I've often thought racism will only find its rightful place on the funeral pyre of American history when Americans intermarry across racial lines so thoroughly as to erase all genetic differences. Now there's renewed talk that rising rates of interracial dating and marriage could resolve a different cultural dilemma: the black male shortage for black women.
The Associated Press reports that more black women are giving up hope of finding the perfect black mate and marrying outside the race.
"Could Mr. Right Be White?" is the article's subtitle. The concept isn't exactly new. The Free Republic website boasts an article of the same name dating to 2002.
But what is new are updated Census Bureau data showing more African-American women marrying white men and more cultural icons wedding across racial lines.
The article notes that there were some 117,000 black wife-white husband couples in 2006 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, up from 95,000 in 2000. It goes on to say, "Black women around the country also are reconsidering deep-seated reservations toward interracial relationships, reservations rooted in America's history of slavery and segregation. They're taking cues from their favorite stars from actress Shar Jackson to tennis pro Venus Williams as well as support blogs, how-to books, and interracially themed novels telling them it's OK to 'date out.' "
Younger Americans, we're often told, don't even view race in the same ways as their parents' and grandparents' generations did. Some don't even "see" skin color. If more Americans find wedded bliss because they're freed of the cultural restraints that prevented them from marrying across racial lines in the past, this is a good thing. But will it cause an eventual end to racism? I hope so, but the more I learn about world history, the larger my doubts loom.
Look at the Turks and the Greeks, whose people have conquered each other, raped each other's women, and intermarried to a fare-thee-well these past two millenniums. The two ethnic groups still can't get along, despite bearing what must be very similar DNA.