In his Washington Post column, Richard Cohen has stirred up the media by exploring the the reactionary edge of Iowa’s Republican blogosphere. He says “Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled,” he writes, “about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.”
Yes, I think many of us would agree the GOP is certainly deeply troubled, but accusing the GOP of having conventional views – really?
Let’s look at some facts. Interracial marriages in the U.S. have soared to 4.8 million – that is 1 in 12! Blacks are now substantially more likely than before to marry whites and Asian and Hispanic immigrants are expanding the potential spouse pools.
Pew Research Center (http://www.pewresearch.org) , released a study last week showing that these interracial couplings and the products of their unions are challenging the typical American notions of race. According to a July 2013 poll from Gallup, 87 percent of Americans approve of interracial marriage compared to only 4 percent in 1959.
Daniel Lichter, a sociology professor at Cornell University says “Mixed-race children have blurred America’s color line. “
In fact, Cohen mistakes “conventional views” for “culturally conservative views.” Webster defines “conventional” as “used and accepted by most people : usual or traditional“. So, according to Webster, the acceptance of interracial marriage is overwhelmingly conventional. Now that we are clear on that point, we can scrutinize the mayor-elect of New York in other ways. Mr de Blasio is certainly and interesting character and one to watch, but not because of his wife and family.
So, tell me again, who’s views are conventional?