Photo Credit: J. Veissid / Getty
This week, the Pew Research Center released a report on interracial marriage. So, what do Americans think about it? Well, two-thirds of us are accepting of it -- that is, wouldn't object to a family member marrying outside of their race -- and slightly less than half of us (43 percent) say that intermarriage is a change for the better for the country.
Personally, I think these changing attitudes are great news. But it's hard not to be disappointed. I'm mixed (American Indian and Caucasian), my husband is mixed (African and Caucasian), our families are happy, and our children have a rich background to draw on as they fall in love and have families of their own. And yet, more than half of Americans don't see the 15 percent of new marriages that are between people of different races or ethnicities as a distinct change for the better -- much less one of our country's strengths.
How do iVillage women feel about the acceptance (or not) of interracial relationships?
"There are many interracial couples here and most of them make it. It's really up to the couple and if they have supportive family and friends. I don't go in for the whole 'date/love your own' thing. A person is entitled to like or love whoever they wish. I can't confidently say that I see interracial relationships being totally accepted, though. There are too many narrow-minded, ignorant people in the world. I just hope that the couples focus on their love, shut out the negativity (hard, I know) and teach their children about being open-minded." - bajanbeautykei
"The U.S. is still dealing with so many issues, trying to do the right thing and forget what once was. Best thing is for everyone to get off their butts and just start to be more open minded – not politically correct [by simply] having different races of friends – but just being more genuine and accepting of everyone." -- cursed_romantic
Don't get me wrong – the results of the PRC's study are encouraging, for sure. Twenty-five years ago, only one-third of Americans thought interracial marriage was acceptable for anyone, not just a family member. I've heard the stories of what my in-laws and my parents experienced. I'm thankful my husband and I have never had to deal with it.
So today, let's celebrate all the happy interracial marriages out there! We'll start with some stories from women in our community:
"I have found that being with my husband has made me even more aware of my blackness...if that makes any sense. I've embraced my dark skin and thick, kinky hair in a way I never did before. At work, I have to use my English accent, but he loves it when I get mad and I throw out Trini slang at him. There is a small culture clash sometimes, but luckily he's very open-minded. Our families have embraced each other. His family and I get along really well and my parents love him." -- esita
"I am married to a white man (6 years) and we do not get stares anymore, but we get mixed up when we stand in lines in the grocery store, or when we go to movies or concerts. They always assume that I'm with the nearest black people and that he is with the nearest white people instead of us being together – unless we hold hands." -- beckyliz49
"I am married to a white guy. I would have never married him if his family didn't totally love me, if he hadn't come from a similar background as mine, and if he had even an inkling of racial issues. I am half black, half white. All my life people have stared at me, said I was too dark to be half-and-half, and thought I was something other than what I was. I never really had a problem with it. I pretty much always considered that stuff to be other people's limitations, not my own. So yes, while we do turn heads (or at least I do), I have never really been concerned with it." -- travelingmom2b
What do you think of the state of interracial marriages in America? And if you're in an interracial marriage or relationship, we'd love to hear your thoughts!