President Bill Clinton has urged Americans to talk with their families and friends about race relations. I took him up on that offer one recent summer afternoon at a pizza restaurant in Queens, New York.
“We outnumber them,” I told my wife and two children as I looked around the place. My voice suggested surprise. I think it was the first time it’s happened in a public place. “We,” in our case, means interracial families. “Them” is everyone else. I looked around that restaurant and saw a couple with a cute interracial baby, a European man gazing into the eyes of a beautiful woman who appeared to be from India, and other couples composed of mixed hues and shades.
My pale visage, my wife’s darker visage, and those of our two teen-age children, which fall somewhere in between, were just another part of the scene. We have become part of a quiet revolution that is no longer so quiet. Two decades ago when my wife and I married, the worried looks of some were apparent. “What about the children?” was a regular question we faced, forcing us to contemplate the specter of producing offspring who would never fit comfortably anywhere.
Now American society has produced a revolution with huge consequences about our age-old bugaboo of race relations. While the media are full of tales of bigotry and bickering, of Minister Farrakhan preaching race separatism, of radio talk-show hosts competing for the booby prize...