Mixed race marriages

October 18th, 2009 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

AFP reports:

AN interracial couple in Louisiana have been denied a license by an official who considers their union morally wrong, according to local media.

“I’m not a racist,” Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in rural Tangipahoa Parish, told the Hammond Star.

“I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children.”

Mr Bardwell told the paper that he believes interracial marriages do not last and that the children of such unions are not accepted by either the black or white community.

Now of course Bardwell is bonkers to think it is his job to decide whether or not a couple should be able to get married, based on his beliefs. He does the classic groupist error of applying a generalisation to everyone (and of thinking it is his decision anyway).

It did get me interested in what is the prevalance of “mixed race” marriages and whether or not their rates are higher than “same race” marriages.

In NZ we have traditionally had a high rate of mixed race marriages, as all modern Maori New Zealanders have at least one European ancestor. I do wonder if we have current stats on this – presumably the census data could reveal this.

In the US, only 2.8% of black women and 6.6% of black men had a white spouse. While 41% of Asian women have a white husband and 36% of Asian men have a white wife. So a big difference in prevalence depending on the races involved.

In terms of divorce rates Wikipedia says:

Marital stability studies published on the Education Resources Information Center found that White female-Black male unions are more prone to result in a divorce than White-White marriages are, while Black female-White male marriages show similar or lower risks of divorce than White-White marriages.

So Bardwell is wrong with his generalisation also.

As I said, I would be interested to see what the prevalence of mixed race/culture marriages are in NZ, and if there are differences in the divorce rates. Anyone know of any studies already done?

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22 Responses to “Mixed race marriages”

  1. labrator (1,744 comments) says:

    Funnily enough, genetically, there’s no such thing as race.

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  2. Ruth (178 comments) says:

    Quite right labrator.

    Beyonce, Jessica Alba and so many others of mixed ‘race’ haven’t done too badly. They sure have been accepted by blacks and whites. What rubbish.

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  3. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    No matter what the results at present in mixed marriages, in 20 years time, i think the odd people will be the ones whom are not in a “mixed marriage”

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  4. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    What, I had a choice about marrying my pakeha English wife ?
    Damn, I thought mixed racial marriage was compulsory in NZ :-)

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  5. Jack5 (4,568 comments) says:

    Happily, as I think Muldoon pointed out, intermarriage is frequent in NZ to the point of racial differences ending in the nation’s bedrooms.

    The dark side of America’s black-white divide is:The great African American tennis player Arthur Ashe said after contracting HIV from blood transfusions following heart surgery that contracting HIV wasn’t as tough as being born black in America.

    The light side is: Ashe’s body lay in state at the governor’s mansion of the once-Confederate heartland state of Virginia, the first time a lying in state occurred there since the death of the famous Confederate general, Stonewall Jackson 130 years earlier. The old Confederate capital, Richmond, erected a statue of Ashe in its Memorial Avenue, traditionally reserved for statues of Confederate generals.

    Ashe died nearly 16 years ago. Justice of the Peace Bardwell is an anachronism.

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  6. jabba (280 comments) says:

    gee

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  7. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    DPF – youre going all socialist…………

    …”Now of course Bardwell is bonkers to think it is his job to decide whether or not a couple should be able to get married, based on his beliefs.”..

    Bardwell is fully entitled to exercise his beliefs. He maybe mad or he maybe enlightened – but you seem to take the view that he has to perform the marriage irrespective if he wants to or not. Surely hes not the only celebrant in all of Luisiana!

    Based on the wailing from the couple he was probably more right than wrong to say no – not necessarily because they are mixed race but because they are too stupid to go find another celebrant!!

    You see DPF, one of the great things about being a contractor (as a marriage celebrant is) is that you dont have to take any job if you dont want to. And its only in communist type administrations that take a different view.

    And I’ll bet youve taken decisions that are based on your beliefs.

    [DPF: A JP is a public office. His responsibility is to marry people under the law, not impose his beliefs on who can get married. 99.9% of JPs will marry whomever asks. If he is unwilling to do so, then he loses the job - simple]

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  8. Jack5 (4,568 comments) says:

    Re Barry at 5.22…

    Surely you would agree with the uproar if an NZ marriage celebrant refused to tie the knot if either of the masochists was a libertarian, or an ACT member, or a ZAP-atista?

    Are you saying that free market or freedom of choice could have ended apartheid in South Africa? Or perhaps that if the Broedbond and their mates wanted to run race-distinguishing business that was their business and people could go elsewhere?

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  9. Dazzaman (1,123 comments) says:

    I did see this article on another site, this Bardwell character talks about not being racist & in the same statement letting lots of black people come into his house & also “use my bathroom”! Mind-boggling!

    As for the low rate of black women marrying white men in the States…..my theory is…..black women are generally butt fucking ugly!

    BTW FWIW my wife is a pakeha Pom too.

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  10. Right of way is Way of Right (1,129 comments) says:

    So his main concern is for the children of mixed race marriages.

    Like his president, for example?

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  11. wreck1080 (3,722 comments) says:

    Tangipahoa ? When did the maoris invade the USA?

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  12. Anthony (766 comments) says:

    When in Washington DC a few years ago I was surprised to see no black/white couples at all in my several days there. There are stats on how many NZers identifiy with more than one ethnicity and it is very high as I recall.

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  13. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Jack5 – there might be some media promoted angst if someone in NZ refussed to marry a mixed race couple here – but I doubt if it would make the papers if they refused to hitch an ACT party couple!.

    Lets face it – if you are not maori in NZ there are lots of things you are not allowed (to do or have)simply because you are non-maori. Im waiting for a non-maori only political party to spring up – then you’d see some real gnashing of teeth and hissy fits.

    As for south africa – all you have to do is look anywhere in africa and you can see that there is nothing logical about the continent – you cant apply logic to a place where inter-tribal (and even intra) hatred is a stronger force than apartheid was. Its the reason that apartheid wasnt defeated from with – the tribes could ever work together to bring the country to a halt – which they would have without any doubt – within a few eeks – if they hadve gotten the hatred they had for other tribes.

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  14. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    barry:

    Just to clarify the issue for you. Mr. Bardwell is an elected justice of the peace, which makes him an sworn officer of the court (as is the case in many US states). He is therefore bound to uphold state and federal law, both of which prohibit discrimination based on race in any state function or capacity. He is therefore violating not only the couple’s civil rights but state and federal law and may well be liable for prosecution because it appears he has been doing this for his 31 years serving as a JP. This couple are the first to complain, but by his own admission he turns down 2-3 mixed race couples a year. The governor (of Indian descent BTW) and a US senator have called for his dismissal and the couple are considering legal action (if the state does not beat them to it). So his days of imposing “cracker” standards on who he will marry appear to be coming to an end.

    Rural Louisiana is not, to put it lightly, the most progressive of places when it comes to issues of race, so his attitude is not surprising. As it turns out the couple had to go to another parish (country), where a white female JP happily married them. All is not lost in that part of the world.

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  15. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Bardwell must belong to the left. Only the left are stupid enough and arrogant enough to try and alter what is basic human nature. I’m of similar views to grumpyoldhori only the other way around.

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  16. travisb (18 comments) says:

    David,

    I imagine causation may be an issue in such a study. I’m making assumptions here, but I assume that mixed race relationships may be more prevalent under young people, as they are more tolerant or accepting.

    Likewise, I also assume that they are more accepting of divorce if the relationship does not work. So that needs to be taken into account when interpreting any such study.

    BTW – I don’t like the implication when looking at divorce statistics that “staying together” as opposed to divorce is necessarily a good thing. Divorce is messy and quite traumatic for everyone involved – make no mistake – but in many instances the alternative to divorce is not being happy together, but being miserable together.

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  17. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Jack5 – you miss the point. So he will get fired from his position – but he still has the right to exercise his behaviour based on his views. Thats a decision he has to make – but you must never forget THAT HE HAS THE RIGHT TO EXERCISE HIS VIEWS and if he feels stronly about it, to refuse to hitch them. It is something that maybe some of your relations died for (obviously you wouldnt) – but they died in various wars to be allowed to express ones views and if, deemed important to him, to be allowed to say ‘NO’ to having to do something that he doesnt agree with. Sure there are consequences – BUT ITS HIS RIGHT to say No.

    You can quote all the laws you like – it still is not moral to insist that he do something that he doesnt believe in. I am sure there are things you wouldnt do no matter what the consequences.

    Its interesting all this _’thou shall not discriminate’ crap. There are black communities in the US taking their school districts to court claiming that the busing programmes have ruined their culture!. they (probably correctly) claim that being bused into white schools so as to improve their schooling has resulted in them not learning about their own culture as they would have if left in their own black schools. One things for sure – busing hasnt made one iota of difference to negro socio-economic status. Its sort of like urban maori here – lost between 2 cultures. One has to be very careful about claiming supposed benefits from compulsory ratial integration. Yiou should read that book “where have all the liberals gone” about the racial differences in the US. It sort of disposes of a few things that the feel gooders think are the right way to go.

    [DPF: You are missing the point. As a private citizen he has the right to advocate whatever views he wants. But when he uses his public office to enforce his views on others, he is breaking the law]

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  18. GPT1 (2,087 comments) says:

    My personally view is that the racist bigot should be taken out and shot, erm, sacked.

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  19. KiwiGreg (3,169 comments) says:

    “Marital stability studies published on the Education Resources Information Center found that White female-Black male unions are more prone to result in a divorce than White-White marriages are, while Black female-White male marriages show similar or lower risks of divorce than White-White marriages.”

    It would be interesting to know if the Black female-Black male divorce stats lined up with the White female-Black male ones, in which case the issue (in the US) would be the Black males. Although in terms of marriage so many are incarcerated you wonder at the sample size or sample bias.

    I’m with the majority who think this guy should lose his job.

    But until you have spent some time in the South you wont appreciate how little parts of the US have travelled since the 19th century!

    And whoever didnt think black woman are hot hasnt been looking hard enough.

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  20. jabba (280 comments) says:

    by the way, my comment “gee” was referring to the racist pig headed thing that prat said .. it was meant as ..”gee, how on earth can this sort of shit still be happening”?

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  21. RRM (9,420 comments) says:

    I’m not a racist, I just don’t think black people and white people should get married.

    I’m not homophobic, I just don’t think people of the same sex should get married.

    I’m not (prejudiced) I just don’t think (group) people should get married.

    I like reducing arguments to their logical structure…

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  22. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    RRM 5:37 pm,

    I’m not a racist, I just don’t think black people and white people should get married.
    I’m not homophobic, I just don’t think people of the same sex should get married. …

    Of course, ‘homosexual marriage’ is a contradiction in terms.

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