Interracial Engagement Meets Parental Disapproval: What Would You Do?

PHOTO: What would you do if you witnessed an interracial couple telling parents of their engagement and instead of congratulations you heard clear bigotry?
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Interracial Marriage In the News: The 2010 Census estimates that the number of interracial marriages in the U.S. has surpassed 4.5 million. It's hard to believe it was only 40 years ago that the Supreme Court voted unanimously in Loving v. Virginia to end the country's anti-miscegenation laws. It was a ruling that was supposed to wash away the final stain of the Jim Crow era, yet, according to the Pew Research Center, interracial marriage was not truly accepted until the late 1980s. In fact, it was only two years ago that a Louisiana justice of the peace was asked to resign after refusing to marry an interracial couple. And just four months ago in Little Rock, Ark., police apprehended two known white supremacists after they tried to torch an interracial couple's trailer in the middle of the night with Molotov cocktails.

The Interracial Engagement Scenario: What would you do if you witnessed an interracial couple telling both sets of parents that they intended to get married, and instead of hearing a loving, joyful reception, you heard clear bigotry? To find out we went to Edison Diner, in Middlesex County, N.J., with our hidden cameras. We hired actors to play an interracial couple and four other actors to play their parents. Would anyone try to talk some sense into the parents?

What They Said:

"Excuse me for a second. You are too young, and you are too young, and excuse me for pointing out the elephant in the room, but you are too white, and you are too black!"
-- actor playing the white father

"I am saying, if it were in my family, I would say no."
-- patron responding when asked what he would say if it were his daughter

"They're your children. Love them. What does color have to do with anything?"
-- woman responding to the actors' bigoted rants

Watch the scenario unfold on the latest episode of "What Would You Do?"

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