Topics: Black people, White people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 19 (6949 words) Published: November 13, 2013

Interracial Romantic Relationships: A Study of Racial Bias in the United States Media

Bryan Steagall
Senior Capstone
Young Harris College

Interracial Romantic Relationships: A Study of Racial Bias in the United States Media Abstract
This study was conducted in order to discover why interracial marriage has been such a controversial topic in the United States. There has been a racial prejudice towards Blacks from Whites that increased significantly after the end of the civil war (Fuller, 2011). This animosity towards interracial couples is evident in American Cinema (Diawarda, 1993). Racism is a rather delicate subject, and many are prone to deny their true feelings on the issue; however, cinema’s habitual portrayal of subjects allows one to decipher how a population truly feels about controversial subjects. This critical analysis dissects each director’s intent in five different race related films. This investigation also determines that racism stems from ignorance. In addition, this research determines that interracial couples in films have become more accepted over time which indicates our nation has also become more accepting. This researcher determined this level of acceptance by studying the directorial intent, as well as through expectancy violation theory, cognitive dissonance theory, the perspective of Teresa de Lauretis, and Karl Marx’s notion of power.

Inter-Cultural Romantic Relationships: A Study of Racial Bias in the United States Background of Racism the United States
The United States has a dark past with racism and slavery. The main group, which was discriminated against and abused, were the Black people. Shortly before the end of the Civil war, many in the South considered Blacks to be of a sub-species (Towers, Schoen, & Barnes, 2011). Therefore, the combined lack of respect for Blacks coupled with the bitter loss to the north made life for Blacks rather dangerous in the south (Boles, 1988; Fuller 2011; Byrne & Wong, 1962). The animosity given from the White slave owners only intensified after the civil war came to an end (Towers, Schoen, & Barnes, 2011). The combination of ignorance and hatred only increased the communication gap and assumed dissimilarity between both races (Byrne & Wong, 1962; Towers, Schoen, & Barnes, 2011). After the civil war, the anger felt by the Whites, especially in the South, was extreme (Boles, 1988; Engerman & Fogel, 1974;Fuller 2011). The White American’s in the South felt as if they were being forced to treat a sub-human species like equals (Boles, 1988; Engerman & Fogel, 1974;Fuller 2011). The White Southern sense of domination and pride had been taken when the Union decimated the Confederacy. The newly freed slaves certainly felt a sense of distaste for their former masters however; they were not given the same amount of freedom to express their misgivings (Boles, 1988; Engerman & Fogel, 1974;Fuller 2011). Many freed slaves in the South were more concerned with survival than with justice (Boles, 1988; Engerman & Fogel, 1974;Fuller 2011). This view of the Black race was nothing more than a toxic combination of fear of the unknown, generational biases, and misinterpreted interpretations of religious texts.

Religious Misinterpretation of Interracial Marriage
Many White Americans prior to the late twentieth century believed that interracial marriage was not permitted by God (Boles, 1988; Day, 2012). Even for the many people who considered Blacks to be homo-sapiens, there were still a prevalent amount who believed it wrong to intermarry (Boles, 1988; Day, 2012; Yancey & Lewis, 2009). Many who felt this way were Christian. There are several branches of Christianity, but the group most adamant against the interracial unions were Protestant (Day, 2012).

The concept of intercultural unions is mentioned in the Bible; however, there is nothing in scripture which...

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