There was a time in America when race mixing was looked down upon and those that engaged in it risked being shunned from mainstream society. Now inter-racial dating and mixed raced children are such a common part of our society that we have a half Black African/half White President in the oval office. Some are enthralled by the possibility of a future America where everyone is mixed. Others aren’t. For many Americans marrying and having children within your race is still considered an expected and normal practice.
For the record, both my children are mixed Asian/Caucasian, so it doesn’t really need to be said that I’m not all that opposed to race mixing. At the same time I can understand others’ desire to marry and date within their own race. Maybe it’s for ideological reasons or maybe simply sexual preference, but I realize that the majority still choose those that look like them when it comes to relationships and especially procreation.
It’s currently estimated that 6.1 million people or 2 percent of America’s population is mixed race, though that number is definitely higher if you take into account many with small admixture that they don’t identify with or know about. Without a doubt, America will become more mixed as social restraints against inter-racial relationships become increasingly relaxed. What will this mean for this country? Some suggest it will lead to it’s inevitable downfall, but is that really the case?
What if there never were any social taboos against miscegenation and Blacks had been completely absorbed into the larger White gene pool? Wouldn’t that have prevented many of the social problems that America faced during the past century? Or would it have robbed America of the Black experience that has been a major part of shaping this country’s history? Just imagine a nation that was mostly White and instead of a Black minority there were Whites that were partially Black that looked like Rashida Jones.
Okay, I realize that it seems like I’m propagandizing for the cause of a mixed race America. I’m really just trying to paint an alternate picture of what it could have been if race mixing had always been the norm. Some may point out the dysgenic effects for Whites if they had reproduced with Blacks, but from the Black perspective, it always seems to be eugenic. The Minnesota Trans-Racial Adoption Study followed adopted Black, White and mixed race children up to the age of 17. While they found that the environment didn’t change the IQ gap between Whites and Blacks, it did show that half Black/White children had an IQ midway between the two groups. Other older studies have shown that quadroons have a median IQ between mulattoes and Whites. Maybe the solution to Africa’s problems is mass immigration of Chinese males to the continent who then take African wives as this would help raise their low IQs.
Being a lover of anthropology, I’ve felt a sense of loss at the destruction of genetically distinct peoples, so these ideas I’m proposing are somewhat facetious, but I’ve been questioning the concept of racial preservation recently. In a discussion with my father about this subject, I brought up the Khoisan peoples, whose numbers have been dwindling for centuries as they’ve been absorbed into the numerically superior Bantu tribes. They’re the oldest known people to still walk the earth and I felt that they needed to be protected. My father gave such a simple response that made my posturing seem silly. He said, “They’re humans, not animals. We can’t put them in the zoo or keep them from breeding with other people. Why would you care if they existed still? So you could watch them on TV or look at them in magazines?” I really had no good answer. Do the Khoisan people need to exist as a distinct people or is it enough to just have their genes live on through others?
With the recent confirmation that Eurasians are part Neanderthal, we can see this question playing out. Anthropologist, John Hawks, declared the discovery to be a great day for Neanderthals, since no longer are they extinct, but live on through us. In a sense he’s right. Parts of their genome do live and continue to spread through modern peoples. We are their descendants. At the same time, there are no real Neaderthals alive today. Scientists have often wondered what the world would be like if they did still exist. How would have they contributed to our history? Where would they fit into our modern society? Would they fit at all or just be a cause of constant social strife? Maybe the world has been better off with their disappearance as a unique people. It’s hard to say.
Since no human races sprang from the ground in pre-made form, it’s misleading to talk about races being pure. All peoples are amalgamations of more ancient peoples that came before us. Though some peoples, through genetic isolation, have stabilized into unique groups, mixing with others has been the natural course for humans throughout our existence. The more important question than whether or not we should mix is what loss would that mixture bring? Would society suffer if all Blacks were quadroons and octaroons? Or a better question might be, would our society survive if all Whites were quadroons and octaroons?