Approval for Interracial Marriage at All Time High
'Marriage for White People' Author Ralph Banks 'not surprised'
Black Americans aren’t opposed to trying “something new” despite the popular belief that they (specifically black women) are less likely to consider dating outside their race. A new study conducted by Gallup and USA Today counters this idea, reporting that 96% of black people -- compared to 84% white Americans -- approve of marriages between the two races. Overall, 86% of Americans are for interracial matrimony between blacks and whites, the highest approval percentage ever under gallup.
Standford law professor Ralph Richard Banks, and author of the book “Is Marriage for White People?” The Loop 21, “It’s not surprising. Black people have always been more likely to say people should have legal permission to have relationships with whoever they want. These were people who were being lynched and put in jail in the 1950s and 1960s for engaging in consensual relationships with whites, especially black men.”
Banks adds, “Approval is different then what people desire for themselves. They’re saying, ‘I may approve, but if you ask me what I want for myself, I do have a racial preference.”
Gallup first surveyed interracial marriage approval in 1958. At the time, only 4% of Americans approved of interracial marriage. Since then, Americans’ views have significantly transformed, and the younger generations (18-37) are setting the trends and tone.
The study reveals something interesting about the history of blacks and whites in America. Since the 1950s, blacks have always remained more approving of mixed marriages than whites.
Results were based on telephone interviews of nearly 1,400 adults, 18 and older. There was one question asked: “Do you approve or disapprove of marriage between blacks and whites?”
Those born in the 1930s and 1940s experienced more radical forms of racism compared to their children and grandchildren. That group is becoming smaller, and as more and more young adults venture off to college in more diverse cities like New York or Los Angeles, they become more open to mingling with other races. The study notes that people living on the East and West Coasts support interracial marriage at nearly 90%, compared to those living in the South, at 79%, and in the Midwest, at 86%.
“In a place like New York City and California there are a lot of people mixing together who are more likely to realize that relationships can happen and work. In the Midwest and South there is less mixing of people,” says Banks.
The report says:
The trend mimics the growing support for gay marriage--though Americans are still less likely to accept that practice than interracial marriage. It also follows the trend toward increasing racial tolerance on other measures such as voting for a black president and an increasing belief in progress and equality for blacks in the U.S more generally.