I read an article today from last year about a Church in Kentucky that wouldn’t let an interracial couple be members. Part of me found this laughable, why ever not?! The other part of me found this very, very sad.
Varun and I have been surrounded by incredible support throughout our relationship–never have any of our family or friends belittled, disparaged or discouraged us about our relationship because of racial or cultural differences. Of course we know they are there (have you been reading this blog?!), and we were advised and counselled about the potential differences and difficulties. But it’s never occurred to either of us that it was something bad or weird or ban-able. A bit of investigation revealed that until 1967, interracial marriage was illegal in many US states*!
For the most part, this just makes me scratch my head. My family never made a big deal about race and someone near and dear to me was in a 20 year interracial relationship. The idea that such a thing could be illegal doesn’t hurt my feelings, it just seems odd. And you know what? That’s fantastic. I am so grateful to live in a world where that very idea sounds goofy to me. I’m thankful that our children will grow up knowing they are loved and valued, not on the basis of their skin colour, but on who they are. We have come a long, long way!
I’m always interested in studies about interracial marriages. This study, by the Pew Research Center, was released in February. Can I just say I feel super excited that our marriage is in this data as we were married before 2010?!
- “About 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another, more than double the share in 1980 (6.7%)”
- “More than four-in-ten Americans (43%) say that more people of different races marrying each other has been a change for the better in our society, while 11% say it has been a change for the worse and 44% say it has made no difference.”
- In 1986, the public was divided about this. Nearly three-in-ten Americans (28%) said people of different races marrying each other was not acceptable for anyone, and an additional 37% said this may be acceptable for others, but not for themselves. Only one-third of the public (33%) viewed intermarriage as acceptable for everyone.
I realize interracial marriage is a gigantic issue. Hence the entire blog dedicated to it. What I find fascinating is the increasing tolerance and acceptance of it even since I was born. I certainly don’t think anyone should find someone of other race to marry to make a statement, but I’m glad that when a guy and a girl meet, fall in love and discern that marriage is the right choice feel the freedom to make that commitment to one another.
The thing that makes me most sad about that article is that it involved a Church. The unifier in our relationship is our faith in Jesus. When our accents get mangled and our values collide and our cultures seem foreign and distasteful, we find incredible unity in our shared faith in our Creator.
And seriously: it’s so much fun! As I look through our wedding photos I’m amazed at the collage of cultures and experiences, the graciousness of our parents and the party it was to combine it all. For realz: my Mom is in a sari and my Dad is learning Bhangra moves from my in-laws.
Our experience has been that interracial and intercultural marriage has many, many challenges. We are so thankful that our family and friends are continually supporting and loving us in our marriage.
What are your thoughts on interracial marriage? Is it ever a bad thing?
How have you been affected by it? What makes it awesome?
*Yes, Wikipedia is a legit source on this blog. Seriously, it’s a blog…It should have limited credibility to begin with.