Statement Submitted for the Record
James A . Landrith, Jr.
Editor and Publisher
The Multiracial Activist
Senate Education Committee
South Carolina General Assembly
March 9, 1999
Senators, my name is James A. Landrith, Jr. I currently reside in Alexandria, VA. I have been interracially married to the former Cheryl Gamble of Mullins, SC since 1993 and have two multiracial sons. I am editor and publisher of The Multiracial Activist, an activist journal dedicated to the struggle for and preservation of civil rights for biracial, multiracial, interracial and transracial individuals, couples, families and adoptees.
In August 1998, while conducting an internet search for news stories regarding the ballot initiative to remove the interracial marriage ban from the state constitution, I came across a February 26, 1998 letter to the editor of The State regarding state funding of LIFE scholarships to interracially intolerant Bob Jones University (BJU). This letter, which follows my statement as attachment (a) prompted me to research the issue. In August 1998, I contacted BJU regarding their policy and received a very disturbing letter from Community Relations Coordinator Jonathan Pait, dated August 31, 1998 which follows this statement as attachment (b). Mr. Pait informed me that BJU “does, however, have a rule prohibiting interracial dating among its students.” Mr. Pait goes on to say that BJU “is opposed to intermarriage of the races because it breaks down the barriers God has established. It mixes that which God separated and intends to separate.”
As a result of this letter which outlined the school’s excuses for their ban on interracial dating, I decided to apply for admission, using their online application located at http://www.bju.edu/admissions/application.html. This application follows this statement as attachment (c). As an advocate for biracial and multiracial children, I’ve spent many hours viewing online college applications and had never seen an application that asked for the race of the applicant’s spouse until I completed BJU’s application. To say that this shocked me would be an understatement.
On October 20, 1998, Admissions Counselor Paul Achterberg emailed me regarding my online application. This email follows my statement as attachment (d). Mr. Achterberg informed me that it was no problem for me to attend the school as long as my wife did not or vice versa due to my interracial marriage. Upon receipt of this email, I promptly posted it and the previous letter on my website, which led to the introduction of GB 508 by Senator Jackson.
It is unconscionable to take money from the 1,746 interracially married couples (footnote) residing in South Carolina and give it to an unaccredited institution practicing racial discrimination against them.
As a proud American and former Marine who gave six years to Country and Corps, I fully support GB 508 and applaud Senator Jackson for introducing legislation that protects one of the most basic of American tenets, that is that discrimination is wrong and can’t be tolerated if this nation is to remain free and just.
Footnote: These figures, current as of 1997, provided by South Carolina Vitals and Morbidity Statistics, Division of Bio Statistics, Office of Public Health Statistics and Information.
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 13:48:45 -0400
From: “Paul Achterberg” Pachterb@bju.edu
Subject: BJU application
I have received your internet application here at Bob Jones University and wanted to acknowledge our receipt of it. I’ll be glad to start processing it for you as soon as we receive the $45 application fee.
I wanted to be “up front” with you from the very beginning of the application process so there will be no unanswered questions later on. I noticed on your application that you are inter-racially married. Bob Jones University does not endorse this. It would be no problem for you to be a student here as long as your wife was not (or vice versa). I trust that you understand this. If you would like to ask any questions regarding this, please contact Mr. Jon Pait at (864)242-5100 ext. 4207. He would be glad to speak with you about this.
Thank you again for sending in your application. I look forward to hearing from you soon. You may call me at 1-800-BJ-AND-ME.
BOB JONES UNIVERSITY
Greenville, SC 29614-0001
Admissions Office 1-800-BJ-AND-ME
August 31, 1998
Mr. James Landrith
P.O. Box 8208
Alexandria, VA 22306
Dear Mr. Landrith:
Thank you for your phone call requesting information concerning interracial relations here at Bob Jones University. The University has an open admissions policy, and we accept students of any race. The student body is fully integrated with all students participating in all activities and organizations regardless of race.
Bob Jones University does, however, have a rule prohibiting interracial dating among its students. God has separated people for His own purpose. He has erected barriers between the nations, not only land and sea barriers, but also ethnic, cultural, and language barriers. God has made people different one from another and intends those differences to remain. Bob Jones University is opposed to intermarriage of the races because it breaks down the barriers God has established. It mixes that which God separated and intends to keep separate. Every effort in world history to bring the world together has demonstrated man’s self-reliance and his unwillingness to remain as God ordains. The attempts at one-worldism have been to devise a system without God and have fostered the promotion of a unity designed to give the world strength so that God is not needed and can be overthrown.
Although there is no verse in the Bible that dogmatically says that races should not intermarry, the whole plan of God as He has dealt with the races down through the ages indicates that interracial marriage is not best for man. We do believe we see principles, not specific verses, to give us direction for the avoidance of it.
The people who built the Tower of Babel were seeking a man-glorifying unity which God has not ordained (Gen. 11:4-6). Much of the agitation for intermarriage among the races today is for the same reason. It is promoted by one-worlders, and we oppose it for the same reason that we oppose religious ecumenism, globalism, one-world economy, one-world police force, unisex, etc. When Jesus Christ returns to the earth, He will establish world unity, but until then, a divided earth seems to be His plan.
Of course, we realize that this is controversial position and that there are many fine Christians who disagree with us on it. We recognize the right of other Christians to hold differing views; we only hope that they will recognize the sincerity and love with which we hold ours.
Christian students of all races find a happy and harmonious atmosphere here at the University, and the number of minority students grows every year. We believe prejudice to be Biblically wrong, and it is not tolerated in the student body.
I trust this information is helpful to you. Kind regards.
Community Relations Coordinator