Dan asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 3 years ago

What were some of the best arguments against interracial marriage?

and why did those arguments fail?

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The people who were against interracial marriage wanted the races to remain separate, not to mix. This goes back to slavery, but it was also part of the eugenics movement of the late 19th/early 20th century. They wanted blacks and whites to have different levels of citizenship, to be segregated, so blacks would be cheap labor, locked into inferior positions in society. They wanted to save the good jobs, good schools, good neighborhoods for white people.

    They said some of the same things anti-gay marriage people say today. If we allow whites to marry blacks, then what's to keep people from marrying animals? Or brothers marrying sisters? It's unnatural, they argued, God put different colors on different continents to keep them separate.

    In the Southern States, the whole culture was changed by the Civil War and the 'reconstruction' effort following the war. Southerners grew up resenting interference from northerners who didn't understand 'how we do things down here'. They saw segregation as just the natural order of things, for blacks and whites to have their own neighborhoods, their own shops and restaurants and movie theaters and parks and schools. Interracial marriage would mean spouses of different races living together, and where would they live? They would have children who were neither black nor white, so they didn't fit neatly into either category or either neighborhood. It wasn't fair to the children, Southerners argued, because they wouldn't fit into either group, they wouldn't belong in either neighborhood.

    The reason these arguments failed has to do with one of the founding principles of the US, that we only have one class of citizenship. All citizens have exactly the same rights and privileges. This was confirmed by a series of laws, like the Civil Rights laws of the 1960s, and by Supreme Court decisions like Brown v Board of Education, which outlawed 'separate but equal' school facilities (which were never really equal anyway). Also between WWII and the mid 1960s, public opinion shifted towards equality and inclusion, just as our acceptance of gays has grown enormously in the last 40 years.

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