Racism of interracial dating
The philosopher Charles Mills calls this ignorance an inverted, or perverse, way of knowing in which whites “will in general be unable to understand the world they themselves have made.” White Americans often tell people of color to “get over the past.” In doing so, whites miss James Baldwin admonition that “History, as no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read.And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past.More than one issue among others, the contradiction between Gospel values and practices of racial inequality is scandalous.The contradiction between Roman Catholic and American claims for universal human dignity and equality, and the reality of social, political, and economic advantage that white Americans consciously and unconsciously accept and assume, betrays this scandal.And it is with great pain and terror that one begins to realize this. Given the educative power of law to shape cultural and moral norms, the legal construction of whiteness constitutes an enduring institutional mechanism through which whiteness has been re-affirmed as the normative standard. The law is one way that society has invested enduring social meaning in physical features and lines of ancestry.In great pain and terror one begins to assess the history which has placed one where one is and formed one’s point of view. Deeper assumptions about whiteness and non-whiteness have been socially constructed and re-inscribed throughout U. legal history. The interrelationship between cultural and legal construction of whiteness and non-whiteness is a powerful engine driving the continuity of racial assumptions that persist throughout U. In other words, the legal construction of white and non-white in U. history is one engine that drives the way that the past continues to shape the present. This “naturalization” of whiteness has been established upon a set of unscientific assumptions concerning racial physical characteristics that have been established and reestablished as publicly held common sense knowledge through U. Laws defining race and racial differences find their origin in ideas promulgated by modern European philosophers such as David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and Georg Hegel, to name only a few of many modern philosophers who argued for the intellectual, moral, physical, cultural, and aesthetic superiority of European “whites” over other socially constructed categories of races, such as “Africans, Orientals, and Lapps.” In 1684, the French physician Francois Bernier first divided races by skin color.Whiteness has been made to appear natural, that is, as objective scientific fact, in U. A prominent naturalist, Carolus Linnaeus, published The Natural System in 1735 in which he established four races: Europeans, Asians, Africans, and Americans. The only people created equal by those documents were white, land-owning males. Anti-miscegenation laws, dating back to seventeenth century colonial America, were one primary way that social boundaries of white and non-white were drawn.
This natural and moral dualism is evident in the language of Thomas Jefferson and clarifies the significance of the “one-drop of blood” rule of racial descent in the United States—i.e., white is purity and one drop of black blood renders one black, and, hence, contaminated.
This may not, ethnologically or physiologically speaking, be a very clear and logical construction. Haney Lopez explains that the emphasis upon descent, repeated three times in a single sentence, changes the ambiguity of white into a fixed, biological, and natural grouping. Like the Shahid case, the court recognized the ambiguity of basing its decision upon skin color in the Ozawa case.
Instead of utilizing the ambiguity of the language of white and non-white as a way to question the credibility of physical, racial categorization, the court gave further legitimacy to a non-scientific concept. The court based its decision against admitting Takao Ozawa, a Japanese man, on its interpretation of the original framers, which “was to confer the privilege of citizenship upon that class of persons whom the fathers knew as white, and to deny it to all those who could not so be classified.” In Thind, the court ruled that a white person “was a person the average well informed white American” knew to be white.
Ironically, citing the ambiguity of “free white persons” in the first naturalization statute approved in 1790, the court’s decision asks: “what is a white person?
” In its tortured discussion of the question, the court admits that the 1790 statute is “uncertain, ambiguous, and difficult both of construction and application.” Nonetheless, bypassing ambiguity, the court concluded that It would mean such persons as were in 1790 known as white Europeans, with their descendents, including as their descendants in other countries to which they have emigrated, such as the descendants of the English in Africa or Australia, or of the French and Germans and Russians in other countries. Bhahat Singh Thind (1923) fully articulated an assumption of common sense knowledge as an objective rationale for understanding the difference between white and non-white.