Thursday, October 16, 2008

Black Women Marrying More White Men

This report details a sharp increase in the number of Black women who are marrying White men.

It's an interesting concept because it was about 60 years ago that the final miscegenation laws were overturned.

It reminds me of the current debate over same-sex marriage. Many of the arguments made against interracial marriage are similar those being made today by the supporters of California's Proposition 8 which would overturn a recent court decision allowing same-sex marriage.

I think about how interracial marriage was once similarly taboo in society. If things hadn't changed my brother wouldn't have married a beautiful Black woman with whom he has had two great kids.

Perhaps someday we'll look back on the opposition to same-sex marriage the same way.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Audacity of Non-Conformity

In 1984, at the age of 20, my first time being old enough to cast a ballot in a Presidential election, I found myself mostly alone supporting Walter Mondale against Ronald Reagan.

Most of my friends were on board with The Gipper and had one hell of a rally for him at Pierce College 24 years ago.

Still, I fought on as a member of "Youth for Mondale" running sound trucks in Spanish in East LA, painting signs for Mondale's appearance in Pershing Square the afternoon before election day and helping to arrange an appearance by Gerarldine Ferraro at Valley College.

But all the cool kids were for Ronnie and all the hot girls liked the cool kids who were bucking for the GOP. On the other hand I was teamed up with soon to be aging hippies, feminists with facial hair and members of the chess club hoping we could elect Jimmy Carter's VP as President.
Election night I did get to "celebrate" in the Mondale suite at the Biltmore Hotel and before heading down to the main celebrations in the hotel ballrooms I called into my answering machine at home to check the messages (no cell phones or voice mail back then of course) and heard a message from my two Republican roommates saying "Sorry about that Mike! We're here with the girls at the Century Plaza and having a great time."

Flash forward nearly a quarter century with middle age set in and well into a personal political transformation expressing support for the Republican ticket, including a woman only eight months older than I.

Yet all the cool kids are once again on the other side, supporting the historic and hip candidacy of Barack Obama. Though I know many GOP supporters, given where I live, the business I'm in and the circles I travel in, I'm nearly audaciously alone. The hotties for the most part are Democrats too.

This time, for the most part, with far more going on in my life than in 1984, I only have time to fight the fight digitally, suffering the slings and arrows of the Democrats with keyboards. I've lost a few friends because of this election but most of us are mature enough to agree to disagree.

Soon it will be over and life will go on. But nonetheless despite the current state of my political awareness I continue to find myself mired in non-conformity.

And I like that just fine.