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Anti-miscegenation laws were edicts that made it unlawful for African Americans and white people to marry or engage each other in intimate relationships. The measures first appeared in the United States in colonial times and had two functions. First, the laws helped maintain the racial caste system necessary for the expansion of slavery and the idea of white supremacy.

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Recent racial unrest has prompted many Americans to consider bias and privilege in new ways. Interracial couples have long grappled with these issues. September 11, The surge of social justice protests this summer have created a public platform for Black Americans to share their experiences with racism and discrimination, prompting many white Americans to consider implicit bias and privilege in new ways.

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Aiming to cost Lincoln and his party the election, two Democrats posing as Republicans promoted the notion that the Republican Party not only condoned interracial marriages, but actively encouraged them. Ferguson ruling. The far more chilling effect of irrational white fears over miscegenation, however, emerged outside of the court system: lynching. Between andat least 3, black men were publicly and ritualistically murdered by white mobs.

Black journalist Ida B. A close examination of almost any act of racial violence against African Americans reveals the specter of rape accusations. A mob hung, shot, and burned William Brown in Omaha, Nebraska in after he was accused of raping a white woman top. Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered in after supposedly whistling at a white woman left. A newspaper article encouraging violence after a black teen allegedly assaulted a white teen in Tulsa, Oklahoma right.

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Grey —mocked a white delegate's insistence that interracial marriage be banned by questioning how such a feat could even be accomplished given that "the purity of the blood, of which the gentleman speaks, has already been somewhat interfered with.

Although sound in principle, Grey proved incorrect in the end; state governments found ways to define race. He was right, however, that the distinction between black and white would not be simple.

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Ultimately, county clerks served as the front line in determining race when couples requested marriage s and birth certificates. More than merely dictating who could marry each other, racial deations determined where a person could live, work, learn, and socialize. As the cornerstone of the edifice of Jim Crow, the of prohibitions against interracial marriage only increased in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries as new states entered the Union.

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Western states adopted prohibitions and included additional groups to discriminate against: people of Asian and American Indian descent. An Asian American and an African American were free to marry each other, but neither could marry a white person.

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In contrast, no laws prevented, say, an Italian American and a Polish American from marrying. Sheet music from mocking African Americans and Chinese Americans left. Conspicuously—and purposefully—absent from his melting pot were African Americans and Asian Americans who Zangwill believed should establish their own homelands elsewhere, even as he advocated for intermarriage among European nationalities.

Even where interracial marriage bans had been repealed, a prominent interracial marriage could ignite white hysteria. Every state in the North except Indiana had repealed its ban bybut when World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Johnson wed interracially in Chicago for the second time in latewhite America panicked.

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Inthe U. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure to prohibit interracial marriage in the District of Columbia. Eleven of the 19 states without prohibitions at that time introduced—and nearly passed—bans. Given the widespread public opposition— 94 percent of white Americans opposed interracial marriage in —most civil rights groups did not place repealing marriage bans at the top of their agendas.

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Nevertheless, the modern campaign to overturn interracial marriage prohibitions began in California when a Hispanic woman legally defined as white and a black man sought to wed in In the resulting case, Perez v. Fearing a similar decision from the U. Supreme Court, the state declined to appeal the decision, although the California legislature waited until to repeal its anti-miscegenation laws. In the years that followed, facing weaker opposition to the marriage injunctions because of demographic differences, western states gradually repealed or overturned marriage bans.

Despite appeals to the Supreme Court from various states, the highest court in the land steadfastly avoided hearing cases on the topic.

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A map depicting the range of years in which states repealed interracial marriage bans. When a case challenging interracial marriage bans reached the Supreme Court just a year after Brown v.

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Justice Thomas C. Since the surprise victory in Perez, however, the ACLU had begun searching for an ideal test case to overturn bans everywhere. Given public sentiment, the ACLU sought to diminish resistance by finding a white male—preferably a veteran—seeking to marry a nonwhite—ideally Asian—woman. Few such couples, however, desired to undergo the long, uncertain, and public process of being such a test.

A county clerk in Tennessee stalled marriages by insisting that he could not issue s to interracial couples until personally receiving a copy of the Supreme Court ruling. Federal judges had to force Delaware, Louisiana, and Arkansas to issue s in and A Mississippi state judge issued an injunction to prevent an interracial couple from marrying in Although Virginia began issuing s to interracial couples, it continued to issue pamphlets stating that interracial marriage was illegal.

Although some states repealed their marriage bans within a year or two of the Loving decision, others stretched the process out.

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Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee repealed their bans during the s while Delaware waited until and Mississippi, Two states and at least one official, however, outlasted all others. South Carolina and Alabama kept their bans until andwhen referendums removed them—but even then, 38 and 40 percent of voters opposed repeal. Ina Louisiana Justice of the Peace reed after being told he could not continue to refuse to marry interracial couples.

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Secretary of State Dean Rusk with President Lyndon Johnson inthe year after he offered his reation because his daughter, Peggy Rusk, planned to marry Guy Smith, a black graduate student left. The first film about an interracial romance, D. Like many films that would follow on interracial romance, it ended in tragedy. The Motion Picture Production Code prohibited the depiction of interracial romances until Hollywood circumvented the prohibition by casting white actors for nonwhite roles so relationships would not technically be interracial.

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Island in the Sun featured the first actual onscreen kiss between a black actor and a white actor, to much public controversy right. Nevertheless, public opinion proved slow to change in the coming years, especially for black-white pairings. In63 percent of non-blacks said they would oppose a close relative marrying a black person.

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Rates of disapproval for a close relative marrying a Hispanic or Asian person—more often seen as cross-cultural marriages than cross-racial ones—were far lower. Regardless of the type of interracial pairing, though, not until did a majority of Americans express approval of interracial marriages. Since then, approval has increased exponentially. Inthe last year Gallup bothered to ask, 87 percent of Americans approved.

Interracial marriage rates have also vastly increased in recent years. One out of every six newlyweds today marries someone of a different race. Over a quarter of all Latinos and Asians marry interracially, a figure that nearly doubles when only including those born in the United States.

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Interracial marriage rates are far lower for black-white unions, but they have seen the most dramatic growth in the rate of intermarriage—more than tripling from 5 percent in to 18 percent of black newlyweds today. A chart depicting falling American support for interracial marriage prohibitions from to Although considerably higher than even a few years ago and incomparable to the miniscule rates before Lovingintermarriage rates are still relatively low—especially between blacks and whites.

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If Asians and Hispanics are removed from intermarriage figures, intermarriage rates remain extremely low. White opposition to a close relative marrying a black person has decreased dramatically, but still constitutes 14 percent of white views in These rates of marriage and disapproval speak to more than just continued individual discrimination. They also reflect the larger structural barriers that remain entrenched and that interracial marriage bans helped build. Many schools, workplaces, and communities in the United States remain highly segregated and therefore offer few opportunities for blacks and whites to meet and marry.

A Cheerios commercial in which racist comments on YouTube about the interracial couple featured in the advertisement caused the company to close the comment section. Even as some pundits began to discuss America as a post-racial society in the early Obama years, a seemingly benign cereal commercial revealed both the ugliness of the anonymity of the internet and the staying power of virulent opposition to interracial pairings.

The Cheerios commercial featuring a biracial family garnered so many hateful YouTube remarks that the company closed the comment section. Others interracial dating Arkansas review reveled in racial stereotypes by suggesting that the black father would beat or abandon his white wife. Although the majority of comments were positive, the amount and strength of the vitriol underscores the lingering public opposition and its deeply ingrained nature.

For those who were surprised by the vitriol surrounding the Cheerios ad, a film illustrates how continued racism against African Americans and interracial couples is often more subtle, if no less harmful.

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Albeit ad absurdumGet Out showcases the continued barriers to interracial intimacies and how fraught the wider public and the closest family can make these relationships. Loving ranks as a seminal Supreme Court decision and a vital civil rights victory. For three centuries, white America held interracial marriage bans fundamental to national identity and vital for building and policing racial boundaries. But despite the tremendous amount of progress since Lovingwide societal disparities remain as the structures marriage bans fostered still persist.

The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania commissioned 57 fiberglass donkeys painted by local artists to represent each delegation to the convention.

Anti-miscegenation laws

Today the nation celebrates Loving as an example of racial transcendence and prejudice squashed. The Loving ruling can and should be celebrated as a momentous achievement. Hodgeswhich legalized marriage for same-sex couples. A celebration of Lovinghowever, should not push out of public memory the three-centuries-long prohibitions on interracial marriage and their painful ramifications. Carter, Greg. Cashin, Sheryll. Boston: Beacon Press,