Dating is tricky -- even more so when you don't follow the cookie-cutter mold of what a relationship should look like. Less than 50 years ago, interracial marriage was illegal in the United States and even when the anti-miscegenation laws were deemed illegal by the Supreme Court in , interracial couples were harassed and discriminated against for decades. Now we live in a new, global era with more tolerance and understanding for couples that exist outside the "norms" for relationships As the "white" half of a Japanese-American couple, I noticed some of the same questions keep popping up again and again. After a quick chat with some other interracial couples, I realized my experiences were not unique. These are eight seemingly innocent questions that have deeper, darker implications for interracial couples.
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How do Americans really feel about interracial couples?
After the tragic deaths of the summer and another sad renaissance for the Black Lives Matter movement a lot of interracial couples found themselves talking about race for the first time. Early on in their relationship, Jamila gave her white husband Tommo a crash course in their racial differences: the expected ignorant comments from others, the inability to walk into a shop and find her cosmetic needs catered for, and the whitewashing of historical figures that were banished from the school curriculum. The divide between people being passively non-racist and actively anti-racist became a major talking point. Protests in the US and UK — including the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston — also opened up a conversation about what individuals consider an appropriate response to institutional racism. It was a discourse no one could detach from, and while many took to the streets in solidarity, many others had difficult conversations at home: with themselves, with family members, with friends.
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On July 11, , newlyweds Richard and Mildred Loving were asleep in bed when three armed police officers burst into the room. The couple were hauled from their house and thrown into jail, where Mildred remained for several days, all for the crime of getting married. At that time, 24 states across the country had laws strictly prohibiting marriage between people of different races. Five weeks earlier, the longtime couple had learned Mildred was pregnant and decided to wed in defiance of the law. In , they approached the American Civil Liberties Union to fight their case in court.
Allison Skinner does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. According to the most recent U. More interracial relationships are also appearing in the media — on television , in film and in advertising.