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  1. #1
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    Default The politics of being friends with white people

    http://www.salon.com/2013/08/13/the_..._white_people/


    Most of my social circle ok 99% is Afro-Caribbean/African..it is what it is. Frankly I get on better with nonBritish white folks than British white folks cos we both think they (White Brits) are weird lol
    Last edited by Denny; 08-14-2013 at 02:02 PM.
    http://public.fotki.com/Lockyladyden

    Join date March 2004
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    Go PANK you know you want to...

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  3. #2
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    Oh man, I could write an essay on this. Salon, are you hiring?

    Suffice it to say that I couldn't agree more with her last paragraph:

    I believe deeply in the power of friendship to make us better human beings. But interracial friendships, especially in adulthood, require a level of risk and vulnerability that many of us would rather simply not deal with. And that is perhaps one of racism’s biggest casualties: Beyond the level of systemic havoc that racism wreaks on the material lives of people of color, in a million and one ways every day, it reduces the opportunity of all people to be more human.
    I've spent almost my entire life being someone's "black friend" and at this point I've all but resigned the position. Four years ago in Spain I became acquainted with a really nice older white woman from MA. She's a FB friend. When she learned I'd moved to the city where her son and daughter-in-law live, and that she comes to visit them and her grandkids sometimes, of course I was like, sure, I'd love to see you. However, when she said that her son and daughter-in-law are looking for friends, implying that I should befriend them, part of me was like, oh, she's cool, they're probably cool too, but most of me reverted to my current state, which is basically the vampire-warding two fingers held in a cross formation gesture.

    Racial battle fatigue, compassion fatigue, or both?
    It's 2020...do you know where you're going to?

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  5. #3
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    Default

    I like that last paragraph too. It has been a long time since I've made friends with a white person. It feels mostly like there's too much of a gulf, and I don't feel like doing all the explaining, opening myself up to their assumptions.

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  7. #4
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    My question is, are we to shrug and just forget about being open to friendships with diverse people because it's too hard? I'll admit that may be best for some, so I won't judge. But for me, living in Oregon and being both a humanist and an atheist, I have nothing much in common with most black folks I meet...beyond being black. At this time at my life right now, being "black" just isn't enough of an connection to be the foundation of a relationship. So most of my friends are humanist/atheist and that, of course, means most of them are white. However, because of our common pov on that point (and most of them have small children like me, too), we connect very, very well. Anyway, just my experience.
    BC: Spring 2000


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  9. #5
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    ^You do know that there are Black humanists and Black atheists. As much as I don't hold those views, Black people are more diverse than you may realize. It's a false belief that most Black people are religious.

    However, I do agree that there needs to be something more that attracts me to a person than just being Black.
    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt

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  11. #6
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    I never said there are no black humanists or atheists. Obviously, there are some; I am one of them. However, there are very, very few of us. Many black atheists have talked about this. And, yes, most black people are religious. And "religious" refers not just to Christianity, but Islam, Buddhist, or just a belief in a "god" in general terms, etc. You can read about that here.

    "Compared with other racial and ethnic groups, African-Americans are among the most likely to report a formal religious affiliation, with fully 87% of African-Americans describing themselves as belonging to one religious group or another, according to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007 by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life."

    Sorry to go a little off topic, but wanted to address ChaCha's comments.

    BC: Spring 2000


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  13. #7
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    I'm one who has a bunch of friends of different races and try not to concentrate too much on race when trying to make friends. To me, it feels like, if I were to prejudge another person as someone who "would not get me" before I know them, simply because of their race, I would be no better than people who prejudge me for being black before they get to know me. I can honestly say that there have been a few white people whom I am close with, who can *get* racial matters and understand them and their effects even better than *some* of the black people I know, particularly some of those self-hating types. The point I'm trying to make is that you never know if a person is going to truly get you or not, sometimes the person who you least expect, might end up being your closest friend. It makes me sad to see that we, of all people, would look at nice person with perfectly fine qualities, and judge that person as unworthy to socialize with, or otherwise stave off their attempts to get to know us better, simply because of their skin color.

    now all of of that is kinda lip service from me, though. I have some extreme social anxiety at play right now, and it's very difficult to make IRL friends of any shade. all of my friends live in my computer.
    Thanks to whoever panked me!

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  15. #8
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    I can relate to this article to a degree, but at the end of the day I will still choose to get to know people regardless of skin colour b/c that's just my nature. I've definitely had moments where I encountered casual racism from white and even non white friends, but I'm at the age now where I either let the person know that it's not ok and try to educate, or if it's just not in me, I cut folks off and keep it moving.

  16. #9
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    A big part of my racial battle fatigue has to do with the subject of this article: Intelligence is not a remedy for racism

    I truly believe that race is the one subject where even whites with above-average intelligence are all but encouraged to stay stupid. I just spent several years with a bunch of 'em...

    That said, those of you who are still open to making friends regardless of race...I admire you and maybe one of these days I'll be recovered and back where you are. I do believe in the power of friendship to connect people in meaningful, truly human ways.
    It's 2020...do you know where you're going to?

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  18. #10
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    Cultural similarity plays a bigger role in my friendships than racial similarity. I was raised in a mostly White suburb by African parents, so I didn't have very much exposure to traditional black culture growing up. Unfortunately when I was younger I caught a lot of flack from Black people for "talking white" or "acting white"-I think maybe people thought I was faking. So in high school I tended to hang out with whites because they were more accepting of me than Blacks, and Asians because a lot of them also had the background of immigrating young and being raised by foreign parents.

    I went to a pretty liberal college, and because of how I was treated my insecurities about being judged negatively by African Americans for my speech and mannerisms faded away. My friend circle was a mix of Africans and suburban White folks. The Black people I was close with also tended to be raised in White areas, I think like tends to attract like. So the cultural similarities went deeper than just race.

    Living in L.A now, my group of friends is very diverse. And to be honest, the white people I am close with tend to have diverse friends too, so I'm sure there's a subconscious mutual selection going on there. I haven't had issues being friends or dating them because I don't feel as wide as a gap as some people describe, and maybe how I was raised (my parents have always encouraged me to be open to everyone). Obviously a lot of White folks are not very culturally aware but I try to judge people on an individual basis. Many of the people who love me most in this world happen to be of another race and I wouldn't give them up for anything.
    Thanks nappy friend for giving me a PANKing!

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