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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Celebrating blindness

I know that "you've come a long way, baby" was once a corny cigarette marketing slogan. But in some ways it is applicable to the social development of the United States.

No need to rehash in this post all the things that were wrong 40 or 50 years ago and further.

But I was reading my hometown paper the other day and came across an article observing the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made it legal for couples of different ethnicities and colors to get married.

I'm not gonna call 'em "mixed-race" marriages or "interracial marriages," 'cause while I'm not PC and hippies bug me, I do agree with the granola set that there's only one "race" of least on this planet.

Anyway, I believe today marks the exact day 40 years ago the high court struck down the Virginia law that made it a crime to marry someone who had a lighter or darker "tan" than your own.

Scary, especially considering that in this country more than half of us are mutts, whose ancestry is as mixed as a bowl of Neapolitan ice cream.

So while I'm not the nostalgic type, kudos to the Supreme Court, to the attorneys who argued that old Virginia state law banning such marriages was wrong, and to the couples who stuck to their guns because they really loved one another in spite of what they were told to think.

They paved the way for couples like me and Mrs. B... to be!

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  • There is only one race. NASCAR.

    By Blogger mist1, at 12:53 PM  

  • Ha! I like that. Mist 1, let's put that on a bumper sticker. I'll market it for you if you give me a 20% cut.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:21 PM  

  • It seems so silly now; the old, antiquated thinking.

    I hope we'll be saying that in a few years about gay marriage.

    By Blogger Evil Spock, at 1:39 PM  

  • often we forget the human race. Well said, James!

    I have the luxury of being abandoned within a few days of birth - so I have no clue what my heritage might be. Definitely puts me at an advantage - I had no chance of being a bigot. Also helps when discussing with others their own fears and misconceptions.

    By Blogger Tiggerlane, at 2:07 PM  

  • I agree with you..People use the word race when they mean ethnicity. As long as people can mate and produce viable offspring that's all that counts.

    The main problem people have with mixed ethnicity marriage is not the diference in color but the difference in values, culture, religion and other such attributes.

    My family up north is extremely bigoted toward anyone different from them and are dead set against mixed marriages whether the couples be white mexican, italian chinese or black

    at least they are consistant.

    However the law shouldn't be in our bedrooms or wedding chapels I'm glad the Supreme court got one right.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 2:27 PM  

  • Someone celebrates the Loving case. Classic!

    What is unfortunate is that our legal system allows bigoted behavior to flourish as a standard. Indeed, the openly bigoted people of middle America comprised nearly the entire legal system (policeman, state attorney, judge, Supreme Court Justice, elected official passing laws, etc.). Amistad, Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, Sacco & Venzetti, Scopes Monkey Trial, Scottsboro Boys--you name the oppression, and a racist judge with bigoted and discriminatory aims has blessed it with the imprimatur of propriety.

    Only righteously indignant vigilance keeps their ilk at bay. That and a couple of shotguns.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 3:47 PM  

  • A merficul and enlightened decision!

    I'm very grateful that my choice of husband is not limited to someone with the same pasty ghostly death warmed over pallor such as mine. I mean technically, he could've divorced me for a rosacea flare up, right? ;-)

    By Blogger latinbombshell, at 3:51 PM  

  • I remember those days; it was a sad time when you could be arrested for dating someone of the wrong color.

    By Blogger BobG, at 8:06 PM  

  • Mist1, that would be if N.A.S.C.A.R. didn't stand for Not Another Stupid Carolina Auto Race.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 10:30 PM  

  • Isn't there an anniversary in yours and Mrs. B's very near future? Just thought you'd mentioned it before...

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 10:37 PM  

  • Evil Spock, a guy I used to engage in friendly debate - friendly 'cause we were literally friends, but definitely debate, because agreed on very little - on my old radio show back in the day was gay. He used to argue that he should be allowed to marry so he could "enjoy" the misery he often observed in his straight friends. I have to admit I had no comebacks to that back then. But at the time I could barely keep a girlfriend for more than a month. So I probably had business debating marriage on any level anyway.

    Tiggerlane, I'm always fascinated by your take on ethnicity. Not knowing your own roots, you have such an open-minded perspective. I have a post coming tomorrow I think will interest you.

    Hammer, we agree. The Supreme Court definitely got this one right. There are enough problems in this country w/out courts and law enforcement agencies spending time keeping people apart.

    Big Daddy, I'll buy my shotguns tomorrow.

    Hey, Bombshell, I think your complexion is just fine. And any dude who'd break up over a rosacea flair up has issues anyway. Too shallow to be a keeper;-)

    BobG, I'm grateful for my elders but I don't envy the times they lived in at my age.

    Sarc, you're allowed to say that 'cause you're a Carolinian ;-) I have to confess I've found myself lately watching a little NASCAR and not getting bored. I actually found it exciting a few times.

    Queen, good memory. End of this month.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:33 PM  

  • This little village I call home - has been for over 50 years of my almost 63 here on the planet - when I was a kid, was a very prejudicial community - not based on "race" but rather on ethnicity and religion. As it had been from the time the village began in the late 1800's, those who arrived here first, learned English first or better, tended to take the upper hand initially, then the churches decided other churches were wrong, bad, whatever, and the different factions -Catholic vs Protestant -shouldn't mix, nor should the Swedes and the Slovaks. Stupid, incredibly stupid, it was. Someday, if you're interested, I can send you a short article I wrote about 3 years back for a local publication about how I was raised in a "divided" society and how I cam to love "halupki" (Slovak for 'Stuffed Cabbage rolls" and almost put my grandmother into cardiac arrest when I asked her, no begged her, to please, please, please cook them! I learned by the time I was about 10 NOT to breathe a word of some of the things I was learning at our next-door neighbors house from playing with their kids. They were Catholic and the mother decided on High holy days and the kids had to pray, that if I was there, it wouldn't harm me in the least to pray with her kids. So, I learned the Rosary -for a strict Lutheran, that was something big and I learned to not ever mention that factor to my Grandma or I'd have been chained to the house for the rest of my childhood for sure!
    Thankfully, those of my generation moved away from that train of though of bias based on religion, on ethnicity. Now, if we could just get those homophobic folks in town to see the light, that it isn't contagious, won't harm the moral fiber of our young either, things would be darned near perfect -maybe?

    By Blogger Jeni, at 12:57 PM  

  • I believe in reincarnation, so I am sure that at one time or another, I have been many different ethnicities. If I am the sum total of my experiences, they are all a part of me now.

    To revile any group, then, would be the same as slicing off my arm or my foot.

    Besides, it's stupid and boring to cut oneself off from the richness of knowing people of different backgrounds. There is little to learn from those who are exactly like us.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, at 10:57 PM  

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