Monday, October 19, 2009

Anderson, Open Thine Eyes

Back from an extended vacation on another planet, CNN's Anderson Cooper (10/16 on 360Degrees) says

Tonight: It is hard to believe this can still happen in America. An interracial couple tries to get married, but the justice of the peace says no.

As everyone knows now, it (video below) is

the story of Beth and Terence McKay, an interracial couple who just wanted to get married, and the justice of the peace in southeastern Louisiana who refused to perform the ceremony. He refused because merely Beth is white, and Terence, her former fiance, now her husband, is African-American.

And as almost everyone knows, the younger generation is more tolerant of races other than their own and are more likely to find relationships, romantic and otherwise, with individuals of other races reasonable, normal and ordinary than have the older (or previous) generations. For that and other reasons, such relationships are now more widely accepted in the U.S.A.

Up to a point. This shouldn't be necessary to point out, and- arguably- most Americans understand this, but the election of Barack Obama as President did not nullify human nature, or even radically alter the relationship of blacks to whites.

Admittedly, this is a surprise to some: 1) liberals (with the mainstream media sometimes getting into the act), who understandably implied during the presidential election campaign that election of the first black would bring about a whole new country ("Morning In America," anybody?- video way below), a minority of such progressives actually believing it; 2) conservatives, who have a vested interest since the inauguration of a black President to argue that, hey, all our problems now are solved and the need for government action abolished- "nothing to see here, just move on"; and 3) Independents, who generally not as ideologically motivated as liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, might have been looking around last fall for a reason to vote for either John McCain or Barack Obama- and found it in the opportunity to be part of "history." (Barack Obama's margin of victory slightly exceeded that suggested by pre-election polls.)

With society moving in a more tolerant direction, it may be "hard to imagine this could still happen in America." But whether in 1959, 1979, or 2000, there always have been Justices of the Peace like Louisiana's Keith Bardwell, which should have been as expected as it is unacceptable.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Next: It's not just interracial marriage.

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