Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.
A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.
Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.
Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.
"I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves," Bardwell said. "In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer."
Lets set aside this gentleman's trust in his pre-cognizance about the futures of interracial marriages and individuals for a moment. First I find it highly amusing that this particular incident comes out of Louisiana where there is a history of an affluent and influential class of interracial individuals. Most know them as the Creoles.
There are plenty of factors that could make life difficult for the offspring of any given couple. Poverty can make life difficult for children so why not oppose the marriages of poor people for the sake of the children? Affluence can make life difficult for children so why not oppose the marriages of affluent people for the sake of the children? Living in a different culture is difficult for children so why not oppose the marriages of people who plan to travel abroad for the sake of the children? Being adopted can be difficult for children so why not oppose adoption and the marriages for those who plan to adopt for the sake of the children? Having parents serving in the military can be difficult for children so why not oppose the marriages of people in the military?
For that matter marriage has the potential to be difficult for children should the marriage end in divorce so why not oppose marriage all together? Interracial couples are easy targets because the perceived difference between the two individuals of different races or ethnic backgrounds is so easy for us to see. We assume that difference is all there is. We assume the difference is insurmountable. But the excuse that interracial marriages shouldn't happen for the sake of the children is a lousy excuse. It assumes that the one proffering this lame excuse knows how a family will raise its children. It presumes to know the character of people who do not yet exist. It presumes that the value of a life not yet conceived is not enough to allow it to be conceived within the protective confines of a marriage.
It is ironic that those opposed to interracial marriage for the sake of the children are opposed to the very thing that holds the greatest potential for a good life for interracial children, the marriage of their parents.