Are white people relying on contact theory when they say that they aren't racist because they have one black friend? Contact theory is a theory that asserts that contact with people different from you will make you tolerate or love them more. A lot of people have used contact theory to argue for desegregation. They believe that it could be used as a tool to help end oppression. Thinking about my own experiences, it is easy to see why people think that.
My best friend is a Mexican and she is the most giving, caring person. She has this beautiful soul. Some of her best qualities include binge watching shows with me (our favorite show to binge watch is The Office) and finding a new apartment with me after our apartment got flooded.
I grew up around Mexicans. Me and my cousin used to go across the street to play with these Mexican kids. I don’t remember them, but I remember how I felt being around them. I remember positive and fun vibes. In first grade, there was this Latinx girl who broke her finger. I thought she was so pretty and so cool. (I know I sound listy right now but I have a point.) In high school, I became friends with Hispanic people and they were chill. I still talk to these Latinx people from high school on Facebook. I love their fb post.
I dead ass could go a whole day just viewing their timeline, looking at their videos and memes that they post. There are a few other Latinx people I met during college- fucking inspirational, just cool ass people.
The fact that anybody would come up to them like people do in those viral videos, sprouting off hate speech bothers the fuck out of me. It pisses me off that people would do that to them, their family, or anyone who looks like them. The thing is that this sentiment calls for sympathy and anger against the emotional and physical violence committed against Latinx people. I don't know if it calls for action. I don't know if it calls for people to research about the plight of Latinx people. But maybe the sympathy and anger that people like myself feel for Latinx people inevitably makes people want to be a good ally to them?
Gotta say that I love me some Asian people too! I know Asia is a whole continent but from my experience a lot of Asian people, specifically Asian American immigrants don't divulge their ethnicity, so I am just going to say Asian people. But also, Asia is a big fucking continent and while it may be messed up to generalize about all Asian people I know I am about to. A lot of them know that the American Education System is fucked and if they told us that they were Malaysian or from somewhere near Taiwan we wouldn't know what they were talking about. Most of us would ask the same tired ass, dumb ass, oftentimes racist ass questions to them so they don't talk too much about it. A lot of my Asian friends don't even tell people their whole name because it causes too much confusion amongst people. And damn I can't imagine that- I can't imagine every time I want to speak about my culture and my people, or even say my name, people act confused like they don't know what the fuck I am saying, or their eyes gloss over, or they act like they don't care, or they start saying racist shit. People do act apathetic or uncomfortable when I talk about white supremacy but I haven't met anyone who acted like they literally couldn't grasp what I was saying. I've seen people dead ass act like they were incapable of understanding what Asian people say. And people be acting like Asian people don't endure racism! I'ma be straight up and say that I don't understand their plight. I haven't learned much about it but I do see that shit and I know that it is foul.
While not all Asian people go through this, I cannot imagine being friends with an Asian person who did go through this and not notice this about their life. But for some reason it seems like this is not something that many people notice. To me it is obvious. I don't need people's voice to be filled with sadness when they say that they don't like to tell people their whole name because people do too much to get that it bothers them. I just know it's fucked up. I just know that even if it doesn't bother them now, it had to at some point for them to up and change their whole name. I don't get why but it seems like the people who say that they aren't racist because they have a black or Latinx friend don't make the connection. I don’t get why they don't see the problem. Maybe they do. If they do, a lot of them don’t show it.
I gotta spend another paragraph talking about Asian people because I've met some bad ass- cool ass Chinese women. I don't know why God put them in my life. I just know that I am forever indebted to God for it. This one Chinese woman is so goals for me. She’s younger than I am but she smarter, more motivated, been through more shit, more hard working and really just embodies what I want to be. This other Chinese woman is also goals for me but in a different way. She is class, and grace, and humor all in the same fucking person. She's taught me a lot too. I know other Asian people who deserve respect, love, to see themselves humanized on television. Shit like that. My experiences with them makes me think that every single Asian person who has existed, does exist, or will ever exist deserves the same.
I can't help but wonder if the white people who say that they aren't racist because they have one friend that is a poc does this for their friend. Do they humanize them in their heart in this way? Do they care about their one friend in this way?
I got a lot of friends from the Caribbean. Since I've moved up north I met so many of them. I didn't know nothing about people from the Caribbean or people from Africa (besides the amazing women who did my braids growing up. I call them amazing even though they put me in pain so that I could be beautiful.). I love the pride that Caribbean people have about their country. I love how my friends who want to go back home talk about what their home is like. I love them. I can't say I still know much about their culture or their people. I only know what they have shown me. And I know that the love that they've given me- the life that they've given me makes me want to protest at the sight of anyone saying they want them to go back home.
The thing is that I know next to shit about their culture, but I don't judge the things that I don't know about. I am not saying that I am perfect. Lord knows I am not. I reason with stereotypes like the best of them. I am just confused about why others can't suspend their judgement about other people's culture when they know they don't know shit about it.
Would I be remiss if I didn't talk about my white friends? I don't know so I will do it. One of the reasons why the idea of white supremacy has been so confusing to me is because I know some amazing, loving white people. With that being said, a lot of them do got racist tendencies. They were raised to reason with stereotypes about the groups that I was talking about above in mind. And even the ones that haven't been conditioned to reason in a racist way benefit from white supremacy, as they are white. This is why I wasn't sure if I should talk about my white friends in this particular blog, but my intuition is telling me that I should.
So okay- I got white Irish friends who taught me how the British fucked their people over. This one Irish woman I know is so different from me. She is literally my opposite and somehow, we've found a way to appreciate and tend to each other. I got white British friends whose sense of humor gives me life. This one British-American person I’ve come to love is so cool- everyone loves them but sometimes it seems like they don't get how awesome they are. I hope God will make it apparent to them one day. I've met other white people of other ethnicities. Living in New York, I met a lot of Italian white people. Even though a lot of them (I hear it takes place in Long Island a lot) are supposedly racist (this is just what I've heard), the Italian white friends I got are woke as fuck, got hearts like gold, and altogether just cool people to hang with.
I love white people even though they profit off of my oppression. I don't think that the white people who think that racism is a myth that is used to divide us can say the same. I find it hard to believe that the white people who think that racism ended decades ago and that people are lying when they it exists now are doing so to start a race war love POC despite the fact. It seems like they are just filled with hate against me and my people. They may say that they don't have a problem with poc but are just irritated that people are making things up. When they do this, they will go right around and say something racist (about how poc are inferior or lazy in some way.) Even righteously angry black people who have fuck white people mentalities don't do this. (Of course, there are some.) Most will make jokes about Becky’s, but they won't do it without context. It will mostly always be in response to something racist that a white person has done.
And of course, I have black American friends. They make the "black is beautiful" saying real. They are lovely. They are funny. They are charismatic. Some are woke. Some are lowkey hoteps. Most nourish me mentally, just by their presence but also by their perseverance and determination despite what being black, and America means. The sort of pride that I have about being black is different from white nationalism. I look at my people and I see people who have been degraded for centuries and yet still walk with their heads held high. I am full of pride to be a part of a group of people who can do that. It seems like white nationalist have a white people are better mentality. It doesn't come from anything good. It just comes from hate and bigotry.
I don't know what the white people who say that they aren't racist because they have one black friend really means. My inclination is that it is very different from what I mean when I say that I love my people or that I love other poc.