If Loving You is Wrong, Then I don’t EVER want to be right! An anti-racist Valentine’s love note:
If you want to know true love, romance, and courage, then meet the Lovings. Mildred and Richard Loving were a young couple madly in love when they got married in 1958 while living in Virginia. While sleeping in the privacy of their own bed, the newlyweds were shocked when their front door was broken into, and white police officers stormed into their bedroom to arrest them.
What was their crime? All they wanted to do was live in peace as a happily married couple in love, but instead they were charged with a felony and faced at least one full year in jail just for being the wrong skin color and married! Virginia and 15 other states had laws that punished any interracial couple who married.
A pregnant Mildred spent several nights in a cold and lonely jail cell, separated from her husband. They later pled guilty to violating the Virginia Integrity Law, and had to move from the state of Virginia in order to avoid a year of imprisonment.
Ironically, they were arrested for this crime only a few years after Barack Obama’s white mother and Kenyan father married in 1961. Imagine, if his parents had fallen in love in one of these southern states outlawing interracial marriage, we may have never had our 44th president!
After they were forced to move, they suffered from unemployment and poverty in an inner city neighborhood in Washington DC. They were very frustrated by their inability to travel back home to visit family and friends. They felt socially isolated and were unable to find work. When one of their children was hit by a car, Mildred decided enough was enough! In 1964, she wrote to Attorney General Robert Kennedy to help with their case. They were referred to seek legal counsel from the ACLU, which took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. In a unanimous court decision in 1967, the court ruled the Virginia law was unconstitutional and overturned their conviction. This marked the end of all laws forbidding interracial marriages, thanks to the Loving family!
Just 322 years prior to the Loving love story, a man named Galileo was tried for heresy because he believed the sun was at the center of our solar system, what a crazy idea, right? Now we all accept this as truth. It’s common knowledge that the earth rotates around the sun, as do the other planets.
One day, we will all accept that a couple who falls in love, marries, and has beautiful children together are not a threat to our way of life! We will not tell others that their love is forbidden by law just because one of them has more melanin in their skin.
Valentine’s Day Inspired By American Heroes
The Lovings are more than a love story, they are American heroes who stood up, and fought. They left their home and everything they knew. They risked their lives and stood for not only their love, but for all of us to love freely today. Without people like the Lovings, none of us would be free to love and marry who we choose! We are the game changers, the history makers, and we can change the world each and every day!
This Supreme Court case, Loving vs Virginia, was only 10 years before my birth. This horribly inhumane law happened in my parents’ lifetime, and was very close to mine. This is not a slavery story, but it is rooted in the shackles slavery has over our lives today. Let us join together, despite our differences, to stand for truth and justice because it’s the HUMAN thing to do! No one is free when anyone is oppressed! With Valentine’s day around the corner, be inspired.
Let us not remember the Loving story because it’s Black History month. This is not a black story! This is an American story, a true romance, a human tale of dignity, courage, and mutual respect. Let us remember the Lovings as a power couple who devoted their lives to loving each other and standing up for our right to love who we want today!
This Valentine’s Day, I don’t wish for red roses, heart-shaped candies, or even pink champagne. I don’t want a fancy dinner, diamond rings, or Hallmark wishes. All I desire is that we all LOVE! Let’s love hard, love despite our differences, and develop a love for all humanity because we know that a negative attitude towards others will never bring us success!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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© 2017 Christina Wallace The B.L.A.C.K Media