By Stanley B. Greenberg
In 2010, a record 10 percent of opposite-sex married couples told America’s census takers that they lived in an interracial household—up from 7.4 percent in 2000. Given America’s racial history with blacks, Latinos, Japanese and Chinese, 1 in 10 is no doubt a pretty intriguing fact about the country, a reflection of big social transformations that have taken place over the past few decades, and worth examination on its own. But the numbers don’t just tell us about where the country is—they suggest a dramatic story about where it’s headed.
President Barack Obama is the living embodiment of this trend—a one-man melting pot, as he noted during his March 18, 2008 address on the long-since-forgotten Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy. “I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents,” he said, “and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.” He was re-elected in 2012 amid historic turnout among minority voters, a fact that has not been lost on his opponents, especially the white conservatives who inhabit the outer reaches of the far right.
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