The Myth Of Interracial Marriage

For the better part
of a decade, Gregory Rodriguez and Richard Rodriguez
have been writing the same article


again. Their shared thesis: Hispanic
immigration will solve America`s racial problems because
Latin American-style interracial marriage will make
America`s black-white racial hang-up


Of course, they don`t
explain why 500 years of "mestizaje"
have yet to solve Latin America`s own

racial problems
– which, according to

Amy Chua`s
new book

"World on Fire,"
are growing more heated. (I
offered an answer to this historical conundrum in a


VDARE.COM series in 2000.)

So perhaps I may be
forgiven for returning to one of my favorite topics—what
the various effects of interracial marriage actually
are, rather than what they are supposed to be.
Especially because I have some important new Census
numbers to pass along.

I`m not attacking

interracial marriage
. My personal opinion is that
you should marry the person you love. After all, that`s
a lot better than marrying a person you don`t love – or
not marrying at all.

I am, however,
pointing out that racial divisions are not simply some
semantic confusion that can be erased by
politically-corrected vocabulary. Race has a thorny
underlying reality that keeps popping out in surprising

One unexpected effect
of the growth of interracial marriage has been to

toward whites felt by black women and
East Asian men. In my 1997 National Review
article "Is
Love Colorblind?
" – published when John O`Sullivan
was editor and still generating email – I used 1990
Census statistics on interracial marriage patterns to
document the "dating disparity" that I first noticed at
UCLA around 1981. Black men were more likely than black
women to be romantically involved with whites. In
contrast, East Asian women were more likely than East
Asian men to be paired with whites.

Result:  a fair
number of lonely and annoyed black women and Asian men.

Lots of people had
written previously about either the black side or the
Asian side of the interracial marriage gender imbalance.
But only a few had noted this mirror image phenomenon.
The ones who beat me to it include

Arthur Hu
, who wrote a perceptive

in Asian Week in 1990, and

Frank Salter
, who gave an academic address on it in
1996 [not online].

I argued back in 1997
that the force driving these skewed husband-wife
proportions was racial differences in perceived
masculinity. Since then, Rick Kittles of Howard
University, while researching the causes of the high
rate of prostate cancer among blacks, has published a

showing racial disparities in two genes
controlling the strength of receptors for male hormones.

Many assume that
equality is the natural human state. But I didn`t think
these gaps would disappear anytime soon. And they
haven`t. The social climate in the 1990s was close to
ideal for diminishing the differences. As a recent
Newsweek cover

on "The Black Gender Gap" pointed out,
African-American women enjoyed a good decade, making
steady progress in the college and corporate worlds,
bringing them in more contact with whites. In contrast,
black men had a decade to forget – including a big
increase in

African-American men in prison
, which certainly
reduced their availability on the marriage market.

You would think
that this shortfall of black men would make black women
more likely to marry white men.

Likewise, the
technology boom that lasted through 2000 was good for
Asian-American men. They made lots of money in
computer-related industries.

But, as I

for UPI on Friday, the Census Bureau
finally announced last week its "enumeration" (not an
estimate, but an actual count) of all the married
couples in America, and

"In 73 percent of
black-white couples, the husband was black. … Just over
75 percent of white-Asian couples featured a white
husband and Asian wife."

My best estimate for
1990 was 72 percent for each category. But the more I`ve
thought about some technical issues involved in making
apples-to-apples comparisons (such as the Census
Bureau`s creation of a new multiracial category in
2000), the less comfortable I am contrasting the 2000
proportions directly to the 1990 proportions. Still,
whether or not they grew, these gaps clearly remain very
large. They offer support for my hypothesis in

"Is Love Colorblind?"

One prediction I made
in 1997, without any 1990 Census data to back it up:
black-Asian marriages would be even more skewed
gender-wise than black-white or white-Asian. That turned
out to be true in 2000`s results: 86 percent of
black-Asian couples consisted of a black husband and an
Asian wife.

Contrary to what is
regularly assumed in this era of Tiger Woods, the extent
of interracial marriage turns out to be quite limited.
It has been claimed that Asian-American women marry
outside their race 40 percent or even 50 percent of the
time: in fact, only 22 percent of Asian-American women
have a non-Asian husband. A mere nine percent of Asian
husbands have non-Asian wives. These proportions are

held down
by mass immigration because immigrants are
much less likely to marry across racial lines than are
native-born Americans.

interracial/interethnic marriage rate for
African-American men is nine percent and for
African-American women four percent. For non-Hispanic
whites, it`s between three and four percent for both
sexes. In 2000, there were 41.3 million married couples
comprised of two non-Hispanic whites, versus only 0.5
million consisting of a non-Hispanic white person and an
Asian person – and only 0.29 million made up of
non-Hispanic whites and blacks. (The Census Bureau`s
data tables can be downloaded


(There were 1.4
million interethnic married couples consisting of a
non-Hispanic white and a Hispanic. But in no less than
0.9 million of those cases, the Hispanic identified
himself or herself as "white." The gender gap in
marriages between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics of
any race was small: 54 percent consisted of a
non-Hispanic white husband and a Hispanic wife. That
balance is probably good news for American society since
it`s less likely to lead to ethnic resentment than the
big black and Asian disparities.)

black-white-Asian interracial marriage pattern is
another example of "Rushton`s
" – people of West African descent and of
Northeast Asian descent tend to be more different from
each other than either are from whites.

Bottom line: race
isn`t going away any time soon – regardless of any
number of recycled Rodriguez articles.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily