Black or white, not gray
Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 00:04
Last week, Public Policy Polling released a poll of 400 Mississippi Republican voters showing that 46 percent in Mississippi believe that interracial marriage should be illegal. Another 14 percent are undecided.
That means that at least 60 percent of Mississippi Republicans are at least unsure whether or not two people who love each other should be allowed to marry when their skin is a different color.
That's an unacceptably high number for us here at the Printz. It's also shocking, especially for those of us here at USM who foster an environment that encourages diversity.
PPP's blog says that one of the poll respondents emailed, stating the reason for answering "illegal" to the question of interracial marriage: "I believe God made us a different color for a reason and should be honored by not marrying outside of the race that God picked for me, however the color of one's skin does not make him/her better than another color."
The Supreme Court Case Loving v. Virginia overturned bans on interracial marriage in 1967. Mississippi has historically been behind the rest of the country when it comes to race relations. But it's hard to imagine that a majority of the voters in this state's dominant political party could literally be 44 years behind the rest of the nation.
We aren't going to question the reliability of the poll; PPP has proven to be a reliable source.
But we would like to point out that it is possible that the results may be much different if Democrats and Independents were included in the survey.
Also, among GOP voters, there's a considerable gap when it comes to the question of whether or not interracial marriage should be legal. Among those over 65, a whopping 56 percent believe interracial marriage should be illegal.
But among college age voters, a majority supports interracial marriage with 31 percent opposed. That's better, but these numbers are certainly alarming no matter how you slice it.