For my movie review I watched Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?. When researching about the era that surrounded the production of the movie, I read about the Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia. Mildred and Peter Loving were a typical couple, except for one detail, they were in an interracial relationship. They had been married in the District of Columbia because under the Racial Integrity Act of Virginia a white and non-white were forbidden to be married. Virginia police broke into the Loving house, discovering the couple asleep in their bed, and arrested them for miscegenation. Miscegenation is the reproduction by two people who are of different races and in Virginia it was a felony punishable by one to five years in prison. In an unanimous decision the Supreme Court disregarded the Racial Integrity Act.
I was shocked to learn that there were still state laws forbidding interracial relationships until 2000. Only 58% of residents voted to remove the language that established these laws from the Alabama constitution. Regardless of how strictly the anti-miscegenation laws were enforced, the fact that the language remained in the state Constitutions shows that there are still racial tensions in the deep south. These laws are designed to preserve the ideas of racial inequality and White supremacy. Last year in Hammond, Louisiana an interracial couple were denied a marriage license by the local justice of peace, Keith Bardwell. The governor called for “disciplinary action [to] be taken immediately - including the revoking of his license,” because not only was the justice violating the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings, but it is not his job to approve of a unity, but to conduct a ceremony. Bardwell claimed “I’m not a racist...I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children”.
The ‘concern for the children’ was also an issue in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?. Joanna’s father based his objection on his concern on how society would treat his daughter and their children because their father would be African American. There are many situations, familial or otherwise, that I can think of that are much worse than being biracial. I have many friends who are half Black, half White, and have much healthier relationships than my all White friends. As Joanna’s father realized, being happy can be reduced to one thing: love. If the children grow up in a loving family that teaches them patience, then they will teach themselves that those who judge them due to their parents are just ignorant.
For more info on the Louisiana couple: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/10/16/louisiana.interracial.marriage/index.html#cnnSTCText