Thursday, June 12, 2008

"All we need is love. . ."

Today is Loving Day. It marks the date 41 years ago today that the Virginia Supreme Court struck down a law prohibiting interracial marriage. It is an apropos name for a monumental crack in racial relations. Mildred and Richard Loving were childhood sweethearts who had to leave Virginia in order to marry each other. He was White and she was African-American. Mildred passed away last month and, sadly, Richard died years ago. They suffered indignities and hatred simply because they loved each other and wanted to sanctify their feelings by marrying. Mixed couples, married or not, are a common sight these days, certainly here in D.C. My husband and I are an example of that. He is Middle-Eastern and I am Middle-American. Our differences aren't as noticeable to the casual observer, so nasty stares are fewer, but we still get them. My own family members were wary of our intentions to marry, citing our diametrically opposed backgrounds. That was 25 years ago and our bond is stronger now than it was on the day we married. Attraction between humans is chemistry. Love at first sight is possible because of it. It's one of the animal traits humans have retained throughout evolution. Smell, touch, and physical characteristics attract long before educational achievement, wealth, social status or other acquired traits kick-in. As the world continues to get smaller and smaller, we are exposed to more and more people from opposite ends of the world. Perhaps we need to remember that the first race we are born into is the Human Race.

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