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Today, the mixes among races and ethnicities are diverse, so it is considered preferable to use the term "mixed-race" or simply "mixed" (mezcla).
In Portuguese-speaking Latin America (i.e., Brazil), a milder form of caste system existed, although it also provided for legal and social discrimination among individuals belonging to different races, since slavery for blacks existed until the late 19th century.
These non-English terms for "race-mixing" are not considered as offensive as "miscegenation", although they have historically been tied to the caste system (Casta) that was established during the colonial era in Spanish-speaking Latin America.
Some groups in South America, however, consider the use of the word mestizo offensive because it was used during the times of the colony to refer specifically to the mixing between the conquistadores and the indigenous people.
Because of the term's historical use in contexts that typically implied disapproval, more unambiguously neutral terms such as interracial, interethnic, or cross-cultural are more common in contemporary usage.
The term miscegenation has been used since the 19th century to refer to interracial marriage and interracial sexual relations, In the present day, the word miscegenation is avoided by many scholars, because the term suggests a concrete biological phenomenon, rather than a categorization imposed on certain relationships.
US anti-miscegenation laws restricting marriages on the basis of race were once enforced in most states.
The law could never be strictly applied, because evidence shows that the ancestors to Homo Sapiens -- modern humans -- came out of Africa about 600,000 years ago.
All were in the southeast quadrant of the United States, from Virginia to Texas to Florida. The legislatures of other states repealed their laws at various times. The Superior Court of New Jersey once commented: "...moral or social equality between the different races..not in fact exist, and never can. couples -- whether of the same or different races -- became eligible to marry in any state, as long as they consisted of one woman and one man.
These are shown in red in the following illustration: States shown in gray never had anti-miscgenation laws; those in green had laws repealed before 1887; those in yellow had laws repealed between 19: Still, the territories of Alaska and Hawaii and a few states in the north-east quadrant of the U. The God of nature made it otherwise, and no human law can produce it, and no human tribunal can enforce it. Supreme Court declared the anti-miscegenation laws that were still in place among 16 states to be unconstitutional. The Court reached this conclusion even though the vast majority (72%) of American adults were still opposed to legalizing interracial marriage at the time.
The term's historical use in contexts that typically implied disapproval is also a reason why more unambiguously neutral terms such as interracial, interethnic or cross-cultural are more common in contemporary usage.
In Spanish, Portuguese, and French, the words used to describe the mixing of races are mestizaje, mestiçagem and métissage.
Interracial dating hasn't been a political issue for quite some time, but these changes in attitude have huge political implications as progressive politics in the United States has perennially been hampered by the country's deep racial divides.