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June 03, 2003

Affirmative action & mongrelization

A pot-shot against affirmative action in The Nation! My how the times-are-a-changin'. Of course the perpetrator is Michael Lind, ex-neocon, and neo-class-warrior. Lind has long wanted to shift the focus of debate on the modern Left away from race and back to the old standard flag of class. This article is a clear case of this, and ironically he makes many arguments that one can find in the conservative press. Lind seems to mimic the likes of Ward Connerly in arguing for the importance of race-blindness as an organizational principle of our society.

Lind focuses on interracial marriage to highlight the general issues. He brings up some important statistics-showing that "mongrelization" has greatly increased in the past generation. Of course he can't hide the fact that rates between blacks & whites are still low and emphasizes the importance of assortive mating-socioeconomic equality is an important variable, though one could argue that affirmative action is the only path to this end [1]. Lind brings up the interesting statistic that though the majority of blacks have dated non-blacks, only about 5% seem to marry someone of another race. This pattern also surely shows up with other minorities, though to a lesser extent, highlighting that though the situation on the ground might seem racially amicable, when the important decisions in life are made, race still matters.

[1] I think more importantly affirmative action enables economic, not social, equality. Rather, to recognize the power structure tends to crystallize it in place.

Posted by razib at 12:55 PM

You mention the statistic that only 5% of blacks marry someone of a different race. But since about 70% of blacks are illegitimate, doesn't that suggest that only roughly 30% of blacks get married at all? So does that mean that 5/30 or 1/6 of the blacks who get married, marry someone of another race?

Posted by: Mark at June 3, 2003 01:20 PM

I echo Mark's statement. I've always wondered how applicable black marriage stats are to the general black populace due to their low marriage rates. And I've noticed that when blacks marry, they frequently do so later in life after their children are grown, so it marriage often has little tie to family creation.

Posted by: duende at June 3, 2003 05:10 PM

"and ironically he makes many arguments that one can find in the (neo)conservative press."

But it is that both culturally are identical..

how many differences exist between the (neo) "conservative" press and the liberals?

Both deny the importance of race, both are pro open borders policy, both are multiculturalists (the Neocon proposition nation and their waving -the-flag-nationalism), both show an absolute disdain for the Euro-American majority, etc..

Posted by: Paleo at June 3, 2003 10:20 PM

Mark, duende: well, I crunched the Census numbers, and it turns out that the 5% number is indeed a percentage over black married couples, not over blacks as a whole. In the first place, 40% of all whites, 21% of all blacks, and 39% of all Asians are married. Out of those married people, 1.8% of whites, 5.4% of blacks, and 15% of Asians married someone of a different race.

But your basic suspicion that the stats might not be so applicable to the overall black population seems to be borne out by unmarried couple household data. 3.0% of all whites, 3.9% of all blacks, and 1.5% of all Asians cohabit with their unmarried (opposite-sex) mates. Out of those cohabitants, 4.7% of whites, 11% of blacks, and 44% of Asians live with a mate of a different race.

(Cohabitation rates are probably underreported due to welfare requirements; however, since you would lose your welfare benefits no matter what the race of the man you're living with, the underreporting is probably neutral with regards to the interracial coupling).

Posted by: Eric Lien at June 3, 2003 10:55 PM