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Interracial Marriage In a Polarized America

Interracial Marriage In a Polarized America

Magazine, Living Well

Interracial/intercultural marriages have been on the rise for years in the United States. According to PEW, about 17% of new marriages are interracial couples. Many of these unions produce children that are multiracial and multicultural. With open racism on the rise and challenges to personal and privacy rights, what are the life realities for interracial couples and their mixed-race offspring? What does the research say about public opinion and hidden biases? And can these families themselves help defeat prejudice in the long term? Experts and researchers discuss data and ideas on the subject, and a multiracial family shares what it takes to make it and thrive in our increasingly polarized society.

 Justin Gest, Associate Professor of Policy and Government at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government shared that white non-Hispanics will no longer be a non-white majority by 2024. This transition is not unique to the US and we could learn how other countries pivot to inclusion and not exclusion. In many ways, demographic changes are now partisan and govern our politics. Dems have been increasingly less minority. This is unhealthy for a democracy. What can we do about it? His book addresses some of these concerns. States however have exploited this divide for partisan politics. In Intermarriage -interracial makeup ½ of the top ten counties in California.  This is meaningful as the vanguard against this type of politics.

Allison Skinner Dorkenoo, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Social Psychology at the University of Georgia shared slides about public reactions to interracial marriage. Though it is now universally accepted this wasn’t the case 55years ago. The slides showed the trends over the last 55years and how they impact attitudes in society towards interracial couples whether positive or negative.

 Sonia and Richard Kang, a multicultural-multiracial couple that, together, encapsulate African American, Latino and Korean origins and who have 4 multicultural children. Sonia is President of Multicultural Families of Southern California and the owner of Mixed-Up Clothing, a children’s clothing business. Sonia shared that she was raised in a bi-racial family with an African American father and a Mexican mother. Now married to a Korean American with four kids raised in a multicultural environment. Richard was born here but spoke Korean because his mom didn’t speak English. When he entered school as a child he knew he was different due to the language barrier. When he met Sonia while her family was accepting his family was not and only came to terms with his decision to marry a non-Korean woman later down the road. He suspects the grandkids softened his parents’ hearts towards Sonia. 

Sonia on her part never had to think twice about who she was going to marry. She just always knew that she was different or stuck out based on her multi-racial components. She however had to prove her blackness or Latino creds most of the time. When she met Richard and formed a multi-racial family they were concerned about how to make it easier for their kids not to experience what they had both experienced.


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