decreasingly on the rise

This article raises more questions for me than it imparts information.  That may be it’s purpose.  I want to know why there is a decrease in the rate of increase of interracial marriages.  Ever since my “a-ha” moment surrounding my biracialness, I’ve been super-interested in the greater number of white women/black men couplings as opposed to black women/white men.  I realized on that day that having a black mom/white dad made me a “minority” within a “minority” within a “minority” (and a majority?).  What!?  I don’t even like the word minority.  Let’s use anomaly.  I perceive myself to be an anomaly within an anomaly.  That’s better.  Anyway, I would love to conduct a study on why exactly the trend in gender and race of black/white couples is as it is.  Lastly, what really stands out to me in the information below is that U.S. born Hispanics and U.S. born Asians are marrying (I assume) U.S. born whites.  What does this mean?  Americans are marrying Americans.  That should be the paradigm that we as a nation collectively shift toward.  Race doesn’t exist. Nationality does.

Interracial Marriage: Who is More Likely to Wed Outside Their Race?

by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

Interracial marriages are on the rise in the U.S., although they’ve slowed somewhat over the past decade. The latest census figures show that interracial marriages in America now account for 8 percent of all marriages, up from 7 percent in 2000. During the decade from 1990 until 2000, there was a sharp increase in mixed-race marriages, with such couplings growing by 65 percent. Since the year 2000, however, mixed-raced marriages have grown by just 20 percent to about 4.5 million couples.

Looking at the data over the past three decades, which groups are more likely to marry outside their race? According to federal statistics, African Americans are three times more likely to marry whites than they were back in 1980. Some attribute this to an increase in African American educational attainment and more professional interaction among blacks and whites.

Other findings from the census data include:

*14.5 percent of black men and 6.5 percent of black women now marry whites

*38 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics marry whites, compared with 30 percent in 1980

*40 percent of U.S.-born Asians marry whites, a number unchanged since 1980

It would have been interesting to see other data that looked at interracial couples of all kinds, not just a look at which “minority” groups marry whites. In this sense, this data is skewed and rather limited when talking about the full scope of interracial marriages.

We all know that the world is fast becoming multicultural, global in nature and interdependent in numerous ways. From the adventurous traveler who meets and marries someone of a different race and culture in another country to the investor who buys stocks and bonds from companies all around the globe, the world is at once becoming smaller, yet bigger and with more possibilities.

The challenge going forward will be how do we deal with the social, economic and political realities of living in an increasingly multiethnic, interracial society? And will we ever get to a point where race will simply cease to matter — all matters personal, professional and otherwise?


interracial roommates

I just read this New York Times article by Tamar Lewin on the benefits of having a college roommate of a different race.  I’m not at all surprised that are some pros to this situation.  I was surprised by the admission here that campuses have been intentionally segregating students.  The piece makes it clear, but without judgement.  I find it appalling. I would LOVE to make Ohio State out to be the bad guy here, but this practice became apparent to me at my orientation for the University of Michigan which was only attended by incoming minorities, and even more clear when I was placed in an unofficial black dorm on a different campus from all of my classes and all of my friends from high school that were Going Blue.  You see, if having a roommate of a different race reduces racial prejudices, we could be so much farther along in eradicating these race issues if the schools hadn’t been keeping people apart.


Interracial Roommates Can Reduce Prejudice

As a freshman at Ohio State University, and the only black student on his floor, Sam Boakye was determined to get good grades — in part to make sure his white roommate had no basis for negative racial views.

“If you’re surrounded by whites, you have something to prove,” said Mr. Boakye, now a rising senior who was born in Ghana. “You’re pushed to do better, to challenge the stereotype that black people are not that smart.”

Several recent studies, at Ohio State and elsewhere, have found that having a roommate of a different race can reduce prejudice, diversify friendships and even boost black students’ academic performance. But, the research found, such relationships are more stressful and more likely to break up than same-race pairings.

As universities have grown more diverse, and interracial roommate assignments are more common, social scientists have looked to them as natural field experiments that can provide insights on race relations.

…Several studies have shown that living with a roommate of a different race changes students’ attitudes. One, from the University of California at Los Angeles, generally found decreased prejudice among students with different-race roommates — but those who roomed with Asian-Americans, the group that scored the highest on measures of prejudice, became more prejudiced themselves.

Professionals who watch over roommate relationships say that interracial roommate assignments are an important part of campus diversity.

…One new study, of Princeton students, used daily questionnaires to monitor roommate interactions and perceptions.

“In the earliest weeks of the relationship, the positive emotions declined for minority students with white roommates,” said Mr. Trail, an author of the study. “It wasn’t that the white students started being mean or negative. Instead, it was a drop-off in positive behaviors, like smiling or making eye contact, that led the minority students to feel worse.”

“Just having diversity in classrooms doesn’t do anything to increase interracial friendships,” said Claudia Buchmann, an associate professor of sociology at Ohio State… “But the intimacy of living together in residence halls, with no roommate, or a different-race roommate, does lead to more interracial friendships.”

Minority students in a predominantly white environment, she said, often cocoon themselves by clustering together. Both black and white resident advisers at Ohio State said it was common for black freshmen to seek out other black students.

“There are organizations on campus specifically designed to help minority students, and oftentimes minority students try to find their friends through those groups,” said Ellen Speicher, an Ohio State resident adviser who is white and a rising junior. “It makes sense, on a predominantly white campus.”

Mr. Boakye, a resident adviser for two years. said there was comfort in clustering.

“Being a minority at Ohio State, we try to stay together, to build ourselves as a community,” Mr. Boakye said. “It’s different for white guys.

“A lot of them come here without much exposure to diversity,” he said, “so when their first experience with a black guy isn’t so bad, they go and make more black friends. I think I made a good impression on my freshman roommate. When I saw him this year, he said, ‘Hey dude, you’re not the only black friend I have.’ That felt good.”