It's been a persistent theme for the last part of 2014: Are racial relations progressing in America?
While coverage of Ferguson, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner has catapulted racial tension to the forefront of today's news, there must be a constructive inspection of racial elements in our country that does not simply rely on emotions or cases sensationalized by media.
Despite a media narrative to the contrary, America overwhelmingly supports interracial relationships and our communities have become increasingly more culturally and racially diverse. In 2012, the number of interracial couples in America rose to an all-time high.
About 18% of opposite-sex unmarried couples and 21% of same-sex unmarried partners identify themselves as interracial.
There is a high percentage of interracial couples, particularly among Hispanics and Asians.
From the Brookings Institution:
With the intertwining of cultures and ethnicities, there has been progression in racial relations, and that it is setting a precedent for future generations.
“Among American children, the multiracial population has increased almost 50 percent, to 4.2 million, since 2000, making it the fastest growing youth group in the country. The number of people of all ages who identified themselves as both white and black soared by 134 percent since 2000 to 1.8 million people.”
According to U.S. Census Bureau projections, we can look forward to a more racially and ethnically diverse America in the coming decades.
President Barack Obama did claim in his last press conference of 2014 that racial relations has improved during his tenure in office. While the politics surrounding race is debatable, one thing is for sure: America's melting pot is still brewing.