A Nation Imprisoned By Race: An Analysis Of Interracial Relationships

2943 words - 12 pages

An interracial relationship is a connection between persons of different races; this connection can be purely platonic or involve sexual relations. It is important not to confuse interracial dating with interracial marriage because there are distinct differences, implications, and data. For example, more individuals are likely to interdate than to intermarry because dating is less of a commitment (Yancey). The earliest examples of intermixing occurred during slavery when White plantation owners forced themselves onto Black female slaves (Foeman). Whether by law or by custom, there was a time when interracial interactions were strictly prohibited; legal restrictions and regulations existed as early as 1662. These prohibitions reinforced the relative value of Whiteness over color, and the Jim Crow period (1863-1953) only perpetuated this racist view (Perry). Today, racism is not the only factor discouraging interracial dating. Other influences include familial and community opposition, societal and professional pressures, cultural heritage, and religion. These considerations coupled with theories such as Blacks date Whites for status creates an unwelcoming environment for interracial relationships. Although the United States is becoming increasingly diverse, interracial contact is still awkward and considered taboo by some (Grapes). Furthermore, those who do interdate are accused of having negative images of their own race. In the case of African Americans, interracial involvement makes them “less Black” (Childs). Even with the changing color line in the United States, interracial couples walk the edges of acceptance. Society does not seem to realize that there is unity in diversity. Interracial dating is not a new occurrence, it’s prevalence is increasing and although there are many factors that appear to be working against it, interdating could ultimately lead to improved race relations and a less racially biased world. This paper will analyze why interracial dating is not universally accepted, the social norms and racial stereotypes that affect preferences in dating, the consequences of interdating, actual racial preferences and statistics of interdating, society’s stand on interracial dating today, and solutions for progression.
There are many arguments explaining why interracial dating is not a good idea, or even acceptable. Opponents claim that interracial relations are stressful and cause complications for those expected to be in a more conventional relationship (Richeson). Other reasons include the loss of reputation and status and discrimination in the economic world. Opposers argue that dating leads to marriage and multiracial children should not be created because they are biologically inferior and will consequently face discrimination too (Barnett). Black women represent the strongest opposition to interdating, partially as a result of sexual exploitation by White men. They believe that interdating erodes the solidarity of the...

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