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Boston and Beyond

November 16, 2013

Around the World and Nation

(Continued)

Even in a nation with a biracial president, where interracial marriage is more accepted and common than ever, Bill de Blasio’s marriage to Chirlane McCray is remarkable: He is apparently the first white politician in U.S. history elected to a major office with a black spouse by his side.

This simple fact is striking a deep chord in many people as de Blasio prepares to take office on Jan. 1, with McCray playing a major role in his administration.

“It reflects the American values of embracing different races, ethnicities, religions. I think it’s just a great symbol,” said William Cohen, the former Maine senator and Secretary of Defense, who is married to a black woman.

Cohen was already a senator when he started dating Janet Langhart, a black television journalist. He proposed several times, but she feared that her race would hurt Cohen’s political future. They married in 1996, a few weeks after Cohen announced he would not seek a fourth term.

Case of Detroit-area homeowner who shot woman may hinge on single word

DETROIT — The way Renisha Marie McBride’s young life ended Nov. 2 is not in dispute: A homeowner in suburban Detroit fatally shot the 19-year-old in the face as she stood on his porch before the sun came up.

Almost every other aspect of the case is not as clear-cut.

Did race play a role in the shooting? What exactly happened on that doorstep? Did the homeowner reasonably believe he was acting in self-defense?

Police and prosecutors say Theodore Paul Wafer fired once with a 12-gauge shotgun through his screen door at McBride.

The 54-year-old airport maintenance employee, who faces murder and manslaughter charges, is free on bail awaiting a Dec. 18 hearing that will determine if the case should go to trial.

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