After years of battles over immigration, affirmative action, racial
profiling and other issues, it appears that the United States is becoming a genuine melting pot. An interracial tide has transformed friendships, dating, cohabitations, marriages and adoptions in just one generation.
If the wave continues, it could begin to erode racial stereotypes and categories, as well as the rationale behind affirmative action and other broad protections for minorities.
Minnesota has been a leader in such change for decades, dating back at
least as far as the mid-20th century with the surge in the adoption of Korean children. By the year 2000, no large U.S. city anywhere other than on the intensely multiracial Pacific Coast had a higher share of multiracial children than Minneapolis
“I’m seeing a lot more interracial couples,” said Guatemala native Javier del Cid, a 32-year-old Washington bartender who has worked in restaurants for 18 years. “They’re not scared anymore. You see a Hispanic guy with a black girl, you don’t say, ‘Oh, my God!’
Only people raised before it was accepted say that.”
He should know—he said he dates mostly black women. A raft of
research supports his observations.
• In 1992, 9 percent of 18—and 19-year-olds said they were
dating someone of a different race. Ten years later, the figure was 20 percent, according to a 2005 study by sociologists Grace Kao of the University of Pennsylvania and Kara Joyner of Cornell University.
• In 1992, 9 percent of 20—to 29-year-old Americans were living
with people of different races. A decade later, that figure was 16 percent, Kao and Joyner said.
• In 1985, when asked to describe confidants with whom they’d recently discussed an important concern, 9 percent of Americans named at
least one person of a different race. These days, it’s about 15 percent,
according to Lynn Smith-Lovin of Duke University and Miller McPherson of the University of Arizona at Tucson, co-authors of the American Sociological Review article.
• In 1980, 1.3 percent of marriages in the United States were interracial, according to the Census Bureau. By 2002, that had more than doubled, to 3 percent.
• Eight percent of adoptions were interracial in 1987. By 2000, the number was 17 percent, according to Census demographer Rose
Entire Article: Shades of Change felt across America