Students experience changes in interracial dating trends
By Annie Hunter, Campus Life Editor
Loving v. Virginia is not a Supreme Court case that many Americans would recognize. It doesn’t necessarily have the same nation-changing significance of Marbury v. Madison or the controversy of Roe v. Wade, but the 1967 ban of state laws restricting interracial marriage forever changed the way Americans pursued their own of happiness.
During the time of Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists, interracial dating was taboo to say the least. Some Young Harris College students are included in the generational trend that, when it comes to matters of the heart, Dr. King’s words were not wasted.
Christelle Vereb, a sophomore from Hayesville, NC, is among the minority at YHC who are in an interracial relationship. While the couple sometimes attracts attention, she does not see it as negative or discouraging.
“[My boyfriend] is Cuban, yet he does not look Cuban. He looks Caucasian,” said Vereb. “And my goodness! My skin is as dark as night, so oh yes we do [stand out]! But really we just laugh it off and go on when people look at us.”
Most people, Vereb says, are indifferent to their relationship. Her parents, specifically, only want her to be happy and his feel the same way.
“At the end of the day, you’re with someone whom you care about, and they care about you in return. In the end you have each other, no matter the race or culture,” said Vereb.
With the ban on interracial marriages lifted, the United States began to see an increase in these types of relationships. Stanford University conducted a study in 1970 that showed only two percent of marriages could be classified as interracial. Thirty-five years later, seven percent of America’s 59 million marriages were interracial.
Amanda Massey, a freshman early childhood education major from Snellville, has been in three different interracial relationships. She said that for her it just makes more sense, and each of these relationships have been a better fit than when she has dated someone Caucasian.
“I think [interracially dating] is not necessarily better; but it’s better for me, because I went to a school of primarily black people so I just connect with them better,” said Massey.
Her parents, however, do not feel the same connection and would prefer for her to date within her own race.
“They don’t like it. I have to hide it from them because they don’t approve of it,” said Massey. “Interracial dating is more of a now thing, not really their thing.”
Massey attributes her parents’ disapproval to the generational views of her grandparents. She has noticed that when anyone gives her a ‘look’ while with her African American boyfriend they are usually 50 years or older. Massey predicts that as more diversity is added to the campus, interracial dating will be more prominent. Statistics tend to agree.
A Gallup Poll conducted in June of 2005 showed that 95% of 18-29 year olds approved of African Americans and Caucasians interracially dating. Sixty percent of that same age group stated that they had dated someone outside their race.
While resistance is impossible to eliminate, today’s generation has shown that it can and will love leaps and bounds further than its predecessors. It is a change that Dr. King would be proud of.