What’s in a Race? Views on Interracial Dating

Often times, especially in the vast complexity of the modern era, it seems as if the clash of cultural norms can be a difficult problem to resolve. The taboos of one culture are often markedly different than those of others, and when questions of morality arise, who is to say what’s right and what’s wrong? Certain issues, though, while sometimes highly contentious, seem as if they have a true moral solution. One such issue is that of interracial dating. While there are many people that argue that the practice of interracial dating or marriage is immoral, unnatural, and generally wrong, the strength of any such argument rests on nothing of substance. The fact of the matter is that, for many reasons, there is simply nothing about interracial dating that makes it an issue suitable for a society to censor in any way.

First of all, and quite importantly, it would be apropos to further discuss the arguments that are made against interracial relationships and the type of individual who tends to make them. Arguments against interracial dating are generally based on ignorance, fear, and racism, with an occasional argument being made that has at least some sort of logical merit. Within such arguments against relationships of mixed racial background one will find terms such as, “be with your own kind,” and racial epithets. One will also find that those who argue against interracial relationships tend to be less educated. Many of their arguments stem from fundamental religious beliefs or plain hatred of that which is different. In fact, one of the greatest proponents of banning interracial marriage was Adolph Hitler and his group of Nazi peers. It hardly seems necessary to state why arguments that were supported by such people are automatically cast in a dubious light today.

The proof, however, of a given position can not be found in the examination of those who oppose it. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, owned slaves, but we do not today take that fact as a proof that because we admire him slavery is therefore a reasonable practice. Instead, the proof that there is nothing patently objectionable or immoral about interracial dating stems from the fact that it seems, as an institution, to be utterly protected. Legally speaking there is absolutely no question that interracial dating is perfectly within the bounds of the law. Nothing in the Constitution even hints at the idea that such a thing could be discriminated against, and the Supreme Court has definitively protected the right of individuals to marry whomever of the opposite sex they so desire.

Apart from legal concerns, though, there remains the more pressing question of morality. Frankly, though, morality is not the key to the issue. There are many practices in America today that are legally protected and yet held in contempt by many as immoral. Things such as gambling, legalized prostitution, alcohol and tobacco, and political contributions all draw great criticism. Obviously, there is no way to really isolate one set code of morality that everyone would agree to.

Instead, the key to the question of interracial dating lies in one simple query, that being namely, who does it hurt? Therein is the issue. The most convincing, logically reasoned arguments against interracial dating/marriage tend to be the ones that contend that such practices hurt any children that result from such relationships. The basic concept is that children that are of a mixed heritage will be discriminated against and will not belong in any one subculture. Upon further examination, though, this argument is utterly ridiculous. It is clearly evident that the vast majority of African Americans already have some amount of mixed heritage in their past, as do the vast majority of whites, Asians, Latinos, and the whole of the world’s population. In fact, mankind originated from one common origin. Different races are not different species. The very idea of race, actually, is highly debated, with many arguing that there really are no differing races due to the fact that there isn’t any scientific way to classify a person from one race to the next. If a child has a black father and a white mother, the resulting child will be a mixture of two races, and what is generally called a mulatto. If that is actually so, however, then the absolute majority of African Americans are mulattos, due to the fact that they have white blood in them. If, on the other hand, having black genetics automatically makes a person black, then a good deal of people that consider themselves to be white are actually black.

In the end, the ridiculous nature of such paradoxes proves the point that interracial dating has nothing intrinsically wrong with it. Any problems that people have with it are not matters of science, or anything even similarly solid, but are instead matters of social convention. If society, though, decides that it is all right to keep people of different races from marrying because their offspring are objectionable to a fringe minority, then what is to stop the prevention of people with genetic disorders from marriage? Wouldn’t the world be better if there weren’t disabled people? If there weren’t people with diabetes? What about people that will be prone to high blood pressure? The whole concept is laughable. What isn’t funny, on the other hand, is the fact that people use such arguments to thinly veil their racism, ignorance, and plain stupidity. The human right to choose whatever person one wants to pair oneself with is one of those pesky fundamental rights like the ones to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which many people like to invoke only when it suits them. The very nature of such liberties, though, is that they apply to all, and that they are not up for debate. Likewise, the concept that interracial dating shouldn’t be allowed hasn’t really been up for debate for a number of decades, and anyone that should want to reopen the question will quickly find that the proof of their idiocy will lie in the flat refusal of any court in America to allow such a demonstrably offensive matter to even be argued in a court of law.