"WASHINGTON - Despite its battles over immigration, affirmative action, racial profiling and other issues, America is finally becoming a melting pot.
A powerful interracial tide has transformed friendships, dates, cohabitations, marriages and adoptions in just one generation. If the wave continues to grow, it could sweep away racial stereotypes and categorizations, as well as the rationale behind affirmative action and other broad minority protections. It remains to be seen, however, whether higher levels of social integration, especially among Asians, are benefiting blacks, the least integrated of U.S. minorities. Data from the 2010 census will make that a lot clearer.
For now, the interracial trend - while evident everywhere - is hard to gauge because young adults and children are at its vanguard: children such as Heshima Sikkenga, 9, of Apple Valley, Minn., for whom race 'is a minor point, like brown hair or blond hair,' as his father, Steve, put it.
But the wave is so far-reaching that the average American today, young or old, is 70 percent more likely than Americans were a generation ago to count a person of another race among his or her two or three best friends, according to an article in the current issue of American Sociological Review. The same percentage of applicants tells Match.com, a leading Internet dating service, that they're willing to date someone of another race."
Link: Social Integration in the U.S., Including Cohabiting and Marriage, Is Surging