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Fifty Years Ago, the Supreme Court Knocked Down Bans on Interracial Marriage. How Have Things Changed Since Then?


Fifty Years Ago, the Supreme Court Knocked Down Bans on Interracial Marriage. How Have Things Changed Since Then?

Peter Dreier

Should we allow states to decide whether black Americans may marry white Americans? Today, such an idea seems absurd. Most Americans believe that states shouldn't be permitted to trample on the basic right of interracial couples to marry. It would be unfair — a clear violation of civil rights. But until 50 years ago (June 12, 1967), when the Supreme Court knocked down state laws banning interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia, 16 states still had such laws on the books. At the time, 72% of Americans opposed marriage between blacks and whites.


people suck and then you die .... OK, in a few aspects they're somewhat better ....


It is inconceivable to me that states had laws barring interracial marriage. How backward can you get?


Prohibition never works. It always leads to bad outcomes. People telling other people what to believe and how to behave always ends badly. Alcohol prohibition led to organized crime; the same with drug prohibition and more addicts than before.

Abortion prohibition leads to more, not fewer, abortions and a lot of dead and maimed women and babies.

What is really wrong here is the strange belief among some of us that we have a right to tell others what to believe and how to live. We do not have that right. No wonder some right wingers fear Sharia law (something that will never happen) . They assume that if they have the right to tell others how to behave, then the others also have the right to tell them how to behave.

We have laws in place to govern excesses. And they usually work well. But the problem is with outright prohibitions.


Slavery used religion and thought that africans were not human, thus justifying slavery. When slavery was ended, nothing changed in the attitude of most americans towards africans. Thus jim crow and discrimination was used all justified that africans were less than human. And if africans are not human, then how could a white person marry an animal? It also led to the one drop rule, that any amount of african blood would make someone not human.

There are still many americans who believe the sub-human nature of africans and other groups of people. The purity of the 'white race' must be maintained according to them. The truth is that there are no races of man, it is a completely made up term. And it has evolved from just being northern europeans and the english to include italians and others. Though not everyone agrees with the expansion.

When you consider a certain group of people sub-human, you can justify doing whatever you want. And for hundreds of years, americans believed that africans were sub-human.


The only thing I disagree with you on is that they do believe they have the right to tell everyone else what to do. Which is why they keep trying to pass laws against gays, transgendereds, etc. They think they have the moral high ground. And since their beliefs are usually religious in nature, they are trying to impose their own version of sharia upon us. Quite frankly from what I have read of sharia law, which varies across a wide scope of things, the parts they fear are the parts they would impose upon us.


wow, peter..... fabulous informative article and hopefully, it is one that will help the folks who lag behind open their eyes, connect the dots, and join the circle of humanity. good timing for this article, too. THANK YOU!!!!


i consider a group subhuman: the republithugs and others in the orange cabal. 'nuff said........