Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History, Volume VIII

Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Mildred Jeter Loving died on Friday at the age of 68.

She lived a perfectly normal life with her husband Richard, raising three children in Virginia. She was a housewife, and her husband was a construction worker. They married in 1958. her husband predeceased her in 1975.

So why take note?

Because Mrs. Loving was black, and Mr. Loving was white. When they married in 1958, it was illegal for them to do so in their home state, and so they drove to Washington, D.C..

Upon their return, they were arrested for "unlawful cohabitation" and ordered to leave the state for 25 years. The judge who ruled in their case issued a statement:

"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."

Really, who could argue with that stunning piece of logic?

The American Civil Liberties Union, that's who. They filed suit on the Loving's behalf, and the case was heard by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1967. SCOTUS unanimously ruled in favor of the Lovings, clearly calling out the racism of the law that prevented them from marrying. The Lovings subsequently moved back to Virginia after the ruling.

Mrs. Loving was a quiet woman, and didn't really think the court case was that big of deal. "The preacher at my church classified me with Rosa Parks," she told The Washington Post in 1992. "I don't feel like that. Not at all. What happened, we really didn't intend for it to happen. What we wanted, we wanted to come home."

She is clearly a modest person, but the bottom line is that a well-behaved woman would not have fallen in love or acted on that love with a white man in the first place. But she did, and with her husband, made history, and made our country a better place to live. Thank you, Mrs. Loving.

6 comments:

Jim Wright said...

"The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." Well, yeah, except when one race is enslaved to another, apparently. Asshole. I love it when racists use the Christian God to justify their goofy bullshit. It would be almost funny if it wasn't so fucking scary.

John the Scientist said...

And there's that whole blurring of the yellow, maylay and white races in the 'Stans / Southern Russia thing going on. And other blurring in more than a few other places. God's not tending his fences too well.

As someone once said, there is ample evidence for UNintelligent design on this Earth, if you want to start arguing about what God "intended".

As a native Virginian and a practitioner of miscegenation, this one hits me where I live. So to speak.

Janiece Murphy said...

I once served with a woman who flat-out stated that the mixing of the races was "unnatural" and "disgusting." You just know I had something to say about that opinion.

Of course, she was also dumber than a stump, so there you go.

Michelle K said...

They had a very nice bit on her last night on All Things Considered.

They were childhood neighbors who fell in love, and they weren't just arrested on their return home, they woke up in the middle of the night to armed sheriff's deputies in the bedroom.

I only wish such laws against couples in love not allowed to get married weren't being added to the books even today.

John the Scientist said...

Heh. Janiece, have you seen this (about the leader of Falun Gong)?:

He has said that “mixed-race people…[are] instruments of an alien plot to destroy humanity’s link to heaven.” And that these interracial unions are somehow part of “a plot by…evil extraterrestrials.”

Or this?

These dweebs ask me for money and sympathy all the time on the street. All I say is: "My kids are half-Chinese. Do you think they are part of an alien plot? Well?". Usually shuts them up.

I really despise them because they make me sympathize with the Chi-Coms.

Janiece Murphy said...

John, I had not. And thanks so much for sharing that first bit that made me vomit in my mouth a little.

I chuckled at the second one, though. How very diplomatic of the humanists...instead of saying, "Piss off, you nutbar," they very unoffensively explained their position.

Just goes to show that wackadoos come in all shapes, sizes and belief systems.