Interracial Relationships: UK “Asians” more likely intolerant and racist

Interracial MarriageThe UK might start to believe that Asians are more racist and intolerant because of this article. The article cites that half of British Asians say according to a survey by ICM for the BBC Asian Network found that more than half of young Asians would not consider dating a black person. Additionally, almost half believe that homosexuality is immoral while just 8% of White Brits do.

Link to Asians Less Likely to Marry Out

Natuarlly, the article caught my eye as an Asian American then reading on and I found that when they say “Asian”, they mean people identifying themselves as Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Sri Lankan. This is so misleading when we read a headline like that here in America – like my title for this post. It’s a little skewed.

I didn’t realize that Brits consider Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. to be East Asian. There I go again with my ethnocentricity. Does the UK categorization make things easier? Is it logical? A matter of timing? Or is it racist? How do they view Asians (in our sense of the categorization)?
Nevertheless, I wonder if the stats for East Asians are far off.

Stats between UK and US divided by gender
from Wiki and other sources.

According to 2005 stats, in the US:
– About 69 percent of married Asian women are married to Asian men, while 25 percent of married Asian women have white husbands.
– 7% of marriages of the 59 million married couples in 2005 were interracial, compared to less than 2 percent in 1970.
Still interracial marriages or relationships are on the rise with younger Asian Americans (2nd Gen) being most likely to marry out.

Read Asian-Nation on Interracial Dating and Marriage
Also found at IMDiversity

In a 2001 UK census, British Chinese women (30%) were twice as likely as their male counterparts (15%) to marry someone from a different ethnic group. Among British Asians (South Asians, not including Chinese), Pakistani and Bangladeshi males were twice as likely to to have an inter-ethnic marriage than their female counterparts, while Indian and “Other Asian” males were more likely to have an inter-ethnic marriage than their female counterparts by a smaller percentage.

We’ve come a long way since 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down a Virginia statute barring whites from marrying nonwhite. Much of the stipulations coming also from different interpretations of Scripture. Seeing an interracial couple may have been very uncomfortable for many some years ago. I think it may just come across as a slight surprise today but it is overall acceptable, even trendy. However for “Asians” American or Brit in our time of increased racial tolerance is it still uncomfortable or looked down upon?
Is it still taboo? Is it cultural? Amongst 1st generation peoples, likely. How do/should they respond as Christians?

Perhaps this is not so much the case for the second generation but does a double standard still exist? Asian men have long turned their noses up at Asian women dating/marrying out because it was disproportionate to the amount of them doing so (and that’s a whole other discussion). For younger generations they don’t care as much what race they date/marry. Their response is typically – it’s all about the heart. Thank you Disney for showing us that and to look past appearances. . . and that life afterward is happily ever after?

Research from Cornell and University of Penn (reported in Newsday, 2005) states,

The study found interracial relationships were most common among young people, and not only because they live in times of increased racial tolerance…

Researchers have long believed that preferences for contact outside a person’s race become more restrictive as relationships become more intimate. This is particularly true of marriage, which requires a public acknowledgment of the partnership, a lifelong commitment, and pooling of social groups, the report found…

“There’s been a definite shift in society where dating is a more recreational activity, whereas it used to be a function of finding a marriage partner,” Albers said. That shift has loosened up the social restrictions and allowed people to date people outside their race they may have no intention of marrying, she said.

Is interracial dating and marriage really still a big deal?
I separate interracial relationships between dating and marriage because they are different levels of commitment and intimacy.
Isn’t it as simple as boy meets girl / boy likes girl / boy pursues girl / they fall in love and that’s it – end of story?
Those who are married know that there’s more. Two different people with their own identities, backgrounds, baggage, and dreams deciding to live together or committ to each other is not always a smooth steady ride. And that’s without the ethnic cultural differences. There’s bound to be sparks.

There aren’t enough interesting posts or discussions on the subject that deal with the tensions/problems/issues – especially in the Christian blogosphere.

I never realized how Chinese I was in the traditional sense until I married my non-Asian wife and I grew up very Italian in old Brooklyn. I think to a certain extent being in a interracial relationship tests whether we really do believe in equality and how non-judgmental we actually are. Marriage reveals a lot about ourselves. Cultural differences add another layer altogether. As a Christian, it is a matter of what we believe about the Gospel. In many of our churches in the Evangelical landscape we talk about striving for multicultural congregations through a monocultural base. That’s difficult because we don’t realize how different other cultures are from our own beyond just the personalities. The language barrier is more than just English not being the primary language. Do we even share a common understanding of some terms/phrases/meanings? Do we share the same symbolic world?

Read: What Everyone Should Know About Interracial Marriage (Assiciated Content, March 2007)

Interesting Christian Responses to IR
Just Don't Marry One Book Cover
Above: Christian book on interracial relationships by Judson Press (2003)

Overheard on the web: “I have heard people say that interratial relationships are against God’s wishes. I believe this, but I don’t know where it is or isn’t in the Bible.” – are you serious?

How about the good Dr. Dobson (not that i’m a fan)? – What does Dr. Dobson think about interracial dating and marriage?

Other Links
40 Years after Landmark Ruling, Interracial Marriage Flourishing
By the Numbers: Dating, Marriage, and Race in Asian America


5 Responses to “Interracial Relationships: UK “Asians” more likely intolerant and racist”

  1. August 16, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    I like to think that in 100 years, there will be no more races. Instead, we’ll all be the same shade of tan with tan hair and medium squinty eyes. Why didn’t they include Russian as part of the Asian definition? Definitely a misleading title.

  2. 2 Kirbs
    August 17, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Great insights. Miss reading these in the chaos of life.

  3. 3 Raj
    August 21, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    I actually find the white American Christians, particularly white Christian females from the south tend to be more bigoted against non-whites than the Brahmans and caste Hindus are bigoted against the so-called untouchables back in India. I grew up with both groups and I learnt more about untouchability from white Christian women than from caste Hindus, ie., their opinion that blacks are untouchable.

  4. 4 flob
    November 24, 2007 at 7:42 am

    A lot of people believe that in a Darwinian sense, that “variety is the spice of life”. This is true as long as you have various isolated gene pools still in existence. About 14% of all people of Scandinavian origin don’t have the cell receptors for HIV because of the black plague. This gene mutation survived though it is recessive because it was part of an isolated genetic group. If we were to all mingle into one race in north America, the genes that those of scandi origin brought here would be eliminated, and mostly dominant genes would make up the average american’s genetic code. So, with that in mind imagine a disease, a plague if you will, sweeping across north america. In your ideal world over 99% of all people would die because there aren’t any isolated genetic groups (races). Nobody in their right mind should consider race a factor if they truly love somebody, but…

    The article mentioned that interracial dating is “trendy”. In the 90’s interracial dating was pushed on the general public by the media as if it was to be encouraged. Now, we know that in the US the media is pretty much completely controlled by the elite few who also control our government to its entirety, democrat or republican. Keep in mind that whites and asians are the highest achievers in america. It’s easy to control a people if you can silence a majority people, and even easier if you can silence a people who are professionally and intellectually endowed as a culture. An educated public is harder to control. If you can take away an educated people’s ability to come together as a community under a common bond, than you can control those people. The media used to use race to play blacks against whites in the earlier half of the 20th century, this we all know. This was done to create turmoil and social strife so that domestic turbulence would occupy the average citizen. Now the media tries to dismantle certain “races”, embrace less educated cultures (yet keep them uneducated), and create new domestic threats like “islamo-fascism” and “the massive influx of mexicans”. Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to jump on the bandwagon and embrace the medias so-called “multicultural” agenda. They act like whites and asians (specifically whites) have a “moral obligation” to throw their ethnic identity out the window and assimilate into the faceless non-community.

    I know, a long rant and one that might be considered off-topic. I don’t think so. As an asian-american of Chinese origin, I can’t help but feel that the agenda here is as transparent as ghost-paper.

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[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.


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