By Dara Adeeyo
I love white men. But if I want to get married to one, I can't go to Louisiana.
Last week, Tangipahoa Parish Judge Keith Bardwell, a white male who claims to not be a racist, refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple.
But he is not a racist.
The Louisiana justice of the peace refused to grant Beth Humphrey, 30, a white account manager and Terrence McKay, 32, a black welder a marriage license because his "main concern was for the children." It is his belief that the white and black society does not accept children who come from such a marriage. Hmm. Well, that's funny, because I believe some of the most famous and powerful people are of a mixed race, i.e. President Obama. Bardwell claims that he is not a racist but was simply making his decision based on personal morals. Ha, "morals". Bardwell further stated that he does "not believe in mixing the races that way." In fact, Bardwell has "piles and piles of black friends" and has even signed marriage licenses of black couples.
But, he is not a racist.
It seems like we reverted to 1959.
In 1959, Mildred and Perry Loving, a black and white couple, were sentenced to one year in prison in Virginia. The couple violated the Racial Integrity Act, a state law that prohibited marriage between a white and non-white person. Yeah.
So when I heard about last week's incident, I was appalled and angered for many reasons. I strongly believe in mixing races because I am an advocate for everyone getting to know a little bit about other cultures; it diminishes cultural ignorance. And like I said before, I love white men. That's right, I'm publicly proclaiming my love for men who have milky white skin. This doesn't mean that I don't adore men of different colors. I just have a preference. That being said, I always envisioned my future husband to be someone of a different race. Whether my future husband is Indian, Asian or white, he would most likely not be black. But hey, I could always be wrong and end up marrying another African-American. It's about whom you fall in love with, right? Apparently, Bardwell did not get the memo.
But don't fool yourself, he is not a racist!
Anyway, who is Bardwell to believe that he can decide what is best for the future children of the mixed-race couple because he thinks, "they will suffer." I'd like to know what suffrage he is referring to? If he means that these children will most likely grow up with normal lives and normal parents, then yes, Bardwell, I too fear for their future. I fear that bi-racial children will grow up one day to be the president, an esteemed singer, a mogul or an infamous athlete.
Bardwell also states that "interracial marriages do not last long." News flash Bardwell, there is a 50 percent divorce rate in the US and I'm sure that this statistic consists of more than just mixed-race marriages. He says that if he did an interracial marriage for one couple, he'd have to do them for others. And the problem with that is… ?
Well, in case you didn't know, this isn't the first time that the justice of the peace had refused to sign the marriage license of an interracial couple. Prior to this, Bardwell had always referred such couples to a different justice of the peace, and there had never been a problem. Until now. But why now? Bardwell claims that within his 34-years of being a justice of the peace, he has only refused to marry four couples—all within the past two and a half years. He is a Republican and so this makes me wonder if this is his personal stab at President Obama. Either way, what he is doing is downright bigotry and well, illegal. As a justice of the peace, Bardwell is legally obligated to serve the public and all of the public! He can't just pick and choose who he will serve! That's called discrimination and being a racist.