We are Created Equal, Why Not Interracial Relationships?
With the growing liberalization of the United States, the concept of an interracial relationship in this nation has evolved from a dream to a common reality. The beginning of this evolution was marked by a historic event in the famous case of Loving V. Virginia in 1967 (Newbeck 1) which set a legal precedent for interracial marriage. There has been an impressive increase in interracial relationships since this important case. The acceptance of interracial relationships has grown nation-wide over the years, but setbacks and negativity toward the concept still exist. Despite the mild social pressure surrounding this stigma, interracial relationships create a well-rounded society by eliminating stereotypes and social segregation. However, interracial relationships face some barriers that most people do not have because they come from the same race or culture.
The Loving V. Virginia case is the historical case involving the legalization of interracial relationships nation-wide. It all began in June of 1958 when Mildred Jeter Loving, an African-American woman, and Richard Perry Loving, who was white, escaped from Virginia to Washington D.C. to exchange marital vows (Newbeck 3). Five weeks after their wedding, they were awakened in the middle of the night by police and arrested for violating Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, by living in Virginia as husband and wife. On January 6, 1959, after pleading guilty to the charge against them, they were sentenced to one year in jail (Newbeck 24). The sentence was suspended for 25 years; however, Judge Leon Brazile eliminated their one-year sentencing "on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years" (Newbeck 25). The Lovings agreed to the offer and left Virginia to live in Washington D.C. After four years went, Mildred missed her family in Virginia and was unhappy with the court’s decision. In 1963, the Lovings contacted an attorney, named Bernard Cohen, who was affiliated with the American Civil Liberties Union (Newbeck 169), and appealed their conviction. Unfortunately, Judge Leon Bazile denied the appeal. The Lovings appeal was subsequently sent to the U.S. Supreme Court, but was yet again denied in 1966. Other interracial couples and civil rights organizations then joined Cohen and the Lovings to make a new appeal. With the persistence of the new team, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Lovings and abolished Virginia’s Antimiscegenation statues (Newbeck 288). The Court held, “There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause” (Newbeck 290) The Court also found that the Virginia law deprived the Lovings of liberty without due process of law.
The Loving V. Virginia case was crucial in the subsequent growth of interracial marriage, not only for its legalization, but also because marked the beginning for its acceptance in society. As Peter Wallenstein states in his book, Tell the Court I Love My Wife: Race, Marriage, and Law--an American History, “Loving settled many matters. It established a new racial regime across the nation. Heterosexual couples, regardless of their racial identities, could marry in any state in the Union and move to any other state, impeded by no law of race and marriage” (Wallenstein 6) The persistence and hard work of the Lovings had truly paid off and have permanently affected the U.S. society. Interracial marriage in America is currently on the rise and agrees with the concept of “fundamental freedom,” (Newbeck 291) by means of the fundamental right to marry in interracial marriage cases that was based on the fundamental right to procreate in the U.S., thus uniting our society. As Clayton Majete states in an article of Interracial Marriage: An Overview, “Although the ceremony may be between two people, mixed marriages have...
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