Interracial marriage not a big deal to millennials
February 9, 2016
Interests such as music, movies and hobbies, social traits and physical appearance are all factors to consider when finding a partner.
But for some, these factors are small compared to the importance of race in a relationship.
As time progresses, views of the new generation tend to become more liberal.
In 2013, a record-high 12 percent of newlyweds married someone of a different race; this is according to a 2015 Pew Research study. Aside from newlyweds, 6.3 percent of all marriages in 2013 were interracial.
Michelle Calderon, sophomore accounting major, said that she definitely sees the difference in views amongst generations, especially in her own family.
Calderon is a first-generation American on her mother’s side, and her maternal side of the family is traditionally Mexican.
She said that her family would have a problem with her dating outside her race.
“To be honest, I think my father would be accepting, but my mother, she is from Mexico,” Calderon said. “She has told me that she would not accept that, or even if I were to have a grandson, she would not accept that.”
Calderon went on to say that despite her mother’s traditional views, she does not think race matters when it comes to love.
“Nowadays it would be kind of ignorant to be biased based on color or even race,” Calderon said.
Marrying someone of a different race is more common in certain racial groups than others.
In 2013, 3.6 million adults were married. Of those, American Indians were most likely to marry outside their race, with 58 percent saying ‘I do’ to someone other than an American Indian.
Next were Asians who came in at 28 percent, 19 percent of blacks and 7 percent of whites.
Sophomore kinesiology major and Vice President of the Black Student Union at UTEP, Kelvin Alexander, said that he is aware of the opposition to interracial relationships.
“I know that there are people who take and hold issues with those who are in an interracial relationship,” Alexander said. The skin color or even the ethnic backgrounds of an individual should never matter when it comes to relationships.”
In the same Pew Research study, 37 percent of Americans in 2014 said that having more people of different races marrying each other was a good thing for society. This is up from 24 percent in 2010.
Only 9 percent surveyed said it was bad for society and 51 percent said it doesn’t make much difference.
Alexander reflected on the words of a civil rights leader to address the issue of interracial relationships.
“I believe Dr. Martin Luther King said something similar to this in his ‘I have a dream’ speech, it is not about the skin color of an individual but it is about the content of their character,” Alexander said. “So if we are keeping with the message of Dr. King and others who work the civil rights movement, we shouldn’t be judging people’s relationships based off of skin color, but of the contents of each of their characters and how they make others feel.”
Amanda Guillen may be reached at [email protected]