Interracial but not equal
It is estimated that about 321,418,820 people live within the United States of America. Of this population 13.3% are African American(By Default). With such a percentage of people why is it that laws have previously been in place to limit African Americans from being treated as equal to white men? History of the United States of America shows us that throughout time and currently in time, African Americans are treated unjustly, unequally, and clearly as less.
Africans were torn away from their homes and sold as slaves. America treated these people as animals, and in some cases even worse than animals. After a divide in the country the civil war took place. The outcome of the civil war led to a glorious day, on December 18th, 1865 slavery ended in the United States where “Secretary of State William Seward issued a statement verifying the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution making the end of slavery official eight months after the end of the Civil War” (Byng, Rhonesha). Despite no longer being slaves, these now African Americans were still looked upon as a disease. States started the Jim Crow laws to separate the blacks from the whites in all aspects of society. These laws were established between 1874 and 1975. “In theory, it was to create “separate but equal” treatment, but in practice Jim Crow Laws condemned black citizens to inferior treatment and facilities. Education was segregated as were public facilities such as hotels and restaurants” (By the 1960s, Other Supreme Court Decisions, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964).
“Although American slaves were emancipated as a result of the Civil War and were then granted basic civil rights through the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, struggles to secure federal protection of these rights continued during the next century. Through nonviolent protest, the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s broke the pattern of public facilities’ being segregated by “race” in the South and achieved the most important breakthrough in equal-rights legislation for African Americans since the Reconstruction period (1865–77)” (Clayborne, Carson).
During this time of fighting for rights for Black Americans another fight was taking place in the background, the right for interracial relationships. The well known Jim Crow laws separated blacks and whites, but the not so well known Anti-miscegenation laws banned white and black relationships.
“It’s widely known that the Deep South banned interracial marriages until 1967, but less widely known that many other states did the same or that three brazen attempts were made to ban interracial marriages nationally by amending the U.S. Constitution” (Head, Tom).
By 1887 the northern states all repealed these laws, but the southern states continued to hold onto these laws believing that blacks were unequal and unworthy to be in relationships with any white people. By 1964, “the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that laws banning interracial sex violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While the ruling did not directly address laws banning interracial marriage, it laid down the groundwork for a ruling that definitively did” (Head, Tom). In 1967, the U.S Supreme Court stated a ban on interracial relationships violated the fourteenth amendment. After that day interracial relationships were no longer illegal, but still frowned upon by many different people throughout the United Sates.
“In 2010, 1 in 12 married couples in the United States were interracial couples, reports the Pew Center” (Hallett, Stephanie). Even with the increase in relationships, many people are attacked or murdered for being interracial. There are news stories each month with different stories throughout the entire country of couples in fear for their lives or the lives of their interracial children. “When two people marry, not only does their personal relationship affect their marriage, their family attitudes, and the outlook of the society around them has a great influence on their relationship” (Painuly, Archana). Our society within the United States does not treat women or African Americans as equals to white men, so why would interracial relationships be treated equal?
By Default, That State Is Colorado. rn rn rn rn. “Population Estimates, July 1, 2015, (V2015).” UNITED STATES QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
By the 1960s, Other Supreme Court Decisions, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Invalidated the Majority of Jim Crow Laws. “Jim Crow Laws.” Jim Crow Laws. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
Byng, Rhonesha. “Slavery Ended 148 Years Ago Today, But We Still Have A Long Way To Go.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
Clayborne, Carson. “American Civil Rights Movement.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 22 July 2016. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
Hallett, Stephanie. “Interracial Marriage Statistics: Pew Report Finds Mixed-Race Marriage Rates Rising.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 16 Feb. 2012. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.
Head, Tom. “How Interracial Marriage Laws Have Changed Since the 1600s.” About.com News & Issues. N.p., 2014. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
Https://www.facebook.com/historywomen. “History of Women’s Rights.” About.com Education. N.p., 2014. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
Painuly, Archana. “A Discussion On Interracial Marriages.” Woman’s Era 43.1024 (2016): 7. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
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“The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (Fall 2016).” AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881. N.p., 2015. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.