No, gagging over interracial marriage is not the ‘conventional view’

November 12, 2013

In his column Tuesday, Richard Cohen explores the more reactionary edge of Iowa's Republican blogosphere. "Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled," he writes, "about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children."

Given the context of the column, I think that Cohen is using "conventional views" to mean "culturally conservative views." But insofar as "conventional" means "based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed," acceptance of interracial marriage is overwhelmingly conventional. A July poll from Gallup finds that 87 percent of Americans approve -- up from 4 percent in 1959.

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The numbers don't vary much by region, or even all that much by age:

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And note that the current president of the United States is the biracial child of a white woman married to a black man. America has come a long way.

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Evan Soltas · November 12, 2013