While interracial relationships and marriages are fairly commonplace now, there used to be a time when tying the knot with someone of a different skin color was not only frowned upon, but entirely illegal.
Historically, the most famous case of an interracial couple was Richard and Mildred Loving. In 1958, the pair, who were born and raised in Virginia, married in Washington DC.
In 1958, 24 states in the US had outlawed interracial marriage and it turned out that marriage between white and black people was also illegal in the country’s capital.
Soon after their wedding, the Lovings were convicted under the state’s Racial Integrity Act, a law which banned marriages between black people and white people.
The judge of the resulting trial, Leon Bazile, found the couple guilty, and ended the case with these uncomfortably outdated words:
“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents… The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
The couple were both incarcerated after Bazile’s verdict, but not before the racist judge expressed these stinging words to Mildred: “As long as you live you will be known as a felon.”
Fortunately, the case did nothing to discourage the Lovings in their fight to end the historical discrimination against interracial couples.
The couple worked hard to combat the discriminatory laws with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union. Then after nearly a decade of activism, they won the landmark Loving versus Virginia court case in 1967. The unprecedented case meant that henceforth anyone could marry anybody of a different ethnicity.
It has been fifty years since the ruling, and it would be a total understatement to say that a lot has changed since then.
I mean, the most famous and most photographed couple on the planet, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, are an interracial couple.
However, with the recent rise in White Nationalist sentiment, could people’s views on mixed race relationships now be becoming increasingly backwards?
We all know about the Black Lives Matter movement. It has stemmed from the historically unfair and brutal targeting of black youths by the police.
With the heated debate on whether or not “Black Lives Matter” was too exclusionary, it was only a matter of time before white nationalists created a counter movement and ironically named it “White Lives Matter”.
And that’s exactly what has happened. “White Lives Matter” is now an established movement with thousands of followers and supporters.
Last Saturday night a group of these White Nationalists allegedly assaulted an interracial couple in a Tennessee restaurant.