Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Loving Day

On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled that Virginia's law forbiding white and black couples from marrying was unconstitutional. The decision became known as Loving v. Virginia. The Supreme Court found that the state of Virgina violated the Fourteenth Amendment rights of Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter Loving.


Because we reject the notion that the mere "equal application" of a statute containing racial classifications is enough to remove the classifications from the Fourteenth Amendment's proscription of all invidious racial discriminations, we do not accept the State's contention that these statutes should be upheld if there is any possible basis for concluding that they serve a rational purpose. The mere fact of equal application does not mean that our analysis of these statutes should follow the approach we have taken in cases involving no racial discrimination where the Equal Protection Clause has been arrayed against a statute discriminating between the kinds of advertising which may be displayed on trucks in New York City, Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. New York, 336 U.S. 106 (1949), or an exemption in Ohio's ad valorem tax for merchandise owned by a nonresident in a storage warehouse, Allied Stores of Ohio, [388 U.S. 1, 9] Inc. v. Bowers, 358 U.S. 522 (1959). In these cases, involving distinctions not drawn according to race, the Court has merely asked whether there is any rational foundation for the discriminations, and has deferred to the wisdom of the state legislatures. In the case at bar, however, we deal with statutes containing racial classifications, and the fact of equal application does not immunize the statute from the very heavy burden of justification which the Fourteenth Amendment has traditionally required of state statutes drawn according to race.


Loving Day celebrates the court's landmark civil rights decision. 16 states, including Florida, had their laws against interracial marriages struck down. Conservatives are still bothered by interracial marriages. Why they must be communists. That is what Lisa Schiffren puked out on The Corner.


But maybe it's not so simple. Obama and I are roughly the same age. I grew up in liberal circles in New York City — a place to which people who wished to rebel against their upbringings had gravitated for generations. And yet, all of my mixed race, black/white classmates throughout my youth, some of whom I am still in contact with, were the product of very culturally specific unions. They were always the offspring of a white mother, (in my circles, she was usually Jewish, but elsewhere not necessarily) and usually a highly educated black father. And how had these two come together at a time when it was neither natural nor easy for such relationships to flourish? Always through politics. No, not the young Republicans. Usually the Communist Youth League. Or maybe a different arm of the CPUSA. But, for a white woman to marry a black man in 1958, or 60, there was almost inevitably a connection to explicit Communist politics. (During the Clinton Administration we were all introduced to then U. of Pennsylvania Professor Lani Guinier — also a half black/half Jewish, red diaper baby.)


Schiffren states she is not a racist. She just wants conservative bloggers such as Michelle Malkin and Glenn Reynolds to do some digging. If Schiffren was a real journalist she would do the research herself. Instead, she sends out a battle cry to conservative bloggers to swiftboat Obama, without any facts. TNR founder William F. Buckley wrote in support of segregation. If TNR doesn't want to be called racists then they should stop writing racist pieces.

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