Good Morning! This week’s post is part two in a four-part series of how I choose my friends. I’m writing this in hopes that it may resonate with some of you and some may even use this as a guide for choosing their friends in the future. That is, of course, provided we find the same things important in the character of other human beings.
When I was in high school, back in Detroit, I kissed a White girl and the backlash helped me to easily shorten my friend list. For the sake of this retelling of events, let’s call her Sharon. Sharon and I always got along and flirted a bit, but as a teenaged boy I flirted with every female on the planet. I treated Sharon no differently. One day, at the Senior Picnic, we were hugging as the party was coming to a close and I made a half-joking request for a kiss. She planted a long French one on me that caused heads to turn, brakes to screech, and shouts of “nah-uh” to come from the crowd. I gave no fucks and let the kiss run its course. She was a great kisser and the crowd response wasn’t all that shocking. Fast forward to Monday and I found myself surrounded by a semi-circle of Black girls saying some really shitty things to me and about her. Since all of this happened over 20 years ago, I’m not going to pretend that I remember their words verbatim. So, I won’t use quotation marks here. One girl said something about me having low self-esteem and that was obviously why I was after Sharon. Another girl-a supposed friend of Sharon’s-said awful things about Sharon’s character. The general sentiment of their message was that I was a bad person for doing what I’d done and that Sharon was less than desirable. The funny thing was, and I proceeded to tell them this, was that none of them had given me the time of day before the kiss heard round the campus. I fired back at all of them, in turn, pointing my finger and cussing about how I’d asked for girl A’s phone number, asked girl B out on a date, and asked girl C to hang out, all to no avail. I punctuated my retort with a grand, “fuck all y’all”, and kept it movin’. Those girls were not my friends.
It’s worth mentioning… Interracial dating aside, if a friend ever points out someone that he/she finds attractive, please don’t ever give a response remotely similar to this: “Her? Really? You find her attractive? She doesn’t look like your type!” WTF does that mean? Do all of your ex-lovers/partners look alike? A person’s type is defined by their personality more than their physical vessel, is it not? No one has the right to disagree with someone else’s preference. Everyone is entitled to an alternative preference. However, questioning someone’s preference of who they find attractive is just arrogant and stupid.
Fast forward to 2011, when I brought a White girlfriend home from Oakland to meet the parents in Detroit. Everyone was kind to her and no one gathered round me, whilst alone, to rant about some pseudo-injustice. It wasn’t until a few years after she and I split that my Grandmother made a comment. “I just think you should be with your own kind, you know.” No, Grandma, I don’t know. Later still, on my next (solo) visit home, my Dad asked if I had “brought any more White girls home.” Wow. “Jet, they’re from a different time, give them a break!” Fuck that noise! Age doesn’t/shouldn’t excuse racist rhetoric. I will not give anyone from a different time a break. It occurred to me that none of them took time to ask if I was happy with her or if I was sad that it was over. My Mom has always pointed out that you have to love family, you don’t have to like family. Since she first suggested that freedom to dislike, I’ve asked myself whether or not I’d be friends with the people in my family. The truth is, if we weren’t related, there are many family members that I wouldn’t want as friends.
It’s 2015, minds are open and growing more (socially) liberal by the year, right? Perhaps not. There’s a Black woman that wrote a blog post about events that have taken place in the past year. Her post (“I fell in love with a white man, and I made a lot of black people mad.“) was well-written yet heartbreaking. I encourage you to read it, regardless of your color or relationship status. Her relationship helped her to find her friends.
Do you remember the responses that people had to Vogue placing an interracial couple on their cover? Never mind who the couple was, the textbook definition of the word vogue is the prevailing fashion or style of the time. Therefore, when a couple that (most average) people are talking about all over the world ends up on the cover with the hashtag #WorldsMostTalkedAboutCouple that happens to be something that can be confirmed with empirical evidence. Just check the stats on the hashtag or look at plenty of other data. People claim that it was the female of the couple that everyone took issue with, but I doubt it was that simple. There have been plenty of reprehensible people on magazine covers over the years. But, when you put an Ebony/Ivory couple on the cover with a predominantly White readership, then you get this reaction. (Sorry the image is fuzzy. Click on the pic for a different site talking about it. Just know that people are typing stupid shit like, “How could you?” You know because Vogue did this to piss people off. Dumb fucks!)
It’s worth mentioning that not one of the aforementioned jackasses suggested canceling their subscription when this Ebony/Ivory pair (not a couple) were on the cover of Vogue. Perhaps because the photo was recreating a decades-old stereotype and Vogue’s readership was cool with that?
I’ve shared these anecdotes and observations with you because you should distance yourself from humans that would turn on you if you dated “outside of your race.” (I’ve always fucking hated that phrase. Are we not all of the human race?) Just to be clear, I’m not writing this to suggest that you go out and find a relationship with a specific race other than your own. I’m just suggesting that you keep an open mind and distance yourself from friends with closed minds.
I remember over hearing this girl in my Sports Psych class telling a story about someone whose name she couldn’t remember. So, on the most culturally diverse campus in the US, she kept referring to him as “dat White boy.” Our White male professor looked uncomfortable and I was annoyed. We’re at an institute of higher learning and there are 100,000+ adjectives in the English language! There was a much more intelligent way to refer to that human. Her dumb ass also suggested that (and I hear a lot of people say this) interracial couples make the prettiest babies. WTF!? Oh well, her ignorance made it clear that she wasn’t someone with whom I’d like to be friends.
I don’t care who my friends date, as long as they’re happy. My Mom has always said the same thing. She’s never cared about who I date or who I bring home. For all of you OK Tinder Fuckbook users I want to challenge you to stop checking that race box on your dating profiles. Take a look at this and get your head out of the media’s influential ass. Click on the pic for the full story.
I understand that we all have our preference as to what general aesthetic we find attractive. Read this for another perspective. But, question what has influenced those preferences. I once read that California has the highest percentage of interracial relationships in America. Maybe one day, the numbers will even out and Cheerios can produce a modern commercial without ignorant fuck wads getting upset. I’ll leave you with this video and the cute follow-up.
In part three of this series, I’ll be writing about the worst kind of racism (you may be guilty of it) and how it helps me to find my friends.
In part four of this series, I’ll be writing about how other people’s drama makes it easier to find my friends.