Judge refuses to marry interracial couple; says bad for kids

The Associated Press reports a white Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.

The justice says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

” ‘I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,’  Keith Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. ‘I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.’ ”

“Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.”

“Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.”

” ‘There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage,’ Bardwell said. ‘I think those children suffer and I won’t help put them through it.’ ”

“Bardwell estimates that he has refused to marry about four couples during his career, all in the past 2 1/2 years.”

As a Caucasian woman married to an Asian man, I am so offended by this! Our kids are mixed race and in our current community we don’t have any issues with it.

I think Michael did experience some racism when he was a child, but that would have happened if was full Asian or mixed Asian.  So I don’t think that not mixing fixes the problem of racism.

What do you think: Are you OK with mixed marriages? Do you even think it’s an issue in today’s society? Do you think mixed race marriages experience harder times than other marriages? Do you think being mixed does affect the way kids are treated? Are “pure” minorities treated better or worse than a “mixed” child?

74 comments Add your comment

regular guy

October 18th, 2009
10:08 pm

Finally! Someone in a position of decision making, actually makes one. The judge is only saving taxpayer time and money. (Al Sharpton will eventually get a hold of this guy.) The couple will eventually file for divorce. This judge will have to dissolve the marriage. On your dime. Its sad, but statistics show mixed have a much higher probability of divorce than an all white marriage or an all black one.

Mixed people will ALWAYS face challenges that others will not. Oh, it will improve, but they will NEVER have as easy a life as others. Its not my decision. There will always be those around who do not approve. You are welcome to label them with names like racist, bigot and others, but if you are a woman who clutches her purse a little tighter when walking by a black man, and don’t when walking by an asian man, you are one of them. Yes, eventually pure races will be bred out of existence, but there will always be some with darker or lighter skin than others and will be looked on differently.

I have white friends and black friends. So do my kids. So does my wife.

Just because one mixed race child never gets picked on, doesn’t mean there aren’t hundreds of others that do.

Interracial marriages of any race not involving blacks are more readily accepted, because most races other than blacks are more readily accepted. Sad, but true. It gets better with each generation, but earth will run out of oxygen before people aren’t treated differently because of skin color.

Billy Z

October 19th, 2009
1:57 am

Just Us of The Piece. Step back Jack. Let someone in there who will do the job. Maybe there is a position in apartheid Israel.

penguinmom

October 19th, 2009
3:57 am

okay, I’m laughing at the detail in FCM’s post. Do you really keep track of nationalities in your family that much? In my experience this is typically a Northern phenomenon. Most of the people I know from the South really just care about their Southern heritage. I figure my family has been in this country long enough that the only real nationality that matters is American. (with the added bonus of being Southern.) I have no real idea what my ancestors were and don’t see how it could possibly impact me to find out since it’s been a minimum of 4 or 5 generations probably much more.

As far as the multiracial thing, I think this has become less and less of a big deal in today’s society. There are issues with any marriage. I think economic status and religious upbringing are much bigger obstacles to a happy marriage than race. Perhaps he is from a tiny town where one different couple would stick out like a sore thumb. But it’s still doesn’t seem like it should be his call to make. As long as their marriage had met all the legal requirements, they should have been allowed to marry.

In the end though, if I were them, I wouldn’t really want this guy to perform my ceremony anyway.

A

October 19th, 2009
7:33 am

And people wonder why the South is the laughingstock of the nation. This guy needs to be fired immediately.

deidre_NC

October 19th, 2009
7:56 am

regular guy—what you said is so sad..but so true…im not sure of the stats of black/white marriages getting more divorces…it seems that people of any race marry with the idea of divorce as an option if they arent totally happy all the time…but all the other things you said are true…it is a sad fact. i have a biracial family…me and my kids dont see color…well we see it of course but it doesnt matter…it does to others in my family…and others that we know…

at work yesterday i had a 19 year old kid ask me ‘is it profiling if i see a bunch of teenagers and automatically think shoplifters?’ i looked at him and said ‘yes it is and it is also racial profiling because the kids you are looking at are mexicans’ then i said to him…you are a teen…should i automatically think THIEF??????? it really upset me that he felt this way…..especially since he is a teen…i know he wouldnt have asked me that if they had been nicely dressed white teens.

i am not sure why im not racist….i was raised in one of the most rasict families i have ever known…i havwe had a fairly rough time in my life and none if it was caused by anyother race…i have had friends of all races or ethnicities or whatever you call it….my kids have had friends of all ‘colors’ we just dont look at it…we look at characcter…that to me is the most important thing. that said….i still think that jp-or anyone-shouldnt have to do what he considers unethical…just like a preacher not marrying someone who has been divorced..there are many of those…but they will marry someone who is pregnant at the time…but if it is the mans job to do that he needs to not be in this position…people who take a public servant job have to do their job..he was wrong..mainly in having the job to start with….i know a preacher or doctor doesnt have to anything they consider against their religion or ethics…etc….but a public servant i believe doesnt have that choice….if a couple is legally ok to be married then he has to do it or he isnt performing his job…so he should be fired….

it will be a great day when people look at other people and think oh he/she is a great/terrible person…not oh he/she is black/asian/mexican/etc….

i dont see that day coming anytime on this earth…..

JJ

October 19th, 2009
8:30 am

Mixed kids are the MOST beautiful!!!!!. My daughter is mixed. Her father is black…She is stunningly beautiful (if I do say so myself), with the most beautiful skin color. She turns a beautiful color in the summer when she is outside a good bit. Her hair though, is another story….Nappy, nappy, nappy and thick……I have thick naturally curly hair, and her father had very thick nappy hair too…….but she has learned to deal with it, and she can straighten it. She has natural blonde highlights, in her brownish hair. Women pay hundreds of dollars for their hair to look like my daughter’s.

She basically considers herself white, as she was raised in a white family, with NO input from her father’s side of the family. He ran away when she was born, and his family never bothered to keep in touch with us. So sad. She has relatives she doesn’t know, and they live very close, here in Georgia.

She does have a lot of black friends, but they consider her white too…..NEVER have we had ANY problems with her mixture. Black women always ask me, “Is that your child?” and will they stop and stare at her……good stares, not bad……

My best friend is mexican and his wife is as white as they come. They have two beautiful children. One looks just like him, dark skinned, and the other looks just like her, fair skinned. Too funny, but they are beautiful kids.

FCM

October 19th, 2009
9:20 am

penguinmom – I can trace my lingage to the Mayflower, back to England. On my father’s side we can trace it to Ireland and back to Scotland.

I find that stuff interesting and some in my family must have too because they left me the records. Otherwise, I might not know!

JJ

October 19th, 2009
9:38 am

We traced our family tree back to Brigham Young. Yes, I’m related to him…..

Meme

October 19th, 2009
12:29 pm

We can trace our family tree back to a horse thief who was run out of South Carolina. lol

FCM

October 19th, 2009
1:04 pm

Meme — we have few of those from TN and a few cattle rustlers from TX but we don’t discuss them much. ;)

roslyn

October 19th, 2009
8:21 pm

sir, you should be ashamed of youtself….this is 2009…you are a racists and should not be allowed to practice any type of law..it is people like you who make other people miserable……..you need to retire and go live in seclusion…..–shame on you!

deidre_NC

October 19th, 2009
9:56 pm

im pretty sure most of my ancestors came here on the boat that brought the criminals from ireland lol…oh well…we all had to come from someplace lol

Sien

October 20th, 2009
1:43 am

JJ, your comments about your daughters’s nappy hair reminds me of Wanda Sykes HBO standup special where she talks about white women and their biracial daughters hair and the problem the women face in doing their hair while they’re kids.
As for the Judge’s decision not to marry the interracial couple for fear that it is going to end in divorce, well hundreds of thousands of American marriages ends up in divorces every year and that includes whites, blacks, Asians etc. The only reason that interracial marriages don’t last is because of bigots like the JP and his ilks constantly picking on them, the couple.

penguinmom

October 20th, 2009
2:39 am

FCM – that’s interesting, I can imagine wanting to remember that your family came over on the Mayflower. I mainly think, at some point, the keeping up with how much Italian/German/Irish/etc you are becomes a bit meaningless. How diluted does the connection have to be before it’s just ‘we have Italian ancestors way back’?

I remember a coworker from the North being shocked that several of us didn’t know exactly what lineage we had from the ‘old country’. Neither of us had thought about it much but she just assumed everyone knew exactly how long their family had been in the country and which country each ancestor left to get here. She really thought we were missing some important link to our persona by not knowing. Like finding out I’ve got Irish ancestors (or whatever) would suddenly create a sense of belonging or something strange like that. (Ah now I understand my strange interest in the color green and shamrocks) :-)

FAITH C

October 20th, 2009
12:55 pm

What is he afraid of?? May be he thinks the child may grow up to become president of the United States!

lady dreamer

October 20th, 2009
12:57 pm

i don’t think he is being racist at all this is just his openion and he can make his own choices!!!!!!! its great that he is sticking up for what he believes in and that inspires me to do the same n stand 4 what i believe in

Meg

October 20th, 2009
3:58 pm

Yes but he’s a JUDGE. He has a moral obligation to make the right decisions. Seeing this makes me feel like we’re back in the 50’s. If it were in somewhere more civilized like California, this would be UNACCEPTABLE. It’s unfortunate that this couple has to endure the bigotry of the south.

pam

October 21st, 2009
7:16 pm

I am offended by this because my sister is white and her fiance is black and they have 3 daughters togther who are mixed children and there is no problem with them, the society dosent seem to have a problem with them either.
I think that this judge is predujuce and i dont think he should have any right denying them of being married they are obviously in love.
Black or White or any other race we are all human being’s and we should all have the right to marry anybody especially if they are in love with each other.

Thank you.

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Sarah

October 22nd, 2009
2:38 pm

One day, everyone will be brown.

ChayaAvraham

October 26th, 2009
4:51 pm

I honestly think that this judge needs a reality check, along with every other racist person in the country. Its 2009, the world, has changed for the better. If we really were to return to the old times; Jewish people would be still persecuted in pogroms, black men and women would be lynched, Italian men and women would be accused of being in the mafia. So many prejudiced would happen. If people really agree with these ideas, then they are certainly not human. It makes me sick to hear people talk, so blatantly about how interracial marriages are wrong. As a product, of many interracial marriages, I believe truly that, being a part of a lot of cultures is amazing and so great to experience my diverse cultures. Even everyone believed the same thing as this judge or worse, Hitler would still be in power. Also I think that a “motherjanegoose” comment was just rude, insulting and uncalled for. No culture is better than the other. Every culture contributes to society in some way. Without African –Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Jewish people, there wouldn’t be an America. Also who were the slaves on the American’s soil? Who worked the American soil, to harvest and to prosper? This “so-called-judge”, should be fired immediately and never should get his license back. If he doesn’t get fired or resign then other racist judges with think they can get away with this as well. We must punish those, who need to be punished. Justice is supposed to be blind, yet it seems that color is still very well prominent. In conclusion, this society should just learn to get along, because if Aliens really do exist, and decided to come destroy earth, they won’t spare you if you’re White, Black, Hispanic, Asian or etc. (Lol jks about Aliens)

Goldstein

October 26th, 2009
4:54 pm

Everyone should listen to Russell Peters, and go beige!!

Michael

November 18th, 2009
12:54 pm

I am ok with interacial mariages, but I hate when a black female is involved with a white man. I hate that!

Nicole

February 19th, 2010
7:53 pm

What an idiot this judge is!!! I live in Alabama for god’s sake, the “rascist state” as so many claim. At my highschool, there are several interracial couples and biracial teens walking around everywhere. In fact, they are readily accepted by both blacks and whites. This judge is obviously covering for something more serious!!