From my experience, I haven’t had that many uncomfortable situations with my White friends. But, I did have one of my friends make fun of my hair. It felt racially charged, so I told her what she said was racist.
Instead of becoming defensive or being dismissive, she listened to me and apologized. At that moment, I realized the most important aspect across all friendships is communication, the ability to listen to one another. And understand one another, especially when your bestie happens to be white.
1. Racial/ Cultural Misunderstandings
Have you ever had a white friend say, “You’re not like the other black people”, or “why do black people talk like that?”
Disclaimer to your White friends: No Black person is the sole representative of the entire Black race.
As Black people, these comments can be insensitive and racist and may prop us to pop off. But instead of going in (whoosah!), take the opportunity to educate them on why their comment is offensive.
If you don’t want to be that Black friend that has to dismantle your white friend’s ignorant thoughts, then back out of the friendship. But just remember, they will not understand that these comments are wrong until you tell them.
And if you confront and educate them about and they still don’t apologize and recognize their wrongdoings, then maybe you should reconsider the friendship with that person.
Or just invite them over and make them watch Roots or 12 Years A Slave.
2. Culture Clash
There will be moments when you both may not be able to see eye to eye on race, work, or love issues.
As long as respect is equal in the relationship, then the relationship can further progress.
There is nothing wrong with your White friends asking questions about race, or asking you about certain racial issues. It means they care, and they want to educate themselves on issues outside their own.
3. Unity Despite Differences
You want to see the purest form of non-racism? Look at children. Small kids see no color and play with each other until their parents tell them not to.
Many people find it easier to hate people who are different from them, rather than take the time to understand them.
If people were willing to set aside their differences and come together, then we all have some similarities and the universal ability to love.
Catherine Mwitta is a journalism student at Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is interested in all things social-political, spiritual and entertainment. Catherine is a tell-all and expresses herself freely on her blog, blackgirlreads.co.