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As I pushed him around the neighborhood, I thought of him as the perfect brown baby, soft-skinned and tulip-lipped, with a full head of black hair, even if it was the opposite of my blond waves and fair skin.“He’s adorable. ” a middle-aged white woman asked me outside Barnes & Noble on Broadway one day, mistaking me for a nanny.“I am his mother,” I told her.“His daddy is Filipino.”“Well, good for you,” she said.Yet, some interracial couples say that intermarrying, which in the past was often the cause of angry stares and sometimes worse, can still bring on unexpected and sometimes disturbing lessons in racial intolerance. Looking back at their time in Atlanta, however, the pair recalled how they sometimes drew stares in the airport, and how Mr. Higgs admits that sometimes, if they’re running an errand together, such as getting something notarized at a bank, he’ll wait outside, just to keep the tellers from asking suspicious questions because he’s black. Cannata feels badly when he does things like that, but Mr. Pitt, emboldened by his ridiculous comment, looked him square in the eye, she said, and told him, “I think what you meant to say was congratulations on your recent engagement.”While moments like this don’t often happen to them, the couple, now newly married, say that their mixed marriage has played a bigger role than they thought it would in deciding what kind of community they want to be a part of and where they want to raise children. Khurana, a 33-year-old corporate and securities lawyer, is the product of a biracial marriage himself (his father is Indian, his mother is half Filipino and half Chinese).Christine Cannata, a 61-year-old retiree, and her longtime African-American partner, Rico Higgs, 68, recently moved from Atlanta — where their relationship sometimes attracted unwanted attention — to Venice, Fla., a predominantly white city where they say neither one feels like anyone blinks at their relationship. They’re an older couple, they’re in love, and no matter who the crowd is, Mr. Higgs had been stopped by the police of that city for what Ms. One time, officers pulled them over three blocks from their house; they wanted to know what he was doing in the car and asked to see his identification.“When you love someone, it’s hard to watch them be treated differently,” Ms. Higgs says, “It always makes things go smoother.”Katy Pitt, a 31-year-old consultant in Chicago, recalled being at a party in the months after her engagement to Rajeev Khurana. And as of late, he’s feeling less certain that he wants to stay in Lincoln Park, the upscale Chicago neighborhood where they now reside. Pitt’s idea to start househunting in more diverse areas of the city.The rates were highest in Honolulu (42 percent), Las Vegas (31 percent), and Santa Barbara (30 percent).
The gap between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, however, “is driven entirely by whites,” according to the report.When Crystal Parham, an African-American lawyer living in Brooklyn, told her friends and family members she was dating Jeremy Coplan, 56, who immigrated to the United States from South Africa, they weren’t upset that he was white, they were troubled that he was from a country that had supported apartheid. Parham doubted she could date him, although he swore he and his family had been against apartheid. Coplan reassured her that he was unfazed; he was falling for her. “I had my own preconceived ideas.”Marrying someone so different from yourself can provide many teachable moments.As they fell in love, she kept reminding him: “I’m black. Marie Nelson, 44, a vice president for news and independent films at PBS who lives in Hyattsville, Md., admits she never saw herself marrying a white man.“Hispanics and Asians are more likely to intermarry if they live in non-metro areas.” For black people, urban living doesn’t seem to make a difference: their intermarriage rates hang steady at 18 percent in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas alike. When it comes to explaining this urban-rural divide, there are many possible factors.The interactive map accompanying the report shows the huge variation in intermarriage rates across the U. Public perception of intermarriage might play a part: 45 percent of adults in urban areas say that “more people of different races marrying each other is a good thing for society,” the study reports.