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Interracial Marriage

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Here are quotes from the summary of the new Pew report on interracial marriage in 2008. Note a few things. This is based on the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey of 3 million people, not the decennial enumeration of 100 times that number Plus, note the distinction between newlyweds and married couples: people who get married in 2008 versus people who are married in 2008. So, there could be some sample size issues versus the actual Census. Still, when you start with 3 million people, you can slice and dice pretty far.

Also, 41% of babies born in 2008 were illegitimate, so marriage stats tend to look at what the upper 3/5ths or so of society are doing. Only about 28% of babies born to black women were legitimate and only 49% of babies born to Hispanics were legitimate, so marriage behavior and mating behavior are increasingly disconnected.

Even with that sharp increase, however, black-white couplings represented only about one-in-nine of the approximately 280,000 new interracial or interethnic marriages in 2008.

White-Hispanic couples accounted for about four-in-ten (41%) of such new marriages; white-Asian couples made up 15%; and white-black couples made up 11%.

I.e., “nonwhites” include Hispanics who self-identify as whites. Also, there’s no multi-ethnic category as there is a multi-racial category, so a lot of these Hispanics marrying non-Hispanic whites might be actually half or a quarter Hispanic. So, for example, if blonde actress Cameron Diaz, daughter of an American-born Cuban father and an Old American (English, German, Cherokee) mother who grew up on the beach in Southern California, married, say, ex-boyfriend Matt Dillon, it would, theoretically, count as an “interracial marriage.”

The remaining third consisted of marriages in which each spouse was a member of a different minority group or in which at least one spouse self-identified as being American Indian or of mixed or multiple races.

Of the 3.8 million adults who married in 2008, 9% of whites, 16% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 31% of Asians married someone whose race or ethnicity was different from their own.

For whites these shares are more than double what they had been in 1980 and for blacks they are nearly triple. For Hispanics and Asians, by contrast, these rates are little changed from 1980. High levels of Hispanic and Asian immigration over the past several decades helped drive both seemingly contradictory trends.

For whites and blacks, the new immigrants and (increasingly) their now grown U.S.-born children have enlarged the pool of potential partners for marrying outside one’s own racial or ethnic group. But for Hispanics and Asians, the ongoing immigration wave has greatly enlarged the pool of potential partners for in-group marrying.

Gender: Among blacks and Asians, there are stark differences by gender in the tendency to marry outside their own racial group. Some 22% of all black male newlyweds in 2008 married outside their race, compared with just 9% of black female newlyweds. Among Asians, the gender pattern runs the opposite way. Some 40% of Asian female newlyweds in 2008 married outside their race, compared with just 20% of Asian male newlyweds.
Among whites and Hispanics, by contrast, there are no gender differences in intermarriage rates.

These gender gap ratios for newlyweds are actually less extreme than those seen for married couples in 1990 and 2000.

Correction – That’s looking at black or Asian intermarriage rates with everybody else, when what people are most interested in (and what my 1990s and 2000s articles were about) is black-white or white-Asian intermarriage. My earlier articles looked at white-black and white-Asian rates, not black-all other and Asian-all other.

Plus, that’s just looking at percentages of people who got married, when a big issue is that fewer black women than black men and fewer Asian men than Asian women were getting married to anybody. Pew should give us the raw counts of interracial marriages in 2008 rather than putting everything in percentage terms, which can be misleading and confusing. Unfortunately, they don’t.

Another way to look at this is that white men in 2008 were 3.90 times as likely to marry an Asian woman as a black woman, while white women were only 0.47 times as likely to marry an Asian man as a black man. (See p. 10 of the full report.) That’s a big difference.

I’m tempted to divide 3.90 by 0.47 to come up with 8.33, but 8.33 what? What does 8.33 mean, if anything? One reason the prose style is so polished in my 1997 “Is Love Colorblind?” is that it took me a long time to get to the point that I was confident I was handling the algebra in a humanly meaningful way.

Also, the Asian population has shifted considerably in the direction of South Asians since 1990, who are rather different from East Asians in marital behavior.

About 9% of both male and female white newlyweds in 2008 married a nonwhite spouse and about a quarter of both male and female Hispanic newlyweds in 2008 married someone who is not Hispanic.

States and Regions: Intermarriage in the United States tilts West. About one-in-five (21%) of all newlyweds in Western states married someone of a different race or ethnicity in 2008, compared with 13% in the South and Northeast and 11% in the Midwest. All nine states with out-marriage rates of 20% or more in 2008 are situated west of the Mississippi River: Hawaii (43%); Nevada (28%); Oregon (24%); Oklahoma (23%); California (22%); New Mexico (22%); Colorado (21%); Arizona (21%); and Washington (20%). (See Appendix III for a fifty state table).

Regional out-marriage patterns vary in other ways. For example, blacks who live in the West are three times as likely to out-marry as are blacks who live in the South and twice as likely as blacks in the Northeast or Midwest.

Among Hispanics, by contrast, the highest rate of out-marriage is in the Midwest (41%) reflecting a general tendency for out-marriage rates to be higher among smaller groups.

Blacks who live in places like North Dakota have very high rates of intermarriage with whites: there aren’t many other blacks for them to marry, and many of them got to these kind of states through the military, so they have been preselected for IQ, lawfulness, and have been culturally molded by the military

As for Asians, relatively few live in the South, but those who do are more likely to out-marry (37%) than are those who live in other regions.

The nation’s most populous state, California, presents the following anomaly: in 2008, white (20%) and black (36%) newlyweds were more likely to out-marry than were Hispanics (18%).

That’s what I see every day in California: Latinos with Latinos. This seems especially true for Mexicans, but less true for, say, South Americans. If we assume that LA is test driving the American future, then what we’re likely to see is the whiter shades of Hispanics merging into the white population, but also less and less intermarriage of mestizos as their numbers grow larger.<
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In all other states where data are available for these groups, the reverse was true-Hispanic newlyweds out-married at higher rates than did whites or blacks. (See appendix for states and regional table or click here for an interactive map)

Education: Marrying out is more common among adults who attended college than among those who did not, but these differences are not large. Of all newlyweds in 2008, 15.5% of those who attended college married outside their race or ethnicity, compared with 13.5% of those who completed high school and 11.0% of those who did not complete high school.

Nativity Status: Marrying out is much more common among native-born adults than among immigrants. Native-born Hispanics are more than three times as likely as the foreign born to marry a non-Hispanic.
The disparity among native- and foreign-born Asians is not as great, but it is still significant; native-born Asian-Americans are nearly twice as likely as those who are foreign born to marry a non-Asian.

Here again, there are sharp gender differences. Among Asian men, the native born are nearly four times as likely as the foreign born to marry out. Among Asian women, the native born are only about 50% more likely than the foreign born to marry a non-Asian.

So, the gender gap is much smaller among American-born Asians: 39.5% outmarriage for American-born Asian women versus 30.8% among American-born Asian men. Asian parents are intentionally congregating together it certain communities — e.g, largely abandoning the San Fernando Valley in favor of the San Gabriel Valley. This self-segregation in places like Arcadia has a lot of reasons (e.g., control of the public schools), but it also gives their sons a better chance.

But, it would be interesting to remove South Asians from this figure.
Interestingly, a higher percentage of newlywed couples among people, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44 and 45-49 are interracial than among people 20-24 and 25-29.

This would suggest that fertility is likely a little lower.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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Here’s a rather incoherent article from the AP on new interracial marriage statistics from the Census Bureau. Unfortunately, the Census Bureau hasn’t released the numbers yet, as far as I can tell, so we’re stuck with the sneak preview they gave the AP.

Two caveats: first, you need to keep in mind the stock v. flow issue of marriages v. weddings. The Census Bureau typically counts marriages (i.e., two people who are legally married to each other) but not weddings (two people getting legally married to each other). The reality that this article is groping toward is that while the stock of interracial marriages as a percent of all marriages continues to rise as the older married couples, from eras when interracial marriage was very rare, die off, but the percent of new interracial weddings as a percent of all new weddings does not seem to be increasing as fast as before.

Second, in my long experience with Census studies of interracial marriage, going back to my 1997 “Is Love Colorblind?” article in National Review, only data from the decennial enumerations (years ending in a 0) were of sufficient sample size to accurately capture trends in interracial marriage rates. The Census Bureau has been working to improve the sample sizes in their interim studies, but who knows whether this one is good enough?

By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer 

WASHINGTON – Melting pot or racial divide? The growth of interracial marriages is slowing among U.S.-born Hispanics and Asians. Still, blacks are substantially more likely than before to marry whites.

The number of interracial marriages in the U.S. has risen 20 percent since 2000 to about 4.5 million, according to the latest census figures. While still growing, that number is a marked drop-off from the 65 percent increase between 1990 and 2000.

About 8 percent of U.S. marriages are mixed-race, up from 7 percent in 2000.

The latest trend belies notions of the U.S. as a post-racial, assimilated society. Demographers cite a steady flow of recent immigration that has given Hispanics and Asians more ethnically similar partners to choose from while creating some social distance from whites due to cultural and language differences.

I wrote a column about exactly this happening in California in 2000: “Continued Immigration Retards Growth of Interracial Marriage.” It’s logically obvious that as minorities become majorities, they have fewer daily interactions with whites and thus are less likely to fall in love with them and marry them.

White wariness toward a rapidly growing U.S. minority population also may be contributing to racial divisions, experts said.

“Racial boundaries are not going to disappear anytime soon,” said Daniel Lichter, a professor of sociology and public policy at Cornell University. He noted the increase in anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as well as current tensions in Arizona over its new immigration law.

“With a white backlash toward immigrant groups, some immigrants are more likely to turn inward to each other for support,” Lichter said.

Yeah, yeah, yeah …

Broken down by race, about 40 percent of U.S.-born Asians now marry whites — a figure unchanged since 1980.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t break out the important gender gap in white-Asian marriages. In 1990, 72% of white-Asian marriages involved a white man and Asian woman, while in 2000, 75% involved a white man and an Asian woman.

Their likelihood of marrying foreign-born Asians, meanwhile, multiplied 3 times for men and 5 times for women, to roughly 20 percent.

One of the things that is going on is that the “Asian” population is becoming less East Asian and more South Asian, where the gender gap is very different. Also, South Asians are more into arranged marriages with somebody from the Old Country than are East Asians.

Among U.S.-born Hispanics, marriages with whites increased modestly from roughly 30 percent to 38 percent over the past three decades. But when it came to marriages with foreign-born Hispanics, the share doubled — to 12.5 percent for men, and 17.1 percent for women.

In Southern California, I just do not see 38% of the couples walking down the street together where at least one person is Latino and the other person is white. I’d say it’s more like 10%. Maybe it’s different in Texas. Maybe interethnic marriage is most common among very white Hispanics, possibly ones who are only 1/2 or 1/4 Hispanic by ancestry, so these couples are not very visible by looks.

Although the Census allows people to identify themselves as being of multiple races, it does not allow them to identify as both Hispanic and non-Hispanic, so people of mixed ethnicities tend to show up in Census stats as solely Hispanic.

Or maybe white-Hispanic marriages are hugely common in working class exurbs in California where I don’t hang out much. I don’t know. But I don’t see white-Latino couples much at, say, the movies in Van Nuys.

In contrast, blacks are now three times as likely to marry whites than in 1980. About 14.4 percent of black men and 6.5 percent of black women are currently in such mixed marriages, due to higher educational attainment, a more racially integrated military and a r
ising black middle class that provides more interaction with other races.

That would suggest the gender gap in black-white marriages has fallen to 2.21 times as many black men married to white women as white men married to black women, from 2.54X in 1990 and 2.65X in 2000. But, we’ll have to see what the sample size is. The decennial enumerations have been far more trustworthy than interim estimates based on a small samples.

… By some estimates, two-thirds of those who checked the single box of “black” on the census form are actually mixed, including President Barack Obama, who identified himself as black in the 2010 census even though his mother was white. 

Census figures also show:

_Hawaii had the highest share of mixed marriages, about 32 percent.

Funny how Mr. Check Only Black Obama was born and raised in Hawaii, which has always been like this.

It was followed by Alaska, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Nevada, which ranged from 15 percent to 19 percent. 

You’ll note that California, the state with the highest percentage of immigrants and with what had been the second most (to Hawaii) liberal attitudes among whites on interracial marriage, doesn’t make the top 5.

The bottom five states were Pennsylvania, Maine, Kentucky, Mississippi and West Virginia, each ranging from 3 percent to 4 percent.

_Mississippi had the fastest growth in mixed marriages from 2000-08, a sign of closer ties between blacks and whites, though it still ranked second to last in overall share of mixed marriages. 

_Mixed marriages jumped from 2.25 million to 3.7 million, or 65 percent, from 1990-2000, as such unions became more broadly accepted in Southern states.

_Among U.S.-born whites, about 0.3 percent married blacks in 1980; that figure rose to about 1 percent in 2008. About 0.3 percent of whites married Asians in 1980 and about 1 percent in 2008. About 2 percent of whites married Hispanics in 1980, rising to about 3.6 percent in 2008.

The figures come from previous censuses as well as the 2008 American Community Survey, which surveys 3 million households. The figures for “white” refer to those whites who are not of Hispanic ethnicity. For purposes of defining interracial marriages, Hispanic is counted as a race.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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John Tierney blogs in the New York Times about a study of “speed-dating” Columbia University:

There’s also a clear gender divide, as the researchers note: “Women of all races exhibit strong same race preferences, while men of no race exhibit a statistically significant same race preference.”

That part about men having no preference sounds a bit like an artifact of doing the study at an Ivy League school where men have to be on their guard for ideological deviancy. Ivy League women, in contrast, would just slough off charges of racism with Ivy League feminist-quality logic: “I can’t be a racist because I’m a feminist!”

Here are the study’s results for women:

African-American women said yes about 30 percent less often to Hispanic men; about 45 percent less often to white men; about 65 percent less often to Asian men.

White women said yes about 30 percent less often to black or Hispanic men, and about 65 percent less often to Asian men.

Hispanic women said yes about 20 percent less often to black or white men, and 50 percent less often to Asian men.

Asian women didn’t discriminate much by race (except for showing a very slight preference for Asian men over black or Hispanic men).

And now you know why the Bitter Asian Men are so bitter.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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Here’s a press release about an article in the British Journal of Nutrition entitled “BMI Not an An Accurate Obesity Measurement:

“This [Body-Mass Index] scale was created years ago and is based on Caucasian men and women,” says Bray, “It doesn’t take into account differences in body composition between genders, race/ethnicity groups, and across the lifespan.”

In the current study, … researchers used dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, which is a low dose x-ray known as DXA, to determine percent fat. DXA can be used to estimate bone density, lean mass and fat mass.

When the two results were compared, researchers found that the DXA estimate of percent fat of African American women was 1.76 percent lower for the same BMI compared to non-Hispanic white women. Since BMI is assumed to represent body fatness, an African American woman would not be considered overweight or obese until she reached a higher number than what is indicated by the current BMI standards. The opposite is the case for Hispanic, Asian and Asian-Indian woman. Their percent fat is higher by 1.65 percent, 2.65 percent and 5.98 percent, respectively. So they would be considered overweight or obese at amounts lower than what the BMI standards indicates. The results for men were similar.

“Right now non-Hispanic white women are not considered obese until they have a BMI of 30 or above. Based on our data in young adults, for Hispanic women the number would be around 28,” says Bray. “For African American women the number to cross is around 32.”

Bone mineral content, hydration state, and the density of lean mass found in different ethnic groups are some factors that account for the differences.

I pointed all this out in “Is Love Colorblind” in 1997.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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A couple of years after I wrote about Qian and Lichter’s study here, Annie Gowen reports today in the Washington Post, “More Young Adults Are Seeking Partners of Same Ethnicity:”

But scholars delving into the U.S. Census have found a surprising converse trend. Although interracial marriages overall have increased, the rate of Hispanics and Asians marrying partners of other races declined in the past two decades. This suggests that the growing number of immigrants is having a profound effect on coupling, they say.

The number of native- and foreign-born people marrying outside their race fell from 27 to 20 percent for Hispanics and 42 to 33 percent for Asians from 1990 to 2000, according to Ohio State University sociologist Zhenchao Qian, who co-authored a study on the subject. The downward trend continued through last year, Qian said.

In 2007, I blogged:

Back in 2000, I wrote an article for entitled “Immigration Is Retarding Interracial Marriage.” That’s visible in Southern California, where Asians used to be widely dispersed all over the suburbs, and thus tended to marry the whites around them. Now, however, Asians tend to cluster in the San Gabriel Valley, and you see a higher proportion of Asian-Asian couples than you did a quarter of a century ago. This has implications for assimilation.

Now, a new study of Census data fro 1990 and 2000 confirms that trend:

Immigration played a key role in unprecedented declines in interracial and inter-ethnic marriage in the United States during the 1990s, according to a new sociological study. The findings, published in “Social Boundaries and Marital Assimilation: Interpreting Trends in Racial and Ethnic Intermarriage,” suggest that the growing number of Hispanic and Asian immigrants to the United States has led to more marriages within these groups, and fewer marriages between members of these groups and whites.

“These declines in intermarriages are a significant departure from past trends,” said Zhenchao Qian, co-author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio State University. “The decline reflects the growth in the immigrant population during the 90s; more native-born Asian Americans and Hispanics are marrying their foreign-born counterparts.”

I imagine that the clustering of Southern California’s Asians in the San Gabriel Valley is motivated in part by Asian parents hoping their children wind up with Asian spouses.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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It’s long been understood theoretically that there must exist a Darwinian fitness trade-off between too much inbreeding and too much outbreeding, but nobody knew where that was. If you marry your first cousin, you are likely to suffer a 30% higher infant mortality rate. But if you marry somebody too genetically dissimilar, you can start running into various reproductive problems as well.

Now, deCODE Genetics of Iceland, who foisted upon the world the most likely fallacious claim that James D. Watson is 25% nonwhite, is claiming that the Darwinian fitness sweetspot is 3rd cousin marriage:

In a paper published today deCODE scientists establish a substantial and consistent positive correlation between the kinship of couples and the number of children and grandchildren they have. The study, which analyzes more than 200 years of deCODE’s comprehensive genalogical data on the population of Iceland, shows that couples related at the level of third cousins have the greatest number of offspring. For example, for women born between 1800 and 1824, those with a mate related at the level of a third cousin had an average of 4.04 children and 9.17 grandchildren, while those related to their mates as eighth cousins or more distantly had 3.34 children and 7.31 grandchildren. For women born in the period 1925-1949 with mates related at the degree of third cousins, the average number of children and grandchildren were 3.27 and 6.64, compared to 2.45 and 4.86 for those with mates who were eighth cousins or more distantly related.

The findings hold for every 25-year interval studied, beginning with those born in the year 1800 up to the present day. Because of the strength and consistency of the association, even between couples with very subtle differences in kinship, the authors conclude that the effect very likely has a biological basis, one which has yet to be elucidated. The paper, ‘An association between the kinship and fertility of human couples,’ is published online in Science magazine at .

deCODE has access to the amazing Icelandic national family tree, in which most Icelanders who ever lived over the last 1000+ years are enrolled. Genealogy is easier in Iceland because there hasn’t been much immigration for the last 1000 years, and because of the surname system: for example, the PR lady who wrote this press release is named Berglind Olafsdottir — i.e., she is “Olaf’s daughter.”

Icelanders are of Scandinavian and Celtic descent.

The odds of genetic problems due to inheriting two deleterious recessive genes falls off pretty fast as you move from first cousin outward. I believe at the third cousin marriage level, it’s only 1/16th as high as at the first cousin marriage level, but don’t quote me when proposing marriage to somebody you met at Great Aunt Meg’s 90th birthday party. Still, I’m not sure how much faith I should put in these findings.

I could imagine some non-biochemical reasons for this, such as that 3rd cousins might have tended to marry at younger ages — in early modern England, as Gregory Clark pointed out in A Farewell to Alms, age of marriage is the main determinant of fertility. Or perhaps healthy people tended to quickly find spouses within their social circles, who tended to be related to them, while sickly people had to wander further afield to find somebody who would marry them.

John Hawks notes an even likelier reason: people who are descended from highly fertile people will have more third cousins to marry. That could be biological or cultural or both.

Some of it could be purely mathematical — the chance of falling in love with your third cousin depends in part on the number of third cousins you have.

And the number of cousins of any type you have is wildly dependent upon typical family size in your family tree. To simplify genealogical calculations, assume that every person in Family Tree A for the last four generations has had only one child, every person in Family Tree B has had exactly two children, and so forth. Here’s what you would face in terms of number of relatives of your own generation:

kids/family Siblings 1st Cousins 2nd Cousins 3rd Cousins
1 0 0 0 0
2 1 4 16 64
3 2 12 72 432
4 2 24 196 1536
5 4 40 400 4000

Thus, if everybody has had exactly one child for the last four generations, you would have no siblings, no cousins, no 2nd cousins, and no 3rd cousins. At your family reunion, you’d be assured of getting a big slice of the pie, but you’d be pretty lonely.

But if your ancestors had have a nice stable two surviving/breeding children per person, then you would have 1 sibling, 4 cousins, 16 2nd cousins, and 64 3rd cousins.

Yet, if your ancestors averaged five children surviving to reproduce, you’d have 4,000 third cousins!

Of course, humans do not breed in an evolutionarily stable manner. We’ve taken over this planet by having more than two children each. So, most people are descended, on average, from people who had more surviving children than the average.

It rural Iceland, if you came from “good stock,” it might have been hard to avoid marrying your third cousin.

Anyway, I haven’t seen the paper yet, so I can’t tell if the the deCODE people have been able to deal with these objections. They certainly have a lot of data to work with.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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The Los Angeles Times editorialized on April 30:

Generation Tolerant

“For California’s teenagers and young adults, the answer to Rodney King’s question is a definite yes: We can all get along. Race and ethnicity, according to a new survey of Californians ages 16 to 22, are far less significant to this generation than to any in the past.”

LAT to peasants: Pay no attention to those brown v. black race riots behind the curtain in LA high schools and jails!

[VDARE.COM NOTE: The cell phone survey is here: California Dreamers: A Public Opinion Portrait Of The Most Diverse Generation The Nation Has Known, New American Media is conglomeration of ethnic journalists.]

The LAT continued:

“Not only are young people encouragingly unconcerned about the skin color or nationality of others, they don’tthink of themselves much that way, either. When askedthe most significant aspects of their identity, they chose music and fashion. Their tribes? Punk-rock skaters, hip-hop activists, salseros.”

Well, okay … but didn’t anybody at the LA Times notice that punk-rock skaters (white), hip-hop activists (black), and salseros (Latino, I presume) are almost ethnically exclusive categories?

Indeed, in my three decades of living in LA, I’ve never even heard the term salsero before. That shows how culturally unified LA is.Granted, I’m an old fogey—but, according to Google, this is the first time salseros has ever appeared in the L.A. Times!

The LAT continues, somewhat credulously:

“The survey, sponsored by New America Media, founddramatically liberal attitudes when it comes to the issue of getting along. Two-thirds say they have datedsomeone of another ethnicity, and a whopping 87% saythey would marry or have a life partner of a differentrace.”

Maybe. Or maybe “Generation Tolerant” is simply “Generation Politically Correct”—intimidated from its early youth by the Baby Boom refugee radicals who now infest the education industry.

This obsession with interracial marriage reflects the common assumption among white pundits that, by generating multiracial individuals with family ties across racial lines, it will allow America finally to transcend race.”

Yet, some unexpected things have been happening recently on the intermarriage front.

  • First, the rate of interethnic marriage between whites and Latinos and whites and Asians has been dropping.

Hence this press release from Ohio State, summarizing a February 2007 article in American Sociological Review:

“Immigration played a key role in unprecedented declinesin interracial and inter-ethnic marriage in the UnitedStates during the 1990s, according to a new sociologicalstudy. The findings, published in ‘Social Boundaries and Marital Assimilation: Interpreting Trends in Racial and Ethnic Intermarriage,’ suggest that the growing number of Hispanic and Asian immigrants to the United States has led to more marriages within these groups, and fewer marriages between members of these groups and whites.”

This trend has been visible for some time in Southern California. Asiansused to be widely dispersed all over the suburbs, and thus tended to marry the whites around them. Now, however, not only are there more Asians, but they tend to cluster in the San Gabriel Valley. So you see a higher proportion of Asian-Asian couples than you did a quarter of a century ago. This has obvious implications for assimilation.

  • Second, the percentage of people who tell the CensusBureau they are multiracial has actually dropped over the last half decade.

Hence this:

“The share of Americans who identify themselves asmultiracial has shrunk this decade, an unexpected trend in an increasingly diverse nation. About 1.9% of the people checked off more than one race in a 2005 Census Bureau survey of 3 million households, a meaningful decline from two surveys in 2000.” (Fewer Americans call themselves multiracial, by Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY, May 4, 2007)

It’s not clear why people have become less like to identify as multiracial, but it’s striking that this has happened.

  • Third, people of diverse ancestries do not necessarily “transcend race”.

As biographical accounts about people of multiracial backgrounds accumulate, the less confidence we should feel in making simple presumptions about how mixed descent will impact their views on race. Some people of diverse ancestries do indeed “transcend race,”as Ward Connerly’s life story

shows. Often, however, having recent ancestors of different races leads to the exact opposite psychological and political reaction—an exacerbated race consciousness—as Barack Obama’s little-understood autobiography demonstrates.

Connerly first came to national renown in 1996 as the leader of the successful campaign for California’s Proposition 209, the initiativeauthored by Thomas Wood and Glynn Custred to outlaw racial preferences a.k.a. quotas.

Connerly explained his complex family tree to me in 2003:

“My maternal grandmother was half Irish and half Choctaw Indian. My maternal grandfather was white of French descent. My paternal grandmother was part Irish and part American Indian and my paternal grandfather was of African descent. My grandchildren are all of me and their Irish grandmother, and two of the four are all of that and are partly of Vietnamese descent as well.”

This background has helped inspire Connerly to crusade for colorblind laws. In response to the Supreme Court’s notorious 2003 U. of Michigan decision upholding race quotas (just as long as they’re not called quotas!), Connerly devoted over three years to a heroic campaign to reproduce Prop. 209 in Michigan. To be honest, I didn’t think his new Proposition 2 stood a chance because almost the entireMichigan establishment of both parties opposed him. Yet, Connerly’s initiative won a stunning 58 percent of the vote last November.

Connerly is now working to put similar affirmative action bans on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado Missouri, and Oklahoma.

In sharp contrast to Connerly, though, is the popular Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama. He made a radio ad last year opposing Connerly’s Proposition 2.

Obama played to this white expectation that interracial marriage leads to interracial harmony in his famous keynote address at the 2004Democratic convention. It began with a (heavily airbrushed) version of his family history, recounting how his father from Kenya and his mother from Kansas met in Hawaii.

Obviously, that must make Obama feel equally warmly toward both races! Right?

And sophisticated listeners also understood that Hawaii has never been home to the one-drop rule, which automatically defines the offspring of mixed marriages as belonging solely to the minority parent’s race.

Clearly, Obama must be bringing a new, more sophisticated Hawaiian conception of race to the Mainland!

Those pleasant presumptions, however, are all exploded, however, merely by reading Obama’s 1995 autobiography, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Obama has no room in his heart for Hawaiian multiracialism. The identity he labored so relentlessly to construct for himself is monoracially black—even though he only spentone month with his black father, who, when his son was only two,abandoned the white teenage girl he had (bigamously) married.

In his Introduction, Obama describes his book as “the record of a personal, interior journey—a boy’s search for his father, andthrough that search a workable meaning for his life as a black American.”

And when Obama runs into other part-black people who actually doprofess a multiracial identity, the future Presidential candidate is disturbed and annoyed by them.

For example, when Obama is in his late 20s, he finally meets his half-brother Mark,” a physics student at Stanford who is the son of theirfather’s third wife (and second white American wife). Mark, who grew up in Africa and thus doesn’t share the Honolulu-born Obama’s romantic conception of the Mother Continent, perturbs Obama by not being a black racialist. When Obama challenges him over his lack of black African identity, Mark tells him:

“Other things move me. Beethoven’s symphonies. Shakespeare’s sonnets. I know—it’s not what an African is supposed to care about. But who’s to tell me what I should and shouldn’t care about?”

Obama thereupon immediately and permanently cuts off all contact with his own half-brother.

Similarly, Obama dumps a girlfriend he might have married when he visits her prosperous parents’ country house and realizes how deeply rooted they are in traditional white American culture. Apparently he found that an intolerable threat that is to the black identity he devised for himself in Hawaii while watching Soul Train on TV:

“The family knew every inch of the land, … the names of the earliest white settlers—their ancestors … I realizedthat our two worlds, my friend’s and mine, were asdistant from each other as Kenya is from Germany. And I knew that if we stayed together I’d eventually live in hers … I pushed her away.”

Of course, in reality, Obama, the preppie from paradise, has spent much of his life collecting credentials from educational institutions begun by white people quite similar to his ex-lover’s parents: Punahou School (Hawaii’s top prep school, founded by New England missionaries in 1841), Occidental College in Los Angeles (founded 1887), Columbia University (founded 1754), and Harvard (founded 1636).

You might imagine that the generous treatment these prototypically white institutions afforded Obama might make him better disposed toward his mother’s race.

After all, the loving care Connerly received from the white-Indian grandmother who raised him helps him look benignly on all races.

But, Obama, like most humans, isn’t as emotionally straightforward as Connerly. As Ben Franklin pointed out, if you want somebody to like you, don’t do them a favor. They will just resent the fact that you cando them a favor.

So the intellectuals’ assumption that interracial marriage will eliminate racial conflict turns out to be naïve—at best.

But it’s one of the rationales used to justify our current immigration disaster.

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Interracial Marriage, VDare Archives 
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Receiving unsolicited manuscripts of soon-to-be-published books in the mail can be a forbidding event. Somebody has gone to the trouble ofsending me a big box full of hundreds of pages of typescript because they value my reaction. But do I really want to react?

To my surprise and pleasure, however, the newly-released book Breeding Between the Lines: Why Interracial People are Healthier and More Attractive by Alon Ziv turned out to be a quick, lively, and witty read. (Here’s his book’s website.)

Even more to my delight, Ziv, whom I had never heard of before, was clearly influenced by many of my VDARE.COM articles on genetics and race.

Thus, it’s with some regret that I must say I’m unconvinced by his thesis—that interracial marriage boosts the offspring’s vitality and looks due to the phenomenon known to animal breeders as “hybrid vigor”.

But, while I can’t accompany Ziv all the way to his conclusion, he’s an entertaining and informative guide on an intellectual journey well worth taking.

(By the way, Ziv tells me he’s probably not related to Sabbetai Zevi, whose followers form much of the secular elite of Turkey—much as he would enjoy being the descendant of a self-proclaimed messiah!)

As Ziv points out, dog breeders can quickly create an enormous variety of dog breeds by mating close relatives possessing the desired traits. . The huge, web-footed Newfoundland, for instance, has been bred to possess both the instinct and the physical capabilities to savepeople from drowning. The German Shepherd is a wonderfully useful breed whose history goes back to a single dog in 1899.

The tradeoff, however, is that German Shepherds are prone to 132 different genetic disorders. Thus many dog owners believe that mutts, on average, tend to be healthier, smarter, and better-adjusted that expensive purebreds (although they tend to lack their special abilities—if you are drowning, you’d rather rely on a purebred Newfoundland than on a mutt).

The technical reason for the better average health of mutts: “hybrid vigor”. The more closely related you are to your mate, the more likely your offspring will inherit two copies of deleterious recessive genes. So marrying someone genetically distant from you can improve the odds that your children won’t suffer from “inbreeding depression”.

In this article, I’ll discuss the evidence concerning the health consequences of interracial breeding. In an upcoming essay on the sexier topic of attractiveness, I’ll offer an alternative theory to account for the widespread impression that interracial people are better looking.

To make his Politically Correct argument about the benefits of interracial marriage, Ziv logically has to first make the Politically Incorrect point that race exists. He makes no attempt to finesse his way around this issue. Instead, he follows my article of May 24, 2000, Cavalli-Sforza’s Ink Cloud, in ridiculing the race deniers.

Ziv notes that the 1994 tome The History and Geography of Human Genes by the dean of population genetics, Stanford’s L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, and two coauthors

“is the bible of human diversity; except that I think it may be longer than the actual Bible… But to see how it fits into the doublethink of race science politics, you don’t even need to open it. On the back cover, Time magazine writes that it proves ‘racial differences are only skin deep.’ … The New York Times refers to a more recent Cavalli-Sforza book as ‘dismantling the idea of race.’”

Ziv goes on:

“To see how false these assertions are, one needs only to flip over The History and Geography of Human Genes and look at the front cover. All the research in this weighty volume is distilled into one map… I think that Steve Sailer… put it best when he wrote,

‘Basically, all of [Cavalli-Sforza's] number-crunching has produced a map that looks about like what you’d get if you gave Strom Thurmond a paper napkin and a box of crayons and had him draw a racial map of the world.’”

(This image is hosted on )

I was more sympathetic with Ziv’s hybrid vigor theory in the past. An essay of mine on Tiger Woods from 2000, Are Caublinasians Genetically Superior?, provided a bit of a preview of some of Ziv’s arguments. In it, I noted that:

“Still, a careful study of biracial white-Japanese children in Hawaii did find that their IQ’s were two points higher than those of their monoracial peers of the same socio-economic status.”

Since then, however, I just haven’t seen much more evidence come along to back the hybrid vigor theory as being terribly important in America.

There’s no question that inbreeding is a major problem in the western half of the Muslim world (and among Pakistani immigrants in Britain), where marriages between first cousins are considered the ideal marital arrangement. In Iraq, for instance, about half of all married couples are first or second cousins.

Psychometrician Arthur Jensen, the leading researcher on intelligence, reports that, besides increasing the likelihood of major birth defects, inbreeding reduces “birth weight, height, head circumference, chest girth, and resistance to infectious diseases.” IQ is lowered by a few points on average.

Among Europeans, inbreeding tends to be found both in the highest classes, among royalty, and at the highest altitudes, among hillbillies. An Italian ancestor of my wife’s was famous in his village in the Apennines as a true romantic because he wooed and won a girl from the town 1,500 feet in elevation down the mountainside. Most of the other local swains couldn’t be bothered with the long trek back uphill and therefore married village girls. Not surprisingly, the villagers tended to be short and a little unhealthy, until the generation after motorbus service first made the outside world conveniently accessible.

Interracial marriage is the surest cure for inbreeding. But it’s also close to overkill. Simply marrying somebody of the same race but from the next valley will eliminate most “inbreeding depression” in your kids.

Americans have such a horror of inbreeding that there’s less of it here than anywhere else on earth: less than one percent of Americans in the middle of the 20th Century were married to a first or second cousin. Further, Americans have moved so many times in settling this country that the less obvious forms of inbreeding that occur when the same families occupy the same village for centuries, a situation wheremarried couples might well be, say, fourth, fifth, and sixth cousins to each other by multiple genealogical paths, are rarer here than inEurope.

And there is a downside to intermarriage.

The obverse of hybrid vigor: the possibility that combining genes which didn’t evolve to work together might cause health problems due to incompatibilities.

For example, ace genetics reporter Nicholas Wade wrote in the New York Times ( 11/11/05) about a gene variant that is benign in whites and Asians but more than triples the heart attack risk in part-white African-Americans:

Dr. Stefansson [of Iceland's DeCode Genetics] said he believed that the more active version of this gene might have risen to prominence in Europeans and Asians because it conferred extra protection against infectious disease.

“Along with the protection would have come a higher risk of heart attack because plaques that build up in the walls of the arteries could become inflamed and rupture. But because the active version of the gene started to be favored long ago, Europeans and Asians have had time to develop genetic changes that offset the extra risk of heart attack.

“The active version of the inflammatory gene would have passed from Europeans into African-Americans only a few generations ago, too short a time for development of genes that protect against heart attack, Dr. Stefansson suggested.” [ Genetic Find Stirs Debate on Race-Based Medicine]

Like hybrid vigor, genetic incompatibilities across racial lines unquestionably exist in some cases. So the key empirical question is: what the net balance of the two opposing forces?

Gregory Cochran told me that he and University of Utah population geneticist Henry Harpending once scanned the medical literature to see if interracial mating increased human fertility (due to hybrid vigor) or decreased it (due to genetic incompatibilities). They concluded that whatever net effect might exist was smaller than the statistical margin of error in the studies.

More research needs to be done. But my best guess at present is that interracial individuals typically turn out to resemble the averages of their racial backgrounds. Not supermen nor defectives—just average(on average).

On the other hand, the variance of multiracial people is no doubt higher. For example, two small sisters live across the street from me who are half Japanese and half Irish. One little girl looks purely Japanese, yet her sister doesn’t look East Asian at all. You’d probably guess she’s Greek or Persian.

My working hypothesis about attractiveness: multiracial people tend to be no more and no less good looking than the weighted average of their ancestors. But their greater genetic variety leads many people to assume they are more attractive on the whole.

I will explain what I think are the reasons for this in an upcoming VDARE.COM essay.

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Science • Tags: Interracial Marriage, VDare Archives 
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For the better part of a decade, Gregory Rodriguez and Richard Rodriguez have been writing the same article over and over again. Their shared thesis: Hispanic immigration will solve America’s racial problems because Latin American-style interracial marriage will makeAmerica’s black-white racial hang-up obsolete.

Of course, they don’t explain why 500 years of “mestizaje” have yet to solve Latin America’s own racial problems – which, according to Amy Chua’s new book “World on Fire,” are growing more heated. (Ioffered an answer to this historical conundrum in a two part VDARE.COM series in 2000.)

So perhaps I may be forgiven for returning to one of my favorite topics—what the various effects of interracial marriage actually are, rather than what they are supposed to be. Especially because I have some important new Census numbers to pass along.

I’m not attacking interracial marriage. My personal opinion is that you should marry the person you love. After all, that’s a lot better than marrying a person you don’t love – or not marrying at all.

I am, however, pointing out that racial divisions are not simply somesemantic confusion that can be erased by politically-corrected vocabulary. Race has a thorny underlying reality that keeps popping out in surprising places.

One unexpected effect of the growth of interracial marriage has been to increase resentment toward whites felt by black women and East Asian men. In my 1997 National Review article “Is Love Colorblind?” – published when John O’Sullivan was editor and still generating email – I used 1990 Census statistics on interracial marriage patterns todocument the “dating disparity” that I first noticed at UCLA around 1981. Black men were more likely than black women to be romantically involved with whites. In contrast, East Asian women were more likely than East Asian men to be paired with whites.

Result: a fair number of lonely and annoyed black women and Asian men.

Lots of people had written previously about either the black side or theAsian side of the interracial marriage gender imbalance. But only a few had noted this mirror image phenomenon. The ones who beat me to it include Arthur Hu, who wrote a perceptive article in Asian Week in 1990, and Frank Salter, who gave an academic address on it in 1996[not online].

I argued back in 1997 that the force driving these skewed husband-wife proportions was racial differences in perceived masculinity. Since then, Rick Kittles of Howard University, while researching the causes of the high rate of prostate cancer among blacks, has published a study showing racial disparities in two genes controlling the strength of receptors for male hormones.

Many assume that equality is the natural human state. But I didn’t think these gaps would disappear anytime soon. And they haven’t. The social climate in the 1990s was close to ideal for diminishing the differences. As a recent Newsweek cover story on “The Black Gender Gap” pointed out, African-American women enjoyed a good decade, making steady progress in the college and corporate worlds, bringing them in more contact with whites. In contrast, black men had a decade to forget – including a big increase in African-American men in prison, which certainly reduced their availability on the marriage market.

You would think that this shortfall of black men would make black women more likely to marry white men.

Likewise, the technology boom that lasted through 2000 was good forAsian-American men. They made lots of money in computer-related industries.

But, as I reported for UPI on Friday, the Census Bureau finally announced last week its “enumeration” (not an estimate, but an actual count) of all the married couples in America, and

“In 73 percent of black-white couples, the husband was black. … Just over 75 percent of white-Asian couples featured a white husband and Asian wife.”

My best estimate for 1990 was 72 percent for each category. But the more I’ve thought about some technical issues involved in makingapples-to-apples comparisons (such as the Census Bureau’s creation of a new multiracial category in 2000), the less comfortable I am contrasting the 2000 proportions directly to the 1990 proportions. Still, whether or not they grew, these gaps clearly remain very large. They offer support for my hypothesis in “Is Love Colorblind?”

One prediction I made in 1997, without any 1990 Census data to back it up: black-Asian marriages would be even more skewed gender-wise than black-white or white-Asian. That turned out to be true in 2000′s results: 86 percent of black-Asian couples consisted of a black husband and an Asian wife.

Contrary to what is regularly assumed in this era of Tiger Woods, the extent of interracial marriage turns out to be quite limited. It has been claimed that Asian-American women marry outside their race 40 percent or even 50 percent of the time: in fact, only 22 percent of Asian-American women have a non-Asian husband. A mere nine percent of Asian husbands have non-Asian wives. These proportions are held down by mass immigration because immigrants are much less likely to marry across racial lines than are native-born Americans.

The interracial/interethnic marriage rate for African-American men is nine percent and for African-American women four percent. For non-Hispanic whites, it’s between three and four percent for both sexes. In 2000, there were 41.3 million married couples comprised of two non-Hispanic whites, versus only 0.5 million consisting of a non-Hispanic white person and an Asian person – and only 0.29 million made up ofnon-Hispanic whites and blacks. (The Census Bureau’s data tables can be downloaded here.)

(There were 1.4 million interethnic married couples consisting of a non-Hispanic white and a Hispanic. But in no less than 0.9 million of those cases, the Hispanic identified himself or herself as “white.” The gender gap in marriages between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics of any race was small: 54 percent consisted of a non-Hispanic white husband and a Hispanic wife. That balance is probably good news for American society since it’s less likely to lead to ethnic resentment than the big black and Asian disparities.)

This black-white-Asian interracial marriage pattern is another example of “Rushton’s Rule” – people of West African descent and of Northeast Asian descent tend to be more different from each other than either are from whites.

Bottom line: race isn’t going away any time soon – regardless of anynumber of recycled Rodriguez articles.

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Interracial Marriage, VDare Archives 
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A letter writer to VDARE.COM took umbrage at my recent attempt at a General Theory of Race, “It’s All Relative: Putting Race in its Proper Perspective.” I had inserted a few positive remarks about the harmonizing effects of interracial marriage – such as “Intermarriage is what turned the Angles and the Saxons into the Anglo-Saxons.” My correspondent declared my views to be “pure evil.”

That seems exaggerated. Personally, I thought that what I said was only 99 and 44/100ths evil.

The whole topic of intermarriage raises deep passions. This is hardly surprising because it is terribly important for understanding how the world works. Yet it is largely off-limits for objective analysis – witness the anonymity of this letter.

In polite society today only Jews, such as Alan Dershowitz, are allowed publicly to voice opposition to intermarriage in the name of group survival. Perhaps the leading spokesman against Jews marrying Gentiles is Norman Podhoretz’s son-in-law Elliott Abrams. His activism in favor of ethnically exclusive marriages did not stop him from recently being appointed the National Security Council’s senior director for democracy, human rights and international operations.

Well, I decided long ago that mouthing polite fictions just wasn’t as fun as telling the truth. So I’ve written extensively over the years on interracial marriage, outlining its effects, positive and negative, mundane – and surprising. (Some of my articles on exogamy are collected here.)

Still, as crucial as the subject is it’s important not to overstate how rapidly interracial marriage is growing. Since, roughly, the 1997 Masters tournament, we have been repeatedly told that Real Soon Now everybody on Earth will look like Tiger Woods, ushering in a utopia of peace, love, and, presumably, low golf scores. Others, like the letter writer, see racial mixing as bringing on Chaos and Old Night.

But the reality is that racial groups have been coming together (and splitting apart) forever. The rate of convergence between continental-scale racial groups accelerated in 1492, and is currently increasing. Yet most of our existing continental racial groups are going to be around in roughly their present form for what will be, by individual human standards, a long, long time.

And before global Tigerization is anywhere near complete, genetic engineering, human-computer hybridization, and interstellar colonization will introduce so much new diversity into the species that the early 21st century will be looked back upon as an era of great biological homogeneity.

My correspondent writes:

“Miscegenation destroys irreversibly and utterly that which took Nature tens of thousands of years to create.”

This is also the opinion of the federal government. Well, not about people, but about red wolves. The red wolf is found in isolated spots in the South. Although the government lists it as an endangered species, it looks like a cross between a wolf and a coyote. Indeed, as genetic tests have shown, that is exactly what it is.

In other words, the red wolf is not an endangered species but an endangered race. The main threat to the continued racial existence of red wolves is – miscegenation with the common coyote. So, in some parts of the South, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is pursuing an aggressive campaign of sterilizing or killing uppity coyotes that can’t keep their cotton-pickin’ paws off our precious red wolves.

This program of lynching Southern coyotes that don’t know their place is pretty amusing in a sick way. But it probably is the only way to preserve the red wolf race. Being of conservative temperament, I tend to favor conserving things, because if we don’t, we’ll miss them when they’re gone

Similarly, there are human racial groups who do indeed desperately need “human biodiversity preserves.” Example: the Pygmy Negritos of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. (I recently interviewed the leading expert on these tiny people.) The men average 4′-10″ and 95 pounds. The women have such pronounced “steatopygia” that a mother who needs to carry her toddler on her back will have the child throw his arms around her neck and stand on her remarkably protuberant, gravity-defying buttocks. (Unfortunately, Carleton Coon’s you-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it photo of this is not on line.) Tragically, when Andamanese tribes first come into social contact with outsiders, they quickly waste away to near-extinction because of diseases for which they lack all biological defenses.

In the late 1990s a boy from one of two remaining wild and healthy tribes, the reclusive and hostile Jarawa, was found injured and taken to the Indian colonists’ hospital. There, he discovered the addictive pleasures of television. Cured, he went home and told his friends. They started coming into the Indian town to beg and steal. In only three or so years of integration, the Jarawa have declined in population from about 350 to 250.

Fortunately, the few hundred Andamanese on remote North Sentinel Island remain unaware that all civilized people favor multiculturalism. Not that they would care. They have driven off numerous political and scientific busybodies with swarms of arrows.

Long may they live in splendid segregation.

In extreme cultural contrast to the Stone Age Andamanese are the extraordinarily accomplished Zoroastrian Parsis of Bombay. Only one percent as numerous as Jews, and lacking their own national homeland far from amorous gentiles, they are in eventual danger of disappearing because the sons and daughters of non-Parsi elites keep marrying them.

For example, the heirs of the first Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan both married Parsis. (The name of India’s Gandhi dynasty traces not to the Mahatma Gandhi, but to Indira Nehru’s Parsi husband.) I recently wrote an article comparing Parsi and Jewish strategies for ethnic survival, illustrating it with the story of a part-Parsi psychologist’s struggle to find a Parsi woman willing to marry a half-breed like himself.

Now, my anonymous VDARE.COM critic does have a point. The Pygmy Negritos, for example, have clearly evolved characteristics such as small size (and, perhaps, steatopygia) that superbly suit their islands’ jungle environment (although not the modern pathogen environment). Whether Darwinian selection has also adapted Parsis or Jews – or larger hereditary groups such as whites – to prosper in their environments is a much more difficult question. But, considering what we know now about the power of selection to alter gene frequencies, it cannot be ruled out.

Which raises another important question: Are whites in the same dire situation as red wolves, Pygmy Negritos, and Parsis? I strongly doubt it. Currently, there are about 200 million white Americans. Beyond America, there are about 700 million white Europeans, plus a little less than 50 million whites in Canada, Australia, etc. Exactly how many whites there are in Latin America, North Africa, West Asia and South Asia is a complicated question. But the world total for whites would run—depending on strictness of definition—from over one billion to over two billion.

Anyone wishing to “abolish the white race” had better pack a lunch – they’re going to have to wait a long time.

In the U.S., according to the Census Bureau, about 97% of married non-Hispanic whites in the U.S. are married to other non-Hispanic whites. That percentage is declining, but it has a long, long way left to fall. In the 2000 Census, 12,859,892 children under 5 years old were identified by their parents as white-only versus a mere 796,360 declared to be white and something else. That’s a 16 to 1 ratio. Further, the highest white birth rates are in Republican-voting Red States where interracial marriage is uncommon.

Of course, what really gets people worked up, pro or con, is black-white mating. This, however, remains rare. Less than 0.5% of married whites are wed to African-Americans. Nor is it clear that black-white relationships, married or otherwise, are that much more common today than in many other eras in American history. As I have reported, DNA analysis suggests that something like 50,000,000 Americans who call themselves white have had at least one black ancestor over the last dozen generations. In turn, African-American adults are genetically about 17%-18% white. On average, down through the generations, about one out of every 25 or 30 babies born to an African-American woman was fathered by a white man.

It’s at least arguable that the mixing of various European nationalities that has been going on in America for generations, especially since the immigration cutoff of 1924, has been more important than the much more limited mixing of different continental-scale races that began a few decades ago. When you peer closely enough, white Americans just don’t look that much like Europeans anymore, apparently due to genetic blending among white Americans.

The overall impact of interracial marriage on the IQ of the children of American mixed marriages is unclear. It might have raised their IQs slightly, since many (but not all) of the non-white spouses are coming from countries where the average IQ is higher than among white Americans. (And we could mimic Canada and make a lot more of an effort to select higher quality immigrants.)

Still, although the percentage of white-white marriages won’t drop terribly quickly, a fairly fast growing number of American citizens are finding that, say, a cousin has intermarried and had mixed-race children. Because people talk to their relations a lot and tend to trust what they say more, this will have a mild but probably beneficial effect on racial friction.

If the letter writer wants to move to his own version of North Sentinel Island, I would wish him well. But I wouldn’t expect many to go with him.

My bottom line view on marriage: you ought to marry the person you love. The alternatives—marrying a person you don’t love or not marrying at all – are worse.

I didn’t exactly come up with that idea all by myself. Over the last millennium, this has become the predominant view of Western Civilization. In fact, it may be Western Civilization’s most defining characteristic. The theme of true love battling against social constraints has been one of the most popular topics in high art and mass entertainment since the medieval troubadours. Romeo and Juliet is only the most famous example. Increasing freedom to form love matches reflects the West’s distinctive values such as individualism, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In much of the rest of the world, arranged marriages and inbreeding are the norm. Among Muslims in West Asia and North Africa, the ideal marriages are arranged ones with first cousins. In Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan close to half of all marital pairings are between first or second cousins.

Not surprisingly, individuals in these regions tend to be intensely nepotistic toward their extended families/clans/tribes, and thus unpatriotic toward their countries. Nor should it be shocking that—due in part to the nepotistic corruption, lack of civic trust, and general political fractiousness caused by their extreme endogamy—these pseudo-nations tend to get their butts kicked by more unified armies from countries where the breeding pools are larger and more inclusive.

Finally, the impact of immigration on rates of interracial marriage is not widely understood. Those who view white DNA as inherently evil would of course want to import as much non-white DNA as they can get away with. On the other hand, those who aren’t white-haters should favor limiting immigration, especially if they think interracial marriage promotes social harmony. By expanding racial/ethnic immigrant enclaves, mass immigration makes it easier for immigrants to find mates within their own group.

In California, mass immigration is definitely slowing the growth in the rate of interracial marriage. The reason: immigrants appear to be about one third as likely to marry across the major racial/ethnic boundaries as are native-born Californians. So immigration is driving up the absolute number of mixed marriages – by raising the total population – but it is driving down the proportion of mixed marriages, by allowing previous immigrants to marry within their ethnic enclave.

Think intermarriage is a positive good for American society? Demand immigration cutbacks.

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Interracial Marriage, VDare Archives 
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About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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