Social Injustice of Interracial Relationships
We can not chose who we are attracted to, can we? Americans have been bias and discriminatory towards others decisions ever since other races started mingling and mixing with the majority’s “pure blood”. The civil rights was the peak of this mindless prejudice, but in our era scientists and other leaders in society have claimed that these interactions are against nature or wrong. The truth is that interracial relationships are just a part of humans’ animal impulses or instinctive natures.
The civil rights era that created prejudice against interracial relationships has prolonged through time by being taught as a “counter-nature” phenomenon but can be fought through biologistic thinking, like instinctive nature or animal impulses. The civil rights of Africans were first put in jeopardy when they were forced out of their land and taken to America against their wills. Ever since that time in history the “purebloods” looked down upon those of other skin colors, which caused prejudice against the ones that strayed from the norms of marriage within their own race. These prejudices can be dated all the way to colonial times when the first settlers came to America, but these strays didn’t last for long. In the 1600’s laws declared these mixed interactions illegal. “”To focus on the issue of race, an illustration of the institutionalzation of these marriage practices agathogamy or conformity to rules, and cacogamy or unconformity may be found in the history of legislation about relations between Europeans and Africans in the New World.
Thus, for example, half a century after colonization began, the first anti-miscegenation laws between whites and blacks came into force in Maryland in 1661, later also extending to other states. Afterwards, mixed-race marriages were prohibited in the United States in 30 out of 49 states until, in 1967, the Supreme Court declared this to be unconstitutional”, (Ronacarti 13). Even considering that the prohibitions on interracial relationships were declared unconstitutional doesn’t mean that prejudice stopped there. Americans tried to find ways around it by implementing systems to prevent the mixing of races.
An example of these systems is the famous slogan from that era “separate but equal”, which basically told the other races that they shouldn’t involve themselves with the “purebloods”. This saying sums up both the political and biological viewpoints on the situations happening, as it is obviously noted both sides are very one-sided. After the twentieth century rolled in these views created a standard called the one drop rule, this rule was that if you even have one drop of African-American in you then you are still considered to be black. “Perhaps nobody has insisted as clearly as Myrdal (1944) that when racial segregation was abolished and equality between whites and blacks was recognized politically, the question of racial purity-if the whites, of course-would also be more at stake. The famous slogan ‘equal but seperate’ perfectly sums up the two social representations, the polotical and the biological, by the means of which relations between whites and blacks were-and continue to be-defined.
It was only after colonization, towards the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, that the ‘one drop’ rule (the belief that one drop of black blood made you black) started to have major influence”, (Ronacarti 13). Even though these prejudices calmed down they continued through history by the “counter-nature” phenomenon. Nature works in mysterious ways, but these mysterious ways wouldn’t explain why it would be unnatural for two different colored human beings to be in a relationship. Scientists teach Americans that mingling with people of other races and skin colors will counteract against the superiority of their race. These scientists say that the superior race’s heightened abilities or talents will decline with the amount of offspring they accumulate over time with the other races, ultimately ending negatively for superiority and positively for the minority. “These sterotypical and prejudiced beliefs about interracial relations have also been propagated by science.
As is well known, ‘science’ has biologized the representation of the human species, put forward racist theories, and applied the principals of eugenics to humans. As well as the belief that humans belonged to different races, there were soon other beliefs that considered certain races to be genetically more talented or more developed than other. It was also thought that just as the mixing of races could be a factor in improvement of inferior races, it could also be degenerative for the superior races. These beliefs formed the basis for a number of ‘assumilationist’ policies in which it was proposed that the ‘superior’ race should fertilize the ‘inferior’ race, whereas segregationist policies prohibited the superior race from mingling with the inferior”, (Ronacarti 13-14). Racial prejudice may have diminished over time, but there is still a lesser occurrence of interracial marriages rather than, for example, interreligious relationships or internationality relationship.
Even though the involvement of whites and blacks being together was still alive, biologists put forth racist theories and policies to prevent what their thoughts of taboo was. “In order to further explore this biologistic thinking, we will focus on interracial sexual relationships. Myrdal (1944 p.606) claims that ‘sexual segregation is the most persuasive form of segregation and the concern about ‘race purity’ is in a sense, basic.’ He adds: ‘no other way of crossing the colour line is attended by the emotion commonly associated with violating a social taboo as intermarriage and extra-marital relations between a Negro man and a white woman.’ At present, the data about the number of mixed marriages confirm Myrdal’s hypothesis.
Studies in the United States (Kalmijn 1998) show that despite the weakening of the norms of racial segregation and the abolition of the miscegenation laws, interracial marriages are increasingly less frequent than those between different nationalities and different relegions. The stigmatization of marriages between whites and blacks is still alive. According to Kalmijn (1998), relationships between blacks and whites are troublesome in the social sphere. Kalmijn does not go into detail about this but, according to our hypothesis, what is troublesome is a biologistic representation that makes people perceive interracial mixing as something against nature,” (Ronacarti 14). Biologists may have produced racist theories that demonized interracial interactions, but if we are to overcome prejudice against interracial relationships we have to understand biologistic thinking in terms of animal impulses and instinctive natures. The basis for many human behaviours come from wild and unstoppable impulses, even if the action is looked down upon or despised.
Studies show that people who start relationships start them based on quality preferences or similarities, not on race. Meaning there’s no reason that others should label a relationship as taboo just based on upon race when they don’t even know the quality of the individuals in it. People who aren’t in a interracial relationship cannot respect the aspects of one like a person who is in a interracial relationship. “Furthermore, studies on marriage or couples show that monogamy just as much as homogamy are two highly frequent norms. Partners usually present a homogeneity or similarity in variables such as age, social, religion, ethnic group, level of education, neighbourhood, and similarities of opinions. Our hypothesis is that an interracial sexual relationship.
The ontologization here lies in explaining this type of behaviour on the basis of a wild and irrepressible impulse, considering the interracial relationship as something monstrous that stigmatizes the people involved,” (Ronacarti 14-15). People who can’t respect interracial relationships often have to “self-regulate” themselves. Self-regulation is a process where a person is caught in a interracial interaction and they have to control how they think and behave to try and fight off the feelings of stereotypes and prejudice. These feelings are uncontrollable though; the thoughts and behaviours of stereotypes are automatically induced. The individuals that have these automatically induced feelings have a very high level of racial bias.
If all people with high levels of racial bias self-regulated themselves it would cause successful negotiation between a prejudice person and a person of different race. Self-regulation is another way of biologistic thinking that can help stop prejudice against interracial interactions. “For instance, during interracial interactions, individuals monitor and control their thoughts and behaviors in order to combat the expression of stereotypes and negative attitudes that are often activated automatically and unintentionally. Engaging in self-regulation to combat the expression of prejudice may be especially critical to the successful negotiation of interracial interactions by individuals with relatively high levels of racial bias. Indeed, recent research suggests that the extent to which individuals engage in self-regulation during interracial interactions varies as a function of racial bias,” (Shelton 397).
So biologistic thinking will help stop prejudice against the other race and any interracial interaction. Biologistic thinking, like instinctive nature or animal impulses, can fight prejudice against interracial relationships that has prolonged through time by being taught as a “counter-nature” phenomenon, but was created by the civil rights era. Prejudice against interracial relationships should be stopped, it is a result of natural happenings and impulses so it cannot be controlled. It’s important that this happens because our social development is highly affected by interracial interactions, so very bias people could control their prejudice then the amount of social development would increase. Just imagine how far the human race could advance if the amount of prejudice between interracial individuals was decreased.