Thursday, April 22, 2010

What Will the New Census Show......How Many of "Us" are There Now?


It's that time again....census time.  Did you all receive your forms in the mail?  Did you fill it out and turn it in?  Because it's census time, I thought it would be fitting to write about some statistics regarding interracial marriage and divorce.  I tend to forget that my husband and I are in a VERY SMALL group of people when it comes to marriages in the United States.  As of the last census, the percentage of interracial marriages in the U.S. was still below 5%!  That amazes me!  I will be so curious to see what the new census stats show.  It's funny to me that the numbers are so low because I guess I just think of "us" as just like everyone else.  Clearly the numbers show a very different story. 

Interracial marriage in the U.S.:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interracial_marriage_in_the_United_States

The other interesting statistic is, that marriages of white woman and black men have a higher rate of divorce than any other marriages.  Now why is that?  Certainly every marriage has issues, and interracial marriages get that added "benefit" of dealing with being "judged" by society and everyone around them, but I think black men and white woman get the "judging" on a more heightened level from all sides. Maybe that is part of the reason why those marriages fall apart.  Is it history, is it racism, is it a power struggle, what is it that creates this "built in failure" regarding this type of union? Thoughts?  To me, marriage is marriage, and if you love one another and are strong in who you are, then nothing should be able to tear you apart, right?  My husband and I are living proof that you CAN make it, and that no matter what life throws at you, if you hang in and fight for each other, marriage CAN last a lifetime, black, white or otherwise.  So, what will the new census show.......how many of "us" are there now?

18 comments:

jessica said...

I'm just happy that "Chamorro" is a box I can check, instead of having to check "Other". And its great that there is "Check all that apply" for my kids, that need to check 3 boxes.

Amy said...

Jessica I felt the same way when I filled out the form! That is so funny that you said that. One of my posts from earlier on was about just that....but it was about not having any options and you had to pick only one of your parent's backgrounds. Tatiana wasn't allowed to enroll in kinder until I changed her from both black and white to just one. That was nuts! Soon after that the forms changed for the schools too...thank goodness!!

"J" said...

intriguing, though a bit dissapointing, result. Yet 55 isn't too bad. We have 13% registered "mixed marriages" However (!!!) that also includes white/white-eastern-bloc and white/italian(to name some)
I did some research and could only find this for the Netherlands: 43% of antillian/carribean men have a white wife and 22% of Surinam men have a white wife. The other way around? Well it is a lot more, yet, unavailable in our census results .odd..

It is nigh impossible to get the percentages like Your census ,due to the fact that, again ,race is not asked in the "mixed mariage" census(Your census is called CBS overhere "Central Bureau of statistics")

The problem also partially shows one other significant difference: in The Netherlands the Racially- Mixed-marriage has been seen as fairly normal since Indonesia and our other colonies became independent. We have been mixin' and matchin' since the late 40's so there are no longer large groups of "racially pure" (ugh..nasty word)people. We are mixed from the get-go, so to speak. Being mixed-race isn't even an entry in the census-form. The only thing that The census DOES look at, is the cultural background of the parents.

The mixed-ness of the children is not an issue worth investigating I guess. Dutch is Dutch, as far as our CBS is concerned....

What a difference huh? The only ones that DO investigate with a racial pair of glasses, are mostly Universities an such, doing purely scientific research, so to speak.

"J" said...

oops..wanted to type "5%" not 55...darn..

Teri Cohen said...

Amy,

It's so funny you brought this up...when I filled mine out I noticed all the same things and felt so good that I could not "just pick one" when it came to describing Jared :) They still haven't changed the forms in our schools but I just REFUSE to give in on that one!! And you are so right about hanging in there to make your marriage work. Marriage is hard anyway, but isn't it funny how people feel like they have a right to have an opinion or insert themselves into our relationships, which can, unfortunately, add stressors that no one needs. You have to wonder if some couples just give up because they get tired of fighting the comments, the stares...just the ignorance of racism ? Thanks so much for taking the time to write as you do....it reminds me that Fredie and I aren't out there alone !!

Have a great weekend!
Teri

Amy said...

J,


55%! Wouldn't that be amazing!? I got a giggle for a minute. I LOVE that "you" have been "mixin and matchin" since the 40's! Remember there were laws still in place here in the late 60's that would have prevented Jamie and I from even marrying. Still amazing to me! Fascinating to me how different our stats gathering is in the US compared to the Netherlands. We need to take some lessons from you guys! By the way it's good to hear from you! Hope all is well!

Amy

Amy said...

Teri,

So interesting that we both had the same feeling when we had "options" on the form for our kids! I can't believe your school forms have not caught up yet! You need to complain and get that changed! I will never ever forget the kinder day when Tat was refused entry to school until I chose only one. Thankfully that is no longer an issue and was changed VERY soon after the poor mortified girl had to call me to choose only one, and I, not so quietly complained. I hope I was part of that change!

In regards to the mixed race marriages and divorce I think between....society, unaccepting families, racism, history and more the odds are stacked against us. However I refuse to let anyone decide what happens to OUR marriage...that is up to only Jamie and I. We all need to be strong in our love and live our lives just like everyone else.

I love to hear about you and Fredie and what you experience because it makes me realize we are all in this together and we can all make a difference or a change a little bit at a time. Thanks for reading and for your comments!

Hope you are having a beautiful Sunday! Amy

"J" said...

I am allright, tnx. Had a few busy and confusing weeks.

The difference in our cencuses?cenceii?? are indeed an interesting study in cultural differences between The Netherlands/northern Europe and America. After some digging i found out that some 18% of Dutch (men&woman) have a partner of a different ethnicity. It is not a sure -shot number. I got this by adding up and dividing many different reports and also counted northern-african (morroccan, algerian etc.) with it ,so I am not exactly sure, but it sort of corroberates what I see on the streets. Only notable thing is, that said 18% is almost solely comprised of people under 40..relatively young.

If I also count in the oodles of Dutchies with a bit of Indonesian in their bloodline, the number rises to some 26% ethnically mixed couples(yes, my colonial forefathers DID know beautiful women if they saw them in the colonies..no denying naughty naughty..)
It all depends on how rigid one uses that blasted "one drop" rule(that recently had an upsurge in usage among the Right-Wingers, thanx to idiots like Geert Wilders and his racist ilk..who...funny enough, is 1/8 indonesian himself..O_0 )

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy,

Just wanted to check in. We are doing great. I wanted to let you know that my friends, Liz and Thulani, posted their story on Lovingday.org under couples stories. They are the first couple that agreed to let me photograph them for my Loving Day photo essay. I thought you might want to check out their story. :)

Since I don't Facebook, if you get on zootoo.com and type in "daltongang", you will find my profile. It is an animal lover's website I was very active on last year due to a shelter makeover competition. You can message me from there. It will send the message to my email. I would like to use some pics of you and Jamie in my photo essay and your story. Please message me if you have time. I'd like to give you my phone number in a private message. Thanks!
Heather

Amy said...

J,

It is very interesting how different our stats collecting processes are. I am so curious to see what the new numbers hold after the census from this year is done here in the U.S. I know it will be higher but by how much who knows. We shall see. So glad to hear from you!

Amy

Amy said...

Heather,

I just read your friends post on loving day. Love that they became friends and then it grew into love. Just like you guys! Beautiful. Not sure if you saw our story under the couples link. I posted it back in June of '09. Here's a link:

http://www.lovingday.org/couples-stories/amy-0

I just went to zootoo.com and saw your profile. Beautiful pic of you and the dog! I sent you an email as well. We would LOVE to be a part of your photo essay and have our pics and story included. It will be so special to be a part of your project! I think it's fabulous that you are doing all of this!! Can't wait to hear more and to see the final product!

Amy

Anonymous said...

Amy,

Thanks for taking a look at Liz and Thulani's story on LovingDay.org. They really do make a great couple. Liz is only 25, but wise beyond her years. She is wiser and more mature than some people twice her age.

I checked out your story on the Loving Day site last year, right after I found your blog. I wish more people knew about the loving day site - I love reading everyone's personal thoughts and stories.

Thanks for the compliment about the pic of Roscoe and me. He is 11years old now. I adopted him at 3 months from a local shelter. He's been a Great dog.

I'm so happy you and Jamie will be a part of my photo essay!! Please send me pictures of you and Jamie, and pictures of the two of you with your beautiful Tatiana as well. I may use up to 5 prints and will be enlarging everything to 8x10. So, please email them to me at the highest resolution possible. Send me anything you would be willing to have displayed, and I will pick up to 5 prints. It may be 2 or 3, but I could use up to 5. I'm just starting out getting photos, so that will depend on how many different couples/families I have. So exciting! I'll be in touch.
-Heather

Amy said...

Heather,

Loving Day is such a great site. I love the stories as well. =)

I am so happy to be in touch via email now! I received your pics this morning.....love them!!! I was shutting down the computer so I didn't have a chance to respond via email. They are both GREAT pictures! I am so happy to finally "see" you two. You are beautiful together!

I will send pics this weekend.
Thank you for including us...what a special thing!

I am just thrilled that we have connected via my blog! Have a fabulous weekend!

Amy

Anonymous said...

Amy,

Awww, thanks for the compliment about Ray and me. I'm happy you were finally able to "see" us. That part about the internet and blogging would drive me crazy, if I couldn't visualize who I'm "talking" with. I'll send you more pictures as they are taken. But, Ray doesn't like getting his picture taken a lot, which is a real bummer for me, because photography is one of my favorite things! I have quite a few pictures of him anyway, though, because I just force myself on him with the camera! We need more pics of us together - I'll have to work on that. Thanks for all the pics you sent to me for my Loving Day Photo Essay. You all look great together. Tatiana is really a beautiful young woman. :)
-Heather

Anonymous said...

Amy-

I just posted my Loving Day photo exhibit to the list of celebrations on the Loving Day site. So exciting!

http://www.lovingday.org/celebration/fsh-cultural-competence-councils-loving-day-photo-essay-exhibit

I saw there was a celebration listed for San Diego. Do you and Jamie plan to attend?

Heather

Amy said...

Heather,

Funny you should say that about the pictures and Ray not liking his picture taken. Jamie is the same way! It drives him nuts that he is on the blog! It wouldn't be much of an interracial relationship blog without him now would it! LOL! He is the one that suggested I write this blog of course his pictures are going to be on here! =)

I am soooo excited about the photo essay.....I can't wait to see it! It is so wonderful to see it posted on lovingday.org. I didn't know there was a celebration in SD so thank you for pointing that out. I will check back for more details....we would LOVE to go!

Talk soon....Amy

Anonymous said...

The percentage stated seems very low. I am black and my husband is white and I have noticed lately that there seems to be an increase in the number of "us" out there. BTW, I LOVE your posts!!!

Amy said...

Anonymous,

I would agree...I can't wait to see what this current census shows. Thanks so much for reading!!!

Amy

PS
How did you come about my blog? I always like to hear how people are finding it. =)