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Question
Hello, my name is Lianne Uhrig I am a student at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey. I am in a reporting class, and was assigned to write an enterprise story. I chose interracial relationships. After much research I came across your name and was wondering if you would like to make an expert response/statement/comment for my story. It would be greatly appreciated. I have some guide questions here just to give you an idea of the nature of my story. Thank you in advance!

1. According to the 2010 census, 15.9% of marriages in the west are interracial as opposed to 7.5% in the northeast. Are there any contributing factors that could account for this difference?

2. According to the Pew Research Center, interracial relationships have risen 50% in the last 30 years. What could account for the drastic rise?


Thanks again,

Lianne Uhrig

Answer
Lianne,

Thanks for your questions and research. I am not a sociologist, so can only answer your questions to the best of my limited ability when it comes to matters pertaining to social movements and societal changes. But here goes:

1. I don't know of overall factors since I have not been fortunate enough to have traveled personally across the country. Without first-hand knowledge and actual experiences in these geographic regions, and having lived there, I'd only have speculation.

I could speculate that there could be cultural differences that lend themselves to greater acceptance to interracial relationships, but there could also be socio-economic factors as well or even more cultural and ethnic diversity...so I can't say with any degree of certainty. It's very important in matters concerning racial diversity, equality, cultural idiosyncrasies, the matter of interracial relationships, to keep a level emotional and mental field of vision; and what I mean by this is that it's vital to keep an open mind to factors we might not immediately see or expect. Cultural conditioning can bias the casual observer.

2. I don't know how the Pew Research Center conducts their research or if they looked at actual marriage records and called interview subjects; but I would say that while this data is encouraging at face value I personally don't see a different society than there was a decade or two previously. I read stories of racism and discrimination and bias on a daily basis, so while it's great to read statistics like the one you mentioned it does not seem to reflect in society as a whole. If there is such a rise in interracial relationships (and again that's a vague term, do they mean dating or marriage or casual friendships?), you may or may not see that evidenced depending upon where you live, where you work, where and how you socialize. So...if there is such a change I'd say it's quite obviously encouraging and very positive but I'm skeptical.

Interracial Relationships

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David

Expertise

I can answer questions on the topic of interracial relationships, diversity, and multiculturalism.

Experience

I'm a white, Jewish man in his mid-forties who has been happily married to a black woman now for 15 years. I dated interracially for my entire life, so feel comfortable and informed on the topic, having lived it my entire life.

Organizations
Former member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the American Federation of Teachers.

Publications
InterraceToday.com

Education/Credentials
BA, English Old Dominion University

Awards and Honors
Founder of InterraceToday.com, the internet's only online magazine for multicultural families and interracial couples.

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