I am the proud new grandparent of a baby girl — let me name her Anamika — born to my daughter a few weeks ago, and needless to say, I am in cloud 9. She is absolutely beautiful, and from the way she demands to be fed and protests her car seat restraint, it's quite clear to me that she's not going to put up with anyone messing with her right to life and liberty!
Anamika's right to pursuit of happiness, however, is a different matter. That's according to Keith Bardwell, who is the Justice of Peace for the 8th Ward of Tangipahoa Parish in Louisiana. Mr. Bardwell, I believe, doesn't think children of Anamika's kind have much of a future in the United States of America. Why? Because, the type and distribution of melanin in the epidermis of her mother and father don't quite match. According to news reports:
Bardwell told the paper [the Hammond Star] that he believes interracial marriages do not last and that the children of such unions are not accepted by either the black or white community.
I could ungoogle little evidence [this blog post points to rather weak support] for Bardwell's beliefs and assertions about melanin-mismatched families, but are they reasonable? What do epidermic melanin, and the genes that are involved in its production and distribution, have to do with how a woman and a man manage their marital relations, if anything at all? Perhaps, the communities in Mr. Bardwell's neighborhood are unaccepting of the children born of melanin-mismatched couples, but has he ever stepped into the brave new world of Facebook communities?
Sure, all kinds of bigots are still out there in the loony land, but the infamous pronouncement of Leon Bazile, the trial judge in the State of Virginia's case against Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, who, it seems, had shared Mr. Bardwell's views, could only belong to the ash heap of history:
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.
Why do I see the ugly faces of gods whenever I dig deeper into every incidence of bigotry, discrimination, and misogyny?
Mr. Bardwell added to the Hammond Star:
"I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves," Bardwell told the paper. "In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer."
I am touched, touched, Mr. Bardwell, by your concern for the Anamikas of the world, but there is no need to torture your tiny little mind about their future. I assure you that my little princess and her cohorts are in safe hands. In case you have been vacationing in the exoplanet Gliesi 581 d for the last couple of years, I have great news for you. Guess who is hosting the state dinners at the White House these days!
The title of this post was inpired by Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, a twentieth century film on melanin-mismatched love and marriage that could not possibly have opened the eyes of the likes of Mr. Bardwell, who belong to the Dark Ages.