Racism In Interracial Relationships

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Racism in Interracial Relationships

Interracial Relationships

Interracial relationships between white and black Americans have been a topic of controversy in the United States since the time of slavery, when slave owners had relations with young, black female slaves. As the years went on, many whites felt themselves to be superior to Africans and African Americans. Whites hated blacks immensely because of their race, color of skin and their culture and treated them as though they were lower in class. Segregation and laws were created to separate blacks from whites. This separation was a social aspect as well as mental. Interracial relationships were frowned upon by others and thought of as a sin. Those who were not interracially mixed believed that the couples that were racially or culturally mixed were a disgrace. Interracial relationships have been criticized for many years, however times are changing and thoughts about miscegenation are now becoming less critical and more reasonable (Tarling, 1999).

In the years that slavery occurred, many laws and rules were set to keep interracial relationships from occurring. As historian Albert Gordon says, In the United States restrictive legislation against miscegenation originated during the period of slavery designed to protect the right of slaveholder of the offspring of slaves. (Intermarriage, Interfaith, Interracial, Interethnic, page 3) This quote means that many whites wanted to make sure that the slaves reproduced more slaves, rather than half slaves. All babies who had one slave parent and one free parent was only considered free if the free parent was the child s mother. Gordon demonstrated that people were afraid about the differences between races or cultures and wanted to protect their slaves. Whites were scared that they would lose their population of slaves if they didn t control who slaves could reproduce with and needed to feel superior to blacks, so whites frowned upon interracial relationships (Daniels, 2005).

Many whites felt that they needed to demonstrate their superiority and many areas created laws to segregate public places, and this caused those in interracial relationships to not feel allowed and that they belonged. Historian Gary Nash demonstrates this segregation when he says Segregation in hotels, restaurants, parks and every facility open to the public Atlanta even required separate Bibles for African Americans and whites to swear upon in court. (American Odyssey, page 282) This segregation caused interracial relationships to be critized because they were now different and causing problems because the races were not thought of as equal. Laws were created to keep the different races separated, and this created conflicts when interracial relationships were seen in public. Jim Crow Laws were enforced which made interracial marriages illegal. If a white person was found in the act of fornication with an African or African American they would have to pay a fine of 500 pounds of tobacco. If one was caught marrying an African or African American then the regular fine was doubled to 1000 pounds of tobacco. The KKK was a group of white males that felt they needed to use physical ...
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