Examinaing racial problems in inter-racial marriages.
Outline Thesis statement,: The United States has witnessed a considerable social and cultural desegregation of Black and Caucasian Americans. However, despite years of desegregation, racial and cultural differences still exist. I show these differences still exist in the institution of marriage. 1. Americans have been and are continually moving slowly away from segregation. A. Since the 1960’s Blacks have been allowed to move into mainly Caucasian neighborhoods. B. Integration on campuses is now more apparent then ever before. 1. Students cat together. 2. Students study together, C. Black and Caucasian issues have converged. 11, notwithstanding these examples of desegregation, there are still signs, most clearly is apparent in the institution of marriage between Black and Caucasians. Ill. One of the major barrier.-, of interracial marriages lies in the family of the couples. A. Louis, a Caucasian women, and Chuck, a Black man, were married in 1960. 1 . They have no prejudice about each other. [email protected] Both have mixed group of friends. 3, They had problems with family. a) Louis mother had asked her why she could not marry her own kind. b) This conflict finally caused the ties between mother and daughter to break. B. Mama, a Caucasian Jewish, married a Black. I . None of her family members attended her wedding except her mother. 2. Her father told her that he could not believe that she married a Black. Nevertheless, she survived her family disapproval. IV. An unlikely source of problems for interracial married couples comes from religion. A. The majority of interracial married couples involved in Christian churches before marriage discontinue church membership and attendance after marriage. B. Couples search for churches that are like home. C. They are met with resistance from religious people who have been reported to have said that if their children married a Black person, they would kill them. D. Every couple has their own crisis, but for some, the church officials who are against divorce will turn around and recommend a separation…. because the couple are a Black and a Caucasian. V. These churches need to face a growing phenomenon. 1. In the Old Testament, God strongly opposes intermarriage. a) Ezra and Nehemiah challenge the people to repent over intermarriage. They describe it as Israel’s most sinful offense. 2. A closer look at the passage reveals something else. a) Opposition to intermarriage arises when people of God marry those who worship a God other then Yahweh- B. The church must repent not only from bad theology but also for failing to protest racist laws in the past. VI. The law is equally to blame for the segregation, by causing tensions. A. Edgar and Jean and had twice stopped by the police because they were walking hand in hand, but more so, because they were Black and Caucasian. B. Law that supports the “one drop” theory. vii. The problems of interracial married couples also extends to their children. A. The Bronzes had sent their daughter to a pajama party at a Black families place. When they picked their daughter up the host family was surprised to see that her father was Caucasian. B. Older children of interracial married parents also face problems. 1. They have to decided which parents’ culture to adopt. 2. They have to decided if they are Black or Caucasian. With all these problems, what brings these Black and Caucasian people together? A. Opportunity that an educated partner provides. B. How the partner perceives the beauty of the other. C. The ability to communicate. D. The main reason, love. ix. It can be seen quite clearly that there are still attitudes that support segregation. A. It could possibly be true that the only way to make changes involving segregation, is through marriage. Interracial Relations: Marriages The United States has witnessed a considerable amount of social and cultural desegregation of Blacks and Caucasians. However, despite years of desegregation, social and cultural differences still exists. These differences still exist in the institution of marriage. Americans have been and are continually moving slowly away from segregation. In the past forty years a multitude of changes have transformed schools, jobs, voting booths, neighborhoods, hotels, restaurants and even the wedding altar, facilitating tolerance for racial diversity ( Norman 108 ). Since the 1960’s, when housing discrimination was outlawed, many Blacks moved into mainly Caucasian neighborhoods. The steadily growing areas in the west and south-west are least segregated, because these areas never had the entrenched Black and Caucasian sections of town ( “Up For separatist’ 30 ). Even more visible signs of desegregation can be seen in the areas of education. A study done by the University of Michigan shows that integration on campuses occur on a regular basis. The racial line are crossed routinely; about 50% of Blacks and 15% of Caucasians reportedly study together. Eating patterns also share the same similarities. At a social level there has been a steady convergence of opinion on a variety of racial issues. Since 1972, surveys have asked whether the respondent would favor a law making inter-racial marriages illegal. In 11980 the results showed that 3 0, I% of Caucasians and 18.3% of Blacks favor such a law. By 1994, the collected data showed 14.7% and 3.2% respectively. Similar trends have also been observed in busing and even integrated social clubs ( “Up For Separatist’ 3 0 ). A simple analysis shows that on the surface desegregation is moving in the right direction. Notwithstanding these examples of desegregation, a deeper analysis shows that there are still signs of racial discriminations; most apparently seen in the institution of marriage between Blacks and Caucasians. The United States bureau of the Census reported that in 1987 over 827,000 interracial married couples existed in America, of which fewer than 200,000 of them were between Blacks and Caucasians ( Herring 29 ). These numbers ( census ) do not reflect the spread of desegregation very well. If there is such a large spread of desegregation between Blacks and Caucasians from the past to the present, then the numbers should reflect a much larger count of interracial marriages between these races. This however, is untrue; therefore there are less apparent barriers Black and Caucasian couples face. One of the major barriers that face these couples does not come from themselves but rather from family disapproval. Lois, a Caucasian women, and her husband Chuck Bronz, a Black man, were married in 1960. They have no prejudice about each other and they share the comfortable rhythm of any long married couple. They had no problems with friends because they had a good mix of them from different races; friends who looked at the person not the color. However, they had problems with other people, namely Lois’s mother. Her mother had sat her down and asked her why she could not marry her own kind. Lois, of course, stood firm and married Chuck, which unfortunately resulted in the ties between her mother and herself breaking Kantrowitz 40 Rebun, a Black Jewish man, married Mama, a Caucasian Lutheran women. None of Mama’s relatives attended the wedding, except for her mother. Mama’s father was finious that he was expected to accept a Black, and a Jew, into the family ( Aunapu, Monroe, Sachs and Taylor 65 ). It is not the disfavor of strangers that hurts these couples the most, but rather the disfavor of family. Territa, a Black women, had broken up with Todd, her Caucasian husband, several times before getting married because of the initial reaction of Todd’s family ( Randolph 154 ). These people nevertheless survived their family disapproval. Fred and Anita Prinzing, both Caucasians, know the troubles of interracial marriage. Both their son and daughter married Blacks. Fred and Anita responded that they thought that they were not prejudiced, and were proud of it; but when it came to their children, they could not explain their prejudice towards their children marrying Blacks. The best explanation they could give is that their prejudice is the left over residue of their parents ( Gilbereath 32 ). Another major barrier that Black and Caucasian couples encounter comes from an unlikely source, religion. In Earnest Porterfield’s classic survey of interracial marriages, one fact stands out. The majority of couples actively involved in Christian churches before marriage, discontinue church membership and attendance after marriage. A growing number of couples in America are crossing racial and cultural lines to many. Every couple has their own crisis but, for some, church officials who are against divorce will turn around and recommend a separation simply because the couple are Black and Caucasian. In several books of the Old Testament, intermarriage is strongly opposed by God and his prophets. Ezra and Nehemiah, two of Israel’s God-ordained leaders, challenged the people to repent over intermarriage and encouraged divorce en masse. They describe intermarriage with those who do not revere God as one of Israel’s most offense crimes. A closer look at the Old Testament, however, reveals misinterpretation. Opposition to intermarriage arises when people of God many those who worship a God other than Yahweh. These couples are searching for churches that feel like home. If national trends are any indication, the American churches need to be prepared to face a growing phenomenon. Until that happens interracial married couples will meet with resistance from religious people who have been reported as saying that if their own children married Blacks, they would kill them ( Perkins 30 ). The church must repent not only for bad theology but also for failing to protest racist laws in the past ( Myra 18 ). The law is equally to blame for causing unnecessary tension. A study of thirty nine “fiddle class Black Caucasian couples in New York found that most of these couples had experienced being pulled over by police who suspected either the Black women to be a prostitute or the Black man to be a rapist ( Perldns 30 ). Edger, a Caucasian Jewish man , and Jean, a Black Baptist women, on more than one occasion have been stopped and arrested by police because they were walking arm in arm ( Aunapu, Monroe, Sachs and Taylor 65 ). Races have mixed, Going back to the Colonial days. Over time, other races have blended with Caucasians without question. Black mixing, however, has been accountable for the “one drop” theory which has defined a way to permanently separate Blacks. The “one drop” theory was reinforced in the landmark Plessy vs. Ferguson Supreme Court ruling in 1986. The Plaintiff, Homer Plessy, argued that segregation was wrong and he should not be discriminated against because, after all, he was only one-eighth Black. The justices, however, ruled that he must ride in the “separate but equal” coaches reserved for “coloreds.” Almost I 00 years later, in 1986, the Supreme Court, upheld a decision forcing a Louisiana woman who was only one-thirty second Black, to be legally declared as Black. ( Norinen 108 ). Troubles do not stop here for interracial married couples. The problems that are faced by interracial parents are mirrored in their children. On one occasion the Bronzes had sent their daughter, Shelly, who looks Black, to a pajama party. The Bronzes had never met the family, who are Black, that put up the pajama party and decided that one of them should go to say hello. So Chuck, Shelly’s dad, knocked on the door and was met with disbelief The family was surprised that Shelly’s father was a Black ( Kantrowitz 40 ). Older children of interracial marriage parents also face problems. They have to make a choice as to which parent’s culture to adopt. Halle Beny stated that it is important that multicultural individuals make a choice about race early in the life because even if they identify themselves as interracial they will still be discriminated against as a person of color in this country ( Norman 108 ). Knowing all these barriers and problems, what brings Black and Caucasian people together? According to a study done by Matthijis [email protected], a factor that is consistently associated with intermarriage is social class or status. Black outmarriage becomes gradually more common when moving up the occupational scale and more common among higher educated Blacks. Among Caucasians the pattern is reversed. It is believed that Caucasians are more likely to many a Black spouse when it allows them to many a partner of high socioeconomic prestige ( 119 ). The appreciation of a partner’s beauty and the common; the ability to communicate, and the main reason for marriage, love is what bring them together (Randolph 154 It can be seen conclusively, that parents, religion and the attitudes of people, in general, are the main causes to the friction in interracial relationships and marriages. It is difficult, if not impossible, to change the attitude of parents, the older generation, to influence the churches to accepting the patterns of new thought and identity. The older generation will not change because their ideas and thoughts have been ingrained in them. The current generation, who are also guilty of causing friction, and the next generation must be educated to understand and accept these patterns of new thought, interracial marriages. Until these. attitudes, that support segregation, are suppressed and eventually i ab] hat the only way to make changes involving segregation i 8 ). Children of interracial married couples learn tolerance within the family, which allows these children to ad their experiences to others, in one way or another. 7 Works Cited Aunapu, Greg., et al., eds. ” Intermarried … With Children.” Time. Fall 1993: 64-68. Gilbereath, Edward. ” How Our Children Surprise Us. ” Christianity T [email protected] . 7 Mar. 1994: 32-34. Herring. Roger D. ” Development Biracial Ethnic Identity: A Review Of The Increasing Dilemma. ” Journal Of Muliticul tral C)unseline ; Development, 23.1 (Jan. 1995): 29-39. Kalniijin, Matthijis. ” Trends in Black/White Intermarriage. ” Social Forces. Sep. 1993: 119-147. [email protected], Barbara. “Colorblind Love.” Newsweek. 7 Mar 1988: 40-42. Nfira, Harold. ” Love In Black And White. ” Christianitv Tod4y. 7 Mar. 1994: 18-20. Norman, Lynn. ” Am I Black, White Or In Between. ” Ebony. Aug. 1995: 108-110. Perkins, Mtaii. ” Guess Who Is Confing To Church. ” Christianity T [email protected] . 7 Mar. 1994: 30-32. Randolph, Laura B. ” Black Women/White Man: What’s Going On? ” EboLny. Mar. 1989: 154-158. ” Up for Separatism. ” Economist. 21 Oct. 1995: 30.