46 Percent of Mississippi Republicans Want Interracial Marriage Banned

A new report from Public Policy Polling, which analyzed Mississippi Republicans’ positions on major issues going into the 2012 election, had some surprising and disturbing findings.  When Republican primary voters were asked whether they thought interracial marriage should be legal or illegal, 46% of the respondents said that they thought it should be illegal, compared to 40% who said it should be legal.  The remaining 14% said that they were unsure.

Since interracial marriage has been legal in Mississippi for less than fifty years, this poll result is even more depressing.  After all, the respondents weren’t simply passing a moral judgment on interracial marriage, they were saying that they thought it should be banned outright.  Since Mississippi was declared the most conservative state in the nation by a Gallup poll earlier this year, and this survey was targeted only at Republcian voters, perhaps this should be less surprising.  But it certainly puts the debate about gay marriage into a different context, when interracial marriage is still a controversial subject in some pockets of the country.

The breakdown of how the poll respondents said they were likely to vote was quite fascinating.  While Mississippi Republicans overwhelmingly favor Haley Barbour, their governor, to run for president, Sarah Palin had more support among voters who believed that interracial marriage should be illegal.  Romney, on the other hand, was highly favored by voters who wanted interracial marriage to remain legal.

According to Justin Elliott of Salon, Public Policy Polling will be releasing more results, where they asked non-Republican voters the same question about interracial marriage.  They also apparently asked respondents whether the right side won the Civil War – a question that has the potential, if possible, to be even more disturbing.


Photo from Litho Printers via Wikimedia Commons.


janet T.
janet t.4 years ago

the idea of racial purity was conceived by men who needed to believe that they were superior. you know, Hitler, etc. because they had so little going for them they were afraid to compete. Most of the people who believe that stuff are scientifically ignorant beyond belief. Study genetics and you will see that Hitler's idea of blue eyes being superior is the stupidest idea to come down the pike in a long time. Now it is skin color!!!!!

Robert Pavlick
Robert Pavlick4 years ago

So what's the problem HERE???? One man and one woman isn't good enough? Now it also has to be One man and One woman of the same race? What verse in the Bible have they twisted to come to this conclusion?

So you see, all of this hullaballoo about the sanctity of marriage is BS. And bigots are the ones who want to define marriage, not gays. Gays just want to expand the definition of marriage to include all consenting adults.

pam w.
pam w.5 years ago

Roxanne has a great point! Make civil unions the standard for legality and allow churches to perform whatever mumbo-jumbo they wish to "bless" unions.

Roxane Connor
Roxane Connor5 years ago

Let's just ban marriage altogether and we'll do away with all this squabbling over who should and should not be allowed to marry. Replace them with civil unions and that will be that.

Since we're socially de-evolving here do these idiots plan on going back to forced sterilization of children born to parents who don't look alike?? *NEWS FLASH* WE ARE ALL MUTTS!!!!!

Amber T.
Amber T.5 years ago

Race, is a myth.


Beautiful commentary, JCH. I do plan to read the Invisible line. I grew up in Brooklyn New York 50+ years ago and I was blessed to live in the United Nations. My first boyfreind was a Gypsy. (I was 12). And you are right - my sisters husband and many italians (and jews, irish, spanish, etc) in NY are very prejudiced against blacks, arabs, etc. Prejudice = upbringing and/or ignorance. I feel sorry for them because they do not have the joy of knowing warm and friendly, caring, intelligent (or not) blacks, muslims, arabs, etc. and experiencing so many wonderful cultural things. A few years ago I was in the supermarket and had a slight altercation with a very 80 something woman. Mind you, I am a beautiful, hip looking Jewish, Spanish, Welsh woman. Olive skinned brown caucasian hair. She called me a half-breed. I didnt know if I should laugh or feel sorry for her. Both I guess. I guess when we have continued ecological catastrophes and prejudiced people are saved by those they hate bc of their color, religion, etc. maybe things will change. I am like you - I can go on and on. Because of my intense interest in animals, I am forced to embrace republicans bc when it comes to certain causes, both dems & repubs are involved. There are even prejudiced people in the movement, but I have to accept it bc I want to save animals.

J.C. H.
Jc Honeycutt5 years ago

(OK, I've got to learn to be more concise)...rather than to restricts others' right to choose a mate.

J.C. H.
Jc Honeycutt5 years ago

(continued--sorry, I tend to be long-winded) ...as much prejudice among people in northern states or northern transplant to the South as in natives here in NC. In my observation, modern Republicans seem to have embraced racism as another way to express their "superiority", whereas Democrats, who admittedly were once the party of slaveholders and unreconstructed Southerners, have by and large made common cause with other racial groups who share their interests.

For those who feel they belong to a "superior race", I recommend reading Daniel Scharfstein's book, "The Invisible Line," which follows the histories of three families who crossed the color line from "black" to "white" at different times in American history. I was surprised to learn that in early America, there were no racial restrictions re marriage, and intermarriage was more common than is generally recognized. I would suggest that such restrictions were a result of slavery, not the reverse--and as with anti-Semitic laws in 20th-century Germany, they were based on false premises and created for immoral purposes.

If you believe that all humans currently living have common ancestors--whether you consider those ancestors to be Adam/Eve (Jewish) or the oldest known hominids (African)--then it is obvious we're all related, and racial "purity" is a myth. If you want to be considered "superior" to your neighbors, I suggest you focus on developing your intelligence and character rather than trying to restrict oth

J.C. H.
Jc Honeycutt5 years ago

When my daughter was a pre-schooler, I observed with interest that until around the age of 4, she didn't make any racial distinctions among the people in our "mixed" neighborhood. Around age 4, she apparently began to notice differences in skin color somewhat and sometimes referred to people as "brown" or "pink" (more accurate than "black" or "white", I would say). Her best friend in pre-school and elementary school was the daughter of two mixed-race parents (although I think both would have identified themselves as "black" if asked): their daughter, who I'll call "B", had cafe-au-lait skin, hazel eyes and very curly blonde hair. When "B" came home with my daughter on the school bus for a sleepover in kindergarten, the girls announced that many of the other children on the bus had asked "B", "What are you--black or white?" "B" responded, "I don't know: I guess I'm white." In discussing this with my daughter later, I mentioned that most adults in our community would probably consider "B" to be "black", to which my daughter responded, "Uh-uh: "B" doesn't even know any black people--except her daddy!" All of which goes to illustrate, I think, that "race" is an artificial concept and is largely in the eye of the beholder.

I hate to see everyone who lives south of the Mason-Dixon line assumed to be a racist (by the way, from looking at the US map I would consider Mississippi to be in the South-Central US rather than the Southeast), and I have to say that I have seen as


Over the Christmas holiday we are traveling to Alabama, Mississippi, and New Orleans. As a liberal progressive, I swore I would never travel there to give them my money knowing how they hate this Jewish/Spanish Olive Skinned Liberal New Yorker. But after traveling Europe for decades I want to keep my money in America, so I gave in. Plus there are Democrats in these states who should not suffer because of the narrow minded hateful people who live there. Also, there is African American history, great Jazz music, good food, and a wondeful museum. We can't condemned an entire state or country because of their hateful residents. It is up to us to try to change it.