« Brown & out | Gene Expression Front Page | Nigerian diplomat killed over scam »
February 20, 2003

Mixing it up-again

Follow-up dialogue on Joan Walsh's piece on interracial relation(ships). The black woman who wrote the article about her son needing to marry black responds. Joan then breaks-down her double-standards, while Edwards just hurls back a reality check. I sympathize with the plight of both women. In the end, Edwards is a realist-there is a large surplus of eligible single black women. Walsh might want the world to adhere to her idealistic beliefs about racial harmony, but race matters, race exists, and for black Americans who live under the continued shadow of racial hostility, platitudes about our Kumbaya future have less appeal than to someone like Joan Walsh....

Personally, I believe that "race-mixing" will be practiced by certain slices of the human race often jet-setting & transnational, united by abstractions, intellectualism and international capitalism, while the vast middle classes of decent folk will be rooted in faith, family and folk as they always have been....

Update: I guess I need to clarify, when I used the term "decent folk," I didn't mean to imply that I thought "race-mixing" (you can use whatever term) was a bad or good thing, but that the bulk of any given racial or ethnic group will want to "marry their own." You can see this among Jews (an ethnic-religious group) and blacks (a racial group) or even evangelical Christians (see singles adds that specify that the person is looking for a fellow "Christian" [this generally means evangelical, though obviously Catholics and mainliners are Christian too]).

The upper castes, that prioritize high-powered careers and status often mix based more on money, education & material well-being. The race and religion of the partner (and very importantly, devotional religion is less powerful among the upper castes in most cultures) are less important relative to particulars of personal history-college, career and political values. The underclass that does not have a stake in the community on the other hand are tied together often by less savory civil institutions and life experiences.

Can someone find a survey on attitudes toward interracial marriage, etc. broken down by education? I couldn't find any googling....

Posted by razib at 08:33 PM

That's an incendiary comment. Race mixing is something that "decent folk rooted in faith, family and folk" will not do.

I am pretty incendiary myself but not that incendiary.

Anyway, you are wrong. The big race-mixers are the underclass, not the toffs.


Posted by: John Ray at February 20, 2003 11:10 PM

but the middle-class?

Posted by: razib at February 20, 2003 11:17 PM

"decent folk...rooted in faith, family and folk"? You were being satirical, right?

Posted by: Jesse at February 20, 2003 11:45 PM

Usually above average intelligence liberal leaning people who have worked abroad for some length of time would be at one end of the spectrum, I think! It is a multi polar spectrum though so there may be other particular 'types' of people from various class backgrounds who are in likely to miscegenate.

Posted by: Shakey2000 at February 21, 2003 12:09 AM

Agree with Razib. John Ray uses the word 'toff'. I don't know what connotation that has elsewhere but in Australia generally 'toff' connotes old money. I agree they might be less likely to race-mix but their children would. I agree with Razib that New Economy meritocratic high IQ types are the most cosmopolitan and most likely to race-mix but so are the lower-classes simply because they live in neighbourhoods where new migrants end up. That leaves the suburban average Joes and Janes to inbreed ...

Posted by: Jason Soon at February 21, 2003 02:22 AM

just another thought, i remember going around on a white racialist board last year, and someone was talking about the heir to the throne of sweden, and how she was a pround upstanding nordic girl. someone upbraided that poster by declaring that she was a "stupid dark-browed half-spanish slut." the european nobility might not be multiracial (actually, it is a bit, the child of a black slave managed to make it into the italian nobility in the 16th century, and that line has spread all over europe by now)-but it is multiethnic-with germans being crowned kings of greece, swedens in poland, french queens in england, etc. etc...

princess diana was the first woman of english blood give birth to an heir to the english throne in many centuries (queen mother was scottish-she was the first brit in many centuries). of course, racial representation in a democratic age is pretty important for leaders, so we might not see too much mixin', but the precedent is there....

Posted by: razib at February 21, 2003 04:17 AM

My big problem with people like Joan Walsh, who actively advocate race-mixing as a moral value, is their refusal to be realistic about that consequences. If Joan Walsh admitted that interracial marriages will, at least in the short term, mean greater loneliness for black women and Asian men I might have some respect for her. As it is, I don't.

Posted by: duende at February 21, 2003 05:30 AM

Interesting comment on the black getting into Italian nobility and the genes spreading through European aristocracy. Care to provide a reference or link?

Posted by: Dennis at February 21, 2003 08:03 AM

Two American groups with very high rates of intermarriage are Japanese Americans and American Jews. Both generally middle-class and educated. (In my son's high school Japanese-Americans and probably Chinese-Americans were classified as white, pretty much.)

A look at Hawaii would be interesting. Hawaiian racial heierarchies are different than in the rest of the US. For example, Hawaiian Portuguese, though Caucasian, are low on the pecking order.

Two factors confusing the issue are a tendency for some people to "pass" if they can, and a contrary tendency for mixed-race people to be assigned to their less-prestigious race. I have a friend whose daughter is 1/4 Japanese, but she "looks Japanese" to Americans.

I have to say that the discussions of race on this site don't strike me as being on a level with the rest of the site. That marks me as a liberal follower of orthodoxy, etc., etc., but I definitely feel that way. Much of these site is extremely interesting and valuable.

Posted by: zizka at February 21, 2003 09:44 AM

The Britain and Europe generally mixed relationships are not especially controversial to the majority (white) poulation, though admittedly much more objectionable to some minority groups.

Some interesting figures from the recent first data from the 2001 Census for England and Wales:

total non-white: 9%, of which 'Black' 2.2%, Asian (excl. Chinese) 4.4%, Chinese 0.4%, 'mixed' White/Black 0.7% and mixed White/Asian 0.4%.

In interpreting the 'mixed' figures it should be remembered that they are mainly found among the younger age groups, as the older groups are still mainly first-generation immigrants. From other data it seems likely that about 20% of all non-whites attending school are 'mixed'.

The most surprising figure to me is the level of 0.4% for mixed White/Asian, which is nearly 10% the size of the Asian group as a whole.

I don't know any figures for other European countries, but casual observation in France and Belgium suggests that Black/White mixing is common.

Posted by: David Burbridge at February 21, 2003 12:02 PM

The first sentence of my comments seems to have been lost - I began by saying that the original post seemed very US-centric, and mixed relationships seemed generally acceptable in Britain and Europe, though objectionable to some ethnic minority groups.

Posted by: David Burbridge at February 21, 2003 12:06 PM

alessandro de medici. the picture looks like a light-skinned african-american....

Posted by: razib at February 21, 2003 01:57 PM

I had a look at your site long ago and was amazed at your being here without screaming heresy. God on you - for what it's worth I'm the token racial-liberal, pro-immigrationist, culturalist agnostic-on-HBD guy on GNXP so Razib runs a fairly broad church.

Posted by: Jason Soon at February 21, 2003 07:42 PM

eek! I meant to type 'Good on you' not 'God on you'

Posted by: Jason Soon at February 21, 2003 07:43 PM

there are a few other ppl with accounts besides you jason-they just don't speak up. but they are there if they want to say anything....

Posted by: razib at February 21, 2003 08:26 PM

It's my philosophy to shun sites which I find have no merit whatever. Once in awhile I wander accidentally into an unfriendly site and drop a bomb, but I don't go back again -- the repeat trolls on Atrios have annoyed me enough that I wouldn't imitate them. I wasn't part of Jane Galt's mail flood, though she may think so because I did make some sharp but rational comments on her site at about that time.

To me the questions of heredibility (sp). of intelligence and race are separable. Questions of race are almost always charged with unhealthy intensity and a political and personal agendas, and I don't think that the posters on this site are an exception. Given the explosiveness of the issues it makes sense to me to tread lightly.

No one on this site strikes me as an old-fashioned racist, though I may have missed somebody. Traditional American racists and nativists, as represented by the neo-Confederates and the militias, are to me the most unsavory element in American politics, and I am never able to agree with them about any issue.

There was a survey showing that math ability differed between male and female even if you controlled for all known factors. There was a lot of hoopla but it turned out that the difference was about 10 SAT points, so that ideally the average male would have a 550 score and the female 540, or something like that. This basically didn't tell you anything about individuals because there was so much overlap and so little difference.

One of my personal prejudices, which often isolates me on the postmodern left, is a strong suspicion of anything whatever that comes that comes from psychology. It seems to be part of the training (and the self-selection) of psychologists to cultivate a blindness to social and cultural factors. This means that when they finally try to control for these factors they do a poor job of it, attacking straw men and so on.

Posted by: zizka at February 22, 2003 09:20 AM