Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Interracial Relationships Today

             I was skimming a magazine earlier this week and came across a picture of Heidi Klum and Seal. They are the symbol of interracial relationships in America today, and this image led me to think about these types of relationships in our society. I researched this topic and immediately came across an article from the February 8, 2006 edition of USA Today titled “New Generation doesn’t blink at Interracial Relationships.”
            This title threw me off guard; I think that there are certainly more interracial relationships today than in the past 20 or 30 years, but I still think there is a lot of progress that needs to be made. An indication of this is towards the middle of the article when one researcher says that interracial “friendships don't necessarily lead to a reduction in negative attitudes toward a racial group, because people view their own friends as an exception to whatever stereotype may exist.” This is somewhat disconcerting because I want to believe that having friends of different races is progressive, but that may not always be the case. Even though the writer claims that we don’t “blink” in regards to interracial relationships, evidence of stereotyping proves otherwise.
            On another note, the author interviews researchers who believe that people who try to follow King’s advice and ignore race are doing an injustice to society because it may create “a generation so unconcerned about race that it ignores disparities that still exist.” I don’t necessarily agree with this point because I think ignoring race is one of the first steps to breaking down those negative stereotypes that obviously still exist.
            I think more high school and college-aged students are becoming involved in interracial friendships, which will hopefully lead to breaking down social barriers that still exist in some areas. Klum and Seal set a great example to the American population about the possibility of a more color-neutral society.



  1. It is interesting that you commented on people believing their friends to be exceptions to the stereotypes of different groups because that is the immediate response when an individual's thoughts on a group of people are approached. People are quick to say, "I don't have anything against (insert race of choice). I have friends that are (same race)." However, what you're saying is that this doesn't necessarily reflect positive steps toward racial neutrality and I agree. Why would anyone commit their friends to negative racial stereotypes?

  2. I actually saw a magazine article the other day entitled "Our Favorite Interracial Couple" that featured Heidi Klum and Seal. I was amazed that the magazine would publish something like that. It goes to show that some still believe that interracial couples are different from any other couple if there is a separate category for mixed race couples. I do, however, think this is somewhat of an isolated incident. I don't know of a lot of people that would call someone their "favorite African American friend" or "favorite white friend".

  3. The last bit of your post is actually something that I have talked about in other classes in the past. You suggest that being "colorblind" is a good thing. However, doesn't being "colorblind" take away some of the identity that belongs to the person of whatever color? You have to be very careful that in ignoring color you do not take away important parts of somebody's identity. While you need to treat the person the same as if they were your color or red or green or whatever, it isn't always best to look at someone and just see them as gray. Ethnic backgrounds are something that many people cherish, so taking that away by being "colorblind" isn't necessarily a good thing.