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miscegenation
June 12, 2007 3:08 PM   Subscribe

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." Thankfully, the Supreme Court disagreed, on June 12, 1967. Happy Loving Day.
posted by caddis (68 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Anything that depends on God as evidence should be thrown out without comment.
posted by 2sheets at 3:16 PM on June 12, 2007 [8 favorites]


There was a wonderful piece on NPR yesterday, too.

The state tourism motto for Virginia is, beautifully, Virginia is for lovers.
posted by rtha at 3:17 PM on June 12, 2007


Forty years from now, I expect gay marriage will be in the same position that interracial marriages are now- accepted by the majority and vociferously opposed by a small minority of vocal nitwits.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:18 PM on June 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


Yay! Nice post, nice holiday, wonderful bit of history showing what happens when people stand up for what's right, and yes, goes nicely with the samesexaccordionlove post below.
posted by serazin at 3:20 PM on June 12, 2007


I liked this map showing legal status by state. You can click on the arrows and see how it changed over time.
posted by hydrophonic at 3:25 PM on June 12, 2007


Wow, I didn't know about the holiday idea. My parents, an interracial couple, got married in the Pennsylvania in 1964. I always knew that it was no small thing they'd done, but I remember being stunned as a kid to learn that anti-"miscegenation" laws weren't struck down until 1967. I always enjoy asking people to guess the year -- and people are always shocked to learn that the Lovings were actually arrested.

I've long been waiting for the Loving case to be cited as a precedent for striking down the bans on gay marriage as unconsitutional.

Virginia is for lovers.

*cracks up* I never heard that motto put together with the Loving case before! Good one. How old is that motto, I wonder...?
posted by hmaroon at 3:32 PM on June 12, 2007


I love how there is this slow trickle of conversion from red states to blue states, and then all of the sudden the entire South changes its mind in one year.
posted by AmberV at 3:34 PM on June 12, 2007


As usual, Wikipedia knows all. "Virginia is for lovers" has been around since 1969.
posted by Riki tiki at 3:36 PM on June 12, 2007


In the 18th century, the age of consent in Virginia was 10. For lovers indeed.

For more, see "History of the Changes in the Law of the Age of Consent," Virginia Law Review 81, 82 (1924).
posted by allen.spaulding at 3:39 PM on June 12, 2007


Interestingly, Justice Warren, who wrote Loving, Brown v. Board of Education, and Miranda, was appointed by Eisenhower, who expected him to be a conservative (for example, Warren had supported Japanese interment during World War 2 while he was Attorney General of California).
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 3:40 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Forty years from now, I expect gay marriage will be in the same position that interracial marriages are now- accepted by the majority and vociferously opposed by a small minority of vocal nitwits.

Here's hoping. There's still a lot of work to be done though.

I love how there is this slow trickle of conversion from red states to blue states, and then all of the sudden the entire South changes its mind in one year.

They didn't. The Supreme Court overruled them.
posted by Tehanu at 3:47 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's interesting about Warren. Mr. President Dr. Steve etc. etc, do you happen to know of a good biography or something about him?
posted by serazin at 3:48 PM on June 12, 2007


posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America Interestingly, Justice Warren, who wrote Loving, Brown v. Board of Education, and Miranda, was appointed by Eisenhower, who expected him to be a conservative (for example, Warren had supported Japanese interment during World War 2 while he was Attorney General of California).

Postscript to this story: Eisenhower referred to his appointment of Justice Warren as "the biggest damn fool mistake of my career."

Thanks, Justice Warren, from a happily and interracially-married man.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:50 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


nice not-so subtle commentary on contemporary political parties which is unconnected to actual voting trends during those years in those states.
posted by honest knave at 3:51 PM on June 12, 2007


That's interesting about Warren. Mr. President Dr. Steve etc. etc, do you happen to know of a good biography or something about him?

I don't have a biography of him but I would urge you to read Simple Justice, by Richard Kluger, which looks at the legal battle leading up to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Stunning work, very long, but worth every minute spent on it if you're interested in the long legal fight for civil rights. Great, great book.
posted by etaoin at 3:55 PM on June 12, 2007


Anything that depends on God as evidence should be thrown out without comment.

Agreed.

Ah, religion, are you ever right about anything?
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:00 PM on June 12, 2007


Great recent Earl Warren biography is Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made by Jim Newton (of the LA Times).
posted by blucevalo at 4:04 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is really great -- I was just talking about the Loving decision the other day with someone (as a precedent for legalizing same-sex marriage), but I didn't realize the anniversary was right upon us. The concept of a Loving Day holiday is wonderful.

The map is fascinating too. I was sorry to see that my home state of Wyoming -- otherwise known as "The Equality State"! -- was one of the last of the non-Southern holdouts (illegal till 1965).
posted by scody at 4:10 PM on June 12, 2007


Ah, religion, are you ever right about anything?

It has a place, but it tends to get used as a weapon by people with prejudices. When it's used as a justification for legislation, there is a problem.
posted by Tehanu at 4:10 PM on June 12, 2007


Ah, religion, are you ever right about anything?


"Do unto others" comes to mind. /derail

I find it endlessly sick that some people try to use something that is ideally about love and forgiveness and (to paraphrase Douglas Adams) just being nice to each other for a change to justify making it hard--if not outright illegal--for people to love each other.

Good on ya, Justice Warren.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:12 PM on June 12, 2007


The Bible was never against interracial marriages, simply interfaith ones.

(If you don't believe me, look up what happened to Moses' sister Miriam when among other things, she objected to Moses being married to a Cushite woman.)

FWIW, as a Christian myself, I had to point this out to my (unreconstructed) parents, who objected to my daughter's choice of a black husband on religious grounds-which in reality was simply an excuse to be racist. The arrival of the grandbaby has softened things considerably, I must say.

I'll have to tell my daughter about this post. I don't think she even KNOWS interracial marriages used to be illegal.
posted by konolia at 4:13 PM on June 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


“Forty years from now, I expect gay marriage will be in the same position that interracial marriages are now- accepted by the majority and vociferously opposed by a small minority of vocal nitwits.” - posted by Pope Guilty

...forty years from now?

Howz that different from...ah, you mean when the vocal nitwits are out of power, right.

Y’know, having lived in a very ethnically homogenous region (perhaps the most) for a bit, that gets pretty damned tiresome, pretty damned fast. A dazzling urbanite such as myself is used to the beautiful smorgasboard of colors and features we have in some areas in the U.S.
After a bit I started losing interest in the (otherwise very striking and beautiful) local women and I had to hold my tongue from saying “you all look the same.”
Certainly there are differences within groups, certainly all Chinese folks (f’rinstance) don’t look the same, but when you’re in, say, China - nearly everyone IS Chinese man. You get a little nutty. Military too, everyone has short hair and (if they have one) the stubby mustache, wear the same clothes. Argh!
Indeed, I married someone outside my own ethnicity. Probably illegal before.

“Ah, religion, are you ever right about anything?”

They were right about that one thing, with the other guy. Y’know, what’s his name. Talking about all that stuff about whatchacallit.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:17 PM on June 12, 2007


Hate crime laws be damned-- if I saw a marriage announcement for "Loving-Jeter" in the paper, I would egg the couples' house. And no jury in New England would convict me.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:19 PM on June 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


God-damn activist judges!!!
posted by ericb at 4:26 PM on June 12, 2007


It has a place, but it tends to get abused as a weapon by people with prejudices.

(Fixed that for you)
posted by pax digita at 4:27 PM on June 12, 2007


if I saw a marriage announcement for "Loving-Jeter" in the paper

How about Barry Bonds and Frank Thomas Engage in Some Male Bonding?
posted by ericb at 4:32 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


um, if God wanted the races to stay on their own continents, doesn't that mean all the white Europeans need to go back to Europe?
posted by sineater at 4:34 PM on June 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


As usual, Wikipedia knows all.

Did you know the number of African elephants has tripled in the last six months?
posted by WCityMike at 4:43 PM on June 12, 2007


well, they won't work. they just sit around drinking up thier welfare checks and making baby elephants.
posted by quonsar at 5:01 PM on June 12, 2007


1 Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment provides:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."



There it is.. plain as day. What don't people understand about it?
posted by triolus at 5:16 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


A dazzling urbanite such as myself is used to the beautiful smorgasboard of colors and features we have in some areas in the U.S.

Ironically, this well describes where I live...and where I live just so happens to be Northern Virginia! Ah, if they could see us now...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:21 PM on June 12, 2007


So wait, how long after the Loving decision did it take until the liberals legalized man on dog marriage?
posted by orthogonality at 5:24 PM on June 12, 2007


Thank you Justice Warren, on behalf of my biracial children. (Born just 20 years after Loving)
posted by nax at 5:42 PM on June 12, 2007


I believe the Loving decision, Lawrence v. Texas, and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment clearly set a precedent for the eventual acceptance of gay marriage.

The state tourism motto for Virginia is, beautifully, Virginia is for lovers.

Actually, it's "Radar Detectors Illegal."
posted by kirkaracha at 5:55 PM on June 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


I was thinking about some cultural markers that reflected the coming change of the civil rights movement, and Loving.

Films that I've seen - most at least twice include:

South Pacific, 1958
West Side Story, 1961
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962
Lillies of the Field, 1963
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, 1967
To Sir, with Love, 1967 (doesn't take place in the U.S., and much more about class than race, but still)

There must be others I've forgotten about, or never seen - suggestions?
posted by rtha at 6:14 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Just two days after my wedding anniversary, how nice. And it's a mixed-race marriage, as well.
posted by WPW at 6:19 PM on June 12, 2007




It's time we started teaching about the birds and the bees, and the bees and the bees, and the birds and the birds.


And thanks for the fourteenth admendment reminder.

Cheers to this holiday, and to those who had to endure before it was law in the name of love....
posted by fluffycreature at 6:46 PM on June 12, 2007


The fascinating and unexpected origins of the word miscegenation - one of the world's most successful hoaxes, a satire that got out of hand and changed history.
posted by WPW at 7:21 PM on June 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


My wife's parents were married 2 years after Loving made it legal for them to do so. I guess it's kind of ironic that we got married in Virginia 35 years later.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:26 PM on June 12, 2007


I think my grandmother still doesn't know that it would have been illegal for her to marry my grandfather (in 1948) had the wedding taken place 5 miles east. It never really crosses her mind that my grandfather wasn't legally white. She knows the details of his ancestry and what color his skin was, just doesn't add it up. Virginia (and Louisiana) got way nuts with that; this state didn't bother to be either so precise or so broad in its definitions and laws.
posted by dilettante at 8:09 PM on June 12, 2007


That was fascinating WPW. Thanks.
posted by caddis at 8:13 PM on June 12, 2007


It’s always been strange to me that a lot of people are colour blind. Not that that’s a bad thing, but race has played such a huge part in my identity that I almost can’t help but notice it. It’s nice to know that the law reflects the former idea, even though most people I know whole-heartedly embrace the idea that dating out of their race is beneath them. None of them vehemently oppose it but there is the feeling that doing so will “breed out” their personal cultural identity.

Maybe today’s the day to tell my family about my white boyfriend. I’m going to hedge a bet that they aren’t as open and loving about it as the MeFi lot are. So sayeth the millions of couples before me who were in the exact same situation. Heh.
posted by liquorice at 9:06 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


My wife and I thank you for this post.
posted by fungible at 9:25 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


So wait, how long after the Loving decision did it take until the liberals legalized man on dog marriage?

Bush stacked the courts with protofascist judges, so it won't happen for awhile anyway.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:14 PM on June 12, 2007


Interestingly, Justice Warren, who wrote Loving, Brown v. Board of Education, and Miranda, was appointed by Eisenhower, who expected him to be a conservative (for example, Warren had supported Japanese interment during World War 2 while he was Attorney General of California).

I love it when that happens. : >
Any chance of Scalia, Roberts, Alito, or Thomas changing their tunes?

It goes to show you how very important the courts are--and that if people had said "let voters decide" or "let the states decide" back then (as they do now about same sex marriage), there still wouldn't be legal interracial Marriage in many places. Happy Loving Day to all.
posted by amberglow at 10:35 PM on June 12, 2007


There must be others I've forgotten about, or never seen - suggestions?
A Patch of Blue, Gentlemen's Agreement (but anti-semitism), that Lana Turner one about passing--Imitation of Life? , Show Boat, ...

Race and Ethnicity
THE PRODUCTION CODE AND"MISCEGENATION"

posted by amberglow at 10:42 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


liquorice but there is the feeling that doing so will “breed out” their personal cultural identity.

Cultural identity's only good for a couple of generations, though, in our current milieu. I have more cultural identity in common with the Australian-born children of migrants from, say, India or Korea (two of my reasonably-close friends), than I would with my grandparents' grandparents.

today’s the day to tell my family about my white boyfriend

I worked with an Australian Aboriginal girl once, who had a white boyfriend that she had decided to basically keep from her father, who for understandable and unfortunate reasons (suffice to say he was an Australian Aboriginal who grew up in Queensland in the 1950's and 60's), pretty much hated white people, and had told her he'd disown her if she ever brought one home. Her mother was OK with the boyfriend, though, despite having been the victim of equal, if not greater, racism. I haven't thought of her in years, I wonder what happened. Marriage and kids would have been an issue, assuming she had stayed with the white boyfriend, but I would hope advancing age and the prospect of grandchildren had a mellowing effect on the old man.

I expect many African-Americans have similar experiences (I'm assuming here you are African-American, liquorice, which may be prejudiced of me - but it's a statistical bias, not an emotional one :) ). Anyway I hope it goes well for you. It's a story I'm sure we would be interested in hearing, if you feel like posting an update.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:46 PM on June 12, 2007


Oh, that's interesting. Didn't realize the user profiles allowed pictures and bios now. Um. (*briefly considers moving to Melbourne*)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:50 PM on June 12, 2007


More about the Freedom to Marry campaign here -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the poster child for gay marriage?
A coalition of civil rights groups that back gay marriage is using photos of prominent couples like the former Republican governor and his Mexican-born wife, Columba, in an advertising campaign marking the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, a U.S. Supreme Court decision that gave interracial couples the right to marry. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:53 PM on June 12, 2007


"Ah, religion, are you ever right about anything?"

One thing for sure: we humans can be so much more than we are, and so much better with each other than we are.

Once we get over stupid ideas like how skin color (or sexual orientation) makes people so different as to be alien and inferior, we'll be that much closer to our potential.

liquorice: good luck, it will be okay.

"Y’know, having lived in a very ethnically homogenous region (perhaps the most) for a bit, that gets pretty damned tiresome, pretty damned fast."

That happened to me too, here in the US; moved from a thoroughly mixed area to an area so WASP-y that almost everyone was related. I got culture shock from not seeing anyone who was even slightly darker than me.

Here's to at least a little progress...
posted by zoogleplex at 11:19 PM on June 12, 2007


2sheets wrote Anything that depends on God as evidence should be thrown out without comment.

Blue laws
Resistance to civil unions
Abortion bans
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:01 AM on June 13, 2007


GEEZ what's wrong with you people of america, first I found it dazzling that this thing goes to court in the sixties (not in 1360 but 1960 for God's sake) and now you make a day out of it.

OMG where you're still at??? it's like dark ages out there or what??
posted by zouhair at 2:55 AM on June 13, 2007


Our children will be just as appalled that the bigots of our day forbid same-sex couples from enjoying the legal rights of marriage and equal protection under the law. And at many other things.

Lest we become complacent about transcending bigotry, or anything. America was a hateful place in the bad old days. It's still not a whole lot better for many people.

The "Almighty God" who condones and enjoins bigotry can kiss my ass.
posted by spitbull at 3:39 AM on June 13, 2007


America was a hateful place in the bad old days.

Pretty much everywhere used to be hate-filled, more recently than many people would like to think; many places still are hate-filled. The Enlightenment is a long, slow, fragile global project. And whatever America's past or present sins might be, let's not lose sight of this was something that was wrong with America that was fixed by what is very right with America - the principles of justice enshrined in the Constitution, Which are still a worldwide inspiration however patchily they may get applied in their own country.
posted by WPW at 3:50 AM on June 13, 2007


There must be others I've forgotten about, or never seen - suggestions?

In the Heat of the Night, which is the source of Sidney Poitier's line, "They call me MISTER Tibbs!"
That was also the title of the sequel (and I just found out there was a second sequel).
posted by kirkaracha at 5:43 AM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Marriage and kids would have been an issue, assuming she had stayed with the white boyfriend, but I would hope advancing age and the prospect of grandchildren had a mellowing effect on the old man.

I think it tends to. My grandfather refused to see me for the first few years after I was born, then he gave in one day and discovered I was his awesomest grandkid. And now I have a boyfriend of a different color! Yay! Hybrid vigor for all!
posted by dame at 6:54 AM on June 13, 2007


[a few comments removed - please consider the metatalk thread before you start hurling off-topic invectives in this one]
posted by jessamyn at 7:45 AM on June 13, 2007


Thank you, caddis for posting this. I had no idea, but I should have. It's easy to take these things for granted. My wife and I had a very nice dinner last night to celebrate.
posted by Eddie Mars at 7:46 AM on June 13, 2007


Konolia: Your assertion that the Bible was never used to justify segregation or oppose interracial marriage is unmitigated and ignorant bullshit.

"Jerry Falwell Previously Used Bible To Justify Segregation and Criticize Interracial Marriage, Then Apologized. In 1958, Falwell gave a sermon on segregation, stating that "The true Negro does not want integration... He realizes his potential is far better among his own race... It will destroy our race eventually... In one northern city, a pastor friend of mine tells me that a couple of opposite race live next door to his church as man and wife... It boils down to whether we are going to take God's Word as final." He apologized for his comments in a 1988 interview. [Washington Post, 7/24/88]"

I can find other citations of Falwell doing so, if you like.
posted by klangklangston at 8:14 AM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Konolia: Your assertion that the Bible was never used to justify segregation or oppose interracial marriage is unmitigated and ignorant bullshit.

that's not the assertion she made ... read more carefully
posted by pyramid termite at 8:22 AM on June 13, 2007


Pyramid— "The Bible was never against interracial marriages, simply interfaith ones."

Perhaps the presence of capital letters confused you. That's exactly what she said.
posted by klangklangston at 8:40 AM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


She didn't say the Bible wasn't used against such marriages, just that it, itself, doesn't contain any statements about them. It, of course, has been used, but, in konolia's opinion, incorrectly so. At least, that's how I read her post.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:44 AM on June 13, 2007


klangklangston - the bible != jerry falwell ... read more carefully
posted by pyramid termite at 8:54 AM on June 13, 2007


If Americans didn't waste a majority of their time on such trivial bullshit we'd all be driving cars run on salt water. But then again, maybe that's the reason all the trivial shit is out there to begin with. Keep us distracted with the bullshit so the status quo can continue undisturbed.
posted by any major dude at 10:12 AM on June 13, 2007


Bulworth: "All we need is a voluntary, free-spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction. Everybody just gotta keep fuckin' everybody 'til they're all the same color."

Sounds good to me. In fact, sounds awesome to me.
posted by oncogenesis at 10:56 AM on June 13, 2007


When the trivial bull gets to me; when people are close-minded reactionary bigoted creationist morons who cheer as their rights are trampled; when progress is a fairytale and the greedy and the fearful and the vicious spewing hate-mongers will rule forever and always amen - I buttonhole a passing bible-belter and ask them if they've ever heard of the word "miscegenation". Or "mulatto", or "quadroon".

It's a small help.
posted by ormondsacker at 11:16 AM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bulworth: "All we need is a voluntary, free-spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction. Everybody just gotta keep fuckin' everybody 'til they're all the same color."

Sounds good to me. In fact, sounds awesome to me.


I dunno. Ever read The Lathe of Heaven?
posted by rtha at 11:46 AM on June 13, 2007


Keep us distracted with the bullshit so the status quo can continue undisturbed.

But that's just it--it's not trivial or bullshit to those impacted by their actions. They do real harm by injecting these topics into elections and campaigns and as distractions. Whatever the reason people are talking about something, real people were and continue to be hurt. Just as the immigration shit going on now really hurts real people too.
posted by amberglow at 4:33 PM on June 15, 2007


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