Over the last thirty years, people in the US have become increasingly tolerant of interracial dating, relationships, marriages, and families. Whilst this positive move towards more liberal attitudes has, in part, been down to individuals of all stripes feeling more accepting of other races, it is primarily down to that inescapable leveler – death.
The bottom line is that, no matter how loudly the racists in a country yell, the vast majority exist right at the tail end of generations. These are the older folks, the great grandparents and the grandparents (the parents in some cases) who may be refusing to accept the validity of interracial dating, but who are surrounded by young and vital people who do.
So, the vast changes in perception which are sweeping across the US (and other countries too) are a natural outcome of the transition between generations. This is something which gives black and mixed race people much hope, especially in the face of those tight knit communities which continue to have historical and social ties to right wing behaviors.
It means that our journey towards that center ground – that place of universal tolerance and acceptance of interracial dating and relationships – is not a hope or a dream. It is an inevitability. According to data gathered in 2010, nine in ten white millennials claimed to be perfectly happy for a family member to date and even marry an African American, a Hispanic American, or an Asian American. A further 92% of non-white millennials had no problem with the notion of a family member dating or marrying a white American.
This positive level of tolerance among young people remains the same across the ethnic and racial groups. There is no significant difference between the opinions of white, black, Hispanic, or Asian millennials in America. If you compare this with older people, you might get a bit of a shock – just 55% of fifty to sixty-four year olds are accepting of interracial dating. It drops all the way to 38% for people aged sixty five and older.
This could have something to do with the fact that young people are now much more likely to have friends of different races than their parents or grandparents did. The schooling system, though flawed in many ways, surely must take some credit; from an early age, children of all races are thrown together and taught that there are no fundamental differences between them.
Once they reach dating age, they have good friends of all races and find it very difficult to conceive of skin tone being a reason not to fall in love with somebody. This does differ, of course, as you move southwards in the US, with these regions of the country being a lot less tolerant of interracial dating and marriage. On the whole though, the statistics paint a wonderful picture. We are entering an age of tolerance and acceptance never seen before and it is allowing love to flourish in all kinds of places.