Your article about the rising number of black unmarried women in America illustrates society’s prevailing double standard regarding race (“Down or out”, October 15th)writes Honolulu's Ken Pedersen in (and to) The Economist.
It informs us that “fewer than one in ten black women intermarries” with other races because it is their “greatest taboo”. We are told that some black women “find non-black men unattractive” and that others fear the children of such marriages might not be “black enough”, but that the most common reason for not intermarrying is that black women regard it “as tantamount to betraying the race”. One black woman explained that if she were to marry a man from another race it would be akin to turning in her “black heart”.
If The Economist had reported that racial intermarriage was white women’s greatest taboo, that some white women find non-white men unattractive, that others fear their children would not be white enough and that it was common for them to view intermarriage as a betrayal of their race, such views would be utterly condemned. If a white woman said that she would have to turn in her white heart to marry out of her race, she would be called a racist. But isn’t this double standard itself racist?