Maybe We Can All Get Along—But Not Because Of Interracial Marriage
Los Angeles Times editorialized on April 30:
California`s teenagers and young adults, the answer to
Rodney King`s question is a definite yes: We can
all get along. Race and ethnicity, according to a new
survey of Californians ages 16 to 22, are far less
significant to this generation than to any in the past."
NOTE: The cell phone survey is here:
California Dreamers: A Public Opinion Portrait Of The
Most Diverse Generation The Nation Has Known, New
American Media is conglomeration of
The LAT continued:
only are young people encouragingly unconcerned about
the skin color or nationality of others, they don`t
think of themselves much that way, either. When asked
the most significant aspects of their identity, they
chose music and fashion. Their tribes? Punk-rock
skaters, hip-hop activists, salseros."
Well, okay … but didn`t anybody at
the LA Times notice that punk-rock skaters
(white), hip-hop activists (black), and salseros
(Latino, I presume) are almost ethnically
Indeed, in my three decades of
living in LA, I`ve never even heard the term "salsero"
before. That shows how culturally unified LA is.
Granted, I`m an old fogey—but, according to Google, this
first time "salseros" has ever
appeared in the L.A. Times!
The LAT continues, somewhat
survey, sponsored by New America Media, found
dramatically liberal attitudes when it comes to the
issue of getting along. Two-thirds say they have dated
someone of another ethnicity, and a whopping 87% say
they would marry or have a life partner of a different
Maybe. Or maybe “Generation
Tolerant” is simply “Generation Politically
Correct”—intimidated from its early youth by the
Baby Boom refugee radicals who now
infest the education industry.
This obsession with
interracial marriage reflects the
common assumption among white pundits that, by
multiracial individuals with
family ties across racial lines, it will allow
America finally to "transcend
Yet, some unexpected things have
been happening recently on the intermarriage front.
First, the rate of interethnic marriage between whites and
Latinos and whites and Asians has been dropping.
Hence this press release from
Ohio State, summarizing a February 2007 article in
American Sociological Review:
"Immigration played a key role in unprecedented declines
in interracial and inter-ethnic marriage in the United
States during the 1990s, according to a new sociological
study. The findings, published in `Social
Boundaries and Marital Assimilation: Interpreting Trends
in Racial and Ethnic Intermarriage,` suggest that
the growing number of Hispanic and Asian immigrants to
the United States has led to more marriages
within these groups, and fewer marriages between
members of these groups and whites."
This trend has been
visible for some time in Southern California. Asians
used to be widely dispersed all over the suburbs, and
thus tended to marry the whites around them. Now,
however, not only are there more Asians, but they tend
to cluster in the San Gabriel Valley. So you see a
higher proportion of Asian-Asian couples than you did a
quarter of a century ago. This has obvious implications
Second, the percentage of people who tell the Census
Bureau they are multiracial has actually dropped
over the last half decade.
share of Americans who identify themselves as
multiracial has shrunk this decade, an unexpected trend
in an increasingly diverse nation. About 1.9% of the
people checked off
more than one race in a 2005 Census Bureau survey of
3 million households, a meaningful decline from two
surveys in 2000." (Fewer
Americans call themselves multiracial, by Haya El
Nasser, USA TODAY,
May 4, 2007)
It`s not clear why people have
become less like to identify as multiracial, but it`s
striking that this has happened.
Third, people of diverse ancestries do not
necessarily "transcend race".
As biographical accounts about
people of multiracial backgrounds accumulate, the less
confidence we should feel in making simple presumptions
about how mixed descent will impact their views on race.
Some people of diverse ancestries do indeed
"transcend race," as Ward Connerly`s life story
shows. Often, however, having recent ancestors
of different races leads to the exact opposite
psychological and political reaction—an exacerbated race
consciousness—as Barack Obama`s
little-understood autobiography demonstrates.
Connerly first came to national
renown in 1996 as the leader of the successful campaign
for California`s Proposition 209, the initiative
authored by Thomas Wood and
Glynn Custred to outlaw racial preferences a.k.a.
maternal grandmother was half
Irish and half
Choctaw Indian. My maternal grandfather was white of
French descent. My paternal grandmother was part
Irish and part American Indian and my paternal
grandfather was of African descent. My grandchildren are
all of me and their Irish grandmother, and two of the
four are all of that and are partly of
Vietnamese descent as well."
This background has helped inspire
Connerly to crusade for colorblind laws. In response to
Supreme Court`s notorious 2003 U. of Michigan
decision upholding race quotas (just as long as
they`re not called quotas!), Connerly devoted over three
years to a heroic campaign to reproduce Prop. 209 in
Michigan. To be honest, I didn`t think his new
Proposition 2 stood a chance because almost the entire
Michigan establishment of both parties opposed him. Yet,
Connerly`s initiative won a stunning
58 percent of the vote last November.
In sharp contrast to Connerly,
though, is the popular Senator and Presidential
candidate Barack Obama. He made a
radio ad last year opposing Connerly`s
Obama played to this white
expectation that interracial marriage leads to
interracial harmony in his famous keynote
address at the 2004Democratic convention. It began
with a (heavily
airbrushed) version of his family history,
recounting how his father from Kenya and his mother from
Kansas met in
Obviously, that must make Obama
feel equally warmly toward both races! Right?
And sophisticated listeners also
understood that Hawaii has never been home to the
one-drop rule, which automatically defines the offspring
of mixed marriages as belonging solely to the minority
Clearly, Obama must be bringing a
new, more sophisticated Hawaiian conception of race to
Those pleasant presumptions,
however, are all exploded, however, merely by reading
Obama`s 1995 autobiography, Dreams from My Father: A
Story of Race and Inheritance Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.
has no room in his heart for Hawaiian multiracialism.
The identity he labored so relentlessly to construct for
himself is monoracially black—even though he only spent
one month with his
black father, who, when his son was only two,
abandoned the white teenage girl he had (bigamously)
In his Introduction, Obama
describes his book as "the record of a personal,
interior journey—a boy`s search for his father, and
through that search a workable meaning for his life as a
And when Obama runs into other
part-black people who actually do profess a
multiracial identity, the future Presidential candidate
is disturbed and annoyed by them.
For example, when Obama is in his
late 20s, he finally meets his half-brother "Mark,"
a physics student at Stanford who is the son of their
father`s third wife (and second white American wife).
grew up in Africa and thus doesn`t share the
Honolulu-born Obama`s romantic conception of the
Mother Continent, perturbs Obama by not being a
black racialist. When Obama challenges him over his
black African identity, Mark tells him:
things move me. Beethoven`s symphonies. Shakespeare`s
sonnets. I know—it`s not what an African is supposed to
care about. But who`s to tell me
what I should and shouldn`t care about?"
Obama thereupon immediately and
permanently cuts off all contact with his own
Similarly, Obama dumps a girlfriend
he might have married when he visits her prosperous
parents` country house and realizes how deeply rooted
they are in traditional white American culture.
Apparently he found that an intolerable threat that is
to the black identity he devised for himself in Hawaii
Soul Train on TV:
family knew every inch of the land, … the names of the
earliest white settlers—their ancestors … I realized
that our two worlds, my friend`s and mine, were as
distant from each other as
Kenya is from
Germany. And I knew that if we stayed together I`d
eventually live in hers … I pushed her away."
in reality, Obama, the preppie from paradise, has
spent much of his life collecting credentials from
educational institutions begun by white people quite
similar to his ex-lover`s parents:
Punahou School (Hawaii`s top prep school, founded by
New England missionaries in 1841),
Occidental College in Los Angeles (founded 1887),
Columbia University (founded
You might imagine that the generous
treatment these prototypically white institutions
afforded Obama might make him better disposed toward his
After all, the loving care Connerly
received from the white-Indian grandmother who raised
him helps him look benignly on all races.
But, Obama, like most humans, isn`t
as emotionally straightforward as Connerly. As Ben
pointed out, if you
want somebody to like you, don`t do them a
favor. They will just resent the fact that you can
do them a favor.
But it`s one of the rationales used
to justify our
current immigration disaster.