A week after a Cheerios commercial sparked debate by featuring a biracial child, many people are celebrating the anniversary of a Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriages in the U.S.
June 12 is Loving Day, named after Richard and Mildred Loving -- the couple who got the right to marry with the 1967 landmark decision in Loving v. Virginia. Read the Supreme Court's full opinion here.
Loving Day isn't an "official" holiday, meaning that it hasn't been recognized by the federal government.
However, the day has its own website, which says the movement's goal is to "fight racial prejudice through education and to build multicultural community."
Loving Day seems especially relevant this year, given the recent debate surrounding a Cheerios commercial featuring a biracial child. The commercial reportedly attracted so many racist comments that Cheerios had to disable comments on its YouTube page. When I last checked, the clip had 3.4 million views.
A week after the debate first surfaced, the commercial is still making headlines.
A June 11 Kansas City Star column about the clip is titled, "Disturbing reaction to Cheerios ad takes us back a century." The writer notes, "You can’t be naive about racism when you’re the white parent of black children. And it scares me."
The editorial page editor at the Detroit Free Press writes, "President Barack Obama, the product of an interracial marriage, is the leader of the free world, twice elected in a majority-white nation; you've got a panoply of inter- and multi-racial sports and entertainment stars -- but a commercial with a white mom and a black dad incites racist conniptions?"
June 12 marks the anniversary of a decision made in 1967. As in, nearly 50 years ago.
If you don't know how good progress feels, you should really give it a try.