Interracial marriage is growing steadily. From the 1960 to the 1990 Census, white – Asian married couples increased almost tenfold, while black – white couples quadrupled. The reasons are obvious: greater integration and the decline of white racism. More subtly, interracial marriages are increasingly recognized as epitomizing what our society values most in a marriage: the triumph of true love over convenience and prudence. Nor is it surprising that white – Asian marriages outnumber black – white marriages: the social distance between whites and Asians is now far smaller than the distance between blacks and whites. What’s fascinating, however, is that in recent years a startling number of nonwhites — especially Asian men and black women — have become bitterly opposed to intermarriage.
This is a painful topic to explore honestly, so nobody does. Still, it’s important because interracial marriages are a leading indicator of what life will be like in the even more diverse and integrated twenty-first century. Intermarriages show that integration can churn up unexpected racial conflicts by spotlighting enduring differences between the races.
For example, probably the most disastrous mistake Marcia Clark made in prosecuting O. J. Simpson was to complacently allow Johnny Cochran to pack the jury with black women. As a feminist, Mrs. Clark smugly assumed that all female jurors would identify with Nicole Simpson. She ignored pretrial research indicating that black women tended to see poor Nicole as The Enemy, one of those beautiful blondes who steal successful black men from their black first wives, and deserve whatever they get.
The heart of the problem for Asian men and black women is that intermarriage does not treat every sex/race combination equally: on average, it has offered black men and Asian women new opportunities for finding mates among whites, while exposing Asian men and black women to new competition from whites. In the 1990 Census, 72 per cent of black – white couples consisted of a black husband and a white wife. In contrast, white – Asian pairs showed the reverse: 72 per cent consisted of a white husband and an Asian wife.
Sexual relations outside of marriage are less fettered by issues of family approval and long-term practicality, and they appear to be even more skewed. The 1992 Sex in America study of 3,432 people, as authoritative a work as any in a field where reliable data are scarce, found that ten times more single white women than single white men reported that their most recent sex partner was black.
When, in the names of freedom and feminism, young women listen less to the hard-earned wisdom of older women about how to pick Mr. Right, they listen even more to their hormones. This allows cruder measures of a man’s worth — like the size of his muscles — to return to prominence. The result is not a feminist utopia, but a society in which genetically gifted guys can more easily get away with acting like Mr. Wrong.
George Orwell noted, “To see what is in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle.” We can no longer afford to have our public policy governed by fashionable philosophies which insists upon ignoring the obvious. The realities of interracial marriage, like those of professional sports, show that diversity and integration turn out in practice to be fatal to the reigning assumption of racial uniformity. The courageous individuals in interracial marriages have moved farthest past old hostilities. Yet, they’ve discovered not the featureless landscape of utter equality that was predicted by progressive pundits, but a landscape rich with fascinating racial patterns. Intellectuals should stop dreading the ever-increasing evidence of human biodiversity and start delighting in it.