Interracial Love is Not “Saving America”

Wear Your Voice: Intersectional Feminist Media

Lisa Hofmann-Kuroda

This year is the 50th anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia, the famous Supreme Court case that officially overturned state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Predictably, this has been accompanied by a flurry of events, films, articles, and even songs celebrating this moment as a milestone in the history of America’s journey toward racial equality.

At a mixed race conference I recently attended, larger-than-life photographs of Richard and Mildred Loving, the white man and black woman whose relationship inspired the court case in 1965, adorned the walls. There and elsewhere, the Lovings were portrayed as “heroes” whose love valiantly overcame the racism of their time.

Just today, the New York Times proclaimed that interracial love was “saving America.”.

Statistics show that interracial marriages in the U.S. are on the rise, and this undoubtedly reflects a shift in attitudes toward race in the American population overall. However, there are several reasons why using interracial marriage as proof of racial progress in our society is not only misleading, but harmful.

First, state recognition of partnership often functions as a superficial symbol of progress, obscuring deeper issues of violence and inequality for the most marginalized members of a community. For example, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in 2015, many heralded this as proof that queer people had finally been accepted into mainstream society…

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Mixed marriages, stubborn racial bias: Discrimination persists for the nonwhite

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-12-23 02:31Z by Steven

Mixed marriages, stubborn racial bias: Discrimination persists for the nonwhite

The New York Daily News

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Professor of Law
Fordham University

Mildred and Richard Loving (Associated Press)

“I ’m pregnant.” Those are the first two words uttered in the recently released film “Loving.” The poignant opening prompts viewers to consider the most contested social consequence of interracial relationships: mixed-race children.

“Loving” depicts the real-life struggle of Mildred and Richard Loving in the 1960s as they fought to get interracial relationships legally recognized. This battle culminated in the 1967 Supreme Court case of Loving vs. Virginia, which invalidated interracial marriage bans across America.

Interracial marriage has been legal for nearly half a century. But the products of those marriages are subject to discrimination that reveals a great deal about race in America, and the cultural status of those unions.

In my own examination of civil rights cases across employment, housing, public accommodations, education and jury service, I find an increasing number of claimants who identify themselves as multiracial and biracial. The cases frequently describe acts of discrimination accompanied by pointed, derogatory comments about nonwhiteness — and blackness in particular…

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Hollywood has long shown discomfort with interracial couples, but change is happening

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-11-11 02:22Z by Steven

Hollywood has long shown discomfort with interracial couples, but change is happening

The Los Angeles Times

Lewis Beale

Katherine Houghton puts a flower in Sidney Poitier’s hair in a scene from the film “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.” (Getty Images)

In 1967, the same year the Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia struck down laws banning miscegenation, Sidney Poitier starred in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” as a black man romantically involved with blond Katherine Houghton.

Yet in both real and reel life, black-white romantic relationships were problematic, fraught with legal and social taboos. In the case of Loving, that meant rural Virginia couple Richard and Mildred Loving, who married in Washington, D.C., in 1958, were arrested in their home state, forced to move away or be jailed, and spent years fighting the racist law that affected them until the Supreme Court unanimously overturned it.

“The fact any miscegenation laws even existed, these are vestiges of slavery,” says Jeff Nichols, director of “Loving,” a new film based on the famous case starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga. “All of this speaks to the institutionalized racism in the South.”

“Guess,” which was released six months after the Loving decision, was, in its own way, meant to be a liberal antidote to situations like this. In director Stanley Kramer’s film,  parents and friends of the romantic couple discuss the pros and cons of their romance in a civilized manner until the woman’s father (played by Spencer Tracy) gives his blessing to the relationship…

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One man’s quest for Loving Day, a holiday for multiracial Americans

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-06-11 21:38Z by Steven

One man’s quest for Loving Day, a holiday for multiracial Americans

The Los Angeles Times

Jaweed Kaleem

Ken Tanabe founded Loving Day in 2004, and leads celebrations and workshops across the U.S. on being multiracial. (Pearl Shavzin-Dremeaux)

Forty-nine years ago on June 12, the Supreme Court struck down laws in 16 states that banned mixed-race marriages. The decision in Loving vs. Virginia overturned the conviction of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple from Caroline County, Va., who had been arrested, jailed and banned from their home state for violating its Racial Integrity Act.

It also ushered in a new era in the American family.

Today, the Pew Research Center counts 22 million multiracial Americans, about 6.9% of the U.S. population. Nearly 10% of married couple households — more than 5 million — are interracial or inter-ethnic, according to the U.S. census.

For 12 years, Ken Tanabe, a Japanese-Belgian freelance graphic designer living in New York, has been working to educate Americans about what he sees as one of the most significant civil rights cases through Loving Day, the unofficial holiday that cities across the country are slowly adapting to celebrate the lives of the fast-growing multiracial population.

Now Tanabe, whose organization has tracked and sponsored many of the dozens of dance and music festivals, film screenings, picnics and forums taking place across the country in June to commemorate Loving vs. Virginia, has launched a campaign to get the holiday recognized by the federal government…

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