By Joanne Kim and Alexandria Kuo
In May 2013, Cheerios presented a commercial featuring an interracial family for the first time in American history.
The commercial is a short 30 seconds clip of a biracial girl pouring Cheerios over her African American dad’s chest while he is sleeping on the couch after her Caucasian mom told her that Cheerios are good for your heart. Despite its heartwarming plot behind the short video, there were endless of adverse comments left by the Youtube viewers of the commercial regarding their hostile perspective on the subject of interracial marriage. Youtube soon erased all the comments and disabled any more comments from being posted on the website. The controversy over the Cheerios commercial led to a broader conversation about racial reconciliation in various media outlets last summer (click here to watch the interview of the six-year-old Grace Colbert, star of the Cheerios commercial, and her parents on MSNBC, June 12, 2013).
Last month, CNN conducted a death row interview with the white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin. He has murdered 22 people, in attempt to start a race war. His target? Jews, blacks, but especially interracial couples.
“I felt like I was at war. The survival of the white race was at stake,” Franklin told CNN, “I consider it my mission, my three-year mission. Same length of time Jesus was on his mission, from the time he was 30 to 33.”
He went out on killing sprees, hunting down anyone to “maintain the white race.” He was convicted of murdering an interracial couple in Madison, Wisconsin, and murdered a college student because she said she’d once dated a Jamaican man. In 1978, he shot and paralyzed Hustler magazine editor Larry Flynt after seeing a black man and a white woman photographed in an issue.
“I saw that interracial couple he had, photographed there, having sex, it just made me sick. I think whites marry with whites, blacks with blacks, Indians with Indians. Orientals with orientals. I threw the magazine down and thought, I’m gonna kill that guy.” He was executed yesterday morning at 6 a.m., December 10th 2013.
These two recent news show that America is experiencing and reacting upon the emerging trend of interracial marriage. Though the negative views about the interracial marriage and conversations about racial reconciliation still remains to be reevaluated, the number of interracial marriage is growing in rapid speed. According to The U.S. Census Bureau, the interracial or inter-ethnic opposite-sex married couple households grew by 28 percent over the decade from 7 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2010.
The Pew Center reports that in 2010, 1 in 12 married couples in the U.S were interracial couples. Its 2012 survey informs that 4 in 10 Americans say lifting anti-misengagenation laws was good for American society; 3 in 10 say it made no difference and 1 in 10 say it was bad for the country. 63% of Americans say it “would be fine” with them if a family member married someone of another race.
This ongoing trend of interracial marriages has unexpectedly deemed itself to be quite successful. Last February, Business Insider presented a study done by the Pew Research Center showing the average incomes of interracial couples. The facts stood out to be reasonable, but was very much unpredicted. The study shows that the highest earning couples are interracial, more specifically Asian-Caucasian couples, earning an average income of $71,800. That’s $11,800 more than the typical Caucasian-Caucasian and Asian-Asian couples.
Quoting from Business Insider, “Average income is strongly correlated to education. Higher education, more prevalent among Asians and whites, is often associated with higher earnings.” Although interracial marriage is still an emerging trend that has yet to become a continual, many interracial couples have been strongly encouraged to be brave about putting rings on each other’s fingers.
Are we still racist?
These statistics call attention to the millenials and their position in American history at the verge of breaking the traditional view of marriage through their future choices in marriage. Just recently, a rising 17 years old pop star, Lorde, posted photos of her Asian boyfriend and herself up on Twitter and her followers have been leaving racist comments (click here for related article). What’s next?