On the cover of today's Go! magazine, a regular section of Friday's Post-Dispatch, there is a photo of a couple kissing to go along with the story "The 7 Best Places To Smooch". The story hasn't generated a ton of buzz, but the photo has. Why? Because the man is black and the woman is white. The reader comments at the end of the online version clearly showed us that at least some folks out there are not comfortable with interracial relationships.
Here are a couple of examples:
From 1buschstadiumplz: "Haven't read the story but dont like to see blacks and whites kissing;"
From taxpayer came this remark: "This doesn't surprise me at all. Libs take every opportunity they can to shove miscegnation in our faces. Now that TV has to show blacks in every commercial, notice that they are always posed beside a blonde woman. Not a brunette, a blonde. Its done for shock value. Sickening that a once proud newspaper would resort ot this. Joe Pulitzer is turning over in his grave in shame."
Reader greggh tried a middle-of-the-road approach: "I'm not judging the concept of biracial couples at all, but in a city as racially polarized as St. Louis, I'm shocked that the PD would go so out of its way to be so gratuitously provacative. This completely undercut the message of the article."
Other readers were disturbed by the negative comments including dwilliams, who wrote:
"You people make me sick! What a disgustingly racist community we live in. My husband is black, I am white, we have beautiful children and we are both educated. We teach our children tolerance and acceptance of others, even the meth smoking, trailer park rednecks portrayed in these comments. Keep your nastiness to yourself!"
We have deleted some of the comments that included offensive language because that is not appropriate or tolerated on the P-D blogs and we decided to limit comments on the photo to this blog.
I did some asking around in the newsroom about the decision to use the photo. Turns out that the couple is a real couple. The creative director of Go! knows the couple and asked them if they would pose for the story.
Quick research tells me that 7 percent of married couples are interracial and those numbers are growing as the minority groups in this country continue to grow. Tiger Woods, Halle Barry, Derek Jeter and President Barack Obama are all products of interracial parents.
It's been almost 42 years since the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down a law barring interracial marriage. But today, at least in St. Louis, it seems to remain a touchy subject.