A recent study by Pew Research Center shows that marriage between people of different races is on the rise.
According to the report, new marriages between spouses of a different race or
ethnicity increased to 15.1 % in 2010, and current
marriages that are either interracial or interethnic is 8.4%. Compare those figures back to 1980, when 3% of all marriages and less than 7% of all new
marriages were across racial or ethnic lines.
But when you look at the numbers, it actually shows that most people still tend to marry within their own race or ethnicity. I haven't read the full report, but I'm assuming there are also differences in the numbers depending upon age, education, and where people live.
There was also an interesting take on interracial couples eating in a restaurant on an episode of What Would You Do? They had interracial couples go out to eat, then had people harass them about it. The couple and the people harassing them were all actors who work for the show. The point of the show is to see the reaction of other people who don't know that this is a staged situation. To find out what will they do or in many cases not do or just plain ignore.
Also, most of us are pretty familiar with the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950's and 1960's. The big change that resulted from this movement was the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which provided legal remedies for acts of discrimination. So that, for example, if someone feels that they have been discriminated against based on their race in a public accommodation, like a restaurant, they can sue that restaurant. After all, the lunch counter sit-ins were a huge part of the Movement.
So why am I bringing up these different issues? Because I was shocked to hear that a restaurant in a certain southern state has a special "interracial section" where interracial couples can be seated.
I don't know enough about all the details to say much more and I don't want to identify the person who relayed this information to me. What shocked me even more than hearing about this special seating arrangement was that the person who told me liked it. He is part of an interracial couple and my understanding of what was said was that at least this way they would not be gawked at and they were with their own kind. Oh goodness.
My reaction is that this is racial segregation all over again with a new twist. Now I'm not sure if this is the policy of the restaurant, just one person's random decision, whether the situation where all the interracial couples who did not know each other were suddenly seated together by coincidence or what.
In no way does any of this seem right to me and I think what the restaurant is doing is illegal. Am I missing something? What do you think?
If you are part of an interracial couple, have you ever experienced anything like this? Have any of you seen anything like this?
Help me out people. What would you do if you saw this situation?
*Updated 4/25/2012* Sadly, I just found a related article. A new study finds that “tableside racism” persists in restaurants.
*Updated 6/22/12* The Downtown Sports Bar and Grill in Raleigh, N.C. appears to have some problems of its own.
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