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More than 50 years ago, on June 12, 1967, Mildred Loving decided that the Commonwealth of Virginia was wrong to keep her and her husband away from their home and family. She decided that it was unacceptable for Judge Leon Bazile’s racist conservative Christian defense of the law to have the last word. She wanted to live with her husband in the community where they both grew up. What she wanted was far from unreasonable, unless of course, you were a white racist cop or judge in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Then, you had a magical divine sanction to ruin other people’s lives via the abhorrent Racial Integrity Act of 1924.
In his January 22, 1965 refusal to vacate the 1959 felony conviction of Mildred and Richard, Judge Bazile wrote:
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his [arrangement] there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
Take a moment to clean up the vomit from your chin.
It took the combined actions of the ACLU, the U.S. Supreme Court, a ton of national news coverage, and a tired, but brave couple to force the pathetic, racist laws of Virginia to change. In so doing, the precedent set by the Loving decision nullified the remaining anti-miscegenation laws nationwide. Yes, the racist states of Alabama and South Carolina refused to take their unenforceable laws off the books until decades later. That speaks volumes about the morals and integrity of the legislatures and governors in those states at the time. Anyway.
Without Mildred’s insistence that the racist hatred of Virginia and Judge Bazile were not going to stand, I may not have been able to live in peace as one half of an interracial marriage in Northern Virginia. I may not have been allowed to watch my two multiracial sons grow to manhood. This nation would look remarkably different and definitely not better.
While I never got the chance to meet her, I owe her a debt I can never repay. What I can do, as the founder of The Multiracial Activist, is to continue to call out hatred and racism in plain language even—or especially—if it hurts people’s feelings. Those of us in leadership roles in this community are tasked with this responsibility.
It is is not negotiable.
Founder and Publisher
The Multiracial Activist
and The Abolitionist Examiner
This post was originally published on the author’s Medium and is republished here with his permission.
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