Have you noticed more interracial couples in town lately? They are all over. Whenever I turn around, I can’t miss a cute interracial couple holding hands… ‘so in love… so much in love’ as the music group All 4 One would put it. People are finding people with common interests and common perspectives and are putting race aside. Findings from surveys however show that interracial relationships decrease with age. The older the individuals are, the less likely they are to partner with someone of a different race. So, younger people are more likely to have interracial relationships than their older counterparts.
The age group of Americans aged between 14 to 24 is more tolerant and open-minded to interracial relationships than previous generations. (Clearly, with me being 32, am not included… God am old!) Unlike their parents and grandparents, this group grew up in a more diverse and multicultural environment.This does not mean that those of us like me – that is between 25 to say 35 aren’t tolerant. Its just that most interracial relationships occur among those individuals in college. “Racial diversity is especially common in college friendships because that age group is exposed to a wider range of people, and college students have more opportunities to become friends with peers of other races” says Anthony Lising Antonio, an associate professor of education at Stanford University.
The older generation however worries that creating a colorblind society may have created a new problem: a generation so unconcerned about race that it ignores disparities that still exist. To them this colorblindness makes people forget their roots. “People think this sort of colorblindness is a kind of progress, but I see it as more pernicious than that,” says Tyrone Forman, an associate professor of African-American studies and sociology at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
When you’re in an interracial relationship and in love, you don’t see race. In fact, those who date outside of their race, or who are open to it, have a better world experience. However, the older generation may disagree with such relationships. I think a lot of prejudice comes from older generations or their great-grand parents due to the fact that they grew up in an age and era where racism and racial segregation was most prevalent. This is why the World War II generation may be less likely to date outside their race.
However there are those of us who are within the ‘tolerant’ age group who wouldn’t even dare to date interracially, not even imagine it. Those are friends of ours who will always raise eye brows and tell you “You realize your boyfriend is white, don’t you? What were you thinkin’?” Given all the exposure that comes with this generation, what could be their reason for such hate, prejudice and disgust?
I think a person is going to love and be with whom they want, and skin color should not make a difference. What’s on the inside should be the only thing that matters.The new generation that considers race irrelevant is something to be celebrated — the fulfillment of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that his children “will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”