On Interracial Marriage

A letter writer to VDARE.COM took umbrage at my recent attempt at a General Theory of Race, "It's All Relative: Putting Race in its Proper Perspective." I had inserted a few positive remarks about the harmonizing effects of interracial marriage - such as "Intermarriage is what turned the Angles and the Saxons into the Anglo-Saxons." My correspondent declared my views to be "pure evil."

That seems exaggerated. Personally, I thought that what I said was only 99 and 44/100ths evil.

The whole topic of intermarriage raises deep passions. This is hardly surprising because it is terribly important for understanding how the world works. Yet it is largely off-limits for objective analysis - witness the anonymity of this letter.

In polite society today only Jews, such as Alan Dershowitz, are allowed publicly to voice opposition to intermarriage in the name of group survival. Perhaps the leading spokesman against Jews marrying Gentiles is Norman Podhoretz's son-in-law Elliott Abrams. His activism in favor of ethnically exclusive marriages did not stop him from recently being appointed the National Security Council's senior director for democracy, human rights and international operations.

Well, I decided long ago that mouthing polite fictions just wasn't as fun as telling the truth. So I've written extensively over the years on interracial marriage, outlining its effects, positive and negative, mundane - and surprising. (Some of my articles on exogamy are collected here.)

Still, as crucial as the subject is it's important not to overstate how rapidly interracial marriage is growing. Since, roughly, the 1997 Masters tournament, we have been repeatedly told that Real Soon Now everybody on Earth will look like Tiger Woods, ushering in a utopia of peace, love, and, presumably, low golf scores. Others, like the letter writer, see racial mixing as bringing on Chaos and Old Night.

But the reality is that racial groups have been coming together (and splitting apart) forever. The rate of convergence between continental-scale racial groups accelerated in 1492, and is currently increasing. Yet most of our existing continental racial groups are going to be around in roughly their present form for what will be, by individual human standards, a long, long time.

And before global Tigerization is anywhere near complete, genetic engineering, human-computer hybridization, and interstellar colonization will introduce so much new diversity into the species that the early 21st century will be looked back upon as an era of great biological homogeneity.

My correspondent writes:

"Miscegenation destroys irreversibly and utterly that which took Nature tens of thousands of years to create."

This is also the opinion of the federal government. Well, not about people, but about red wolves. The red wolf is found in isolated spots in the South. Although the government lists it as an endangered species, it looks like a cross between a wolf and a coyote. Indeed, as genetic tests have shown, that is exactly what it is.

In other words, the red wolf is not an endangered species but an endangered race. The main threat to the continued racial existence of red wolves is - miscegenation with the common coyote. So, in some parts of the South, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is pursuing an aggressive campaign of sterilizing or killing uppity coyotes that can't keep their cotton-pickin' paws off our precious red wolves.

This program of lynching Southern coyotes that don't know their place is pretty amusing in a sick way. But it probably is the only way to preserve the red wolf race. Being of conservative temperament, I tend to favor conserving things, because if we don't, we'll miss them when they're gone

Similarly, there are human racial groups who do indeed desperately need "human biodiversity preserves." Example: the Pygmy Negritos of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. (I recently interviewed the leading expert on these tiny people.) The men average 4'-10" and 95 pounds. The women have such pronounced "steatopygia" that a mother who needs to carry her toddler on her back will have the child throw his arms around her neck and stand on her remarkably protuberant, gravity-defying buttocks. (Unfortunately, Carleton Coon's you-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it photo of this is not on line.) Tragically, when Andamanese tribes first come into social contact with outsiders, they quickly waste away to near-extinction because of diseases for which they lack all biological defenses.

In the late 1990s a boy from one of two remaining wild and healthy tribes, the reclusive and hostile Jarawa, was found injured and taken to the Indian colonists' hospital. There, he discovered the addictive pleasures of television. Cured, he went home and told his friends. They started coming into the Indian town to beg and steal. In only three or so years of integration, the Jarawa have declined in population from about 350 to 250.

Fortunately, the few hundred Andamanese on remote North Sentinel Island remain unaware that all civilized people favor multiculturalism. Not that they would care. They have driven off numerous political and scientific busybodies with swarms of arrows.

Long may they live in splendid segregation.

In extreme cultural contrast to the Stone Age Andamanese are the extraordinarily accomplished Zoroastrian Parsis of Bombay. Only one percent as numerous as Jews, and lacking their own national homeland far from amorous gentiles, they are in eventual danger of disappearing because the sons and daughters of non-Parsi elites keep marrying them.

For example, the heirs of the first Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan both married Parsis. (The name of India's Gandhi dynasty traces not to the Mahatma Gandhi, but to Indira Nehru's Parsi husband.) I recently wrote an article comparing Parsi and Jewish strategies for ethnic survival, illustrating it with the story of a part-Parsi psychologist's struggle to find a Parsi woman willing to marry a half-breed like himself.

Now, my anonymous VDARE.COM critic does have a point. The Pygmy Negritos, for example, have clearly evolved characteristics such as small size (and, perhaps, steatopygia) that superbly suit their islands' jungle environment (although not the modern pathogen environment). Whether Darwinian selection has also adapted Parsis or Jews - or larger hereditary groups such as whites - to prosper in their environments is a much more difficult question. But, considering what we know now about the power of selection to alter gene frequencies, it cannot be ruled out.

Which raises another important question: Are whites in the same dire situation as red wolves, Pygmy Negritos, and Parsis? I strongly doubt it. Currently, there are about 200 million white Americans. Beyond America, there are about 700 million white Europeans, plus a little less than 50 million whites in Canada, Australia, etc. Exactly how many whites there are in Latin America, North Africa, West Asia and South Asia is a complicated question. But the world total for whites would run—depending on strictness of definition—from over one billion to over two billion.

Anyone wishing to "abolish the white race" had better pack a lunch – they're going to have to wait a long time.

In the U.S., according to the Census Bureau, about 97% of married non-Hispanic whites in the U.S. are married to other non-Hispanic whites. That percentage is declining, but it has a long, long way left to fall. In the 2000 Census, 12,859,892 children under 5 years old were identified by their parents as white-only versus a mere 796,360 declared to be white and something else. That's a 16 to 1 ratio. Further, the highest white birth rates are in Republican-voting Red States where interracial marriage is uncommon.

Of course, what really gets people worked up, pro or con, is black-white mating. This, however, remains rare. Less than 0.5% of married whites are wed to African-Americans. Nor is it clear that black-white relationships, married or otherwise, are that much more common today than in many other eras in American history. As I have reported, DNA analysis suggests that something like 50,000,000 Americans who call themselves white have had at least one black ancestor over the last dozen generations. In turn, African-American adults are genetically about 17%-18% white. On average, down through the generations, about one out of every 25 or 30 babies born to an African-American woman was fathered by a white man.

It's at least arguable that the mixing of various European nationalities that has been going on in America for generations, especially since the immigration cutoff of 1924, has been more important than the much more limited mixing of different continental-scale races that began a few decades ago. When you peer closely enough, white Americans just don't look that much like Europeans anymore, apparently due to genetic blending among white Americans.

The overall impact of interracial marriage on the IQ of the children of American mixed marriages is unclear. It might have raised their IQs slightly, since many (but not all) of the non-white spouses are coming from countries where the average IQ is higher than among white Americans. (And we could mimic Canada and make a lot more of an effort to select higher quality immigrants.)

Still, although the percentage of white-white marriages won't drop terribly quickly, a fairly fast growing number of American citizens are finding that, say, a cousin has intermarried and had mixed-race children. Because people talk to their relations a lot and tend to trust what they say more, this will have a mild but probably beneficial effect on racial friction.

If the letter writer wants to move to his own version of North Sentinel Island, I would wish him well. But I wouldn't expect many to go with him.

My bottom line view on marriage: you ought to marry the person you love. The alternatives—marrying a person you don't love or not marrying at all - are worse.

I didn't exactly come up with that idea all by myself. Over the last millennium, this has become the predominant view of Western Civilization. In fact, it may be Western Civilization's most defining characteristic. The theme of true love battling against social constraints has been one of the most popular topics in high art and mass entertainment since the medieval troubadours. Romeo and Juliet is only the most famous example. Increasing freedom to form love matches reflects the West's distinctive values such as individualism, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In much of the rest of the world, arranged marriages and inbreeding are the norm. Among Muslims in West Asia and North Africa, the ideal marriages are arranged ones with first cousins. In Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan close to half of all marital pairings are between first or second cousins.

Not surprisingly, individuals in these regions tend to be intensely nepotistic toward their extended families/clans/tribes, and thus unpatriotic toward their countries. Nor should it be shocking that—due in part to the nepotistic corruption, lack of civic trust, and general political fractiousness caused by their extreme endogamy—these pseudo-nations tend to get their butts kicked by more unified armies from countries where the breeding pools are larger and more inclusive.

Finally, the impact of immigration on rates of interracial marriage is not widely understood. Those who view white DNA as inherently evil would of course want to import as much non-white DNA as they can get away with. On the other hand, those who aren't white-haters should favor limiting immigration, especially if they think interracial marriage promotes social harmony. By expanding racial/ethnic immigrant enclaves, mass immigration makes it easier for immigrants to find mates within their own group.

In California, mass immigration is definitely slowing the growth in the rate of interracial marriage. The reason: immigrants appear to be about one third as likely to marry across the major racial/ethnic boundaries as are native-born Californians. So immigration is driving up the absolute number of mixed marriages - by raising the total population - but it is driving down the proportion of mixed marriages, by allowing previous immigrants to marry within their ethnic enclave.

Think intermarriage is a positive good for American society? Demand immigration cutbacks.

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.blogspot.com features his daily blog.]


September 17, 2002