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Archive for March 19th, 2015

I wish I could believe that. You will have to admit that the real reason for marriage is usually love. Some people get married because they feel pressured into it or to avoid shame but when you get down to it, the real reason people get married is because they believe they love each other. I say ‘believe’ because there is a difference with real selfless love and infatuation. 

 

Not everyone has been free to marry whomever they want. Back in the darkest times of history of our country, back when the US believed it was OK to own slaves, slaves were restricted what they could and could not do. If they were able to get married–some were, there was nothing that would guarantee the family would stay together or remain close by. Can you imagine being in that type of situation? It is terrible to think in a moment’s notice your life partner could be sold and moved away. There is a lot of our history that is unfathomable but like it or not, people had to live with it. I hope we are becoming a better people, a better nation but I’m not so sure.

 

Oppressed people have fought hard to have rights–to be treated like others. Others who have supported them have fought, too, but even after they gained notice with rights and protections through the courts, they were discriminated against. It is the same for all types of oppression. Do you know when interracial couples could marry–legally marry? Hmmmm…well, here is a story about that…

 

Many states had laws forbidding the marriage of a couple from different races. The state of Virginia had one such law, specifically against “colored” and white unions. In 1958, a white man wanted to marry a black lady but since they could not marry in the state, they went to Washington, DC to marry and returned to Virginia to live. They were arrested and charged. They plead guilty and were sentenced to serve a year in jail but the sentence was suspended if they would leave the state and not return together for 25 years. Well, that isn’t the end of the story.

 

  • When I was growing up, I remember seeing couples who were interracial—not just a mixture of black and white but other races, too. I didn’t understand what the big deal was but I also didn’t understand how anyone could have enough courage to date someone of another race when there were so many people speaking out against it. Years later, I asked my mom what would she say if I dated a black guy–I wanted to know what her thoughts were. She said that it was up to me whom I dated and whom I married but to consider what situations and problems my kids would have growing up. She wanted me to think of my children before myself. I admire her for that and she always told me to never date anyone I didn’t want to be the father of my children…good advice

 

Back to the courts of the 1960s… The Lovings’ judge (don’t you just love the name) in Virginia ruled that since God had made people of different races and colors and that he had put them on different continents then they should honor God and not marry (head—desk; head–desk). The Lovings moved to the District of Columbia to abide by the law. Sad, isn’t it? If you think no, then maybe you need to check your empathy gene. 😉

 

In 1963, they filed a motion to vacate their sentence/judgment on the basis of the 14th amendment…there is more to all of this [you can read about the case here (link)]. The case was eventually decided by the Supreme Court on 12 JUN 1967. It is called Loving vs Virginia, 1967. I wish this was the end of the story but it isn’t.

 

Alabama would not honor interracial marriage licenses even after this case was decided? Usually, when the Supreme Court rules in such cases, all lower courts will honor the decision because SCOTUS takes precedence…they are the law of the land—federal courts—but in Alabama’s situation, the state has repeatedly attempted to fight the federal courts even the Supreme Court on more than one occasion (one incident was Gov. Wallace). Their reasoning??? States’ rights of course–what else? As my daughter so aptly puts it, “Mom, the south lost the war.” Yeah. She knows that. I know that and I hope you know that, too. 🙂 It’s not about states’ rights as much as it is about civil rights and protection of the law.

 

To let you know how unfair things have been in Alabama (in case you don’t know) interracial marriage was not recognized until 1970, three years after Loving vs Virginia and even worse is the fact the state constitution was not amended to allow interracial marriage until 2000 where 60% of voters voted to remove the language. Are you reading between the lines of my writing? That means that roughly 40% of the people who voted wanted to keep interracial marriage illegal or that they didn’t want to change things. There are many people who still believe it is wrong to allow interracial marriage even today. We have not moved very far from the times of slavery and segregation. There is so much racism but it is usually hushed up–well, sometimes. What is in one’s heart is what really matters. If you separate and divide, you will not love fully.

 

People still believe there are those who are superior making those who are not—inferior. That isn’t ok with me. I was almost joking when I mentioned the empathy gene but in reality, we all need to take a good look in the mirror and see where we can improve ourselves. If you think your brother or sister (people you know–people you do not know) are below you in status, I encourage you to do some real soul searching because they are not lower than you. In fact, if you think you are superior, more than likely you are not. 

 

Happy Gardening in all that you do… 🙂

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