What Not To Say

Interracial marriage in the United States has been fully legal in all U.S. states since the 1967 Supreme Court decision that deemed anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, with many states choosing to legalize interracial marriage at much earlier dates.

Anti-miscegenation laws have played a large role in defining racial identity and enforcing the racial hierarchy.

Interracial marriages in the U.S. have climbed to 4.8 million (1 in 12 marriages) in 2010 as a steady flow of new Asian and Hispanic immigrants expands the pool of prospective spouses.

Blacks are now substantially more likely than before to marry whites.  In 2010, 15% of new marriages were interracial. In 2010, 25% of Asians, 25% of Hispanics, 17.1% of blacks, and 9.4% of whites married inter-racially. 

 Although the anti-miscegenation laws have been revoked, the social stigma related to Black interracial marriages still exists in today’s society.

Black interracial marriages in particular engender problems associated with racist attitudes and perceived relational inappropriateness. There is also a sharp gender imbalance to Black interracial marriages.

Some “mixed-up moments” are more significant than others. A few are blatantly rude comments, others are ignorant jokes, many are moments of flattery and some are instances of confusion or laughter. At times these are moments that make me feel so honored and blessed to be mixed; others are waves when I just want to crawl in a hole and hide.

For the most part, people's questions about racial background come from a place of genuine curiosity. But comments like "you don't act black" or "you don't look as white as you sound" are often tinged with an underlying tone discrimination leaving those about whom those comments are made frustrated.


Multiracial males and females are typically tired of hearing the following comments:

  1. "Which parent is which?"
  2. "No, I mean where are you REALLY from?"
  3. "Can I touch your hair?"
  4. "I thought you were white."
  5. "Are you sure that's what you are?"
  6. "You're a mutt."
  7. "What are you?"
  8. "So which side do you like more?"
  9. "But you have such nice hair!"
  10. "You're so colorful."
  11. "Are you sure you're not Asian?"
  12. "But why are you so white?"
  13. "You have 'good' hair... what are you mixed with?"
  14. "So you're not really black."
  15. "Are your parents still together?"
  16. "Is that your own hair?"
  17. "Do you wear colored contacts?"
  18. "Are these really your kids?"
  19. "You're so exotic!"
  20. "Were your grandparents okay with it?"
  21. "You're not black enough."
  22. "Well, you don't count."

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