Love Sees No Color? Chinese American Intermarriage

Love Sees No Color? Chinese American Intermarriage


Karen Ye

Editor’s Note: The following is a question and answer between reporter Karen Ye and Dr. Larry Hajime Shinagawa, Executive Director of New World Research Institute, a non-profit think tank focusing on research on new immigrants to the United States. Among his research areas are intermarriage, multiracial identity, and Asian American culture and community. He is former director of Asian American Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park and director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity and Associate Professor of the Sociology Department of Ithaca College. Shinagawa makes the case that we need to go beyond color-blindness to understand intermarriage among Chinese Americans…

Q: People say “love sees no color,” how do you feel about it?

A: Not true. When I wrote my dissertation on intermarriage among Asian Americans, I interviewed six dozen interracial couples. When they were with their significant other, they said, “I don’t see color. I just see him/her.” But when I talked to them individually, they discounted the narrative of color blindness and said it indeed played a major role, but one that they tried to overcome.

Q: What do you think that tells us?

A: That interracial relationships and interracial marriages are anything but color-blind. Yes, there is love, but that love is tinged and affected by the history of colonialism, skin color hierarchy, White racial privilege, unequal economic opportunity and by racist/sexist imageries that define the politics of sexual desire and acceptability…

Read the entire interview here.

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