A recent news item that has been gaining in momentum is the story of a Louisiana justice of peace Keith Bardwell who refuses to marry interracial couples for the sake of the children as he insists that interracial marriages tend not to last as long as other marriages.
This news story has drawn nearly universal indignation as even the most knuckle dragging traditionalists among us mostly agrees that the 1967 Supreme Court decision that recognizing multiracial marriage was a good idea. Many would even consider it silly that in 2009 the nation should be debating the benefits and costs of interracial marriage.
Asian Americans have one of the lowest divorce rates – a measly 20% as compared to the 25% national rate. To top it off, being a college graduate also lowers one’s divorce rates (to 22%). Considering that the rate interracial of interracial marriage for Asians is among the highest of any group – a whopping 33%, I would say that we’re probably out forming strong interracial marriages.
It is true that interracial marriages tend to encounter more difficulties than same race marriages but so does marriages between those of different education levels, between people who marry in their early twenties and teens, and also among people who smoke. If one wishes to eliminate interracial marriage on the grounds that those marriages tend not to last then one should also deny marriage to those who haven’t received a college education, haven’t reached 25 and those who haven’t yet quit smoking. Otherwise, one would be in danger of being hypocritical.
As the couple in question themselves have stated, interracial marriage already suffers from covert discrimination, any attempt at open discrimination needs to be dealt with mercilessly. As Asian Americans, I feel evidence of covert discrimination in interracial relationships is well known to us all. From our friends who whisper “I don’t like it when I see white people dating Asians” upon seeing an interracial couple visiting a Bubble Tea house to websites — and comments from our own site — committed to bring a greater stigma to Asians who want to explore relationships outside their own ethnicity, covert discrimination is in many cases tolerated, even encouraged. Although I do not believe that believe that such discrimination will lead to unfair laws or wanton physical harm, it is important for us to recognize and eradicate veiled discrimination in ourselves.