Interracial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance

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Interracial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance

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Regardless of our social rhetoric of color-blindness, when it comes to choosing a spouse we seem to be remarkably aware of color, at least we were legally for more than 200 years and despite legal permission, society still exacts a social opinion on the matter. Law professor Rachel Moran examines this issue in Interracial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance and argues that the promise of racial justice is tied to integrating our most personal relationships. It is not that interracial marriages will solve the race problem in the United States. However, Moran argues that the lack of them is an indication of the strength of the problem and that they are part of the solution. Although many think race does not matter to them, evidence of overwhelming prevalence of same-race marriage leads us to believe that it matters more than Americans are willing admit.

Moran provides a history and context for antimiscegenation laws leading up to the landmark decision in LOVING v. VIRGINIA (1967), which struck down antimiscegenation laws. Maryland enacted the first antimiscegenation code in 1661, and Virginia followed a year later. Even before that, Virginia authorities in the 1630s and 1640s had whipped and publicly embarrassed those who participate in took part in interracial sexual liaisons (19).In the second part of the book Moran explores the appropriateness of transracial adoption and the politics of state recognition of multiracial identity. Although the focus is often on black-white relations filtered through the experience of slavery, Moran also discusses in detail the legal treatment of Asians, Latinos, and Native Americans who breached the ...

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...nt in relationships other than state-sanctioned marriage.

While the book is generally good, it does, however, contain two chapters that seem misplaced. In chapter seven, she discusses the politics and law of transracial adoptions, and concludes that courts should pursue the best interests of the child, balancing color-blindness (not eliminating prospective parents from consideration because of their race) and color-consciousness (recognizing that race affects and is

affected by experience). In chapter eight she discusses the 2000 Census and its expanded menu of racial categories from which we get to choose. Although the chapters themselves are fine, they distract from the central arguments of this book. Moran concludes with cautionary words reiterating the importance of her argument that romantic relationships are key to breaking down racial hierarchy (196).

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