Are Interracial Relationships the Key to Better Race Relations?

By Allott, Daniel | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, July 13, 2016 | Go to article overview

Are Interracial Relationships the Key to Better Race Relations?


Allott, Daniel, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Race relations are deteriorating; tensions between black Americans and the police are rising; confidence that America's racial problems can be resolved is at an all-time low.

The solution? Interracial friendships, dating and marriage and transracial adoption may be our best hope. Let me explain. But first, let's review some statistics.

Recent polling shows that three quarters of whites don't even have a black friend. And while rates of interracial dating and marriage are on the rise, they're still quite low overall. Research from dating websites shows that while people in their 20s and 30s claim to be open-minded when it comes to dating other races, few actually do so -- especially whites and especially those who live outside big cities.

Dr. Jerry Mendelsohn, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, lead author of a 2011 study that examined online dating racial preferences, has said: "We're a ways off to being in a post-racial era with dating. ... It appears that crossing the racial boundary is very difficult, especially for whites, but once the boundary has been crossed, i.e., once participants have been contacted by someone of a different race or ethnicity, they are more open to the possibility of an interracial date."

When it comes to interracial marriage, in 2013, nearly 46 years after Loving v. Virginia struck down all anti-miscegenation laws, the Pew Research Center found that 12 percent of newlyweds were interracial. And it found that about 6 percent of existing marriages were interracial. Marriages between blacks and whites are still among the least common. And while interracial marriage has become much more acceptable to the broader public, according to 2014 polling from Gallup, there are still tens of millions of Americans who believe that interracial marriage is a bad thing for society. …

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