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Not to mention the fact the current president is the product of a mixed-race union.

Consider the fact that half a century ago, Sammy Davis Jr. Kennedy’s inaugural festivities due to his Swedish wife, May Britt.

But thanks to , a 1967 landmark Supreme Court case, today’s Halles, Paulas, and Imans needn’t hide their affections for their fair-skinned lovers. Today, a record-high 87 percent of Americans approve of Whites and Blacks tying the knot, according to Gallup. In 1995, 68 percent of Blacks approved while only 45 percent of Whites did the same.

It’s been 47 years since interracial marriage was given the green light. Today, the approval gap is at its smallest — 96 percent of Blacks are a-okay with interracial marriages compared to 84 percent of Whites.

Though she was not charged with any crime, police handcuffed the actress last week. But her boyfriend, celebrity chef Brian Lucas, who was there, believes something else was amiss, namely that officers mistook the mixed-race couple for a prostitute and one of her clients.

According to Lucas, (he is white, Watts is African-American) officers asked him, “How do you know her, what relationship,” he went on.

The translation can often be read as: “I’m sorry but how on Earth did you two end up together?

Sometimes, it is not merely being in an interracial couple that can inspire such indignities but the mere appearance of being in one.

This was not the South in the 1960s but New York in the 1990s.

Such stories seem a world away when you consider the ubiquity of mixed-race couples in popular culture today, including Kim and Kanye, Tiger and Lindsey, and of course the New York Mayor and First Lady.

We’ve come a long way as a country, but challenges for mixed-race couples remain.

At a recent dinner party a white guest mentioned how frustrating it is to hear how his wife was treated one way at a store or in other customer service settings before his arrival, and another way once he appears. And there are still houses of worship in which interracial couples are not welcome.

One of my friends said she and her husband got the question so frequently, often long before more traditional small talk—such as “How do you know the hosts? ”—that depending on the setting and her sense of humor that night, she might reply with a straight face: “Strip club.” They are both successful executives. She would of course always come clean, after everyone enjoyed an awkward chuckle.

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