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The 60s were just yesterday

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By John Pawlak

 

Just over 100 years ago, New Mexico joined the union, becoming the 47th state. A region rich with culture and history, New Mexico boasts a proud tradition of support for civil rights.

Nearly 50 years prior to achieving statehood, New Mexico (in 1866) repealed its anti-miscegenation laws that prohibited marriage between blacks and whites. Three decades after New Mexico did become a state, 34 states still had laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

You’ve got to be proud to live in a state that was 82 years ahead of the rest of the country in civil liberties.

The early 1960s witnessed social turmoil over legalization of interracial marriage. Looking back at pictures of people holding signs saying “Race Mixing is Communist,” “God Protect My White Daughter,” and “Race Mixing is the Work of the Anti-Christ,” it’s hard to believe that people could have been that intolerant, that hateful, or that stupid.

It’s stupid enough to think that there’s anything wrong with interracial marriage, but stupid to the 100th power to walk around with a sign saying it. Why didn’t they just tattoo “I’m an idiot!” on their foreheads?


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